Most of us remain uncertain how long this quarantine and coronavirus pandemic will last…. Safety is of the utmost concern this year which means we might be wearing face masks for quite some time. With N95 and medical masks in a terrible shortage, it’s best we fashion adequate face covers from household items like wholesale t-shirts or quilts. This recommendation is coming straight from the attorney surgeon general because some barrier is obviously better than nothing. Since it doesn’t look like coronavirus will just disappear, many are getting creative and having fun with their face covers. I mean why not? The face cover might be part of your daily ensemble for the foreseeable future. From designers like Gucci creating luxury face covers to people sewing in their kitchen, the DIY fashion face mask has become a popular hobby and business. Home-based business platforms like Etsy have seen an enormous influx in sellers with fashion face cover designs as well as an influx of customers. Just between April 4-6th, there was a search for face masks every 9 seconds with over 2 million searches. With many out of work, DIY fashion face masks are a great way to make a little extra cash. And some people don’t want to make their own. Don’t jump all over this notion in outrage that fashion face masks are ridiculous. Most are simply meant to be worn over your protective face cover to add a little style. If this upsets you then stop reading and go back to being easily offended. You can surely make your unique mask safer with extra layers and coffee filters as recommended by the CDC. From denim, sequins, tiger prints, bandannas, tie-dye and even Mortal Kombat, let’s take a look at some easy ways to DIY fashion face masks.
DIY Denim Fashion Face Mask
First off you are going to want to print out the pattern directly from JOANN. Then you are going to want to cut out 4 outlines of the pattern provided. It’s easiest to simply cut two together at the same time. Apply interfacing to wrong side of denim pieces. Next you are going to want to cut some ties about 18″ each.
How to make your ties:
Start by cutting strips 1 1/2″ x 36″ long. Fold your strip long ways in half and press down firmly with iron (if you use steam make sure denim is damp.) Take the other edges(raw edges) and fold them inward towards the center and press down firmly with your iron (up and down movements with the iron.) Again if you don’t have an iron don’t stress. Imperfections are beautiful too! You will then stitch downwards to close. (Now you can use a sewing machine which most do not have and millennials like me wouldn’t even know how to use it.) So you can even hand stitch. Click on the link for easy ways to hand stitch. Moving on, cut strips to about 18″ and double-fold one end about 1/4 inch. Place a few stitches to hold in place. (If you don’t have a sewing kit at home don’t worry all you need is a basic kit which can be bought at Amazon for $8-$10. You can make ties with no stitching by just using any fabric you can find and cut into 18″ long by 1 1/2″ wide.
Sewing the DIY denim face mask:
Take two of your denim cutouts and match them together on the right sides. Next sew the outer curve using 3/8″ seam allowance. In simpler terms, the seam allowance is simply the area between the seam and the edge of the fabric. Repeat this process with the other two sides. Your measurements don’t have to be perfect just guesstimate. Take your now 2 denim pieces and open them up and press both seam allowances to the right. This means both seam allowances will be together tilting to the right. Stitch downwards all down the seam allowance leaving 1/4″ between this seam and the original. Once you have done this, lay a half of your DIY denim face mask down with right side facing up. Pin the ends of your fabric or denim ties in each corner making sure they are overlapping about 1/2″. The hemmed ends of the ties should extend towards the middle of the mask. Next bundle all the ties together in center of your DIY face covering. Put the front and back denim pieces together by pinning them on the right side and make sure the center seams are in line. Pin all around and sew around the perimeter of the mask. Leave an opening at bottom of mask between front center seam and the corner (so the right side.) Clip each corner but be careful not to cut the stitches. Finally, turn the mask right side out and use your iron again to press. The last step is to stitch around the mask to close the hole at the bottom. Obviously you can do this with any fabric or pattern! I love all the DIY face masks I’ve seen with tiger and zebra prints!
Popular Fabric Prints and Patterns
Animal Prints for DIY Fashion Face Mask:
Since the release of the wildly absurd and entertaining documentary Tiger King from Netflix, tiger and other animal prints have become a hot trend. My personal favorite is the snake skin print from companies like AKings who makes the vegan python mask as part of their “future ninja wear.” This mask goes for about $100 because it’s only meant to be stylish and re-usable. Designer masks are pricey which is why the company also offers disposable first aid masks for just $1.
Metallic and Glitter DIY fashion face masks:
I absolutely love any fabric that’s loud, shiny, or glittery. Don’t be afraid men to try the metallics and glitter! Real men can rock the rhinestones with confidence. Sequins, rhinestones, glitter, and metallic fabric have been quite popular with the ladies and at home businesses alike. If you don’t want to sew or make your own there’s some cute designer ones such as the glitter stretch vinyl mask from The Mighty Company. Again, designer masks are going to be more expensive and don’t promise to protect you. The Mighty Company however promises to donate a mask for every sale. I would recommend wearing a disposable mask underneath your reusable designer or DIY fashion face mask.
Now, I enjoy making my own stuff and save a lot of money doing it. It’s very easy to make a sequin, rhinestone, metallic, or glitter fashion face mask. If you happen to have a rhinestone gun (maybe from your cringe-worthy jean bedazzling phase of the early 2000’s) you can use that. Or you can use a hot glue gun or super glue etc. Below I’ve linked a video from youtuber MissCarly for DIY fashion sequin/rhinestone face mask using a simple hardware mask. But even a cloth face cover or bandanna can be used as well. Remember this is just for fashion not for protection. You can use the sewing instructions from the DIY denim fashion face mask for this one too if you don’t have a dust mask. Damn look at that Bling Bling!
How to apply sequins or rhinestones to your DIY fashion face mask:
Sequins you can find almost anywhere and there are some different types of rhinestones. Acrylic rhinestones are very cheap and readily available. This is your time to gauge how boujee you are. If you want a higher quality fashion face mask to match your Gucci bag, there are medium quality glass rhinestones and then one step up is crystal rhinestones. Try a crystal rhinestone brand like Czech Preciosa. These are great quality and can barely tell the difference between this and Swarovski stones. But it’s basically the difference between a high-quality knock off and the authentic. But also many companies will sell you crystal claiming it’s Swarovski rhinestones. Now to be honest I really don’t see the point in buying the real thing when no one can tell anyways. But again, make this a creative project to pass the quarantine time.
Gluing your rhinestones:
Now that you have your rhinestones let’s apply them. These will need to be flat back rhinestones to attach to fabric. Any size will do but maybe bigger is not better for securing them. To attach you will need to choose one of three methods: glue(hot glue or super glue), hotfix applicators, or sewing. Glue is probably the easiest option especially if you are using thin or mesh fabric. I suggest E6000 glue in clear, E6000 Fabric-fuse specifically for fabric application(make sure to let sit for 8 hours and don’t wash for 3 days), or the Beacon Gem-Tac glue specifically for gemstones/rhinestones. The manufacturer says heat from the dryer will make the bond more durable and thus permanent. But you will have to test this one out for yourself. All these glues are very affordable from $3-$5 on Amazon. Try not to get high from the glue so use a well-ventilated area and I recommend a toothpick or skewer applicator. This will save you from gluing your fingers together. Also, place cardboard in between the layers of your mask so the glue doesn’t leak through. Make sure not to glue the stones touching eachother or else you will have an extremely rigid face mask. Basically your DIY fashion face mask will no longer stretch.
HotFix Stones and Applicator:
HotFix rhinestones are those with glue already on them in which you adhere them using heat. You can use a normal iron or the heat applicator they provide. This is fast and easy just remember to put cardboard in between the layers. The HotFix method can be less messy but comes with a chance of burning yourself or the material. And don’t try to use HotFix rhinestones on synthetic fabrics like lycra.
Sewing Rhinestones on your DIY fashion face mask:
Most will probably not opt for the sewing option unless you are confident with a needle. For me at least this will be the most time-consuming but the sew method is durable. For this you would purchase rhinestones that have holes in them for sewing. This is not the recommended method for delicate fabrics or very small rhinestones. Choose the sew method if you want to make sure your large rhinestones stay on. It’s very easy to sew on sequins too. Sew with a strong thread and knot your thread in between each and every stone or sequin. So if one comes loose the whole thing won’t unravel.
Check out some sequin/glitter face covers on Etsy like this one below. Ya know if this is too much work for you….
DIY Mortal Kombat Fashion Face Mask
I started seeing a lot of “ninja” and mortal kombat inspired masks on pinterest. I got very excited about this cosplay tutorial for creating your own Mortal Kombat Sub Zero mask. Shout out to the nerds! Feel free to make your own mortal kombat design however this particular video has a link below to purchase the exact template. Ladies try a Kitana or Jade face mask! This video from youtuber Vitt Maker is timelapsed but under the video he has linked a slow version to follow along.
This is a great how to video for making a DIY mortal kombat Skarlet face mask. This one is extensive and meant to be a fun challenging project so expect it to take a while. But well worth it! I mean most of you got nothing but time currently….. and you will look like a total badass for the upcoming zombie apocalypse. Relax I am kidding about the apocalypse….. well kinda….
The DIY Neck Tube/ Gaiter fashion face mask
The DIY Tube or Gaiter fashion face mask is trendy and stylish for both men and women. If you have ever been to coachella you probably already have one or you know what I’m talking about. Follow these simple how to steps for your own fashion gaiter face mask. I’ve also included a step by step youtube video from Spoonflower.
Start by cutting 2 rectangles of fabric both 10″ by 18″. Use a pen to make 2 marks on the right hand corner of the rectangle. One mark should be 1 1/2″ from the very edge of the corner and the second should be 1 1/2″ away from the first mark. Then place one rectangle on top of the other making sure all the corners align. Stitch from the very edge of the right corner to the first mark. Leave open the area in between the two marks. Continue stitching all the way down from the second mark to the other corner of the rectangle. Sew the other long side of the rectangles together. Now reach into the tube you created and pull it inside. Align the raw edges of the short sides and stitch the open sides around completely. Turn the tube right side out. Using the small opening you created from the two marks, pull the fabric through the small opening completely. Lastly, stitch the small opening together. There you have it! Your DIY Tube Gaiter fashion face mask is completed! It should look something like this one available from Etsy.
DIY Gucci Fashion Face Mask
The last trendy DIY fashion face mask I want to discuss is the DIY Gucci face mask. For this you will need an actual Gucci hat along with super glue and a hardware/dust mask. Rip open the sweatband and remove the brim of the Gucci hat. You should be left with separate pieces of a brim, a crown, a closure, and a sweatband. Align the cap to your face and pin in the shape that fits your face. Take scissors and cut along the fold of the cap so that both sides are symmetrical. Using a sharpie pen, make an arched line to form the nose dip. Cut and make sure it’s symmetrical. You probably cannot hand stitch this one so a sewing machine is necessary. You will also need some industrial bias tape which can be purchased from any craft store or Amazon. Cut long pieces of bias tape that are the right measurements for the width of your sewing machine binder. Feed the long strips of bias tape into the binder of your sewing machine. Run the sewing machine along all the edges so that they look clean and covered with bias tape. Take your hardware or dust mask and cut off the elastic straps. You can choose to decorate your Gucci mask with a vent(looks awesome spray painted) or metal piece pulled off from the dust mask. Sew the elastic straps on your new mask with just a few easy stitches. You don’t necessarily need a dust mask if you have other fabric or even hair ties.
These are my top picks for fashion face masks. Although I linked some designer face masks for sale, I think this would be a fun project and wouldn’t cost you $100. It’s not hard to make a customized and completely unique fashion face mask that you can feel stylish wearing every day. For the time being we all should get used to wearing masks in public settings. And why not use your DIY face mask to express your own personal style? I’ll repeat once more that these are only meant for fashion purposes and will not protect you from coronavirus. So don’t get your panties in a bunch about this how to tutorial. Wear your fashion face mask over your CDC recommended face mask as well as follow the social distancing guidelines. Stay safe and stylish everyone!
If you are looking for tips on how to make the CDC recommended cloth face covers check out my other blog DIY Cloth Face Coverings. These can be made from simple household items like wholesale t-shirts, coffee filters, or bandannas.