MADISON (WKOW) — Countless colorful masks will soon be tucked away in drawers or tossed in trash cans as mask mandates loosen.
To help the environment, keep fashion moving and offer people closure, however, a Madison fabric store is sharing ideas for reusing face masks.
Jen Mulder, owner of the Electric Needle, said recycling clothes like sweaters is something they do often. Therefore, she has tons of mask ideas.
“If you had enough, you could definitely put together a quilt or a scrappy table runner,” Mulder said. “Another idea we joked about was a bikini top if you had two of those. Reusable bags are also a solution.”
On Tuesday, Mulder brought one of his many ideas to life by taking masks apart, cutting them into squares and then sewing them together. The finished product looked like a coaster or doll blanket.
“For someone who’s never sewn before, I think it’s a low-pressure challenge,” Mulder said. “You already have the fabric, so you’re not investing money in the fabric you’re working with and these are very basic tools.”
Mulder said those tools include a seam ripper, rotary cutter or scissors, as well as a sewing machine or needle and thread.
“We have kits. We also have a whole host of courses to start sewing,” Mulder said.
Along with being a fun new hobby to take up, Mulder said sewing gives people the opportunity to commemorate loved ones and times in their lives, which can lead to closure.
“All art is about a time, a feeling, a feeling, a pandemic, you know, unfortunately, a loss in some cases,” Mulder said. “Getting to express that into something tangible and usable in the future can really be cathartic and healing.
Other ideas for reusing masks include making doll clothes, pants patches, and if your mask wardrobe includes holiday prints, you can turn them into holiday decorations.
Mulder said the elastic from the masks can also be reused to make scrunchies.
Anyone interested in learning more about mask reuse is encouraged to stop by at electric needle for tips and supplies.