Washable Reusable DIY Face Masks
Face masks have become essential items during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medical professionals use face masks to prevent catching the virus, while the public has been asked to wear masks to prevent the spread.
A huge factor in effectiveness of a face mask is dependent on whether or not the user wears the mask properly. Another determining factor is the material used to make the mask, and the fit of the mask over the nose, mouth, and chin.
Here I share resources I have found on the use of face masks, information on the best materials to use, several DIY patterns, and share my own experience creating masks for my family.
When to Use a Mask
Information & Guidelines on DIY Face Masks
- The Best Coronavirus Face Mask Materials, According To A New Study | HuffPost Life
Denim, Bed Sheets, Canvas, Shop Towel and Paper Towel among the most effective materials to use for a face mask.
- A Message From Nurses to Mask Makers: Please Don't Use Elastic
Elastic can melt when sanitized! Here is a far more durable (and adjustable!) alternative that is just as easy to sew.
- What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks? - Smart Air Filters
As a last resort, DIY masks provide more protection than nothing. Researchers tested household materials. Here's which captured the most particles.
- When and How to Use Masks
World Health Organizations (WHO) provides tips and information on the proper use of protective face masks and how to maximize their effectiveness.
- Interim Guidance on Alternative Facemasks
PDF from Minnesota Department of Health explaining appropriate use of masks, design principles, use of alternate masks, washing masks, and tutorials
Olson Mask with Filter Pocket
Olson Mask Pattern & Information
- Olson Mask Pattern PDF
Printable pattern and step-by-step information on how to construct Olson Mask
- Sewing Olson Fabric Surgical Masks
A new modular mask, The Olson, named after 1930's legendary maker nurse Lyla Mae Olson, was quickly developed by clinicians from UnityPoint Health and is being shared across the globe in the fight against COVID19.
Sewn DIY Face Mask with Air Filter Made from T-Shirt
I went with the Olson mask design for my family's face masks. The first one I made was for my husband, because he has been the one running errands for the rest of us. I followed the pattern almost exactly, but made some alterations based on the material I was using (cotton t-shirts) and what worked better for us:
- The velcro straps were too cumbersome for us, so we just stitched the flaps closed.
- I used the bottom of the shirt and sleeves for the filter pocket pieces to save time, since they were already nicely finished.
- The elastic hurt my husband's ears, so instead I cut a strip from a t-shirt and stretched it to create a cord to tie the mask more comfortably (photo examples below).
Deaconess Hospital Simplified Face Mask Tutorial
Deaconess DIY Face Mask Resources
- Deaconess - How to Make a Face Mask
PDF downloads, information, and video tutorial on how to make face masks.
- Deaconess - Where to Donate Face Masks
Full directory of hospitals, health care facilities, long term care, businesses and other organizations accepting sewn face masks.
- Deaconess - Mask Request Form
Request form to be added to Deaconess' database of facilities in need of face masks.
Simple Pleated Face Mask Tutorial
Additional Tutorials & Resources
- Masks, Straps & Ties TUTORIAL | may chappell
Tutorial on how to create ties for masks without the use of elastic.
- How To Make A No-Sew Coronavirus Face Mask With Fabric | HuffPost Life
The CDC is considering recommending people wear face coverings in public. Here are a few easy ways to make your own homemade face mask.
- No Sew N95 Mask Cover
Infographic on how to make no sew mask covers to prolong the life of N95 Masks
- Face Mask Pattern - Free Sewing Pattern; Craft Passion
Free face mask sewing pattern & tutorial on how to sew double-layered mask. Now, with pocket for filter insert. In 4 sizes.
- To Sew or Not To Sew: You Can Help Supply Face Masks (and other PPE)
Whether you’re a sewing pro or an enthusiastic non-sewing pro, we have options for you to help us create stand-in face masks.
- #sewTOGETHER | Sew Masks, Save Lives, Get Tieks
We’ve seen the power of our Tieks community in action many times before, and know that if we #SewTOGETHER, we can and will save lives together. Please share this page and offer with all your friends who sew.
How to Make Face Mask WITHOUT Elastic
Face Masks for Sale
As the pandemic pushes on, many companies are now offering affordable, reusable face masks. So I've decided to include a few that I personally like.
- Mertailor Washable Face Mask
Washable Face Mask manufactured by Mertailor Mermaid Tails to help with personal protection of your face from the sun, air pollution, dirty air, dust, etc. These masks come in mermaid and ocean inspired patterns .
- GIR Reusable Face Mask
These reusable silicone face masks must be worn with filters, but may be easily washed in the sink or dishwasher. You also have the option to buy in bulk or donate a kit with every kit you buy.
DIY No Sew Face Mask from a T-Shirt
Use & Care of Reusable Masks
- Wear mask if you are coughing, sneezing, or have symptoms of illness.
- Wash/sanitize your hands before putting on a mask.
- Make sure mask covers your nose and mouth and that there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Wash/sanitize your hands if you touch the mask while wearing it.
- Replace mask as soon as it is damp. Do not reuse until it has been washed and dried on hot settings. Discard after first use if it is not reusable.
- If using a filter with your mask, discard filter after every use and replace with a clean filter.
- Remove mask from behind. Do not touch front of the mask. Wash hands immediately after removal.
- Keep clean masks and used masks in separate containers to avoid cross contamination.
Popular No Sew Face Mask with Filter
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.