Easy, Fast and Comfortable No-Sew Face Mask

Making your own face masks will free up supplies for the medical community but make it properly. T-shirt material is one of the recommended materials for making homemade face masks. To save money, clean old t-shirts work just as well as new ones. They should be 100% cotton, tightly woven. The mask should be at least two layers.

Above: Start your mask with a piece of paper that measures 9” x 6 1/2” (or 9 1/2”x7” for extra large)
Fold the t-shirt and place the 9” side on fold.
After cutting through both sides of the t-shirt you will end up with two pieces. When you UNFOLD them they will each measure 9”x13”, see next photo, to make two two-layer masks. Washing the mask after wearing is recommended, or putting it aside for a few days, so having two or more masks on hand helps to have a clean mask available.
Here’s and unfolded piece that measures 9”x13” to make a two-layer mask. You could use both rectangles for a four-layer mask. Or keep it two-layers and insert a filter.
Refold the rectangle piece so each 9” end falls in the middle and overlaps about a 1/2”. This will be the inside of the two-layer mask.
Pinch and snip a small slit close to the edge like this. Make 6 small slits or holes on each side about 1/4”-1/2” from each edge.
Snip with tips of scissors.
Notice the little slits on both sides.
Cut out two narrow strips 11” long for ear straps.
Place the mask right side up and run the strips through the slits just LIKE this or it won’t lay on your face well.
Gather the mask edges like this and tie a knot on each end of the ear straps. It should look like this when gathered.
And you’re done!
If you want to add a filter for extra protection, there is an opening on the back to slide one in. After washing and drying just rub the ends of the opening down to reshape.
Cut filter like this. According to NYT article today, 4/6/20, hepa vacuum cleaner bags are best. Coffee filters are good, double up on them if you can breath through it. If you don’t have those, insert a folded paper towel.
So I didn’t fuss with my mask. I could have done better adjusting the sides. See my daughter’s mask below. The mask can be made more snug. It looks like the sides are open but the material is thick and is gathered together so it is completely closed.
If you want to use the graphics on your t-shirt, cut it like …
Place the 9”x 6 1/2” pattern next to the collar and fold t-shirt.
Or cut out a full 9”x13” rectangle and proceed like the other mask.
You can also use this size paper to make the masks instead of the 9” x 6 1/2”.
When you fold and overlap the two 9” edges, like the other mask, the edges will be higher up so most of the graphic will show in front.
Done!

Wearing a mask not only protects you but protects others if you have the virus and are asymptomatic.

Remember to wash your hands before putting your mask on and when removing your mask.

Wash hands.
And don’t touch your face.
Maintain physical distancing.
Go out only when necessary.
Good luck and be safe.

Note: this is a standard size I thought would work for most. Make any size adjustments to best fit you.

—-

I don’t know how to make printable instructions so below are the instructions that can be copied and pasted somewhere…

Two Layer Face Mask Instructions to copy and paste:

Cut a piece of paper to measure 9” x 6 1/2”

Fold a 100% tightly woven t-shirt in half and place the 9” edge of the paper on the fold of the t-shirt.

Cut through all layers. Unfold both pieces and you will have two long 9” x 13” rectangles. Here you can decide to make one four-layer mask or two two-layer masks.

Fold a rectangle so both 9” edges are together in the center. Overlap each edge about 1/4” -1/2”. This is the back of the face mask.

Make 6 small slits or holes equal distance apart, as much as possible, on each side and about 1/4” – 1/2” from the edge of the mask with tips of scissors.

Cut two narrow strips from the t-shirt that each measure 11” for ear straps.

Turn the mask right side up and weave each strip through the slots/holes, leaving the equal amount of the ear straps extending out on top and bottom.

Gather the edges of the mask together.

Tie each ear strap into knot where it will make the mask fit snuggly.

If you want to add a vacuum filter (best) coffee filter good, or paper towel helpful, in the mask for extra protection, cut to fit and slide it into the mask from the opening on the inside.

Repeat with the other rectangle that you cut out.

Make several so you can wash the one you wore and have others available.
Here is the mask my daughter made.

61 Comments »

  1. Love these ideas. I did that with the wide upper part of a long sleeve of a t-shirt also. Thanks for sharing here. Stay safe.

  2. Thank you! These make great droplet face covers for younger kids.

    I’ve been using the pant legs of girls leggings (it’s already doubled up and sewn). We find the part that is the right width for her face, cut an appropriate length, cut straps from a different portion, add the slits, and thread them through.

    We’ve found the kids prefer straps that go all the way around the back of their heads rather than ear loops – put the first around the neck under hair, then adjust mask and put the top strap over the head above the ears.

  3. Here is another article that just came out. https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-DIY-face-mask-ppe.html?referringSource=articleShare Goodness information changes daily. A tightly woven cotton fabric that held up to the light that can’t be seen through. And 4 layers is best but most sewing machines can’t sew through that. So double up on masks or use both rectangles to make this one and you’d have 4 layers. Yes, vacuum cleaner bags are better than coffee filters. But 2 coffee filters are good. Keeping in mind with all of this that you need to breath through the mask. When I went to the market today I wore two masks. I made the top one less tight than the inside one because it was hard to breath with them both really snug. Glad you made your own masks. And yes, stay safe and healthy. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I read on msn.com that the best/most effective materials to use, in this order: are 1)vacuum cleaner bags, 2)dish/tea towels, 3) 100% cotton t-shirt, etc. I used a Xmas dish towel for mine yesterday & it turned out pretty good.
    STAY SAFE & HEALTHY EVERYONE!

  5. Awesome! I’m glad to hear how some many people are adding ideas to this. And I hope readers out there read these comments! Vacuum cleaners – perfect 👌🏻. Stay safe and healthy.

  6. Thank you, thank you for sharing your easy DIY instructions!! I have some vacuum cleaner bags that I no longer need and read somewhere that they, too, can be cut to make filters! (I love the colored masks but will probably use white which can withstand bleach.) Thank you again!!

  7. Good news! Thank you. If they get foggy, but that happens with cloth masks also sometimes, I pull my mask up a little and let the bottom of my glasses rest over it a little and it stops. But usually it’s not an issue. Stay healthy!

  8. This is the easiest non-sewing instructions I have found (and I have been looking). Sharing as widely as possible! Thank you so much! ❤

  9. That’s a good idea. I couldn’t think of what else to use to make holes. Yes, the t-shirt I’m wearing in the photo is very thick. Not a motorcycle thing though. I wasn’t thinking of posting this publicly at the time. Was just an idea for family and friends. I could have redone it with something more like what regular t-shirts look like but since it was already done I went with it. My daughter used a regular tight weave t-shirt, the photo is on the bottom of the post, and I think it looks better. But both work well! Be safe.

  10. I used a yarn puncher (not sure what the name of the tool is) to put the holes in it and a crochet hook to weave the band on Worked well. The pictured material looks much thicker than a cotton shirt fabric. Almost looks like flannel or fleece.. Made one out of an old motorcycle shirt. fits well around the ears using the fabric and also comfortable.

  11. Good idea for anyone reading who wants to try it. The masks are designed for anyone but was thinking mostly of those who don’t have access to or resources for supplies. These masks do fit quite snuggly and very comfortably with the T-shirt material though. Thank you. We all can benefit from good tips at this time.

  12. The cheap elastic cords…”bungi cords” have multiple small elastic bands on the inside.
    Perhaps a few these strands could be used for the elasticity.
    Seems you could get several masks out of a 3 ft bungi.
    Hope this helps and hello from downeast Maine

  13. Thank you for the tshirt graphics suggestion! Looking forward to making several..
    Be safe
    xoxox

  14. I wasn’t planning on sharing this publicly. I just took photos for my family and friends so my photos don’t do it justice. But then I thought it was a really good idea and could be helpful to more people and decided to post it as is without spending a lot of time on making it perfect. So I’m glad to hear this! Thank you.

  15. Thank you so much for sharing this. I have made three already and been using them. I have shared your idea with several other people.

  16. I wish I could but the theme I choose for my blog doesn’t have that option and I’m not able to change that due to my location and limited resources for a while.

  17. Thank you for this. As for most, we aren’t able to find any masks. I’ve been feeling helpless, and this let me feel I’m doing something positive, which is everything right now!

  18. Thank you. I didn’t think about that with elastic but that’s true. With this mask the ear straps can easily be replaced by simply cutting and adding more from the same t-shirt if they need to be. Thanks for sharing. Seems like lots of people are going to make masks. Stay safe.

  19. Thanks. Yes. I’ll add that about the material. The mask is made in two layers but I’ll add that also just in case.

  20. You forgot to mention that the T-shirt material should be 100% cotton, tightly woven.

    And that 2 layers is what is really recommended to have the best effect to deflect the virus. So you MUST make this in 2 layers or you are wasting you time.

  21. Thank you. That is a great idea. Fabric ties are better and recommended because elastic will break done when washed in hot water. I posted this on my Facebook page.
    Stay safe

  22. It’s better than nothing. And a major concern is that the general public not buy medical masks at this time because of the shortage. It helps but most important follow the rules. Stay in. Go out only for necessary reasons. Wash hands. And don’t touch your face. Since I know many people who don’t sew or have other materials or can’t afford to buy materials right low this is a good option. Most people have t-shirts. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24229526/

  23. Would be great if this is printable without the main background color on the pages.. just white would be great… otherwise., although it looks very nice, it takes awhile lot if ink unnecessarily.
    Simple, excellent pattern… I do believe even I can make it 😃… THANK YOU!!!
    Kaycee

  24. I can’t but I wrote them out here and I added them to the bottom of my post as well. Hopefully you can copy into a document or other format, or photo or somewhere in your phone.
    I wasn’t able to include photos.

    Face Mask Instructions

    Cut a piece of paper to measure 9” x 6 1/2”

    Fold a t-shirt in half and place the 9” edge of the paper on the fold of the t-shirt.

    Cut through all layers.

    Unfold both pieces and you will have two long 9” x 13” rectangles.

    Fold a rectangle so both 9” edges come together in the center. Overlap each edge about 1/4” -1/2”. This is the back of the face mask.

    Make 6 small slits or holes equal distance apart, as much as possible, on each side and about 1/4” – 1/2” from the edge of the mask with tips of scissors.

    Cut two narrow strips from the t-shirt that each measure 11” for ear straps.

    Turn the mask right side up and weave each strip through the slots/holes, leaving the equal amount of the ear straps extending out on top and bottom.

    Gather the edges of the mask together.

    Tie each ear strap into knot where it will make the mask fit snuggly.

    If you want to add a coffee filter, or paper towel in the mask for extra protection, cut to fit and slide it into the mask from the opening on the inside.

    Repeat with the other rectangle that you cut out.

    Make several so you can wash the one you wore and have others available.

  25. Great! I’m sure there are a lot of options out there. This mask can be made as tight as one wants and the t-shirt material stretches some. And elastic could be used as well. I was thinking of those who don’t have those options.

  26. This in my opinion is not a snug enough fit. There are other options for no-sew DIY masks that have elastic bands for a firmer fit.

  27. Hope you didn’t start making them because I had typed the wrong measurement in the caption of the first photo. Correct measurement is there now. Although the actual photo had the correct measurement in it so maybe you picked up on that.

  28. Thanks! I was thinking of all those non-sewers out there. And I had typed the wrong measurement in the first photo. Correct measurement is there now.

  29. Thank you. I had written down the wrong measurement in the first photo. Correct measurement is there now.

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