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We all have health and safety on our minds as we navigate ahead, and being prepared with supplies like face masks, hand sanitizers and gloves is never a bad idea when you need to be out in public. With the shortage of medical-grade masks right now, and those in supply being needed by healthcare professionals, many of us are getting resourceful and making our own! You don't have to know how to sew to make your own mask ... we'll show you how to DIY one using a T-shirt you already own and Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Tape. Read on for the tutorial!
- Aleene's Fabric Fusion Permanent Fabric Tape
- Cotton T-shirt
- Scissors/rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Filter lining of choice
Make sure the T-shirt you are using is freshly laundered before starting. We recommend a T-shirt made from cotton so your mask is soft, comfortable to wear and still breathable. Choose a T-shirt with a design or pattern like vibrant tie dye for a mask with some extra personality!
Place your shirt flat onto a cutting mat. Using a rotary cutter or scissors, cut 1 fabric rectangle 16″ long by 8.5″ wide (for an adult-sized mask). Note: you should be able to get about 4 masks from one small T-shirt.
Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 7″ long. For larger adult-sized ear loops, cut up to 8″ long. For children, cut 6" strands.
Fold your fabric rectangle in half with right sides together.
Cut strips of Permanent Fabric Tape to fit along the top edge, leaving a 2" gap open to create the opening for the inner pocket where your filter will go. Remove liner from tape strips and press the top layer in place, lining up your edges.
Rotate the fabric so the seam you just created is now in the center (instead of the top edge) and rotate again so the seam is vertical. Use an iron to smooth the seam, pressing the it open. Cut strips of Permanent Fabric Tape to fit along the open sides. Tip: Press the exposed side of the tape face down onto the bottom section of the mask and run it along the length of the edge, cutting it when you reach the other side. Leave the top liner in place until you add the elastic.
On one side, form a half loop with your elastic and place inside of the mask layers with the ends extending just beyond the edge of the fabric. Remove the liner from the top of the tape and press the elastic into the tape, then the top layer of fabric into the tape, securing the edges and the elastic in place.
Repeat process on the other side, then trim edges of elastic sticking out of the sides for a smooth seam.
Turn your mask right side out through the 2" opening.
Place your mask on your work surface with ear loops facing each side. Now you will create the pleats on the mask.
Mark your mask with three evenly spaced lines (you can use a chalk pencil or regular pencil to lightly mark - or just estimate it). Cut small strips of Permanent Fabric Tape to use for securing your pleats, and place on each side of the mask. Remove the top liners and pleat the mask as shown, making sure all pleats face the same direction.
Once your pleats are secure, you can add the filter lining of your choice inside of your mask, then it's ready to wear!