John & his son make a no-sew face mask out of a t-shirt

Doctors and nurses get the serious protection, which leaves the rest of us with the DIY option. This is probably the absolute simplest of your make-at-home choices.

April 5, 2020
John and his DIY face mask

Dawson Fisher

I'm seeing more and more people donning face masks when they go out in public -- especially at the grocery store and on public transportation where you're often in closer quarters with others than you'd like to be. 

Just like toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, and Purell, masks are in short supply, at least where I've been shopping, and of course we all know that the really effective N95 masks are allocated for the brave medical professionals who are on the front lines of the pandemic, and nobody's going to argue with that, I hope.

So we're being tasked with doing it ourselves. There are plenty of tutorials all over the web about how to make a mask, like these:

Coronavirus FAQs: Is A Homemade Mask Effective? And What's The Best Way To Wear One? 

When and how to use masks (from the World Health Organization)

How To Make Coronavirus Facemasks, And How Effective They Are

If you can sew, you've got an advantage over a lot of people -- definitely over me because I don't know the first thing about sewing, and even if someone gave me access to a sewing machine, I'm pretty sure I'd stitch my fingers together before I made anything useful.

But I did see a story about making your own mask out of a t-shirt, without having to do any sewing, and I thought, "Hey, this is for me." So I recruited my son Dawson and here's how it went:

(Disclaimer: This mask gives minimal protection. It’s probably not the best choice if you’re seriously trying to avoid the particles that spread the Coronavirus.)

I'm not sure we came up with a mask that I'd trust in all circumstances, but it's probably better than nothing, and it's super easy to make in a pinch with no materials. 

Stay safe!

Remnants of the mask
John FIsher