How to DIY Your Own Face Mask Using Household Materials

Last updated April, 29th, 2020.

Last week we shared with you that our friend was making masks to protect medical workers using elastics we donated left over from our lingerie production. We found that many of you were interested in learning how to DIY your own masks to protect yourself from the Coronavirus pandemic.
With the current mask shortage and reserve of professional grade masks for medical staff, we wanted to provide you with resources for making your own DIY masks from household materials. Research has shown that wearing masks when you are going to the grocery store or out doing other essential tasks has been proven to be effective in protecting from Covid-19.  Additionally if you are sick and don’t know it, it has been shown that wearing a mask can protect others around you from catching the virus.

We hope that the information below gives you an overview of how to make masks to protect yourself, your loved ones or even medical staff & essential workers (should you choose to donate your creations). 

In the coming weeks in addition to fulfilling your orders from our online shop, we’ll be taking time to work on making masks to donate to family, friends & frontline workers. We hope to share more behind the seams as we create our own masks.

Click below to download the surgical mask pattern & instructions from The New York Times.* When using elastic ear loops, we found this mask is best suited to fit a man's face. See our chart below on modifications for a better fit and sizes for women & children.

Surgical Mask Dimensions



Elastic Ear Loops

Pleats (3)

Man 9 ½” 6 ½” 7" ¾” with ⅜” spacing
Woman or Teenager 8" 6 ½” 7" ¾” with ⅜” spacing
Kid (7-12 years) 7" 6 7" ¾” with ⅜” spacing
Child (1-3 years) 6 ½” 5 ½” 7" ¾” with ⅜” spacing


What we know about DIY surgical masks and N95 mask covers. 

The best ones are still less effective than their non DIY counterparts, but the C.D.C. is recommending that the professional grade ones be reserved for frontline workers and hospital staff.

Additionally, hospitals are asking for donations of N95 masks, surgical masks, and even some homemade fabric masks.

So consider donating your masks (including homemade ones following the instructions and patterns provided below!) to your local hospital. For the best information on what they are looking for and where to donate without leaving your home check here

Which mask is the best choice?

N95 masks are still the best way to filter out the Coronavirus, but the C.D.C is recommending to reserve or consider donating these to frontline workers and hospital staff. If you have a N95 mask that you are using, you can make a fabric cover to protect the mask for your own reuse.

Materials to use for DIY surgical mask or N95 mask covers

The best materials for making your own mask can be made from cotton fabrics. Consider using cotton clothing such as a t-shirt, pillowcase or tea towel to make your own surgical mask or N95 mask cover. 

Prewash any fabric you are using on hot before making your mask. 

For the earloops use elastic (about 1/8 - 3/8” wide). If you don’t have elastic or prefer, you can use woven trimming, ribbon or bias tape for ear loops and tie them at the back. 

Material List:

  • Cotton fabric such as a tee shirt, tea towel or pillowcase
  • Thin elastic, ribbon or even shoe laces (about 1/8 - 3/8” wide)
  • Sewing thread
  • Twist ties or coated wires used to organize cords (if you are including a nose wire)
  • Sewing machine or a hand sewing needle
  • Straight pins
  • A ruler or measuring tape
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Chalk to mark the fabric or a printed paper pattern (see below for attachments)

Are these masks reusable?

The answer is yes, but don’t reuse without properly sanitizing them. Wash them on hot with detergent after each use and allow them to fully dry before reusing. 

Download the pattern with instructions to make your own surgical mask here or make your own N95 mask cover here.

In the coming weeks in addition to fulfilling your orders from our online shop, we’ll be taking time to work on making masks to donate to family, friends & frontline workers.

If you have any questions about making your own mask, we’re more than happy to help. Drop us a line at with the title “DIY masks” if you have any questions or would like to share your finished masks with U.S.

You can also share your DIY masks using the hashtag #maskforuye

Please be safe and follow your local state’s guidelines in addition to the C.D.C. when using this information provided. We are by no means qualified to give medical advice that can be used without consulting the previously mentioned guidelines and are only hoping to offer our expertise as makers on how to protect yourself and others around you with a DIY mask.

Reference/additional articles and resources

Face Mask Sewing Pattern (curved or N95 mask cover) from Craft Passion 

How to Sew a Face Mask (surgical mask) from The New York Times

What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks? from Smart Air

How to Donate N95 Masks from The New York Times

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