How to Make Your Own Medical Masks

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I’ve seen the stories going around of people making masks for the medical community, but I didn’t really think much of it until my neighbor came to me and asked if I knew how to sew. Both her and her husband are in the medical field (and have two babies!) so they are on the frontlines of protecting us in this crisis.

Here’s what Allison says:

“As most people know, there is a shortage of PPE (personal protective equipment). In addition to the shortage, much of healthcare is rationing what they do have in order to ensure enough supply in the long run. This puts healthcare workers in a difficult situation. How do we protect ourselves, protect our patients, and preserve supply all at the same time?

There has to be something to bridge the gap….fill the void…. some sort of reasonable solution…. BINGO home made masks. Some healthcare facilities are beginning to approve the use of home made masks when used properly and under specific guidelines. We have the solution but now the problem is getting our (clean) hands on some.”

I am so thankful for people like Allison and her husband. When I realized the need for masks was urgent (and I had a giant fabric stash in my house), there was no way I couldn’t jump in and help.

Can’t sew? You can donate supplies to crafty people you know, or precut fabric and send it to a friend that can sew.

Want your kids to get involved? Depending on their age, you can have them help cut fabric, press seams with an iron, or thread the elastic.


You will need:

  • Cotton fabric (t-shirts work too!)
  • Elastic/ribbon/bias tape for holding the mask on ears
  • Pipe cleaner or thick floral wire for framing the mask over the nose and cheeks
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron


  1. Wash your fabric so that the finished product doesn’t shrink when they use it
  2. Cut your fabric into (1) 9.5“ x 7.5” and (2) 7.5” x 5.25” rectangles.
  3. Watch this video tutorial I found from Ferdalump for the best instructions. While there are simpler versions on the internet, these are the type that are preferred because they have a pocket for a filter and a metal nosepiece for better protection. She does however, offer a simpler version for beginners and kids here.


If you are making the masks, you can donate to anyone in the medical community. Call your family doctors and ask if they would like you to drop any off.


Don’t forget to spread the word about this very urgent need for medical masks with your crafty friends! You can share using the buttons below:

Quarantine got you feeling anxious? Join my Fear Series for tips on how to cope with the stresses of this unique situation.

Thanks for your help—here’s to intentional quarantine living!


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