DIY Easy 5 Minute Face Mask

If you’re looking to quickly make a face mask from the comfort of your home, you’ve come to the right spot.

The material used in this project is Kimberly-Clark Wypall X80 Disposable Shop Towel material. This is a “hydroknit” material that is a fairly dense non-woven product that is used in commercial cleaning and shops. It is tough enough that it can be used several times and it does not fall apart when it is wet (which is why it makes for a good shop towel or cleaning wipe material). The material has enough stretch that the top loop stretches over the head nicely and the bottom tie straps do not break. It is an odd color and a tad rough against the face but this is a pandemic not a beauty pageant!

We bought a roll of 475 towels from Amazon for about $70. These are the larger size: 12.5″ x 13.4″ and the product number is Wypall 41055×80.

The goal was to create a mask that is easy and fast to make that does not require a lot of sewing skills or extra materials (for example, it is now difficult to find elastic or strap making materials).

Step 1:

Lay out the material

Step 2:

Fold in half along the long axis.

Step 3:

Align the material and the template so that the folded edge of the material aligns with the inside edge of the mask section. Trace the template. Cut along the lines and unfold the mask.

Step 4:

Fold the mask the other direction (fold the hour-glass shape in half) taking care to put the slightly softer side out. Now staple the angles of the mask (or this can be easily sewn with a machine if you have this option). Four staples per side should do it (you can take adjust this staple “hem” slightly in if you have a smaller face).

Step 5:

Turn it inside out (so the staples go in) and it is done!

To use:

Slip the closed loop over the top of your head … this is the top strap. Tie the lower straps around your neck. If you wear glasses or use safety glasses these can help keep the mask from riding up.

After use this can be thrown or or perhaps it can be reused.  If the seam is made on a sewing machine it might be washable a few times or perhaps it could be baked in the oven … I have not tried either yet.

This type of mask would seem to be suitable for use out in public to reduce the spread of secretions and to reduce the touching of the face and mouth.  This would not be at all suitable for protection from a known source of infection.  It is in the “better than nothing” category of protection.

Information provided by Dr. Keith Birchard