Wondering how to make face masks at home? These readers shared their best DIY patterns for sewing and making face masks!
How To Make Face Masks At Home
The CDC has advised that it's safer to go out wearing a face mask, even if it is just a DIY fabric mask you make at home. Since we may have to go out grocery shopping at some point – it's great to know how to make one! Not only will it limit the chances of spreading germs (yours and theirs!), but it will also help you avoid touching your face. In hospitals, these are being used to prolong the life of the N95 respirators.
Note: Homemade masks won't keep you safe from Coronavirus, you will still need to practice proper hand-washing, social distancing and safe-at-home procedures to minimize your risk of catching COVID-19.
We have some AMAZING readers who are letting us share their DIY face mask pictures – they've been so hard at work sewing up a storm! This is reader Cheryl's husband, ironing all the finished masks. 🙂
You may want to make these for your own grocery trips, to donate to doctors and nurses – or drop them off for use at grocery stores, police stations, fire stations, nursing homes, etc.
3 DIY Face Mask Instructions
There are a few different ways out there to make protective face masks – were' going to highlight three of the most popular here:
1) Fabric and Elastic Pleated Face Mask
Reader Cheryl is a real trooper – she is sewing masks all day long (this is one that she made!) while her husband is helping keep up with housework. She even has him salvaging elastic from clothes they were sending off to Goodwill. So clever! Cheryl is using the pattern in this Joanne Fabrics YouTube video here.
What you need for this mask:
Shop ALL these mask making supplies here together on the JoAnne website!
- Cotton Fabric
- Lightweight Fusable Interfacing
- 1/4″ Elastic
- Sheet of Paper & Pencil for drawing pattern
- Sewing Machine or Sewing Kit
2) All Fabric Face Mask With Insert
This is known as an A.B. Mask and is made for those in the medical profession because it's designed to fit directly over the face, similar to a surgical mask OR because the pleats expand it allows the mask to fit over many models of N-95. This extra protective barrier will hopefully extend the lifetime of the respirator. These masks should be washed after your shift.
Reader Nancy made these similar fabric tie face masks – so cute for Easter!
Supplies you need to make this Non-Elastic Face Mask:
- Fat quarter of 100% cotton or other tightly woven material – the tighter the better
- Sewing machine or hand-sewing kit
3) No-Sew Face Mask
How To Make a No-Sew Face Mask
If your sewing skills are basically nothing (like mine!)- there's a no sew version as well that will work well enough for an essential grocery trip.
- Check out this video for how to make a facemask out of a bandana and two hair elastics – Face Mask Video
- Or if you prefer read-along instructions –The Art of Doing Stuff has a great tutorial for a no-sew version as well!
What you need to make this kind of face mask:
Easy Instructions for a No-Sew Face Mask:
- Fold the bandana in half
- Fold the top third down toward the middle
- Fold the bottom third up toward the middle
*TIP: Include a piece of coffee filter to give slightly better protection
- Slip a hair elastic over either end – about 6 inches apart
- Fold those ends towards each other, over the elastic
- Secure elastics over ears
TIP: If you have a pipe cleaner you can fold into the top fold – you can clamp it better around your nose!
Where to Find Elastic for DIY Face Masks
If you are having trouble finding elastic (it keeps going out of stock!) you can salvage elastic like Cheryl and her husband did – or here are some other options:
- Hair Ties
- Cut up Ace bandage (the stretchy kind)
- Cut Socks into thin strips (horizontally along the ankles)
- Use Ribbons or fabric ties
- Use Bias tape
- Elastic from old fitted sheets
- Ask around for those who may have an old stash
- You can also cut thicker elastic into thinner strips, but make sure it's the braided kind or it may unravel
Have you been making homemade face masks? We'd just love for you to share your stories and pictures with us by sending them to [email protected]! Let us know in your email if it's okay that we share your pictures 🙂
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