With Covid-19 the topic of day and the subject of masks now front and center, I took a few minutes to come up with an easy to make (and wash) mask.

Utilizing some items from around the house, my favorite bandanna, a pair of shoelaces and four safety pins, I created a comfortable alternative to the popular and hard to find N95 masks. Plus, you can wash your bandanna mask as often as you like.

What’s needed and how do you make it?

> One bandanna

> Two shoelaces

> Four safety pins (like what you get from the drycleaners)

> Coffee filter (optional)

Just fold over your bandanna a few times to achieve the shape and pin the shoelaces to it. Easy. After you wear it, you take it off, tie the shoelaces back up so they don’t get tangled and throw in the wash… or take it apart before you wash it.

What are some of your favorite bandannas? After making this mask, I wish I had more! There are so many styles of bandannas and everyone can show off their own unique personality with the bandannas they choose. Why not make it a little fun, while you are protecting yourself and those around you? If you are a hunter, you can use your camo mask this coming season.

Note that the CDC recommends slipping a coffee filter into your bandanna mask. If you use a round coffee filter, just fold (or cut) it in half and slip it into one of the mask layers. At the end of the day, you would toss out the filter before washing your mask. Other benefits are that a filter gives your mask more structure and seems to improve breathing because of the firmer shape.

What the experts say about masks

The University of Maryland Medical System writes that the CDC now recommends that everyone wear a homemade mask when in public during the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC recommends using a cloth mask that be created from cheap materials or household items, such as a T-shirt.

Novel coronavirus infects others through droplets. These droplets can be projected into the air when someone speaks, coughs or sneezes. Risk of transmission through these droplets is higher when people are in close proximity to one another.

Cloth masks contain those droplets and keep them from projecting into the air, reducing the likelihood of transmission. This is particularly important when normal social distancing measures are difficult to follow, such as getting groceries or medications at a pharmacy.

How they say to make a mask

There are many ways to make a cloth mask at home. Not all of these methods require a sewing machine.

Homemade masks must meet these basic requirements:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Have multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for unrestricted breathing
  • Ability to be laundered and machine dried without damage or shape changes

To see approved ways to make a face cover, visit the CDC website.