How to Get by with Few Supplies During Times of Crisis
Due to the Coronavirus, many of us are now in our second month of quarantine. As healthcare workers and other frontline heroes bravely combat this awful pandemic, the majority of us continue to stay home and practice social distancing.
Unfortunately, since the onset of this crisis, many of the essential health products we depend on for comfort and safety have begun to dwindle. The good news is, there are countless online tutorials to help us make a lot of these supplies with more readily available tools and materials.
For anyone who is in dire need of hygiene supplies or PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), we curated a list of popular DIY tutorials to help you make some of these products from the safety of your home.
If you’re running short on essentials like toilet paper or hand sanitizer, continue reading to discover some of the best lifesaving supply hacks that you can find on the internet!
1. DIY Face Masks
Face masks are perhaps the most important commodity right now. Since it’s their job to save lives during a health crisis, nurses and other first responders should be given priority for acquiring official PPE equipment (i.e. the N95 mask). However, it’s still important to protect yourself whenever you leave your home.
Whether you have paper towels, old t-shirts, bandanas, or other materials, you can easily make face masks from the safety of your home. Most of these do not require sewing or expensive materials and can be reused.
Click here to learn how you can safely donate masks in support of the healthcare community.
3 DIY Face Masks – No Sewing Required!
This video is brought to us by the folks at Survival Know How. Their YouTube channel focuses on wilderness survival instructions and preparation tips for natural disasters.
Watch this four-minute video to learn how to make three different types of DIY face masks that don’t require any sewing. All three can be made in less than a minute with household items such as paper towels, t-shirts, or bandanas.
How to Make a No Sew DIY Face Mask – $0 Quick & Easy Tutorial
By: Jenny Chan at Origami Tree
If you don’t already own a face mask, having something to cover your mouth and nose is always better than nothing. Check out this video by Jenny Chan at Origami Tree to create a homemade facial mask using nothing but paper towels, aluminum foil, a sheet of loose-leaf paper, tape, a hole puncher, a pair of scissors, and two large rubber bands.
How to Make an Easy, Washable, Reusable Face Mask in 1 Minute – No Sewing!
By: Yori House
If you’re up for the challenge, watch this video by Yori House to learn how to make a reusable face mask using a cloth handkerchief and a standard electrostatic filter that’s typically used for AC and heating units.
How to Sew a Medical Face Mask – Tutorial
By: Erica Arndt
For a more advanced solution, check out Erica Arndt’s face mask sewing tutorial. Although these are not N95 masks, according to the video, they are used by some healthcare workers across the country. Some hospitals will even accept donations of these handmade masks!
2. DIY Face Shields
According to a recent article by FastCompany, face shields may offer better protection than a standard facial mask.
More importantly, if supplies are running low, you can create your face shield.
In the absence of a factory licensed facial covering, making your own face shield could help prevent the spread of Coronavirus. To make one, all you need is an elastic band, some rubber foam, and a clear binding cover.
The following tutorials are quick and easy to follow. If you need to venture outside during the quarantine, please take as many precautions as possible.
How to Make Your Own Face Shield: DIY in 5 Simple Steps
The Magic in Nursing Team recently posted this easy-to-follow instructional guide for medical professionals to create their own face shields while at work.
DIY PPE: Quick and Easy Face Shield
Do you have a transparent plastic folder, a face towel, and a pair of scissors? By following CreativeWindow’s video tutorial, you can use these materials—along with a few others—to make your own homemade face shield.
3. DIY Protective Suit
A vaccine for the Coronavirus may not be available to the general public until 2021. Therefore, we will likely need to continue wearing protective gear for the foreseeable future.
People who work in hospitals, morgues, or other dangerous conditions will need to wear protective suits and isolation gowns. Because this equipment has also been in short supply, some people will have no choice but to make their own protective suits in the coming months.
DIY: 2 Protective Suits That Can Actually Be Found at Home!
For our first recommendation, What the Crafts by Shaine has a brilliant video that teaches us how to make an isolation gown with materials that can often be found at home.
DIY Protective Suit – How to Sew
By: Cen Hontomen
Our second recommendation requires sewing, but Cen Hontomen, the talented YouTuber behind this video, provides helpful tips for each step of the process. Cen also provides a Google Drive folder where you can reference or download the actual PPE gown pattern.
4. DIY Hand Sanitizer
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone should clean their hands often: “If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.”
Like face masks and toilet paper, hand sanitizer has become a prized commodity during the current pandemic. On store shelves across the country, it’s nearly impossible to find any anti-bacterial products, let alone hand sanitizer.
In our research, we discovered there is a DIY solution for almost everything. Making your own hand sanitizer is actually very simple.
Easy to Make DIY Hand Sanitizer
In this tutorial by SensiblePrepper, all you need to make hand sanitizer is rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, and an empty bottle.
Quick & Easy $3 DIY Hand Sanitizer
Our second recommendation is a detailed guide by Kelly Barlow Creations. Watch this video to learn how to make a cheap hand sanitizer with affordable ingredients from your local drug store. Just be sure to use rubbing alcohol with a concentration that’s high enough to kill bacteria.
How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer with Dr. Ian Smith
By: Rachael Ray
Who doesn’t love Rachel Ray? In this segment of her show, Rachel recruits the help of Dr. Ian Smith to show us the proper ratios for making your own hand sanitizer. They also discuss the correct way to wash your hands with soap and water.
5. DIY Soap
Soap is the real star of the hygiene lineup.
Amid this pandemic, soap is one of your greatest defenses against the Coronavirus. If you can’t find soap in your local shops, you can try making it yourself with ingredients from home or online.
Check out these DIY starter guides that cover how to make fun and cost-effective soap using your favorite scents.
How to Make Soap from Scratch
This Healthline article will teach you how to create bars of soap with a variety of ingredients, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and dried herbs or flowers.
How to Make Soap at Home – 4 Ways
The Kin YouTube channel creates DIY videos that cover everything from cookies to paper crafts. In this 2017 video, the brilliant folks at Kin show us how to make homemade soap in four different ways. Learn how to invent your own soap pops, exfoliating soaps, mini soaps, and honey citrus body wash.
Becky’s Beginner Bar Soap Recipe: 3 Simple Ingredients Lye, Lard, & Water
By: Homestead Park
Newcomers to the DIY space will surely appreciate this video by Homestead Park. In this episode, Becky walks you through the entire process using three simple ingredients: lye, lard, and water.
6. DIY Toilet Paper
Ready to learn about alternative toilet paper?
We know this is probably number one on some of your lists! It certainly is for us.
The United States has been hit by a toilet paper shortage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The whole situation might make you chuckle, but for some people, it can become a serious problem.
Each of our recommendations can offer unique solutions to help you get through the dreaded toilet paper shortage. Given the extent of this pandemic, you might need to make your own toilet paper more than once.
How to Make Toilet Paper in a Crisis
Have a phone book at home? Based on this recent video by Survival Dispatch, that’s all you need to wave your toilet paper troubles goodbye.
DIY Toilet Paper Using Newspaper, Leaves, Flowers, and More!
In this live stream by How to Make Everything, you can learn how to make toilet paper by using several different materials, including newspapers, flowers, jeans, leaves, and lavender.
Make your own toilet paper (DIY) Homemade
No toilet paper? No problem. Watch this DIY video by grizzlys adventures to learn how to prepare our own TP in less than one minute. All you need is a sharp knife and some shop towels from your nearest auto parts store.
7 Toilet Paper Alternatives!
This video is not so much a DIY solution as it is an overview of all the alternatives you can use to replace toilet paper. According to Living On a Dime to Grow Rich, these seven TP alternatives are the perfect solution when regular toilet paper can’t be found.
7. DIY Deodorant
Like most of the hygiene items on our list, deodorant is a daily necessity that is easy to take for granted.
A homemade recipe can save you a trip to the store or serve as an alternate solution if you’re having trouble finding a good product online.
The trick is to use a recipe that really works. With just three ingredients, you can learn how to make deodorant at home that is not only cheap but paleo, gluten free, and vegan.
How to Make Natural Deodorant that Works with 3 Ingredients
In this video by Living Healthy with Chocolate, Adriana Harlan teaches us how to make natural deodorant with only three ingredients. This all-star recipe includes coconut oil, baking soda, and arrowroot. Watch Adriana’s tutorial to get the complete recipe along with instructions and measurements.
8. DIY Toothpaste
Not only can toothpaste help prevent cavities and improve your breath, but it can potentially decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is critical to your overall health.
During these trying times, don’t let your oral hygiene fall to the wayside.
How to Make Natural Toothpaste
By: Wellness Mama
Toothpaste may not be as scarce as the other products on our list, but if you’re looking for a fun project or simply want to learn how to make natural toothpaste, this medically reviewed guide can get you started.
The recipe in this Wellness Mama DIY article features a homemade, mineral-rich toothpaste that you can make at home.
9. DIY Shampoo and Conditioner
A lot of people might not know this, but many store-bought shampoos carry chemicals that can damage your hair.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, now might be a good time to learn how to make your own shampoo and conditioner.
Take a stab at some of these DIY projects to eliminate unnecessary chemicals and extra trips to the store.
Homemade Natural Shampoo
By: Ela Gale
In this video by Ela Gale, you can learn how to make your own natural shampoo while avoiding those chemicals we mentioned earlier. The recipe requires coconut milk, castile soap, vitamin E oil, fenugreek powder, and essential oils.
10 Shampoo Recipes You Can Make at Home
If you don’t have the supplies from our first recommendation, check out the various recipes available in this article by Instuctables living.
How to Make All-Natural Conditioner – Simple DIY Recipe
By: Our Oily House
In this video tutorial, Laura from OurOilyHouse.com teaches you how to make your own DIY conditioner at home using cocoa butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, aloe vera, and essential oils.
10. DIY Spa
While face masks and shields can provide physical protection, you shouldn’t forget about the importance of mental health.
Due to the current crisis, many of us have experienced unusual stress and anxiety. This anxiety may stem from fear over our health, money, children, or countless other things.
Everyone deserves a few minutes each day to relax and unplug from the concerns that grip them. Don’t underestimate the benefits of self-care for both your physical and mental wellbeing.
According to the Mayo Clinic, here are just some benefits of stress management:
- Slower heart rate
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve digestion
- Maintain normal blood sugar levels
- Increase blood flow to major muscles
- Reduce muscle tension and chronic pain
Remember: Self-care is important, so treat yourself!
Treat Yo’ Self… for Pennies: 24 Spa Treatments You Can Do at Home
Relaxation techniques may help you in more ways than one. In this DIY spa article by The Penny Hoarder, you can discover 24 inexpensive ways to create a spa day from your home “that won’t hurt your budget.”
Getting Creative in Times of Crisis
The world may be facing an unprecedented crisis, but we are also rallying together and helping one another.
The goal of this list was to compile various resources for the health and hygiene of our community. Although some of these items might not be as critical as others, each one can make a significant difference in your physical or mental health. Others can drastically affect your health in more ways than one.
As we endure the ongoing quarantine, continue to do your part and stay at home whenever possible. Make the most of your supplies and get creative when necessary.
If you need more ideas, we’re to here to offer you our support.