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How to make a DIY no-sew face mask from t-shirts, socks and paper towels

Follow these videos to make a simple non-medical face mask – no sewing required

Kaila Imada
Written by
Kaila Imada

With the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, face masks have become essential when we venture outside, along with social distancing. However, due to the overwhelming global demand, it's increasingly difficult to find face masks in stores and even online. As a result, many people have resorted to making their own masks, entering lotteries, or waiting impatiently for their government-issued masks to arrive in the mail.

There's no need to panic. It's quite easy to create your own face mask with items you already have at home. You don't even need a sewing machine or needle and thread. Here are four easy ways to make no-sew masks from paper towels, t-shirts, socks and even pillow cases.

Paper towel mask

This quick and easy mask requires only a paper towel, a long strip of paper, two elastic bands and a stapler – things you most likely already have at home. The folding technique creates a structured shield to fit the lower half of your face, similar to a surgical face mask. There are a few updates and variations to this DIY mask, including incorporating a filter; check them out on the doctor's Instagram account. The best part is, you can just throw the paper-towel mask away after using and just make another one whenever you need it. 


Upcycled T-shirt mask

If you've been organising and decluttering your closet while in quarantine, you might have a few T-shirts to spare for this exercise. All you need is an old T-shirt, a ruler and a pair of scissors. The T-shirt fabric will lend to a comfortable mask that covers your face nicely.

According to this video, there are two ways: one uses the body of the T-shirt while another uses the sleeve. You can easily adjust the measurements to fit an adult or a child. While it's not shown, you can also slip in a paper towel in between the folds to act as an extra filter.

Sock mask

Your old socks can now be used to create a simple face mask in a matter of minutes. This tutorial video uses a long tube sock, but check out this other video if you only have short ankle-length ones.

All you need is a sock and a pair of scissors. A piece of paper towel or toilet paper can be used to pad up the mask from the inside. For an adult-sized mask, use a loose sock that has more room so that it can fully cover your nose and mouth.

Pillowcase mask

If you'd rather not cut up your clothes, you can also make a simple mask from a pillowcase and then line it with a coffee filter. The folded pillowcase creates a nice pocket to slip in a sheet of filter. The video also suggests leaving the straps long, so you can choose to tie the mask either around your head or ears, whichever is more comfortable for you.

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