How to Make Your Own Aesthetic Face Mask
If you’ve managed to depoliticize the mask wearing issue in your own head (or even if you’ve hyperpoliticized it), you’re onboard with wearing one.
Most people agree that in spaces with the potential for crowding, wearing a mask is, at the very least, common courtesy (if not common sense).
Either way, chances are that you’re interested in making your mask a bit more personal and less bland and/or medicine-y (Yes, I made that word up and you know exactly what I mean). Japan and Korea have been on the aesthetic mask wave for years now, so we need not look far for inspiration for an aesthetic design of our own.
We’ve put together this brief guide to help you put together a mask of your own from the comfort of your own home.
Equipment You’ll Need
There are a few varieties of masks that you can make and each of them requires slightly different starting materials or tools. In this guide, we’ll be covering a couple of varieties:
- Face Masks with Rubber Strings or Hair Ties
- Face Mask with Built-in Strings
- Mask Fabric (any design of your choosing like these, for example)
- Rubber bands or hair ties (Not necessary for Mask with Built-in Strings)
- A ruler or tape measure
- Pencil or some other writing utensil
- Some sort of adhesive like hot glue, iron-on patching, or stapler
Making a Face Mask with Hair ties
We’ll get started with the easiest face mask by procedure to make. For this process, you’ll only need to fold your fabric in a specific pattern and attach your hair ties or rubber bands accordingly.
Measure an 8-inch x 14-inch segment of your fabric and cut it into a rectangle.
If you’re working with a printed Tee, or tie-dye pattern, you may want to measure this area over the part of the design you want facing outward. Do your best to have your favorite part of the design as centered as possible.
If you’re cutting from a T-shirt, don’t worry too much about stitches, since they’ll most likely be hidden when you fold.
Fold Your Fabric or T-shirt material from bottom to middle and top to middle
For this step, you’ll want to measure about 1 inch from the top and bottom of your fabric and make a line across its width. Once you’ve done that, fold your fabric along this line.
Fold your fabric once more to “double” it and add rubber bands
Once you’ve folded it once, fold your fabric once more about midway through the first folds to double its thickness. Once you’ve done this, measure about 2 inches from the right and left edges of your fabric and attach your hair ties or rubber bands here.
Fold Right and Left Sides Toward Center
The right and left sides of your mask should meet once you fold them toward center. If you’d like, you can secure them here with stitching, or stapling, but the tension once you wear your mask should be more than enough to keep it in place once worn.
Making a Mask with Built-in Strings
For those of us without hair ties on hand (who also happen to have scissors available), our hopes for an Aesthetic Face Mask-erpiece (I’m neither proud nor ashamed of this play on words) remain alive. There is far less folding required for this version of your mask.
Measure an 8-inch x 14-inch rectangle of your fabric of choice
Measure 6-7 inches from the right and left edges of your rectangle and cut.
In this step, you’re aiming to measure out the length of your tie strings, while leaving a central rectangle or block of fabric to act as your actual mask. To achieve suitable thickness for each string, you'll want to measure 6-7 inches along the bottom and top of your fabric rectangle and then about .3 to .5 inches toward the center.
Once you’ve done this, be sure to create a mark or line to cut along since these lines will be the edges of your strings.
Add 2-3 layers of fabric to the portion of your mask that covers your face.
As you may have already noticed, this design is a lot thinner than our previous one and thus, will be a little less effective as a filter. As a result, we strongly recommend measuring the central part of your mask, cutting matching rectangles from your fabric or another fabric and placing them between your mask and mouth.
If you don’t have a stapler or needle and thread available, you can cut small holes into the corners of your new fabric squares and the corners of the face covering portion of your mask and thread your tie strings through them.
Making your N95 or Surgical Mask more Aesthetic
Of course, no homemade mask design can match the effectiveness of an N95 or surgical mask, but they certainly can be better when aesthetics are taken into consideration. If you’re the type of person who isn’t willing to sacrifice safety for looks, you can consider this final process to make your surgical mask or N95 even more aesthetic.
Measure your Mask
First things first, you’ll need to know the dimensions of your mask as closely as possible. Of course, when it comes to the N95, shape prohibits precise measurement, so you’ll probably want to hold your fabric against the surface of your N95 and cut instead of taking measurements. Surgical masks are usually rectangular when not worn, so you’ll have little issue when taking measurements for these.
Attach Your Design of Choice to N95 or Surgical Mask
Once you’ve measured your fabric of choice, we recommend gluing, ironing on, stapling, or stitching your new design onto the front of your mask, being extremely careful to thread or staple only through the very edges of your mask and not through the breathable surface, since this can compromise your safety and the safety of others.
Where You can Find Aesthetic Designs for Your Mask
Finding a creative and aesthetic design for your mask can be tricky, especially since there are so many options available. If you didn’t have anything particular in mind, or are interested in finding colorful, vibrant designs with references to Japanese, Ancient Greek and Vaporwave culture, consider using a Vapor95 bandanna as the base fabric for your material.
Our bandannas are incredibly comfortable and long-lasting, so they’ll survive the necessary cleaning and sterilizing that all masks must go through inevitably.