How To Make Your Own Cloth Face Mask At Home

medical mask, diy mask
via shutterstock

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread and scientists start learning more about the virus, new recommendations are being put forth regarding how people can protect themselves and each other. While the best mitigator of the virus is simply staying at home, if you must go out for essential goods, officials now recommend you wear a mask to cover your mouth and nose.

With the United States now the country with the most Coronavirus cases in the world, stronger precautions are being recommended to all citizens. On April 3rd, the CDC made an official announcement regarding the use of face masks: "The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.".

"The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance."

So what kind of mask can I use?

You can make your own face mask or "face covering" with any old material you have at home - a sweatshirt, t-shirt, etc. A scarf or bandana will also do the trick! Just make sure your mouth and nose are covered, and your covering is secure enough that you won't need to adjust it throughout your outing.

This bandana trick is a great hack if you don't have any sewing materials on hand.

These face coverings should be washed in hot water and dried on high heat in a dryer between uses to kill any bacteria or viruses that get on them. The CDC does say to be sure to wash your hands before and after handling your face covering because it may have harmful viruses or bacteria on its surface.

How can I make my own mask?

With all the free time you have during quarantine, why not make your own mask using things you have around the house? It's time to put your crafting cap on, and get sewing! Don't worry we'll guide you through all the steps on how to sew your very own face mask, right at home!

Step 1: Pick out your fabric.


This part is easy, go find an old t-shirt, sheet, or any breathable piece of fabric that you don't mind chopping up! Go ahead and cut out 2 rough 8x8 inch pieces. For your ear loop string, you'll want to use something elastic for comfort and stretch. If you have elastic on hand, great! Otherwise, you can cut an old pair of spandex into strips, use hair ties, or cut the elastic waistband out of an old pair of pants! You'll want the string to be thin (a half inch or less) and comfortable on your skin.

Step 2: Draw a stencil.

Try as best as you can to measure your face and transfer those measurements onto your paper. You'll want to customize your measurements so that your mask is a perfect fit. You'll be drawing half your face mask, and once your done, go ahead and cut it out.

Step 3: Cut your fabric.

Take your pieces of fabric and place them on top of each other (good sides facing OUT). Then place your stencil over the fabric (I like to pin it in place) and cut around your stencil. If you're going to be hemming the sides using a sewing machine, be sure to leave extra fabric around the stencil.

Step 4: Sew the halves together.

Now that you have both halves of your face mask, go ahead and sew them together down the middle. Place the halves together, this time good sides facing in, and sew the curved sides together. If using a sewing machine, you can also hem the other borders at this time.

Step 5: Add ear loops.

Now that you have your mask together, take your elastic and measure the appropriate amount you will need for each side (hold the face mask up to your face and approximate the correct amount of elastic). Once your pieces are cut, sew each piece to the top and bottom of each side.


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Did you make your own mask? Or have any other helpful DIY tips to share?

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