Homemade Face Mask Instructions
As efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 continue and with critical shortages of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), caregivers at Community Health Network’s sites of care are accepting homemade barrier face masks and DIY barrier gowns.
Please see our approved instructions below for fabric masks with elastic ear loops or fabric ties. When masks are ready, please use our online PPE donation form to let us know you're ready to drop them off!
UPDATED 4/13/20: This update reflects more detailed instructions for sewing fabric ties. A downloadable PDF of these instructions is also now available below.
- 2 pieces of tightly woven cotton fabric (examples: clean pillow cases or 100% cotton t-shirts). Cut to 9” X 6” (Adult) or 7 ½” X 5” (Child).
- Sewing (straight) pins
Choose one of the following:
- Elastic Ear Loops: 2 pieces (7" each) of rope elastic or 1/8” wide flat elastic. If using rope elastic, tie a knot in each end. You need 7.5 yards of elastic for 25 masks (14" per mask).
- Fabric Ties: 4 strips (1 ½” X 18”) of cotton fabric or 4 strips (18”) of bias tape; use ½” or 7/8” as available.
To Make Fabric Ties
- Take one of the fabric strips (wrong side up).
- At one end of the fabric strip, fold the end in (approx. ¼”) and press with an iron.
- Fold strip in half lengthwise and press with an iron.
- Open the ironed strip lengthwise. Fold the bottom edge in toward the ironed seam that you just made and press with the iron.
- Repeat with the upper edge of the strip and press.
- Fold the strip in half again and press so both the edges of the long sides are laying on top of each other.
- Using sewing machine, stitch ¼” seam along the open side of the strip.
- Optional step: You also can sew another ¼” seam along the closed side, to reinforce it for repeated use.
- Repeat these steps with the other 3 strips of fabric.
To Make the Mask
For lacing or cord, follow same steps, substituting item for elastic.
- Stack right sides of 2 pieces of cotton fabric together ensuring all raw edges of fabric are aligned. Be sure that any fabric design is placed horizontally!
- If using elastic, pin one end of each piece ½” below the raw edges at the top corners of the mask. Repeat with bottom end of elastic pieces ½” above the raw edges at the bottom of the mask. Then go to step #4.
- If using ties, pin one end of a fabric tie (use the end with raw edge) ½” below the raw edges at each of top corners. Pin one end of a fabric tie (raw edge) ½” above the raw edges at each of the bottom corners.
- Using ¼” seam, begin stitching around the outside of the mask. Begin on the bottom and sew around one side and then along the top of the mask. Leave a 2-3 inch opening along the fourth side of mask.
- Turn mask fabric right-side out. Use a pencil to help push out the seams in the four corners.
- Press the mask, making sure to carefully line up and fold in the edges of the fabric that are still open.
- Using straight pins or an iron, measure 2 or 3 evenly-spaced folds (approximately 1”) on each side of the mask. Make sure that the folds
go in same direction.
- Sew ¼” seam along the sides of the mask to hold the folds in place and close the small area of the open seam.
- Your mask is finished!
Watch a helpful video tutorial below for face masks with elastic loops:
Watch a helpful video tutorial below for face masks with fabric ties: