Wearing a face mask is now mandatory for Years 7-12 students while travelling to and from school and at all times while on campus. Students in Prep to Year 6 have the option of wearing a mask, however it is not mandatory. In this DIY, you’ll learn how to make your own reusable face mask – better for you and better for the environment!
When should I wear a reusable face mask?
The latest advice from the Australian Government is that people living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will now be required to wear a face covering when leaving home for one of the four essential reasons, including shopping for food and supplies, health care and caregiving, outdoor exercise, and study or work – if unable to work or study from home.
How do face masks work to stop the spread?
Face masks work to reduce community transmission by catching droplets of moisture that are emitted when talking, coughing, sneezing or laughing. Without a mask, these droplets can travel up to 1.8 metres distance!
When asymptomatic carriers wear a mask, they’re helping to greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19, but there is also a reduced risk of healthy people catching the virus when wearing a mask, too.
Masks alone are not 100% effective in eliminating community transition, so it’s important to use them in conjunction with hand washing, sanitisation and social distancing measures.
Which mask to choose?
When choosing your mask, opt for disposable surgical masks – like the ones you see in hospitals, or a homemade mask made from 3 layers of a tightly woven cotton or cotton blend fabric. Avoid loose bandanas or fabric masks that don’t sit tight to the face as these are less effective in filtering droplets.
It’s also important to handle your mask by the elastic straps only, folding the mask inwards when not in use. If it’s a disposable mask, carefully bin it once you've used it. If you’re done using your reusable mask for the day, wash it in hot water and detergent. If you’re planning on using your reusable mask again that day, keep it stored (folded inwards so that you don’t touch the fabric touching your mouth!) in a plastic ziplock bag.
What you’ll need for this DIY face mask:
- 3 layers of tightly woven cotton or cotton blend fabric. If a DIY calls for just one layer of fabric, add in the extra step of stitching together three layers of fabric – this adds a necessary layer of protection and your mask may not be very effective without this step. You can also repurpose some old t-shirts or button down shirts for your fabric!
- Needle and thread or sewing machine
- A spool of elastic, hair elastics or shoelaces.
- A nose wire (optional)
There are many different ways to make a mask, so choose your favourite from the options below:
For the expert sewer:
3 DIYs for all skill levels (Be sure to use three layers of fabric!):