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Cloth Face Masks – DIY and Resources for Yourself and Others

The CDC is now recommending that Americans wear cloth masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Surgical masks and N95 respirators should be reserved for medical professionals, but even hospitals are running low. In typical awesome human form, people have been banding together to make these masks and deliver them to anyone in need. I even have a few friends who have been sewing and donating cloth masks and it gave me an inkling to pull out my old sewing machine, even if we have never really gotten along.

Many of us are wondering what we can do to stay safe and help others do the same. We wanted to share some resources with the MSA community if you would like to get involved and help!

Masks for Humanity

Masks for Humanity is the hub that connects people who need handmade face masks with people making handmade face masks.

There is a national shortage of N95 and surgical masks, and the CDC is recommending scarves and bandanas. We want to protect the people taking care of us.

Here is a space to ask for crafted masks and a place to find out how to help. Please share this project widely. The more people who know, the more people we can help.

Find requests for masks and other handmade equipment, groups that are organizing locally, patterns, and other incredible community resources for COVID-19.

Wow, what a resource! This site is the place to find local mask-making groups, get DIY instructions, or request masks for your organization if need be.

Here is a link to their HUB Google doc that is an ever-growing source of requests, mask patterns, and mask requests.

Seeing how quickly people are mobilizing on this large scale was really inspiring to me.

DIY Mask Tutorials

Image via Bluprint.

Multiple DIY Mask Patterns from Bluprint

This link has info on making a no-sew mask, a pleated mask that doesn’t require elastic, and an overhead mask.

Face Mask with Filter Pocket Pattern

Image via See Kate Sew.

Elastic-Free Mask with a Filter Pocket from See Kate Sew

This mask is a little more involved, but has a hand filter pocket sewn right in! The instructions are super easy to follow and very step-by-step.

Little Stitch Studio Mask Pattern and Tutorial

This is a great basic mask tutorial if you hand sew comfortably or are comfortable on your sewing machine. You’ll need fabric and elastic.

Image via Cynthia Rowley.

Cynthia Rowley’s #flattenthecurve Scuba Mask 

Made of neoprene scuba material, this is a stretch mask, meaning it is likely to have a great fit for most anyone! This is perfect if you have neoprene at your disposal. You will also need velcro!

Japanese Creations New-Sew Face Mask

This is a no-sew mask you can make with a handkerchief/scarf and hair elastics!


Have you been making masks from home? What are your favorite patterns and resources?

Written by Megan Kirkland

Megan Kirkland

I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Comments (11)

  1. I have no sewing machine and likely can’t sew now any better than I did in Home Economics at age 15.
    I buy masks 5 at a time which are double cotton and washable from

    I keep a large basket on the island for my absent minded hubby who is the ONLY one leaving the house now ( or for a long time, hopefully).

    If you can’t sew or don’t have a sewing machine, etc. and don’t shop at any fabric stores now, buy masks online and wash them after each use. IF you buy white ones, you should be able to add BLEACH which is the best disinfectant for home use.

    Blessings and best to all. I’ve had what I believe was the Coronavirus back in March, as my husband was traveling for business to Los Angeles through LAX and home for a week, then back. It started early there.

    I’d like to also suggest that everyone buy a pulse oximeter that’s battery operated and fits on the index finger. It can ally fears related to the fever, chills, cough, and definite feeling of not breathing well. My O2 sat stayed normal, so I felt safe in taking OTC meds and staying OUT of hospitals as I got better, not worse.


  2. Thank you for this post. I have been confirmed positive for COVID-19 and have been at home recovering. Since my symptoms are only moderate and improving, I am cleared to return to work next week (non-profit work). I will need to wear a mask whenever I leave my designated office space – I have zero craft skills. Services like this are largely needed. Thank you again for sharing.

    • I am so happy your symptoms were not severe Susan! I imagine that must have been scary. Wishing you a speedy journey back to 100% 🙂

  3. Some JOANN’s stores have supplies for people to make face masks for people on the front lines. There’s also video tutorials on how to make the masks and links to templates. https://www.joann dot com/make-to-give-response/

  4. If you have a Cricut machine, Cricut access also has free patterns for different sized faces. I’m a beginner sewer and my mask turned out pretty good, plus it can fit an N95 in between the layers for healthcare workers!

  5. Not to sound like a grumpy.but doing home health is incredibly hard and since we are not in a hospital. We are overlooked but germs multiply at home . and right now

    • I feel like a grumpy sometimes too, Colleen, and I think that’s ok! This is a really difficult time. I hope you and yours will stay safe and sound at home and that we can all be out in the sunshine again soon. <3

  6. Hi, I’ve been making masks. I went to the fabric patch online, and bought a kit they’re selling. I DO have a sewing machine but am not by any means, good at it. I can barely sew a hole shut, but I managed to make masks. The instructions are very clear, and simple. I highly recommend.

    • Nice! I’m awful at sewing as well and these masks that are folded with rubber bands keep coming undone! I need to look into this to make a few!!

    • I love this Cb! I will have to check out the Fabric Patch. I also just really need to talk nice to my machine I think…

      • Lol yes talking nicely to the machine can’t hurt! (Neither does having a glass of wine).

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