DIY COVID-19 Volunteer Projects

Homemade Face Masks/Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Applying a face mask - step 1

Applying a face mask - step 2

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, face masks are in huge demand right now. You can even make your own!

This process follows CDC protocols. The pattern and instructions are available in a Printer Friendly Version.

Here are some instructions you will need to follow to make these masks:

  1. Use tightly-woven cotton fabric or high-quality, heavyweight “quilter’s cotton” with a thread count of 180 or more.
  2. Please remember that both women and men in a variety of roles may wear these masks.

Tutorial for CDC Compliant Face Masks


Sewing a facemask - materials needed

  • Two 10”x6” rectangles of cotton fabric
  • Two 6” pieces of elastic (or rubber bands, string, cloth strips, or hair ties)
  • Needle and thread (or bobby pin)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine


STEP 1. Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the mask as if it was a single piece of fabric.

Sewing a facemask - step 1

STEP 2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.

Sewing a facemask - step 2

STEP 3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight.
Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.

Sewing a facemask - step 3

STEP 4. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.

Sewing a facemask - step 4

Video Tutorial for CDC Compliance Face Masks

Applying a face mask - step 1

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering

Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

Applying a face mask - step 2