Face Masks

How to use a face mask to slow the spread of coronavirus

What does a face mask do?

Adult and kid face masks help prevent people who have or may have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Wearing a cloth face mask will help protect people around you, including those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Cloth masks reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings and in conjunction with other preventive measures, including physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.

How to Make a DIY Mask

What material is best for your DIY face mask?

DIY face masks should be constructed from tightly woven, high thread count cotton fabrics. The fabric should not have any stretch and should not be knit (i.e. t-shirt material). 

Recommended fabrics include: Poplin, Shirting, Sateen, and Percale in 100% cotton. A possible source of fabric is high thread count sheets and pillowcases.

To make sure a fabric will work, fold it into two layers. You shouldn’t be able to see through the fabric, but you should still be able to breathe if you hold it over your mouth.

Before you start, fabrics should be washed and dried on Hot in order to pre-shrink them.

Step by Step Sewing Machine Method for Adult and Kid Masks

Materials you will need:

  • 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


  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.

DIY Face Mask Instructions


DIY Face Mask No Sew

How to make a face mask at home with a bandana


  • Bandana, old t-shirt, or square cotton cloth (cut approximately 20”x20”)
  • Rubber bands (or hair ties)
  • Scissors (if you are cutting your own cloth)


  1. Fold 20”x20” cloth piece in half
  2. Fold top down
  3. Fold bottom up
  4. Place rubber bands or hair ties over each end and about 6” apart
  5. Fold sides in and tuck one side into the other
How to make a face mask at home with a bandana 


How to wear a mask

  • Wash your hands before and after putting on your face mask
  • Put the mask over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
  • Do not put the face mask around your neck or up on your forehead
  • Fit your face mask snugly against the sides of your face and under your chin
  • Make sure your face mask is breathable and makes breathing easy when wearing
  • Wash your cloth face mask frequently or immediately after wearing depending on length of wear and exposure to others