How to make face masks from materials found at home

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Sunday, May 3, 2020
How to make face masks at home
Southern California resident Jennifer Ruvalcaba, known as Randomly Riley on Instagram, shows us how to make face masks at home.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to intensify in the United States, the federal government is now asking everyone to wear a face covering in public.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention originally advised against the use of face masks for healthy people, research increasingly suggests coronavirus infections are being spread by people who have no clear symptoms. The CDC has updated these guidelines, taking into consideration how face masks affect transmission.

RELATED: Should Americans wear masks? Everything you need to know about new CDC guidelines

Face coverings, however, must be worn without taxing critical stores of N95 masks needed by medical professionals.

Instead of wearing N95 masks needed by medical professionals, make your own face mask with materials found at home.

"You are not doing surgery at home or during your shopping, so you don't need these masks. They are harder to fit. They are less comfortable," said Jeremy Howard, a research scientist at the University of San Francisco.

Instead, fabric masks, scarves or bandanas should work just fine -- as long as the material allows you to breathe while wearing it. "Good Morning America" found these helpful tutorials that you can use regardless of experience.

DIY Face Mask without sewing

DIY Face Mask with Sewing Machine

Prepare the mask:

  • On 8 1/4 inch piece, place right sides together, sew 1/4 inch seam, creating tube.
  • Turn right sides out, press seam and fabric.
  • Make 3 pleats, approx. 1 inch each in size, using steam or pins to hold. Mask will be approx. 3 to 3.5 inches in width.
  • Sew 1/4 inch seam on each side of mask, securing pleats.
  • Trim seam allowance.
  • Prepare the ties:

  • Fold in half and press (3/4 inch). Open tie back up.
  • Fold each edge in to meet middle (3/8 inch/0.375 inch) and press.
  • Fold in half again, securing raw edges inside and press. Each tie will be approx. 3/8 inch in width.
  • Assembly:

  • Align center of tie with side of mask, open tie so edge of mask fits snugly inside. Pin.
  • Sew tie to mask, seam will be very short. Get as close as able while still catching all fabric. You are just attaching the mask to the tie at this point, not sewing the whole tie yet.
  • Repeat for other tie and other side of mask.
  • Sew down edges of tie, securing raw edges inside. Seam is very short. You will stitch over where mask is already attached. This is good because it helps reinforce.
  • Repeat for other tie and other side of mask.
  • Click here for a video tutorial from Deaconess Hospital.

    Click here for tutorial on how to make a no-sew face mask from a T-shirt.

    Click here for tutorial on how to make a no-sew face mask from a bandana.