How to Make a DIY Face Mask

We all know that Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and a lot of governments are recommending that people wear face masks when they go out. While non-medical grade face masks are not proven to offer protection from virus transmission, they do inhibit the spread of germs from the wearer, which still helps flatten the curve by preventing the spread of coronavirus by asymptomatic carriers. This means that you should be wearing a face mask when you go out, particularly if you will be around lots of other people (such as at the grocery store).

PPE needs to be prioritized for healthcare and other essential service workers, but it’s easy to DIY a face mask at home! I’m providing the steps that I followed to make my mask, which hopefully aren’t too confusing to follow. I know my way around sewing projects and patterns, but have never written one before. Fingers crossed that it’s easy enough to follow at home, and that my ridiculous diagrams make enough sense!

What You Will Need

-Tightly woven fabric, such as cotton (I used a cheap cotton t-shirt from ASDA)

-Needle + thread


-Coffee filter (optional)

Step 1.

Measure and cut the pieces you will need for your mask:
-A rectangle of fabric with a width that is [twice the distance from ear to ear allowing for facial contour + 2″] and a height that is [tall enough to easily cover from nose to chin allowing for facial contour]. This will be the facial covering.
-Two (2) 1/2″ wide strips equal in length to your fabric rectangle

Does it make more sense if I draw it out?

Step 2.

Fold the fabric rectangle in half to create two layers of facial coverage. Sew along the open edge to make a seam. Recommendations for home-made face masks emphasize two layers of fabric to cover the nose and mouth! Leave the top and bottom of the rectangle open, so you end up with a tube.

Step 3.

Measure 1″ in from each closed side of the tube, and sew from top to bottom to make narrow tubes on either side of the mask.

Step 4.

Take one of the narrow strips of fabric and feed it through the tube you’ve made on one side of the mask. Tie a knot at each end of the strip.

Repeat on the other side.

Step 5.

Tie the ends of the fabric strips together, top to top/bottom to bottom. These will fit around the back of your head (over your ears and around the nape of the neck) when you wear it. Tie the ends with bows so they are easy to readjust.

That’s it!

Adjust the tightness of the bands around your head so that the mask fits snuggly on your face. Make sure the mask covers from over your nose to under your chin. For increased air filtration, slide a coffee filter between the layers of your mask.

Stay safe everyone!

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