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How to make your own no-sew face mask in minutes

As the coronavirus spreads, more people are wearing masks when they go out. We found an easy tutorial that uses household items.
Michael Alexis of St. Petersburg models a no-sew face mask.
Michael Alexis of St. Petersburg models a no-sew face mask. [ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]
Published Apr. 3, 2020
Updated Apr. 10, 2020

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.

Related: Are homemade face masks effective?

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.

Related: Got time? Homemade face masks help those vulnerable to the coronavirus
[ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step one: Turn the bandanna face-down and fold one half toward the center.

[ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step two: Fold the other half in toward the center.

[ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step three: Flip the bandanna over so it’s face-up.

[ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step four: Fold one half toward the center.

[ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step five: Fold the other half toward the center.

[ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step six: Flip the bandanna over again and slide an elastic hair tie on each end.

This came together in about two minutes.
This came together in about two minutes. [ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step seven: Fold the ends in toward the center.

[ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step eight: Flip the mask over. This is how it should look.

Turn a handkerchief, bandana, or any square piece of fabric into a no-sew face mask.
Turn a handkerchief, bandana, or any square piece of fabric into a no-sew face mask. [ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

Step nine: Pull the elastic hair ties to the sides and slide them around your ears. Voila! A pleated face mask.

Make a no-sew face mask with just a bandanna and elastic hair ties.
Make a no-sew face mask with just a bandanna and elastic hair ties. [ MAGGIE DUFFY | Times ]

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