Making Face Masks Fun
Love them or loath them, face masks MUST be worn in shops as of the 24th March.
Children under 11 are not being forced to wear one but my husband and I are going to encourage our children aged 6 & 9 to wear them. Not only for their protection but for everyone else's. I understand that this may not be possible for some parents, trying to get the little blighters to comply is pretty impossible sometimes. I know my little one constantly fiddled with his face mask when he first wore it and the eldest was in such a grump we had to leave a shop. They have now been wearing them for two weeks on and off (sometimes just around the house playing robbers or doctors and nurses!) but they are getting better and more used to wearing them.
Early in lockdown whilst trying to entertain and teach my children I decided to show my boys how to use a sewing machine. I am a great believer in teaching kids to sew as a valuable life skill and making face masks seemed like the perfect first sewing project for them. We made some plain face masks together and then my eldest had the brilliant idea of decorating his with some fabric pens. He spent ages designing and drawing on his mask and came up with something really fun and unique.
When showing some friends what we had made, they encouraged me to make more and start selling them. One even said there must be some psychological benefit to having children designing their own mask. Maybe it would take away some of the fear or even get them to start talking about their feelings during the pandemic.
I set to work and created a plain fabric mask with rainbow fabric ties. I decided on ties as after making a few we discovered that the ones with elastic are really hit and miss with the fit on children. My children often found the elastic hurt if it was too tight and if it was too loose they just fell off! Rainbows are everywhere at the moment so I decided to add some rainbow ties. They look lovely tied in a bow as the colours combine and look really pretty.
I also started selling the masks with fabric pens so children could design their own little masks. And as I am so passionate about learning to sew and teaching new skills, I added instructions on how to make your own mask in each kit.
Recently I had a brainwave (they don’t happen often). As the ties can sometimes be hard to get the right fit, I decided to add a bead to the ties which can be used to tighten the mask around the ears - genius eh?
I have been selling the masks since May on notonthehighstreet. I didn’t really brag about them as it felt weird selling something related to a pandemic - I had an ethics problem! But since I have started selling them back in May face masks are now everywhere and being sold left right and centre. The greatest encouragement I recently had was that Holly & Co contacted me and are going to start selling them on their store! This was very exciting for me and all the sign I needed to start talking about them a bit more. I’ve really thought about the design with these masks and the emotional side to wearing them. They are comfortable and will last which is a good thing as it looks like we might be wearing them for a little while yet!