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DIY variations on the pandemic’s must-have accessory

Resourceful Torontonians are slowing the spread with colourful, creative, homemade face masks

DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Christopher Bennell Technician at OCAD University Morgan Mavis Community coordinator at Ignite Gallery “Chris’s mask is made from a vintage cotton Wacky Wacko T-shirt and lined with Bart Simpson flannel. Mine is tongue-in-cheek inspired by a Balenciaga knock-off. It’s surprisingly breathable.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Angeline Tetteh-Wayoe CBC Radio host “I used a West African wax print for the outside and an old white pillowcase for the inside. I threaded some 20-gauge round stainless steel wire along the top, which helps maintain a good seal across the nose and cheekbones.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Andrea Horwath Leader of the official opposition “Good working-class girl I am, I have a ‘rag bag’ of old clothes. I found an old shirt, made a few cuts, did some basic sewing, added some cord and voila!”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Robert Fulton Actor and comedian “My wife bought a blue shirt at a Star Trek exhibit but never wore it and then gave it to me. It was too small, so I put it in a drawer. When the pandemic hit, I knew just what to do. I doubt it’s certified for medical use—except maybe for Klingon measles—but I had prostate surgery in February, so I want to play it safe.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Simone Mohabir Miss Etobicoke 2020 “I found a mask-sewing video online then gathered up material like my family’s old curtains and discarded cloth from my dad’s auto body shop. Each mask I’ve made has three layers and is washable. I donated a bunch of them to a nursing home near my house.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Chris McClure Analyst, TD “My mask has three layers—the first two are from my old Jane’s Addiction T-shirt and the outer one is from a fabric my wife bought in the U.K. years ago for reupholstering chairs. It’s functional, but the stitching is a little messy—my wife calls it the Silence of the Lambs mask.”

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DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Debbie Ridpath Ohi Children’s author and illustrator “I’ve always loved Crayola, and I had this great fabric lying around. I’m no seamstress, but I was able to create something functional. My husband helped me make a metal nose insert for a better fit and to keep my glasses from steaming up.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Kim Sison Illustrator “My friend Leeland Mitchell is a costume designer who made and donated masks for front-line workers. He gave me this one, which is made of cotton and has a slot for a filter on the inside.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Bruce Lee Financial manager “My friend Eliza made this for me. She used an old duvet cover that a friend had donated.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Nicole Wilson Aesthetician “My brother works for an industrial filter manufacturer, and he brings me their castoffs. I sew the filter material into a flannel liner, which makes it reusable and washable.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Marie-Eve Tremblay Costume designer and stylist “I decided to make masks for friends and family. I used fabric I had at home along with articles of clothing with interesting prints. Most of them are reversible, made out of cotton fabric blend with an adjustable nose piece and filter pocket.”

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DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Brian Gerstein Real estate agent “My daughter Julia is taking fashion design at Ryerson, so when I needed a mask for grocery runs, she came to the rescue. She found a fun print and some elastic, and followed a tutorial from the CDC.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Lesia Cole Clothing designer “I’ve been making masks for health care workers at Humber River Hospital. I use double-layer African-cloth cotton with vibrant prints to brighten up the person wearing the mask—or anyone who sees them.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Tim Mitra App developer “My wife, Carol Adcock, makes costumes for the Mississauga Ballet Association. Their annual recital was cancelled, so she had extra time and energy, which she put into making hundreds of masks like this one, and gave them away to neighbours and visitors to Michael Garron Hospital.”


DIY variations on the pandemic's must-have accessory

Milica Tempest Jewellery designer “I put this mask together using a men’s shirt I had on hand—a merino wool and organic cotton mix—and some elastic for ear loops.”

 

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This accountant had to give up her career during the pandemic. Now she designs modular kids' toys
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This accountant had to give up her career during the pandemic. Now she designs modular kids’ toys