The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new guidelines yesterday that recommend Americans should wear homemade face coverings to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus during this pandemic. At the press conference, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said, “The CDC is additionally advising simple cloth coverings to help people who may have the virus and do not know it keep from from transmitting to others.” President Donald Trump also stated this but said that he will not wear one.
There are several patterns on the internet to make your own face masks, but most of them call for elastic… and a sewing machine. Elastic is sold out everywhere. And only crafty people own a sewing machine. So now what are your face covering options?
Last night, we had the “brilliant” idea to experiment making a face mask with underwear, and so far this has been the best homemade face mask I tried thus far in terms of comfortability around ears and fitting snug around the nose (so my glasses don't fog over).
Men's tighty whities and boxer briefs work the best as they have a built in flap that is suggested so one can insert filter material in the middle of the mask (coffee filters can be used for this). Three layers of material is recommended in a homemade mask, so cutting out the middle of men's underwear is perfect with the back layer, front layer and flap layer.
The elastic waist band of the underwear is then used for top and bottom straps to hold the mask in place around your head. Many have complained the masks that have elastic ear loops are uncomfortable and tend to rub on the back of the ear making it sore if worn too long. We are lucky to have a seamstress in the family (my mom) who could sew our elastic bands to the front of the mask, but they can be hand sewn on or even hot glued to stay together.
If you need visuals, we video recorded our journey. Here are the DIY instructions on how to make your own face mask using underwear.
*The underwear we used were brand new, never worn Hanes Tagless Briefs. 🙂