It’s Time to Make Your Own Face Mask Here’s how to do it.

By Opinion Columnist

It shouldn’t have come to this, but here we are. The world is running out of face masks for health care workers, which is one reason American officials, including the surgeon general, have warned members of the public against buying their own masks for protection against the coronavirus.

But that doesn’t mean face masks for the public are a bad idea, if we had enough masks. Contrary to what American officials told us, many studies show that widespread mask-wearing might be a very effective complement to hand-washing, social-distancing and other measures to mitigate the pandemic. Health officials in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan suggest that people wear masks in certain situations

Sewers and preppers have lately been flooding social media with designs for DIY masks made out of household materials — some T-shirt fabric, elastic ribbon and a little bit of stitching.






  • You’ll need scissors, sewing supplies and a breathable, tightly woven cotton fabric.

  • Using the template (you can download it below), cut four pieces of fabric. Take two pieces and sew the curved side together, creating the front of the mask. Then do it again for the other two pieces of fabric, creating the back side of the mask.

Download the PDF Form here for the mask

Download (PDF, 505KB)

  • Now you will sew the ribbons. Place one side of the mask on the table, seam side down. Place a ribbon on each corner with the ends slightly peaking over the edges. Sew the ribbons in place. Pull all ribbons across the right side. Place the other mask on top, seam side up, sandwiching the ribbons. Sew the two masks together, leaving the area on the right side of the mask unsewn. Then turn the mask inside-out by pulling the ribbons through the unsewn hole.

  • Now that the mask is reversed, sew the remaining gap closed. You’re done!

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