KITCHENER -- As businesses begin to reopen, public health officials are urging people to wear facemasks in public.

With masks getting harder to find, there are ways to turn items from around the house into personal protective equipment.

“I’ve got a super easy no-sew mask. Using just a sock and a shoelace,” says crafter Denise Wild.

Wild demonstrates by cutting the ends off a clean sock and wraps a shoelace around each side.

“Very easy to make, you don’t need any skills,” she says.

While masks are not mandatory in public in the province, some local businesses including certain grocery stores, are taking it upon themselves to mandate masks.

Experts say cloth masks only prevent some germs of those wearing it from spreading to others, and not vice versa.

Region of Waterloo Public Health officials are asking that you wear one when physical distancing is not possible, especially as more people are out and about with COVID-19 restrictions easing.

“In those cases I recommend that people wear non-medical masks such as cloth masks or face coverings if they can,” says Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Waterloo Region’s acting medical officer of health.

Local crafters say they’re being bombarded with orders.

“It first started out maybe five or 10 at a time. It’s increasing exponentially week by week,” says Regan D'Agostino, owner of A Bit Stitchy.

D'Agostino has about 200 customers currently waiting for handmade masks.

“A lot of stuff is sold out. Elastic—it’s like gold,” she explains.

D’Agostino says she is lucky she has plenty of material and she is even sharing some of it with other local producers to help meet demand.

“It’s a need that’s going to be there for quite some time, so as long as I’ve got fabric and elastic we're going to kind of keep going,” she says.

To find a non-medical mask near you, you can search websites like Etsy, Instagram or Facebook.

Some crafters are even donating a portion of proceeds to COVID-19 related charities.