How to Make a Reusable Face Mask

By: Jules Zimmerman

Whether you’re living in Oxford or not, face coverings are required just about everywhere. While these mandates are slowing down the spread of coronavirus, the amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) ending up in our environment has increased. According to the World Economic Forum, although the pandemic has reduced overall carbon emissions, there is a growing number of PPE equipment being discovered specifically in our oceans. One study claimed that if everyone in the UK used one disposable mask a day, it would create an additional 66,000 tonnes of contaminated waste and 57,000 tonnes of plastic packaging.

In order to decrease the abundance of PPE littering our oceans, a lot of people have turned to reusable, washable face coverings. Not only does this solution save you money, but it also reduces your carbon footprint and single-use product consumption. This tutorial will show you how to make your own reusable face mask for under five dollars and doesn’t require sewing. The assembly process only takes about two minutes, and all you will need is two hair ties and one bandana. See this video for reference as well.

1. First, unfold the bandana and lay it out on a flat surface. Fold each side in half so that the size of the bandana has been cut in two. 

2. Then, fold each side of the bandana again. 

3. Now apply your hair ties about 4 inches away from the edge of each side of the bandana. 

4. Fold the areas before the hair ties towards the middle of the bandana. Tuck one side of the bandana into the folds of the other until it can stay organically. Stretch your hair ties to loosen the tightness of the mask. 

5. Apply to face and go outside safely and comfortably. Don’t like the height of your mask? Change it accordingly by adjusting the folds to make it larger or smaller. Remember to cover both your mouth and nose. This project is super simple and easy to make and wash when need be.

Be safe, wash your hands, and wear a mask!

All photos courtesy of Jules Zimmerman

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