Face masks are the height of fashion these days. Apparently being thoughtful to others must be popular or something. Anywho, I was playing around with some old t-shirts the other day, seeing what kind of masks I could come up with. Ideally these masks would be easy and fast to make, no sewing required. And since almost everyone has old t-shirts, many could make these masks, right? Below are the Five Fast Face Masks I came up with.
Numbers 1 & 2: Masks from t-shirt sleeves
Here I seem to be cheating by using YouTube. That was not the intent! I happened to see this video when working on these, and liked how it improved one of my designs. See this video on YouTube for directions, which start at about 1:15. Essentially, cut off a t-shirt sleeve and a thin (1″ or so) loop of the body (Note: here is a good place to add flair. Make your string a different color than the mask! Fashion detail!). Stretch out the body part into “yarn” to loop around your head, attaching and cinching the mask. The mask seems sturdier if you keep the seam where the sleeve attaches to the body. Also, feel free to slip another layer of fabric inside the sleeve for an additional filter. Loop the yarn above your ears or around your neck, whatever works best, tying the ends behind your head/neck.
A thinner – and faster – version of the sleeve mask would be to wear the sleeve like a balaclava. Just throw that puppy on your face and you are good to go. Tuck in an extra layer of fabric for more protection. Surprisingly, a kids medium sleeve fit my big German head pretty well. Experiment to see what size t-shirt fits your genetics the best.
Number 3: Mask with ear slots
Inspired by videos such as this of people cutting up leggings for masks, cloth masks that slip over your ears are super comfortable. Cutting up a pair of leggings would get you two masks (and a pair of shorts). Instead, one t-shirt could easily be made into 4 or 5 masks! If you are like me and do not have the patience for things like measuring, fear not! Just hold the shirt to your face, and eyeball the height and width (mine is 4.75″ X 12″). Then feel for the front of your ears on each side and cut slits, adjusting the size of the slits as necessary for a comfortable fit. My ear slots ended up being 1″ – 1.5″ in from the end. I could probably comfortably trim the mask so there is only .5″ – .75″ left on the end.
Number 4: Fold-over cinch mask
Starting at the hem of your t-shirt, cut a long piece wide enough to cover from above your nose to below your chin. Mine ended up being about 7″ X 17″. Then thread a piece of t-shirt yarn (about 2 feet or so, depending on your size) through the loop of your hem. As with the first mask, the loop of yarn can either go above your ears or around your neck, whatever works best, tying the ends behind your head/neck.
Number 5: Folded mask with ear slots and fitted nose piece
This is the most elaborate of the five masks, but still not hard to do. First, measure and cut along the hem of the t-shirt, similar to the ear slot mask (number 3 above). Then measure and cut about twice the length from your nose to below your chin (twice the length of number 3). My mask is about 7″ X 17″. Cut ear slots, then trim some of the hem away, about an inch in from each ear slot. Slip a twist-tie in the hem “loop” as a nose piece. Next, either cut some of the bottom part (as I did) so when folded it is just covering your nose and mouth. Alternatively, fold the bottom part up and cut ear slots through both layers of fabric. Feel free to also use the twist tie to secure the bottom portion so it does not fall.
I realize that these directions may make more sense if I labeled the pictures, using arrows to point to the applicable spots. Alas, I am not that advanced in my blogging abilities. But you are all smart enough to figure out by using my words and pictures together, right? Plus, it is nice to be able to crank out some fast face masks to kindly reenter society…speaking from experience.