How to Make Your Own Face Mask

Get crafty to stay safe.

April 2, 2020
Home Made Face Mask

Lars/ALT 92.3


First they told us not to wear face masks. They said it wouldn't be helpful for healthy people to wear them. Now they're saying maaaaybe they were wrong, and everyone should cover their face with *something* to help curb the spread of COVID-19. There is a lot of debate on the topic, but the consensus seems to be that covering up won't hurt and could possibly be helpful. You still shouldn't buy masks - leave medical-grade supplies for the healthcare professionals on the frontline. However, if you are crafty or live with someone else who is, you can make your own!

Don't worry about having sub-par sewing skills. Sewing your own mask is decently easy. If you don't have a sewing machine, you can do it by hand - all the stitching is in straight lines and pretty basic. All you need is a few scraps of sturdy cotton fabric and some elastic (or ribbon or something to make ties).


  1.  Cut two pieces of cotton fabric 9x6" (for a child, cut 7.5x5"). If you can, use two different fabrics to keep track of which side is which.
    Cut Your Fabric
    Lars/ALT 92.3

  2. Cut two 7" pieces of 1/8" elastic and pin the ends to the corners of the "good" side of the front fabric piece. (if you don't have elastic, cut four 18" pieces of ribbon and pin one to each corner. These will act as ties)
    Pin Elastic
    Lars/ALT 92.3

  3. Sew the elastic/ties to the corners, going back and forth a few times to secure them.
    Secure The Elastic
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  4. Pin the right or "good" sides of your two pieces of fabric together. The elastic/ties should be sandwiched between them.
    Pin Fabric Together
    Lars/ALT 92.3

  5. Starting in the middle of one of the long sides, sew all the way around the edge, stopping 1.5-2" before you get back to where you started. Make sure you don't catch the elastic or ties in the seam (except in the corners where they're already attached).
    Sew around the edges and leave a gap
    Lars/ALT 92.3

  6. Turn your mask inside out. If you have an iron, it might be good to iron it flat at this point.
    Turn it inside out and iron it.
    Lars/ALT 92.3

  7. Pin three tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are all in the same direction. Iron them down, if that helps you.
    Pin 3 tucks on each side
    Lars/ALT 92.3

    Pin 3 tucks on each side - alternate view
    Lars/ALT 92.3

  8. Sew around the edge of the entire mask two times.
    Sew around the entire edge twice
    Lars/ALT 92.3

  9. That's it! You have a mask!
    Not bad, right? This was adapted from instructions I found online through the Deconess Health System in IN. Here is a printout of the basic instructions I used. I made a few small tweaks to make it simpler.


Good luck and stay safe and well.