How to Make a Mask for Coronavirus and Help Others at the Same Time

person holding face covering mask in their hands
| 5 min read Crowdfunding

While the Australia Federal Government and Department of Health (DoH) are not actively recommending that Australians wear protective masks unless sick with Covid-19, many are opting to wear masks as a precautionary measure. With personal protective equipment in short supply, it may be hard for you to find or afford a mask to protect yourself and others during the coronavirus crisis. Not to worry, there are a few simple ways to make a mask from items you already have in your household. Below, we walk you through a three-step process to make a mask for coronavirus. Please note that this mask will not protect you in the way a medical-grade mask would.

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Three easy steps to make a no-sew mask at home

While there are many different materials you can use to make a mask, we will be walking you through the process of making a mask with a bandana and two hair ties. If you do not have a bandana, cut up an old t-shirt into a 22-inch by 22-inch square.

Step 1:

With the bandana laying flat on a table, fold the top fourth of the bandana down to the middle of the bandana. Fold the bottom fourth of the bandana up so that the two ends meet in the middle.

bandana folded in half twice

Step 2:

Flip the bandana over and fold the top and bottom ends into the middle of the bandana once more.

bandana folded in half twice

Step 3:

Flip the bandana over again and put the two hair ties that you have on either end of the bandana. Fold the outside edges of the bandana in and use the hair ties to secure the mask behind your ears. 

bandana folded in half with hair ties on each end

Finished mask: 

bandana folded into a mask

How you can help people in need get masks

If you’re interested in helping other folks protect themselves and get access to masks, there are a few different ways to make a difference. 

Fundraise to cover costs of mask making

If you’re interested in making masks for others, consider starting a fundraiser to cover the cost of materials for masks. That way, you can focus your time and attention on the production side of mask making.

Crowdfunding is an easy free fundraising option that allows your network to support your generous efforts from afar. In an ordinary situation, friends and family members might come to your home and help you create masks. Because most states have strict social distancing policies in place, it may not be possible for friends to offer their time to help you. In that situation, they can still practice social distancing while also contributing to your cause through donations.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, here are a few GoFundMe’s that are raising funds to get masks to folks who need them: 

  • Kamila Henley, the organizer of Make a Mask Illinois, rallied 127 women in the Chicago area to volunteer to help make masks while socially distancing. She started a GoFundMe to cover the cost of their supplies.
  • Soraya Nakamura set out with the goal of sewing 2,000 masks for people who need them. Her friends and family have donated over $5,500 to help her reach her GoFundMe fundraising goal: Funds to make masks – Help stop Covid-19
  • Eric Kim started a GoFundMe with the intention of making transparent masks for the hearing impaired so that they are still able to see lip movements to help them understand what is being communicated. Donations are being used for materials and the production and shipping of masks. 

Donate to a company that is making free masks 

Although times are incredibly difficult for millions of people around the world, there is hope in the fact that people are rallying together to help others. While there are many businesses and organizations that have shifted their focus to help with coronavirus related causes, below are three companies that are making masks for people who need them. 

  • Free Masks and Meals from Rose Bay in NSW has organised over 10,000 masks to be delivered to the frontline, plus care homes and elderly, crowdfunding to cover the costs of purchasing and delivery
  • A financial services advisor in Sydney used its network of clients and launched a GoFundMe to source and import over 30,000 KN95 masks for Australians on the frontline of fighting Covid-19 – raising over $70k in a matter of weeks
  • The Mask Project NSW reacted to the news that doctors and nurses were in short supply of PPE by started their own fundraising page to purchase and deliver N95, surgical masks and face shields to GP practices and NSW emergency departments

Keep yourself and others healthy

If you’re in a situation to help others, or if you need financial help yourself, GoFundMe is the best place to start. Millions of people are suffering from the impact of COVID-19—low income families, single parents, restaurant workers, and small business owners—but none of us are in this alone. Whether you’re raising money for yourself or friends and family members in need, start a GoFundMe to ease the financial burden of the coronavirus. 

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