Last updated April, 29th, 2020.
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
|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.
- Cotton fabric such as a tee shirt, tea towel or pillowcase
- Thin elastic (get free elastics here), 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. We are giving away free elastics for making mask ear loops to anyone who needs them. Just pay for shipping or place an order that qualifies for free shipping and we'll send them out.
If you have any questions about making your own mask, we’re more than happy to help. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 AirHow to Donate N95 Masks from The New York Times