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homemade no-sew masks

After weeks of watching a few people in grocery stores with masks on and thinking to myself, “Come now people, settle down,” we are now being told to wear cloth face masks while in public. Who feels stupid now? Yeah, this girl! Imagine me rolling my eyes while shaking my head slowing back and forth. I know that “those in charge” didn’t want to create a run on masks like the run on toilet paper, but they could have told us to use homemade cloth masks from the get-go. So much I could say here but I’m going to keep my thoughts to myself.

I did find two 3-packs of N95 masks in my big 3-day garage cleanout that I unknowingly have had there for more than a year. When I bought a table saw for Harmony Boards, I guess I purchased the masks too. Although I never opened the packages. That is pretty much how I operate; buy something on a recommendation and then fail to use it. It paid off this time, I was able to drop them off at my local fire station, giving them to the people on the front lines who actually need them. I had no idea that the masks sold at the hardware store were N95’s.

Back to the cloth masks. For decades, we had an annual 4th of July Pool BBQ Party. I knew that in the stash of RWB decor I owned at least 50 stars and stripes bandannas. You can see a small stack of them in the top right corner of the photo above. And I knew that they were buried in my second holiday shed. Yes, I have two holiday sheds. (Please don’t judge, I’m feeling more fragile than usual.) The large shed holds Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and the smaller shed houses St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July and miscellaneous large scale entertaining items, such as chafing dishes, extra-large baskets and galvanized buckets along with seasonal outdoor pillows, etc.

Saturday, I cleaned out that shed and found the bandannas. Victory is Mine! (Fragility is swiftly errased, so judge as you please.)

I ran them through the washing machine and started making homemade cloth masks for family and friends.

I ran out of hair ties but I was able to assemble 20 masks while I wait for my Amazon hair tie delivery. (Update: I checked on the Amazon order after writing this post and the new ship date was 4/29. Canceled that order and went to Target and found ties there. So I’m back in business.)

My BFF, Peggy, styling one of my masks

Here is one way to make a homemade cloth mask (there are many out there, especially if you know how to sew – I do not!):

For each mask you’ll need:

  • 1 bandanna (A bandanna or piece of breathable cloth that is around 21-inches-square works best.)
  • 2 hair ties
  • First, wash bandanna(s) and then be sure to wash each time you return home after using.
  • Wash those hands. “Happy Birthday to you…”
  • Lay the fabric on a clean disinfected surface.

Fold the bottom third up to the center.

Fold the top third down to meet center.

Flip the fabric over.

Fold the top third down to the center.

Fold the bottom third up to the center.

Place hair ties around each end as shown.

Fold both ends to the center and tuck one end into the other.

Slide the hair ties to the edges. That’s it, your face mask is ready to use. Just place over your nose and mouth and slip the hair tied over your ears and you are ready to do your essential errands. Just be sure to wash it each time you return home. Stay safe, friends!

Friend and former neighbor, Gordon of Gordon C. James Public Relations, modeling a mask.
Gordon’s niece, Zandi, visiting from Illinois.
Sun Devil, Olivia James looking stylish.
Emily James is protected too.
Finally, Jared Houston staying safe at work.

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