I designed an emergency maskeshift mask which can be made quickly and easily by anyone without sewing, simply with home and office supplies. If handled with care, it can protect others from your droplets, but its use for your own protection is very limited. If available, please wear a certified mask! If you decide to use this one, please understand that you’re doing so at your own risk: Keep your distance and wash your hands as if you’re not wearing it!
Making a No-sew Makeshift Emergency Mask
Before making your mask, clean your hands, supplies and workplace well. If you want to use cloths, iron them first. It’s probably safer to quickly make your own mask than having anyone else make it for you. Wash your hands again before putting the mask on. Adjust the nosewire well, and when the mask is perfectly in place, avoid by all means to touch it! When you finally take it off, please dispose or recycle all parts safely and wash your hands and face well. Do not wear the mask for more than 2 hours, if it becomes damp or if you might have any difficulty breathing.
In the first video, I’m showing the simple version of my maskeshift mask. To make this mask, you’ll need a cotton handkerchief, a paper towel or kitchen roll, a paper tissue, three paper clips, two binder clips and two rubber bands.
In the seconde video, I’m showing a slightly more elaborate variant of my maskeshift mask. You need a paper napkin, a paper towel or kitchen roll, a paper tissure, a metal binder, two paper clips and a piece of cord. I’m also showing the optimized, slightly more complicated pleating, which is also shown in the current version of my tutorial!
Instructions for the Emergency Maskeshift Mask
(1) First, collect 3 paper clips, one of them unfolded (alternatively wire, staple or bag clip), 2 small paper clips (alternatively stapler, safety pins, sewing kit with paper clip or adhesive tape with punch) and 2 rubber bands (alternatively elastic band, hair tie, cord, strips of old tshirts or nylon stockings).
We also need fabrics: (a) durable cotton, repellent polyester, handkerchief or paper napkin as an outer shell, (b) paper towels or kitchen roll as a non-woven filter and (c) skin-friendly cotton or a paper handkerchief as the inner layer. Please check in advance whether you can breathe through these layers!
(2) Place the fabrics neatly on top of each other. Place the unfolded paper clip in the upper middle, as a wire to make the mask fit more tightly on the nose. Fold the upper edge up and over and secure the wire with paper clips. The trick with the three paper clips can greatly improve the fit even with finished breathing masks!
Far overlapping outer layers (e.g. paper napkins) can be folded diagonally around the paper towel.
(3) Fold the fabric upwards to form three neat pleats of the same height. Fix those pleats with a binderclip on each side. In case you don’t have binderclips, simply use a stapler or pins to fix pleats and attach paperclips as loops for bands. Turn the mask around now, so the nose is looking up.
For optimized pleating, which fits surprisingly good around the face, first make those three even folds, then turn the mask over and fold down the top and bottom folds. The middle fold is raised and pressed flat. Fold all four outer corners of the outer folds inwards diagonally and fix the folds with staples (see also video 2/2!).
(4) Fold the outer binderclip loops to the middle. Pull rubberbands through the inner binderclip loops. Fix the rubberbands there by pulling them through themselves. Try your mask on. If it doesn’t fit well, knot the rubberbands, double them or try another size. For a smoother fit, you can also try to gently pull the pleats to suitable angles.
Here are the instructions for you in a printable PDF format:
Makeshift Mask [EU Din A4] | Makeshift Mask [US Letter]
This manual is protected by copyright (© Iris Luckhaus) and can’t be used freely – but as I appreciate others wearing masks, I agree to non-commercial use and distribution, provided that my name and website are always included!
If you would like to show this mask on social media, I’d love to see it! Please tag @irisluckhaus and / or #hybridmaske! And if you are so enthusiastic about my work that you’d like to encourage, feel free to buy me a coffee :)
If you would like to use my instructions or my mask commercially (i.e. with the intention of making a profit, in whatever way), I would be happy to make you an offer for it on request. Please let me know what you have in mind!
Great thanks to Matthias, Angelika, Reinhard, Bruni, Margot and Johanna for the awesome support from near and far, for reading ahead, trying it out and test wearing that mask! And thanks to everyone who wears a mask! :)
PS: Do you miss the old instructions with the simple pleats (see picture above), which unfortunately do not fit so well? The old instructions are still available as a PDF: Instructions for the DIY No-Sew Emergency Mask ! :)
PPS: Anyone who prefers to sew than to makeshift can now find instructions and patterns for an optimized hybrid mask made of fabric that can be sewn by yourself, which fits far better than any of the many other models I’ve tried!
PPPS: I am extremely delighted that my very first tutorial video (1/2) on this maskeshift mask was published by LinkedIn as part of a very interesting article on Was Masken gegen Corona bringen!