Punta Gorda mom teaches you how to make face masks for healthcare workers

Posted at 3:17 AM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 13:12:06-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — If you and your kids are cooped up at home, looking for something to do, Fox 4 has you covered. While you're home, you can help sew face masks for local healthcare workers who desperately need them.

Bethany Lee is a mom of four. She said she learned to sew when she was really young, but it's been awhile.

"I dusted off the cobwebs, literally and figuratively with the sewing machine and my sewing skills," she said.


Last week, she bough some fabric and elastic and got to work. She's making face masks for our healthcare workers in Southwest Florida.

"I sent out a big batch to my cousin who's an EMT in Atlanta, and I'd love to donate as many as possible to our local hospitals," Lee said.

Lee said she'd love for you to join her. She said all you'll need is a sewing machine, some fabric, and elastic. She's using this pattern explaining how to make a face mask, but made a modification, because her research has shown workers prefer masks with an inside pocket.

"So that you can open up the back of these masks and insert an N95 mask or a surgical mask they might have access to, that they can reuse and reuse," she said.

Lee said each mask takes 20-30 minutes to make, and her kids have been her little helpers.

She said it's important to point out -- these aren't as effective as the N95 masks, but are an extra line of defense. Healthcare workers can put their surgical masks many are being forced to reuse inside, and can continue to wash the cotton mask on the outside. They're also good in an emergency.

"The goal of this is just to protect as many healthcare workers as possible," Lee said. "Even if they are given to the support staff in the hospital. Janitorial, maintenance, cafeteria workers. Just to be able to protect them so the hospitals can continue to run at full capacity."

Her full tutorial on how to make a face mask is the second video option above.