How to Make Your Own Masks for Family and Hospital Workers

Cate Landry, Staff Writer

Due to COVID-19, the CDC is now recommending that everyone wear a cloth covering around their face when they go out into public. This recommendation is to prevent spreading the disease to other people in case you are infected and asymptomatic. However, it’s still recommended to stay six feet away from others and to continue to practice social distancing, even if you are wearing a mask.  With many stores and online retailers running out of masks, here is a step-by-step guide and video tutorial on how to make your own. Additionally, hospitals like Boulder Community Hospital are now taking donations of masks to employees who are not in contact with patients (ie: front desk service members, cleaners, etc.). If you would like to donate masks you’ve made to Boulder Community Hospital, they are requesting that you bring your donation in a sealed box to the main entrance of the hospital and place them in the blue donation bin. 

What you’ll need: 

  1. A sewing machine
  2. A thick fabric (canvas or thick cotton)
  3. A thinner fabric (like a cotton sheet or thin cotton)
  4. Elastic straps (¼” wide)

Make sure you wash your fabric before you make the masks and then wash the masks after you make them. If you use a sheet for the inner fabric make sure it is unused and washed. 

Steps with pictures: 

  • Pin your fabrics together (no, do not do it inside out, you will want the thin fabric to appear “right-side in” so when you flip it;, the hospital workers will know that is the inside. 
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  • Sew along one of the nine-inch sides, starting ⅓ of the way from the top (you need to leave a hole for when you turn it inside out) Stop sewing about one inch from the end.
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  • Insert your piece of elastic in between the two pieces of fabric at a 45-degree angle. Sew over the elastic.
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  • Sew along the six-inch side, being careful not to sew over the elastic. Stop again about one inch from the end.
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  • Attach the other end of the elastic to the corner at a 45-degree angle, making sure the elastic is not twisted.
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  • Sew through the elastic and then down the other nine-inch side.
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  • Attach the other piece of elastic in between the two fabrics, at a 45-degree angle
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  • Sew along the six-inch side, stopping one inch from the end, attach the other end of the elastic strip to the corner at a 45-degree angle, and sew through the end.
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  • Flip the mask inside out, pulling it through the hole.
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  • Pin and sew the hole closed.
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  • Add pleats to sides, making sure they are folded the same direction on both sides (three pleats is recommended).
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Finished product!

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