Try DIY Face Masks


Valentina Barlow, Staff Writer

While we have been stuck at home people have started to make masks at home and starting new hobbies. While many families have been making masks many have been trying to figure out the best fabric to use to protect themselves from harmful germs. Scientists have suggested tight weave cotton fabric for masks because it filters out germs and is most affected. Some people have been selling masks online or just giving masks as gifts to friends and family. 

People make face masks at home because they are given an opportunity to learn a new hobby and making your own masks can give you your own customization.  People have also been selling their homemade masks on websites such as, Etsy, Ebay, FaceBook MarketPlace, and in many small businesses. Selling masks can also slow down the spread of Covid-19.   Many sewing masks at home have been wondering which fabrics are most effective. Scientist, Supratik Guha from  Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, says “Aerosols can range from about 6 micrometers (or microns) down to 10 nanometers across. A human hair is about 7,500 microns.(A micron is one millionth of a meter; a nanometer is one billionth of a meter.”   The coronavirus is about 120 nanometers. Which as an example, while you are reading this sentence, your nails have grown approximately 1 nanometer.  Now imagine 120 nanometers, not much of a visible difference.  Guha says, “ Use tighter fabrics with tighter weaves, try to use combinations of materials. They filter the particles in different ways.”  When fabrics are layered, it blocks bigger germs from getting into your lungs and body.  Using different fabrics will filter out different sized germs and particles.  Good fabrics to use are, cotton, flannel and denim, other fabrics may be too thin to be protective against any germs.


Homemade masks can have many different fits and styles. There is the surgical mask fit which folds down horizontally in 3 sections.  Another popular fit is “the fitted mask” which has a seam down the middle and loops up to fit your nose.  Both fits are comfortable and effective. There are also masks with adjustable ear loops, to get just the right fit around your ear.   As well as finding the perfect fit, you can find the perfect pattern. There are fabrics with patterns perfect for minimalists, and maximalists.  There are plain colors or wacky, crazy patterns.  Making masks at home gives you the freedom to customize the way they look and it gives you something to do while bored in quarantine.

“I like to use cotton, and layer it depending on how thick or thin  the fabric is,” says Olivia Jones, she has sewn masks for her family, and friends. “I also like to add an extra foam padding, as a filter and to push the mask further from my mouth so it’s easier to breathe through Olivia also said, “ I like to use a string that I can adjust around my ear for comfort.”    Olivia says,” I like to make cloth masks because I don’t feel protected in paper masks, or in cheap cloth masks stores sell. I like the fitted masks because it is easier to breathe in and it stays on if I talk in it.” 

Olivia also says,” Quarantine has given me time to learn how to sew ,crochet, start playing sports, baking, and skateboarding.”

While the stay at home orders has given us more free time than ever, people all around the world have been  starting new hobbies and sharing them with others on social media.  Many people have been painting, drawing, doing puzzles, learning new languages, organizing notes in fun and cute ways, deep cleaning their house, room, or closet.  My family and I were painting all the time during summer break this year.  Even though the world is stressful and chaotic people have found peaceful and positive things to do in their free time. Also during the pandemic, I have found myself on  zoom meetings with friends till  3 in the morning. Don’t worry weekends only! But during the stay at home orders I have been FaceTiming, Zooming, and texting my friends all the time. When you virtually hang out with friends you can talk all night or all day long, but if you were to hangout with friends in person even before the pandemic it would only be for a couple of hours. Being home all day everyday, has given a lot of positives and negatives. 

Surgical Mask Fit

Fitted Mask