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How to make a CDC-recommended cloth face mask without a sewing machine or scissors

Posted at 6:00 AM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 09:43:53-04

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — We’re now being told to try to wear some kind of cloth face mask when we have to leave home – whether it’s to the grocery store or the pharmacy.

I found the easiest DIY version, approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It took me less than a minute to make!

Our health care heroes on the front lines need every surgical face mask they can get their hands on right now. So, we need to make our own, folks.

The CDC recommends we wear cloth face coverings when social distancing is hard to maintain – like when we run into the grocery store or pharmacy.

The CDC offers several ideas for Do-It-Yourself cloth face masks – some call for a sewing machine, needle, thread, scissors.

But what if you don’t have any of that?! Or you can’t sew worth a hoot or cut fabric in a straight line. No problem!

The CDC offers a “no sew method.”

First, you’ll need to find a few items most people have lying around the house.

  1. A piece of fabric about 20-inches by 20-inches. It could be a bandana, t-shirt, or – in my example – a kitchen towel.
  2. Two hair ties or rubber bands.
  3. A coffee filter or a piece of paper towel.

Next, fold your paper towel into a small rectangle or cut off and save the bottom half of your flat coffee filter.
Fold your square fabric in half – so you have a rectangle.

Next, place the filter or paper towel in the center of the fabric.

  1. Then. fold the long ends of your fabric over the filter so they make a seam in the middle.

Now you have a thin rectangle.

Now place the rubber bands or hair ties around each end of the fabric – about 6 inches apart.

Fold the ends of the fabric to the middle and tuck the edges into each other.

Now just place each band around each ear. The mask should be snug and cover both your nose and mouth.

Make sure you pick fabric that won’t shrink too much when you wash it because the CDC recommends that you do wash these after use.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer encouraged Michiganders during her news conference on April 6 to post pictures of DIY masks to social media with #DoingMIPart and to join the #MIMaskChallenge .

If you do have scissors and a t-shirt, there’s another "no-sew-method" that’s really easy. And if you have a sewing machine, you’re in luck with another recommended DIY mask.

Click here to see the CDC’s DIY cloth facemask instructions. Plus, learn how you can sterilize and clean your cloth face covering.