How to Make a Face Mask at Home

April 3, 2020

Given all the uncertainty swirling about COVID-19 , there's a lot of desire to help. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say staying home, washing your hands and practicing social distancing are some of the best things to do at this time, many local governments are also encouraging everyone wear face masks when outside their own home.

With the current shortage of medical-grade face masks , this means many may choose to make their own. The upside: you don't need advanced sewing skills — actually, you don't need any sewing skills — to make a homemade face mask. And with both no-sew options and quick-stitch patterns at your disposal, it's easy to create masks for yourself, family and friends. (We totally encourage using fabric with an ultra-fun pattern on it.)

While homemade face masks are not medical-grade and are not in any way a substitute for N95 or surgical masks, they could potentially discourage touching your face and signal that you're trying to protect yourself and others. So whether you're pulling out spare fabric and stitching on your machine, or simply folding up some fabric with hair ties, these face mask tutorials can help walk you through the process.

Pro Tip

It's best to wash cloth masks after each use. Consider making a couple masks per person so there can always be a fresh one on hand.

No-Sew Folded Face Mask

You only need three items — two fresh hair ties and some fabric — to make this face mask. Consider it a fast, simple way to whip one up with stuff you have lying around the house.

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Pleated No-Elastic Face Mask

When you put pleats in your face mask, it allows it to get bigger and smaller as needed, offering up more fit options for a variety of face shapes and sizes. This easy-to-sew tutorial shows you how to make them, along with comfortable ties that won't tug on your ears. Bonus: if you aren't able to find bias tape in stock, you can totally make your own from any spare fabric you have lying around.

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More Mask Tutorials

Test out different styles of face masks with more instructions from other makers.

DIY Overhead Face Mask

Bluprint instructor Mimi G details step-by-step how to make a face mask using both a lining and main (aka fashion) fabric with tightly woven cotton. This version has elastic that wraps all the way around your head for comfort during long-term wear.

Upcycled T-Shirt Face Mask

This style of face mask is similar to the one made above, but is simplified for those who may not have a sewing machine — or who may have run out of elastic. All you need is a clean T-shirt and a pair of scissors.

HEPA Vacuum Bag Face Mask

People are trying various materials for making face masks, and HEPA vacuum bags are no exception. This tutorial walks you through how to make a duckbill-style mask using a vacuum bag, along with a glue gun, pipe cleaner and elastic.

Pleated-Style Face Mask

This tutorial breaks down how to make another pleated face mask with elastic that wraps around your ears. (Pro tip: thinner elastic tends to be more comfortable.) You can make one in roughly five minutes, meaning it's easy to bust out a bunch for the whole fam.

Pleated-Style With a Filter Pocket

Another pleated-style face mask that goes around your ears, this version includes a filter pocket, so additional barriers can be placed inside if needed.

Olson-Style Face Mask

This tutorial teaches you how to make an Olson-style mask, including features like a filter pocket and nose bridge seal to help close the gap between your fabric and skin.

The views expressed in the videos we linked to are those of the video maker and video owner. There is no guarantee that the face masks and materials featured in the videos and patterns will protect a user or others around them from COVID-19 or other hazards. Anyone who uses a face mask or materials featured in the videos and patterns does so at their own risk.