How to Turn a T-Shirt Into a Face Mask in Less Than 10 Minutes — No Sewing Required
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center For Disease Control (CDC) is encouraging Americans to wear a cloth face mask when stepping out of the house in an effort to help prevent the spread. Many businesses are selling (and donating) protective face mask coverings, but due to a recent spike in orders, some retailers are experiencing delays in production. Thankfully, many people have taken to social media to offer DIY face mask tutorials, many of which use materials from around the house like old T-shirts, bandanas, sheets, and socks. If you can sew or do stitch work, these work great, but what if you don't know to do that or don't have access to a sewing machine?
The CDC released a no-sew T-shirt face mask tutorial, and it's a lot easier than you might think. Keeping with CDC cloth face mask guidelines, this method takes less than 10 minutes to do and only requires a T-shirt, scissors, and ruler.
It's best if your T-shirt is made of thick material to help block any lingering air particles. Test it by holding it up to a light; if the light seeps through, it's probably not thick enough. Thankfully, that's an easy fix (See step five!). To make your own no-sew T-shirt face mask, follow the steps below, and don't forget to properly sterilize between in each use.
Measure and Cut the Base of Your T-Shirt
Starting at the bottom of the shirt, measure seven to eight inches in height. Cut an indent. Proceed to do the same thing on the other side. Cut across from one indent to another. This base will become your mask.
Mask tip: If you're in dire need of two face masks and don't care for long tie strings, fold the base in half before proceeding to the next step. At the end, you'll have two masks! I did this and found they work just as well.
Form Tie Strings
Measuring from right to left, cut six to seven inches to form both upper and lower tie strings. Strings should be about an inch in width.
Cut Excess Fabric
Now that you've formed your tie strings, you'll need to cut the excess fabric between the two. You can use this fabric as an extra insulator in your mask (see last step).
Cut Tie Strings
Cut both head and neck tie strings so you're able to securely fasten the mask. Don't worry if the strings look a little short: the fabric should stretch when you go to tie it.
Try On Face Mask
The top knot will rest on the upper region of your head while the lower strings tie around your neck. The front of the mask should cover from the bridge of your nose to mid-neck.
If your T-shirt is too thin, you can insulate with a paper towel or insert another piece of fabric (AKA that excess fabric you cut earlier!) between the mask and mouth. Again, sanitize your mask as often as possible and review safety protocols on how to remove your mask.