There were so many reasons to wearing face masks even before this pandemic nightmare. It’s hygienic if you’re sick, a face mask for pollution can protect from airborne particles (like my favourite Vog Mask which saved me during yellow dust season in Korea), and it’ll stop you touching your face which is one of the most highly recommended ways to protect yourself from germs at the moment and stop your droplets (ew) travelling as far when you do sneeze or cough suddenly. Commonly worn in East Asia on a daily basis, there’s nothing more comforting than seeing someone suffering with a cold thinking of others and protecting you from their coughs and sneezes.
While the only kind of mask that’s actually going to protect you from viruses is a medical-grade mask, it’s best to leave those to people most at risk and those working in high-risk environments. Instead, covering our faces can help us adjust to day to day life while lockdown eases and help us travel around safely. And they can be adorable too! So here are some of our favourite masks and mask patterns if you’d rather make your own. They all ship worldwide but I have mentioned where they are based since shipping can take a while right now.
*Bear in mind these are not medical grade masks and you should still take every precaution to protect yourself and others from illness whatever mask you choose. This is for your personal protection and isn’t going to beat good hygiene and social distancing measures.
1) Crochet Face Mask Plus Cotton Liner
This simple crochet face mask features two ear straps and a floral patterned double-ply cotton liner. It’s easy to wash and comes in dark and light colours. The straps are easy to tie around your head or ears so can be made to fit comfortably. This mask is handmade in the US so shipping to Europe might take a while.
2) Face Mask with Filter Pockets for Adults and Children
A pretty floral mask that comes in three sizes including one suitable for children. Getting your child to keep a mask on is definitely a challenge but keeping grubby fingers off their face is more important now than ever. The mask can be washed and ironed so is easy to disinfect and the pocket allows for you to replace your chosen filter whenever you need. This mask is made in Europe.
3) 100% Cotton Double Sized Mask with HEPA Filter Included
These gorgeous masks come in a range of colours and styles and are totally reversible. The ribbon strings allow for you to tie them as necessary for you and come in four sizes making this a highly customisable face mask. Made from a double layer of pure cotton and a filter, these washable masks are ideal. These masks are handmade in Canada.
4) Washable Cotton Face Mask
This shop sells some of the cutest masks I’ve seen like this beautiful floral pattern but also some cute cat ones and ones with trains and buses which might make kids more inclined to wear it. They’re machine washable and come with elasticated ear straps (you can iron the mask but not the straps) and also come in adult and children’s sizes. These masks are based in the UK.
5) Thick Cotton Durable Masks in Muted Tones
Thick durable cotton masks in four sizes, they’re reusable and washable and come with elastic straps. They’re also plain muted colours and include denim and embroidered options that will go with most outfits and blend in more than some of the more patterned masks on this list. They are also very comfortable to wear and highly recommended. These face masks are made in the UK.
6) 3 Layer – Kimono Design Face Masks
For a truly stylish face mask, you can go wrong with an eye-catching kimono design. This mask is three layers thick and has a filter pocket for you to insert your own filters. They come in adult and children’s sizes and a range of bright kimono designs. These masks are made in the US.
7) Recycled Kimono Face Masks by ‘I Was a Kimono’
These made the news recently for being some of the chicest masks around. Recycled masks made from silk Japanese kimonos, they’re beautiful and functional. They also sell recycled earrings and jewellery if you want to treat yourself. The shop is based in Japan but they ship worldwide (with some limitations at the moment). They have been selling out very quickly so join their mailing list if you’ve had no luck this time!
8) Pack of Three Ear Savers/ Mask Extenders
Since masks can be uncomfortable on your ears when you’re wearing them for a long time then you can use these mask extenders to fasten the straps behind your head instead. Simple and effective! These would also be super easy to make if you can crochet or knit.
Make Your Own Face Mask – Patterns
Perhaps you’re already a knitter, crocheter, or handly with a sewing machine and you want to learn how to make your own! Since most of these everyday masks are handmade there’s nothing stopping you putting together your own and making gifts for your friends, and family. Plus you won’t have to wait for deliveries!
Here are some patterns for crochet and sewing plus how to make mask extenders. It’s also a very budget-friendly way of getting yourself protected. It’s also perfect if you need to alter the design to fit your face and head comfortably, it’s very easy to add longer ear straps to something you’ve made yourself. As someone who’s recently taken up crocheting, this has me rather excited…
Crochet Face Mask Patterns
9) Bohemian Crochet Face Mask
This is the bright face mask to wear if you want to attract some attention or simply brighten up your own day. It also looks like a really fun project! It’s a simple crochet face mask absolutely covered in crocheted flowers and leaves and this pattern makes it easy.
10) Simple Crochet Pattern Face Mask
This is a perfect crochet face mask pattern for someone who just wants to make a simple mask with a pocket for your filter to go in. The ear straps are simple chain stitches and the mask itself is suitable for beginners. The lesson comes with pictures and detailed instructions and uses UK crochet terms.
Sewing Face Mask Patterns
11) Simple Sewing Face Mask Pattern
This is a simple mask pattern for sewing a rectangular face mask, it comes with an adult size and a child-size pattern included. The pattern also comes with step by step instructions on how to sew it. It’s great for beginners so don’t be afraid to try making your own mask.
Knitting Face Mask Pattern
12) Simple Knitting Face Mask Pattern
This simple knitting face mask pattern comes with links to stitch tutorials so it really is perfect for beginners. It also includes an optional sleeve pattern if you want to make a filter pocket. It’s a quick and easy project that’ll protect you and your family.
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Jess is the creator and editor of Books and Bao. She's passionate about the world, its literature, food, culture, and people. She enjoys sharing her travel tips with others and capturing those perfect moments.