We’ve received a number of inquiries about how to sew your own mask at home, so we wanted to make this information as accessible as possible to all of you. Please keep in mind that these masks should be used in conjunction with social distancing.
- 2 pieces of 6” x 9” fabric
*We recommend 100% Cotton; however, what you’re looking for primarily is a high density fabric. Look for something that you can’t see much light through with a tighter weave.
- 2 pieces of 6” elastic
- Sewing pins
- Sewing Machine
*You may sew by hand, a machine will just expedite the process as we will be sewing through multiple layers of fabric.
- Begin by sanitizing your hands, tools, and work area. You are also welcome to wear gloves, but we found that our pins poking holes in them kept causing some trouble
- Next, prepare your fabric and elastic. You will need two 6” x 9” fabric rectangles along with two 6” pieces of elastic. We like using two different fabrics - one solid and one print. This helps differentiate which side has been facing inward/outward.
- Then comes pinning! You'll be pinning the elastic pieces on all four corners between the sheets of fabric. Refer to the illustration for placement - you’ll want them pinned at a bit of an angle for a more comfortable fit. Why between the sheets? Because you'll be turning the mask inside out once we’ve sown the edges. This keeps your seams on the inside of your finished mask for a clean finished product.
- You’ve pinned all four corners; now, it’s time to sew. Ideally, you want a straight stitch here, but a zig zag will be fine if that’s the setting you have on your machine. You’re going to want about a ¼” seam allowance around your edges, and make sure to leave an opening on one side to flip your mask inside out. You’ll want a hole around the width of three to four fingers.
- Now, we flip! Just reach inside the opening and pull fabric from the opposite side through the hole until your mask is fully reversed.
- In order to get the mask fitting closer to the face, you'll want to add ½” - ¼" pleats. Remember to fold your pleats in the same direction on both sides - you’ll want these to match like a mirror image.
- Finally, it’s time to check out the finished product. You should have something similar to the illustration below. Test the fit, and remember when adjusting your mask to do so from the straps. Try not to touch the fabric over your nose and mouth any more than necessary.
We’ve also been prompted to share this DIY in light of Los Angeles’ recent mandate that everyone wears masks outside of their homes. That said, we can not stress enough that surgical and N95 masks should be reserved for medical personel and the immunocompromised. We’re all in this together; so all we can do is take steps to help keep each other safe little by little.
For more information on California’s mask guidance, please refer to this link:
In need of mask supplies? We are working to get supplies to medical personnel and the immunocompromised free of charge. We only ask that you pay it forward with a $10 donation to the LA Food Bank. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.