With a shortage of personal protective equipment — and with the White House expected to urge Americans to wear a cloth mask when out in public — people are getting creative and making their own masks. Some are more elaborate than others and therefore provide more protection. But something is better than nothing, and this no-sew simple mask is effective enough to keep you from spreading germs.
And after you use it, simply throw it in the washing machine.
We found this tutorial for a pleated face mask from the website Japanese Creations. You only need a handkerchief and two elastic hair ties to make it, although you could use a cotton T-shirt or other materials and follow the same steps. If you don’t have hair ties, any material that could be fashioned into a loop that would hook around your ears could work.
We used a bandanna; the standard size is about 20 inches by 20 inches. You may be wondering, “Why not just tie it around your face, train robber-style?” The goal is to get as much material layered in front of your nose and mouth as possible.
Step one: Turn the bandanna face-down and fold one half toward the center.
Step two: Fold the other half in toward the center.
Step three: Flip the bandanna over so it’s face-up.
Step four: Fold one half toward the center.
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Step five: Fold the other half toward the center.
Step six: Flip the bandanna over again and slide an elastic hair tie on each end.
Step seven: Fold the ends in toward the center.
Step eight: Flip the mask over. This is how it should look.
Step nine: Pull the elastic hair ties to the sides and slide them around your ears. Voila! A pleated face mask.
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