The CDC has recommended everyone wear a face mask anytime they leave their home. This helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As the nation is facing PPE shortages, we highly recommend leaving surgical masks and N95 respirators for the healthcare workers and first responders who desperately need them. We’ve found two great ways you can create cloth face masks at home, one option for those who sew, and one for those who do not sew. These cloth masks will help you stay safe, while they will not entirely prevent COVID-19, they are intended to help prevent transmission. If you do wear your mask, make sure to wash it after every use.
For those who sew
- cotton fabric, tightly woven
- 1/8″ elastic, or fabric ties
- sewing machine and thread
- sewing pins or clips
- Cut the fabric. For an adult size mask, cut 1 fabric rectangle 16″ long and 8.5″ wide. Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 7″ long. Or, cut 4 fabric ties 18″ long.
For a child-size mask, cut 1 fabric rectangle 14″ long and 6.5″ wide. Then, cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 6″ long.
- Sew the top side, with pocket opening. Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing.
Sew along the 8.5″ width edge, using a 5/8″ seam allowance. Leave a 3” opening in the center of this seam to create an opening for the filter pocket, and to allow the mask to be turned right side out after sewing.
Press the seam open. Topstitch/zig-zag stitch along both sides of the seam for a neater edge.
- Pin Elastic or Fabric Ties. Pin one piece of elastic to each side of the mask, one end to the top corner and one end to the bottom corner. If using fabric ties, pin one tie to each corner, with the rest of the tie sandwiched inside the two layers of fabric.
- Sew the Sides. Sew the sides of the facemask. Backstitch over the elastic or fabric ties to secure them.
Clip the corners, turn the mask right side out, and press with an iron.
- Sew the Pleats
Create three evenly spaced 1/2” pleats. Pin the folds in place, making sure all pleats are facing the same direction. Sew down each side to secure the pleats.
Note: When the mask is worn, the pleats should open downwards to prevent any particles from collecting in the fold pockets.
For those who don’t sew
You can also make cloth face masks out of T-shirts or bandanas. You can follow along with the video below!
Materials for a bandana face mask
- A bandana or a square cotton cloth, you can cut the bottom of a T-shirt too
- Two hair ties
- Lay the bandana flat
- Fold the top of the bandana to the middle
- Fold the bottom of the bandana up to the middle so it meets the top
- Flip the bandana over and fold the top and bottom to the middle again
- Flip the bandana over again and thread the ends through both hair ties, dividing it into thirds
- Fold the sides of the bandana in so the hair ties form outer loops that you can put behind your ears.
- Flip it once more, so the pleats are facing outward, and the mask is complete.
Sources: JapaneseCreations.com, SarahMaker.com