Library Blog

No-Sew Face Mask

face masks

Non-Medical Grade Mask

If you are part of the effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 infection, you may need to wear a face mask when you leave your home. However, not all of us have access to masks or sewing machines to make our own, so here is a way to create your own mask for temporary use for running necessary errands.

You will need the following:

A piece of fabric around 20 inches long and 20 inches wide.

A bandanna is 22×22 inches, which would work well. Smaller fabric squares can work as well, and the fabric does not have to be a perfect square. One hundred percent cotton is preferred. You can cut up an old t-shirt or a pillowcase if needed.

Two elastic bands

Ponytail holders may be more comfortable, but rubber bands will also be effective.

Optional: Coffee filter or similar filtering material to use as an insert


Here are the steps to create your no-sew fabric mask:

1.) Lay out the fabric (right side down) as flat as possible.

2.) Fold the bottom edge over 1-2 inches; do the same for the top edge.

3.) Next, you can fold the fabric to meet in the middle from both the top and bottom edge, or you can roll the fabric until you have a neat tube (as demonstrated in the video). Optional step: Before folding or rolling completely, you can add your coffee filter to add some extra structure and hygiene.

4.) Put an elastic band over the left and right edges of the fabric.

5.) Bring the left and right edges of the fabric together, and if possible, tuck one inside the other.

6.) When the mask is complete, you can lift up the mask with your fingers on the inside of the elastic bands to help stretch them. Then, carefully bring the elastic bands over and around your ears until they are secure. Adjust the mask as needed for comfort and stability.

It’s important to note that these masks are not appropriate for use in a healthcare setting, even with an insert. These masks are porous and may have droplets going through the material. Remove the mask before entering your home. If you need to reuse the same mask, it’s best to submerge the fabric in boiling water for 15 minutes before allowing the fabric to dry in the sun.

It’s best to wear masks in conjunction with other good hygiene habits, such as frequent hand washing and avoiding touching one’s face. All of these will all help you prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

Stay safe and healthy out there!