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sewing machine

Make your own mask

Sewn Cloth Face Covering


Two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric

Two 6-inch pieces of elastic (or rubber bands, string, cloth strips, or hair ties)

Needle and thread (or bobby pin)


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.


Non-sewn face covering


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 bandana in half

2. Fold top down. Fold bottom up.

3. Place rubber bands or hair ties about 6 inches apart

4. Fold side to the middle and tuck.

5. Take the left side and the right side of the bandana and fold each side to the middle and tuck the sides into each other.

6. The bandana should now be a continuous, cloth loop since the left and right sides have been tucked into each other.

Make sure your cloth face covering:

• fits snugly but comfortably against the side of the face

• completely covers the nose and mouth

• is secured with ties or ear loops

• includes multiple layers of fabric

• allows for breathing without restriction

• can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

How to clean your face covering

Washing Machine

You can include your face covering with your regular laundry.

Use regular laundry detergent and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth used to make the face covering.

Washing by Hand

Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:

5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) household bleach per gallon of room temperature water or

4 teaspoons household bleach per quart of room temperature water

Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection. Some bleach products, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing, may not be suitable for disinfection. Ensure the bleach product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

Soak the face covering in the bleach solution for 5 minutes.

Rinse thoroughly with cool or room temperature water.

DIY masks aren’t foolproof

People should not be lulled into a false sense of security in thinking that these types of masks will protect them from airborne, aerosolized virus especially in poorly ventilated spaces frequented by others. The best thing to do is to either avoid such spaces or be in them for as short a period of time as possible.

The chance of catching COVID-19 from a person walking by outdoors is extremely small. Wearing face coverings is recommended and requested for when you are indoors, including mass transit and ride-shares, with other people.