What’s Happening (Virtually) at Cheshire Library in January

Happy New Year! Back when we started doing virtual programming in April, we thought it might be for a couple of months. Now here we are starting our tenth month of virtual programs, with no in-person programs on the immediate horizon. We like to think we’ve gotten pretty good at them, though, and have found that some kinds of programs actually work better in a virtual setting. We’ll keep working to bring you entertaining and informative program online – we’ve got a ton of them coming in January, here’s a look:

January Teen Volunteering Challenges

Earn community service hours by submitting a photo, video, or other content that may be added to CPL’s social media pages! Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours. January’s challenges include:

  • Art: Make a fancy snowflake (cutting from paper), or draw a picture of an Abominable Snowman.
  • Writing: Write a story, poem, or essay about someone who inspires you.
  • Food: January is National Soup Month, so make some soup and warm your family up with piping hot bowls of comfort!
  • Reading: Read a book about Martin Luther King Jr. in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 18th).
  • More Reading: Celebrate A.A. Milne’s birthday (also January 18th) by reading (re-reading?) a Winnie-the-Pooh story.
  • Even More Reading: Build a pillow fort and read a book inside it!

If you participate in the challenges, earn community service credit by submitting your creations so we can share them on our social media pages!

Take + Make: Paracord Bracelet

Pick up January 4 – 9, 2021

Make something at your own pace with Take + Make kits! We have a limited number of materials so please register to pick up your kit in the Children’s Room any time the library is open (hours listed here) during the week of January 4, 2021. For grades 6-12, one kit per person, please.

Support Through Meditation – Weekly Zoom Event

Tuesdays,  January 5-26, 2:00 – 3:00pm

This introductory meditation class is geared towards helping you through these anxious and challenging times. You will learn various meditation techniques that you will practice in session and guidance to perform meditation on your own. Presenter Tia Mandrozos will explain the purpose of meditation and interact with the participants to provide the help needed and to address specific concerns. Please register via the Event Calendar for each session you wish to attend.

White Memorial Through the Seasons – White Memorial Conservation Center

Wednesday, January 6, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Brother and sister Alain and May White left their fingerprints all over Litchfield County, beginning with our 4,000 acre sanctuary. Sit back and enjoy breathtaking images from a variety of contributors depicting the extraordinary people, places, and things that make up this living masterpiece! Advance registration is required to join this program.

Murder of the High Wizard – Virtual Murder Mystery

Thursday, January 7, 2021, 3:00 – 4:00pm

The College of Wizards investigates a shocking murder! Join us in playing the roles of wizards and faculty for this virtual magic-themed murder mystery game. For teens in grades 6-12. Please register in advance to receive your character sheet before the program.

Adult Take & Make Workshop: Macramé Coaster

  • Pick up materials: Tuesday, January 5, 10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Zoom workshop: Saturday, January 9, 3:00 – 4:30pm

A macramé coaster is a great project for beginner to intermediate level crafters. We will use cotton rope and basically we will repeat one type of knot several times in a circle to create this useful and cool looking object. Join our Macramé artist Linda to make this fun project. Supplies are limited, registration is required to pick up your supplies on January 5th and attend the virtual workshop on January 9th.

Foundation Gardens and Native Plants: A Winter View

Monday, January 11, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Presenter Kathy Connolly will discuss how to use winter’s lean lines to assess a foundation area, imagine new design, and build your plant list during the dark months. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Homeschooling 101

Monday, January 11, 2021, 6:30 – 7:30pm

So you’re thinking about homeschooling? Join Linda Hincks, East Hampton homeschool mom and owner of Wren Homeschool Consulting, to learn the basics of homeschooling and the laws in Connecticut. Please forward your questions to aallen@cheshirelibrary.org ahead of time so Linda can include the answers in the Zoom presentation. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Baby Steps

Join us in an exploration of shared activities for babies ages 0-12 months and their caregivers that provide the opportunity to strengthen your connection with your child and enrich your baby’s cognitive development through joyful movement and social experiences. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Preschool Storytime

Wednesdays, January 13 – February 10, 10:00 – 10:30pm

A virtual storytime for preschoolers (and their grown-ups!) to learn through talking, singing, reading, writing,and playing! Best for children ages 3-5. Younger and older siblings are welcome.  This program meets five times: January 13, 20, and 27 & February 3 and 10. Registration required, register once to attend all five sessions.

Getting Started in Genealogy

Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 2:00 – 3:00pm

Carol Ansel, Director at the Godfrey Memorial Library in Middletown, will present the ABC’s of beginning genealogy, with an emphasis on the 8 (or so) basic types of genealogical records—where you can find them and how best to use them. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Sing Your Story

Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 4:00 – 5:00pm

Sing Your Story is an education music experience where kids become songwriters! Creator, Michele Urban, is an Early Childhood Music specialist, songwriter and vocal performer. Check out the song we wrote this summer here! Best for children in grades K-6. Please register for this virtual program to receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the program start time.

Cooking Program: Ditch the Diet

Thursday, January 14, 2021, 3:30 – 4:30pm

Join Food Explorers to learn how to start the New Year off in a healthy way with a Registered Dietitian! No more calorie counting or juice cleanses, you’ll learn how to determine if a diet is fad or fact. You’ll also have the chance to cook along and make a delicious lunch-prep recipe: Sweet Potato Fajita Bowls with Guacamole (ingredients in the calendar description). Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Teen Take + Taste Challenge: Kit Kats!

January 19 – 23, 2021

Try some new tastes in the New Year- discover the wild and wacky flavors of Kit Kat candy bars and try to guess the flavors without peeking… do you think you can guess the flavors by just their taste? We have a limited number of materials so please register to pick up your kit in the Children’s Room any time the library is open (hours listed here) during the week of January 18, 2021. For grades 6-12. Registration is required to reserve and pick up a kit, and kits are limited to one kit per person per week.

Connecticut & the Pandemic of 1918

Thursday, January 21, 2021, 3:00 – 4:30pm

What was it like to live through the Influenza Pandemic of 1918? In this program, we’ll look at archival images, letters, and newspapers to explore this topic, including sources left by Connecticans who experienced the flu first-hand. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Take + Make: Snowflake STEAM

January 25 – 30, 2021

Make something at your own pace with Take + Make kits! We have a limited number of materials so please register to pick up your kit in the Children’s Room any time the library is open (hours listed here) during the week of January 25, 2021. For grades K-6, one kit per child, please.

Cut the Cord

Monday, January 25, 2021, 6:00 – 7:30pm

Join us for an entertaining presentation meant to help cable-TV customers break the expensive and often frustrating cable service cycle. The presentation will cover  details of streaming equipment (some of which you may already own) and how to explore the ever-expanding list of channels and services streaming—as well as the “forgotten” free resource of broadcast TV—can bring to your living room. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Books Over Coffee: The Searcher

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. This month’s book is The Searcher by Tana French. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

Feeling Alone-a Because of Corona

Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Hands-on Workshop with On-hand ingredients – with Velya and Ehris Urban. We’ll learn how to make DIY Ginger Ale and Vanilla/Almond Extracts. Registration is required, registered participants will receive a Zoom link via email on the day of the program.

What’s Happening (virtually) at Cheshire Library in November

We’re ramping up our online storytime programs and book clubs this month, and looking forward to a virtual visit from our favorite humorist, Joyce Saltman. Reading and laughing, what could be better?

November Teen Volunteering Challenges

Earn community service hours by submitting a photo, video, or other content that may be added to CPL’s social media pages! Each submission will be awarded 2 community service hours. November’s challenges include:

  • Art: Create fall-inspired art.
  • Writing: Write a story, poem, or essay, about being thankful.
  • Food: Make a dish using pumpkin or apples as an ingredient.
  • Reading: Read a book about voting, elections, or running for office.
  • More Reading: Celebrate Native American Heritage Month by reading a book about our nation’s first people.
  • Even More Reading: It’s also Picture Book Month- read a picture book you’ve never read before and review it for our families.

Submit HERE for the Art, Writing, and Food Challenges. Submit a 300 word book review HERE  for the Reading Challenges.

Comics Club –  Pick up New Kid this month!

Comics Club will be held on Thursday, December 17 at 4pm. Starting November 2, copies of New Kid by Jerry Craft and the program supplies are available for pickup at the children’s information desk during open hours. Want to know what the book is about? Watch the book trailer here! For children in grades 3-5, register for the December meeting here.

Book Buzz Teen Book Club – Pick up your December books this month!

In December, we are going to do something different- we will each read a book of our choice (all different books) and then share the stories with each other. Books will be provided and are yours to keep! Books are available for pick up at the Children’s Desk. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing during pickup. We’ll meet on Zoom to discuss our books on December 16. For grades 6-12.

Take + Make: Paper Helicopters

Make something at your own pace with Take + Make kits! With this kit, you’ll make your very own paper helicopter. For grades k-6. We have a limited number of materials so please register to pick up your kit at the library on Nov. 2 or 3.

Baby Playgroup on Zoom

Tuesdays, November 3 -17, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

For babies ages 0-12 months and their caregivers,  this program provides an opportunity to strengthen your connection with your child and enriches your baby’s cognitive development through joyful movement and social experiences.  We will meets five times beginning October 20,  you only need to register once to attend all five classes. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the morning of each program.

Support Through Meditation – Weekly Zoom Event

Tuesdays, 11:00am – 12:00pm

This introductory meditation class is geared towards helping you through these anxious and challenging times. You will learn various meditation techniques that you will practice in session and guidance to perform meditation on your own. Presenter Tia Mandrozos will explain the purpose of meditation and interact with the participants to provide the help needed and to address specific concerns. Please register via the Event Calendar for each session you wish to attend.

Preschool Storytime

Wednesdays, November 4 & 18, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

A virtual storytime for preschoolers to learn through talking, singing, reading, writing,and playing! Best for children ages 3-5, younger and older siblings are also welcome. This program meets four times: October 21 & 28 and November 4 & 18, (there will be no storytime on November 11). Register once to attend all four sessions. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the morning of each program.

Kids Cook Dinner: Guacamole Grilled Cheese with Baked Fries

Wednesday, November 4, 2020,  4:00 – 5:00pm

Spend some quality time with your children in the kitchen while encouraging them to try new foods! An instructor from Food Explorers will show kids 7-14 how to prepare a delicious meal for the whole family!  Registration is required, and the  ingredients needed for this program can be found on the Event Calendar listing.

Toddler Storytime

Thursdays, November 5-19, 2020, 10:00 – 10:30am

A virtual storytime for toddlers and their caregivers, with interactive songs, stories, and other fun activities. Best for children ages 1-3. Younger and older siblings are welcome. This program meets five beginning October 22,  you only need to register once to attend all sessions. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link one hour before the beginning of each program.

Take + Make STEM: Polymer 

Make something at your own pace with Take + Make STEM kits! With this STEM-based kit, learn all about polymers by making your own stress ball and completing two other fun experiments for kids in grades 1-6!  We have a limited number of materials so please register to pick up your kit at the library on Nov. 9 or 12. Please be advised this kit contains latex.

Adult Take + Make: DIY Folded Book Turkey

Tuesday, November 10, 2020, 10:00am – 4:00pm

Do you enjoy the Cheshire Public Library book turkey?  Have you wanted to make one yourself but didn’t know where to start?  Now is your chance to make a Do It Yourself Folded Turkey book.  On November 10 from  10-4PM, pick up the pre-reserved materials you will need at the library.  When convenient watch the video and make your turkey book.  Registration required to reserve supplies. (You will also need: an Exacto knife or other sharp cutting tool,  a ruler, a hot glue gun and glue,  and some tape.)

Pandemic Pandemonium: Joyce Saltman Virtual Program

Monday, November 16, 2020, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Is the pandemic getting you down?  Join us for a little dose of positive thinking, with a double dose of humor. In this timely session, Joyce will attempt to lighten our loads with some positive re-framing of the present corona virus pandemic and lots of crazy jokes that have been produced by the creative minds of some obviously desperate individuals! Please register online to receive a link on November 16 to join the program.

Take + Make: Thankful Tree

Populate a tree with leaves of things that make you thankful in this simple craft for kids of all ages. We have a limited number of materials so please register to pick up your kit at the library on Nov. 16 or 17.

Book Buzz Teen Book Club: Alice By Heart

Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Our new teen book club!  For our first book we’ll be talking about Alice by Heart by Steven Sater. A young girl takes refuge in a London Tube station during WWII and confronts grief, loss, and first love with the help of her favorite book, Alice in Wonderland, in this debut novel from Tony Award-winning playwright Steven Sater. Books will be provided (pick up a copy starting October 1 in the Children’s Room) and are yours to keep! Please register online, registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the day of the program. Didn’t read the book? Join us anyway and hear what others thought of it!

Pajama Storytime

Monday, November 23, 2020, 6:30pm – 7:00pm

Put on your pajamas and fuzzy slippers and tune in for a fun-filled evening of stories, songs, and adventures! Best for ages 2-5. Registration is required for this virtual event. Registered participants will receive a link to the Zoom meeting 1 hour prior to the event start time.

Murder of the High Wizard – Virtual Murder Mystery

Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Join us in playing the roles of wizards and faculty for this virtual magic-themed murder mystery game. Your character sheet will be emailed to you about a week before the program so you can become familiar with the wizard you are playing, and the link to this event itself will be emailed to you an hour before start time to join this Zoom Virtual program. For grades 6-12, registration required.

Virtual Books Over Coffee: The Darwin Affair

Wednesday, November 25, 2020, 12:00 – 1:30pm

Want to engage in great discussions about books? Meet new people? Join us for an adult monthly book club program called Books Over Coffee. We will meet over Zoom.. This month’s book is The Darwin Affair by Tim Mason. Please register in advance, registered participants will receive a Zoom meeting link on the day of the program.

Decorate Your Home for the Holidays

Monday, November 30, 2020, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Join noted floral designer and Cheshire resident Sylvia Nichols virtually in her design workroom as she prepares to “dress up” her home for the holidays. This fun fast-paced program will be filled with easy, affordable, practical ideas. Sylvia uses her personal holiday keepsakes, which will inspire your own creativity. As always, she will entertain you with lively anecdotes and offer her reassurance that you too, can create beautiful holiday arrangements.  No stress!  It’s fun! Please register online for this virtual program.  We will email you an hour before the program begins with a link to join the Zoom meeting.

Outside Book Groups

Art Book Discussion: A Piece of the World

Friday, November 20, 2020,11:00am – 12:30pm

Do you love to read? And love art? Let’s discuss! Join us for a monthly book club discussion on the third Friday of each month from 11am to 12:30pm in a Zoom Virtual meeting.  This month’s discussion is on A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. Please register for this program online.

Murder by the Book Mystery Book Club: Fer-de-Lance

Thursday, December 3, 2020, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Do you like to read and talk about mysteries? Then join us for monthly book discussions, fresh perspectives, new authors and a friendly atmosphere!  We are meeting virtually via Zoom. This month’s discussion is on Fer-de-Lance by Rex Stout. Please register for this program online, registered participants will receive a Zoom link on the day of the program.

Become a “Fake News” Detective – how to verify what you see online before you share it

In 2019, Pew Research found that 55% of American adults said they get their news from social media either “often” or “sometimes” .  And while some news on social media may come from reliable sources, plenty more “news” may be from articles reposted or retweeted by friends.  So, as you’re scrolling through your newsfeed and seeing articles (or comments on articles) that provoke a reaction in you, how do you know what you’re seeing is legitimate?

We are living in an age of misinformation – just about anyone can become a “publisher” these days with little to no oversight or verification. And many of these publishers aren’t even people! Recently,  researchers at Carnegie Melon University studied more than 200 million tweets about the novel coronavirus. Of the top 50 most influential retweeters, 82% of them were bots! What were they retweeting? Dozens of inaccurate stories about things like bogus conspiracy theories and phony cures.

How do we know what’s real and what isn’t nowadays? It takes some digging. And it’s worth doing a little fact-checking of your own before hitting the “share” button. We should also understand that there are different types of unreliable information out there. For instance there’s a difference between deliberately misleading information (propaganda and libel) and unintentional misinformation (mistakes). But we don’t want to spread either kind, so let’s look at how to separate the fact from fiction.

The C.R.A.P. Test, developed by Dominican University Librarian Molly Beestrum, is a helpful tool to use when trying to decide if something is a credible, valid source. When you come across questionable information, run it through these four categories:

Current

  • How current is the information?
  • How recently was it was posted? Has it been updated?

Reliable

  • How reliable is the information?
  • Does the author provide references or sources?
  • What proof do you have that the information is reliable?

Authority

  • Who is the creator or author of the information? What are his or her credentials?
  • Who is the publisher or sponsor of the information? Is this a reputable information source?

Purpose/Point ofView

  • What is the purpose of this information? Is it intended to inform, entertain, or persuade?
  • Does the information sound like fact or opinion? Is it biased?
  • Is the creator or author trying to sell you something?

Something else to think about is the emotional response an article or post evokes in you. Content creators are all about the emotional response, and “fake news” stories often use emotionally driven content to push their agenda and compel people to share it. The next time you are outraged or amazed by a story, look a little deeper. Fact checking sites like Snopes.com and  FactCheck.org, can help you determine if what you’ve seen is legitimate or not.

Here’s a helpful checklist by ProQuest (a global information-content and technology company that provides applications and products for libraries),  which contains a lot of useful tips for vetting online content:

Want to go deeper into the subject of information literacy and “fake news”? Here are a few books to get you started:

Fake news, Propaganda, and Plain Old Lies : how to find trustworthy information in the digital age by Donald A. Barclay

Merchants of Truth : the business of news and the fight for facts by Jill Abramson

The Smear : how shady political operatives and fake news control what you see, what you think, and how you vote by Sharyl Attkisson

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

What’s Fake News?  by Joyce Jeffries

 

 

 

Additional sources::

Preschool Pirating

Have we all gone stir crazy yet?

Imagine if you were on a 17th century ship, with nothing around you but ocean for three months – or six months. Sure, you didn’t have bored kids fighting over whose turn it is with the TV, or a toddler screaming that Tickle Me Elmo is out of batteries again, but eventually that parrot is going to look pretty tasty when all you’ve had to eat is wormy hardtack and stale beer. If you’ve ever been to the Charles P. Morgan at Mystic Seaport, or the Mayflower up in Plymouth, Mass, or Old Ironsides in Boston proper, you know that those ships are pretty tiny on a ten minute walk-through. Now cram them with fifty people for three months, and suddenly your 1500 square foot house doesn’t seem so bad. At least you’re not seasick.

Pirates, whether illegal or privateers working for King and Country, were often violent men – and a few women – who were not very nice. But legends and lore get romanticized, and pirates – whether Captain Hook, Jack Sparrow, Long John Silver, or Blackbeard himself, and kids are attracted to each other the way ants love sugar. Fancy hats, eye patches, wooden legs, cannons, swords, boats, and treasure – how cool is that?

When a new dog-proof garbage can arrived in a box larger than my three year old, it became her favorite toy of the month, and for one of the weeks we turned it into a pirate ship. Anything that keeps a bored three year old busy for a week deserves to be bronzed. We hung a garden flag from a broom handle for a sail, used a brass fastener to make a spinning wheel, dug out costumes from the older kids, watched a lot of preschool pirate videos and read a lot of pirate books. I drew a simple outline map of our living room and taught her to read maps by placing candy in various places as treasure, and marking X on the map. By the third candy, she was proficient on her own. Then we built our finale.

Using balloons, some Cheshire Herald strips, and a little watered down Elmer’s Glue, we made some cannon balls, and then painted them the next day. Then we built our cannon. The cannon balls were about 5 ½ inches, too big for a standard paper tube. But they worked just perfectly for a paint can! So we scavanged a paint can from the garage, which, thankfully, had only an inch of dried paint in the bottom. And these new-fangled plastic paint cans? The paint doesn’t stick! A few taps and peels, and all that dead paint came falling right out. A quick rinse, and we were good. I cut the bottom off with my Ginsu knife (a product that has lived up to every claim ever made on it – thirty years later it still cuts fences AND tomatoes, and plastic paint cans). I strung a piece of waistband elastic across the hole, held tight by Gorilla Tape, and we had our cannon. It was tricky getting the right angle, but pull the elastic back far enough with the cannon ball sitting on it, and we could get the ball to shoot four or five feet, which is plenty inside a house.

We won Preschool Zoom that week.

So scrounge your house, and see what you can come up with! With warmer weather, try staking out a ship outside with lawn chairs or wooden pallets.  Anything that keeps a kid busy and sparks some interest is a good thing – and they just might learn something.  And by the way, Saturday September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day – check out these awesome stories to get you in the pirate mindset:

Pirate’s Perfect Pet        Pirates Go to School               Peter Pan   

Pirates Past Noon           Pinkalicious and the Pirates

Pirates Don’t Take Baths        No Pirates Allowed, Said Library Lou

Pirates Don’t Change Diapers        Sea Queens:  Women Pirates Around the World

  Treasure Island      Pirates of the Caribbean     Jake and the Never Land Pirates 

Photo Tutorial: Sewing a Simple Face Mask

Face Masks are about to be all the rage, and there are all kinds of patterns out there. I’m an experienced seamstress with multiple awards for costuming and quilting, and *I* was having trouble decoding some of those patterns, even the simple ones. They were NOT written by pattern makers, that’s certain.  So when a number of lesser-experienced people were struggling with them, I knew it was time to help out.

Remember the first rule of masks: They will not keep you from getting sick. You need an electron microscope to see a virus; it’s going to go through just about anything, the way a fruit fly goes right through a screen. The purpose of the mask is to keep anything you might leak or spray from getting onto a surface where someone else can touch it, whether it’s flu, sinus infection, or COVID. But the less things we come in contact with, the healthier we’ll all stay right now, especially since many people might have the virus and not know it.

So here’s my photo tutorial on how to make a simple mask, which will increase your chances of not spreading germs to others and possibly keep you from touching your face and bringing other people’s germs to yourself. This is the pattern from The New York Times.

1) You need some cloth – tightly woven COTTON cloth. Not stretch leggings, not Tshirts.  Think a good pillowcase with a 300-thread count (anything above 220 is great).  Batiks are recommended because they have that tight thread count, and are still breathable.

Cotton holds up to high dryer heat, and is bleachable if needed. Polyester won’t. Your fabric must be 9 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches. For a large man, you might need it a little bigger. I tried it an inch smaller in both directions, but it was still too big for my 3 year old.

2) You need a second piece of fabric for the inside. You can use a piece of the same fabric, but this side is going to be against your face, so you might want something soft. You can use flannel – another pillowcase, or an old shirt – or even a piece of kitchen towel.  Same size as the previous piece.

Now, some people are lining these with an extra piece of flannel, or even a piece of vacuum cleaner bag (they are made to filter dust and pollen). If you choose to use them (they come through the wash just fine, just stiffer), cut the piece to the same size.

3) You are going to need 4 ties made of cotton. Why not nylon? Because they shred and rip out. You can use shoelaces, or cotton twill tape, or I used bits of bias tape and seam binding I had lying around. If you don’t have those, you can cut an 18″ strip of fabric, 1″ wide, fold it in half, and sew it closed to make a strap. You will need 4 ties, 18″ long (but 16″ will work if you’re running short).

4) Put your inside/softer fabric on top of it. Put the side you want against your face toward the table, so it’s touching the first fabric. The ugly side should be looking at you. Get your edges even together.

5) Sew the pieces together on one long side, near the edge. If you don’t have a machine, it will take longer, but the steps are the same.

6) It should look like this. I call this seam the top for reference.

7) Open it up. This should be the front you want to see, and the side you want against your face. You shouldn’t see the seam stitching.

8) Take one of your ties and line it up ALMOST touching the top where the fabric is stitched. If you’re using seam binding, or care about it, you want the “nice” or “pretty” side to be face-up. Line it up with the edge of the fabric. I think it’s easier if it goes just a smidge over so you can see it when it’s closed again

9) At the bottom, leave a pinky’s width of space between the tie and the bottom edge of the fabric.

10)  Close the fabric, make a sandwich, smooth it even. If you like, you can pin the ends of the straps in place.

11)  Stitch that side closed, trapping the ends of the ties.

12)  Peel your fabric back on the unsewn side. Place the remaining straps the same way. Pile all the loose ends in a ball in the middle of the fabric so they don’t get in the way of stitching. You don’t want to have to rip it all out to free them, do you?

13)  Stitch side two closed.

14) You should have one open long end. Stitch it partway down.  Stop stitching about a hands-width from the end. You need this part open.

15) Turn your mask inside out now through the hole, so all the ties are free. Poke the corners into shape and flatten it out.

16) Your mask should look like a deflated turtle, flat, rectangular, and with long legs coming out of the corners.

17) But you still have this hole.

18) Fold the raw edges to the inside of the hole until the side is even. Flatten with your fingers, and pin it to hold it. Or just pull it tight and mash it with your fingers until it stays.

19)  Top stitch the hole closed, making sure the folded edges are even with the rest of the side.  Keep stitching  right around the entire thing about 1/8 of an inch from the edge – ie, very close to the edge. This holds the mask’s shape.

20) You should now have a mini-apron with four strings, sewn all around the outside so it stays flat.

21) Pinch the side of your apron, a little less than halfway down.

22) Fold this into a pleat. Squish it so it goes all the way across.

23) Pinch it again from the bottom, so you have two folds, and it makes about three equal rows. Squash it with your hands to make it stay that way, or pin it.

24) Stitch the pleats in place, about a pinky’s width from the edge.

25) Stitch it a second time between the first stitch and the edge.

26) Do the same for the other side.

27) Trim all the loose threads hanging off the corners.

28) Iron those pleats to really set them in and make them crisp.

29) Flap it open. You should have a nice little chin pocket now.

30) You can tie the straps individually or together. I find this one stays best if you hook at least one over your ears. It should fit snugly – if it’s gapping too much, it doesn’t fit well.

These masks are machine washable and dryable, even if you sew an extra liner in them.  Just remember – when you take them off, consider them contaminated. Place them in a plastic bag if you’re getting in your car, and put them straight into the wash when you get home, or leave them in the bag until you get to a laundromat.  You can always spray them with Lysol while they’re in the bag.
Stay Safe! Stay apart!