Middle-Age Memoirs: How to make a face mask in 30 seconds or less (with a filter)

Well what a month it’s been! Spending unending time with my better half and youngest son over the past couple of weeks has been fun. However, I think the phrase “be careful what you wish for” may be applicable here.

I’m the type of person who loves alone time. Normally, I’m alone all day (except for my dog Max of course). I write my blog alone….I do housework alone….I cook alone. I really enjoy being alone. I find it peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my sons like crazy, now that they are out of the house. I absolutely love spending time with my better half. Since the pandemic began, however, they are rarely out of sight or earshot. I find my precious alone time has completely disappeared and, quite frankly, I miss it. I’m sure most of you can relate. I find myself digging into my old habit of staying up late at night, just to find some peace, and revive some precious alone time.

Anyway…last week, the Governor of Virginia, issued a “stay-at-home” order, which ended up being an extension of the “suggestions” for staying home previously issued. He kept everything else the same. Thankfully, he didn’t take it to extremes, such as arresting people for leaving home, like states surrounding us have done.

On Friday of last week, the CDC issued new guidelines for wearing face masks in public. Here is a link to the CDC face mask FAQ for your information. So, I took to the internet to find the easiest way to make a face mask with little or no sewing required. I tried several before settling on my favorite. AND…once you have all the materials, it can be put together in under 30 seconds. My son timed me and it took me 24 seconds. I got the idea from the video below:

The video above used electrostatic hepa filter material for the face mask filter. I looked for this online. You can find it on Amazon, but don’t expect delivery until June. So I did a bit of research for alternatives. I found an article on smartfilters.com, called “What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?” The following list of material was tested by researchers at Cambridge University. Researchers tested each material against “0.02 micron Bacteriophage MS2 particles (5 times smaller than the coronavirus)” As you can see, vacuum cleaner bags were found to be effective 86% of the time. So we will be using this as our filter, in place of the hepa filter in the video. If you don’t have vacuum cleaner bags, my research indicates any “non-woven” fabric will help, but not as effectively.

One other thing I discovered…most videos recommended using hair bands. I DO NOT agree. I tried using these and found they didn’t stay on my ears. I prefer rubber bands. I found them to stay better and they were more comfortable.

Materials needed

  • 15 inch x 15 inch piece of cloth (really any size will work see video)
  • 8 inch x 4.5 inch rectangle cut from a vacuum bag (for the filter)
  • 2 rubber bands or hair bands

Steps

  • gather materials
  • lay filter (vacuum bag rectangle) in the middle of the 15 x 15 square fabric. NOTE: the filter IS NOT reusable. You’ll need a new filter with each use.
  • fold fabric in thirds. Start by folding the top down. Then fold the bottom up
  • put one band around each end
  • fold the ends toward the middle
  • tuck extra from one side into the folds from the other side. (see video)

Closing thoughts

Keep in mind, I am not a medical professional, nor an expert on medical face masks. Also, this isn’t a “form fitting” mask. It is, by no means, a replacement for a surgical mask or N95 mask. With that said, the CDC is suggesting the use of face masks and many states are beginning to require them in public. This mask is better than nothing, VERY easy to put together and more form fitting than simply a scarf. Plus it has a filter of sorts, so should provide a bit more protection.

As I said, I tried at least 4 different types, some with material, some with paper towels. There are many how-to videos on youtube. If you sew, THIS ONE would be great, as it has a pocket for a filter and is reusable. Anyway, I’m not much for sewing, so this was my solution.

I hope all of you are safe and healthy. GOD BLESS!

Until next time…Namaste my friends

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3 Comments on “Middle-Age Memoirs: How to make a face mask in 30 seconds or less (with a filter)

  1. Nice article Tamara! I made masks for my immediate family using non-woven interfacing, and I planned to start making more (now that I have the pattern down pat) for one of our local hospitals where my niece works. I ran out of interfacing, and discovered a major shortage of it as well as elastic and vacuum cleaner bags. I finally found some interfacing on ebay and await its arrival. I used socks cut into rings for the elastics. They were actually more comfortable than the elastic

    Liked by 1 person

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