Can You Make Face Masks at Home?

On September 22, Boris Johnson has implemented new rules for wearing face masks in England.

The Prime minister has announced in a talk at the House of Commons. That starting from Monday, September 28, people will have to wear face masks while moving around hospitality businesses like walking to their table or visiting the toilet. Anyone who doesn’t wear a facemask where it is mandatory will face a penalty amounting to £200 for a first-time offense.

Now people were required to wear face masks in shops and supermarkets and public transport.

Because of this, the government has published its guide to making masks that follow the publication of its roadmap and strategy when facing the next phase of the pandemic.

Whether using the sewing machine or wants a quick fix, one can make do with what they have at home, from old T-shirts and tea towels to single socks.

Researchers at Cambridge University discovered that cotton T-shirts and cotton pillowcases are the most excellent at-home materials for making DIY face masks; this is because of their ability to capture small particles while being breathable.

Here is everything to know about different types of face masks and how to make them.

  • The T-shirt face mask


  • old T-shirt
  • scissors

Step 1: Cut a straight line across the T-shirt (front and back) approximately 20cm from the bottom of the T-shirt.

Step 2: From a point 2cm below the top right-hand corner of the fabric, create a 15cm horizontal cut through both sides of the material parallel to the top of the rectangle.

Step 3: Cut towards the bottom of the fabric until reaching approximately 2cm above the bottom edge. Then, make another 15cm cut that runs parallel to the bottom of the material to create a rectangle that can be thrown away.

Step 4: To make the ties, cut open the edge of the two long strips of fabric. Unfold the main piece of cloth and place over the mouth and the nose. The four strips act as ties to hold the cloth face-covering in place and should be tied behind the head and around the neck.

  • The sewn cloth face mask


  • Two 25cm x 25cm squares of cotton fabric
  • Two 20cm pieces of elastic (or string or cloth strips)
  • needle and thread
  • scissors

Step 1: Cut two 25cm x 25cm squares of cotton fabric. Stack the two squares on top of each other.

Step 2: Fold over one side by 0.75cm and hem, then again on the opposite side. Make two passages by folding the double layer of fabric over 1.5cm along each side and stitching this down.

Step 3: Run a 20cm length of elastic through the wider hem on each side of the face covering. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle to thread it through. Tie the ends tightly. If only the string is available, you can make the ties longer and tie the covering behind your head.

Step 4: Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the covering on the flexible and adjust so the cover fits your face. Then firmly stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping. These elastic loops fit over the ears.

  • The bandana face mask


  • bandana or handkerchief
  • two pieces of elastic (or hair ties)
  • needle and thread
  • scissors

Step 1: Lay the fabric out flat and fold in half so that the top and bottom meet in the middle. Fold the bandana in half again so that there are now four layers of fabric.

Step 2: Use two hair ties to create ear loops. Slip one hair tie over each of the ends and move a few inches toward the center of the folded bandana.

Step 3: Fold the ends of the bandana in to meet in the middle. The ends should overlap slightly so one end can be tucked into the other to help keep them secure.

Step 4: Gently pull on the elastic and adjust so the covering fits the face. Then place the elastic loops over the ears.

  • The sock face mask


  • A single sock (consider the breathability of the fabric)
  • scissors

Step 1: Fold the sock in half and cut off the toe and ankle sections.

Step 2: Open up the sock and cut down the edge opposite to the heel.

Step 3: Fold the sock in half again, then cut into the heel’s edge by about two thirds and about 2cm from the ends.

Step 4: Open out the sock completely and trim off the corners into curves.

Step 5: Twist the cutouts around your ears and cover your nose and mouth with the rest of the sock. The heel should fit securely over your nose.

When is it necessary to wear a mask?

The government has made the wearing of face masks in public a mandatory. It was stated in the guidelines that face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission in some circumstances. “Face coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against inadvertent transmission of the disease to others if you have it asymptomatically,” the advice recites.

How to wear a face mask effectively?

If an individual must wear a mask, one must know how to wear it properly. Otherwise, the mask is out of work.

The government notes that a cloth face-covering shall cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably.

The World Health Organization has delivered the following steps for anyone wearing a face covering:

  • Before putting on the mask, the hands must be first washed with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Next, cover the nose and mouth with the mask, and make sure that there are no gaps between the face and the mask
  • Once the mask is on, avoid touching it while you’re wearing it – if you do feel it, clean your hands again
  • As soon as the mask becomes damp, change the mask with a new one – never reuse the disposable face masks
  • When taking off the mask, it should be removed from behind, taking care not to touch the front of the mask, then discard it immediately, and once again, wash the hands

How often should the face mask be washed?

A cloth face mask should be washed regularly; it can go with other laundry and regular detergent.

“These should ideally be washed after every use in a washing machine, if possible,” said Dr. Shoshana Ungerleider, an internal medicine physician with Sutter Health.

More subtle masks that are sewn by hand may need to be washed by hand. Then the masks should be lathered with soap and scrubbed for at least 20 seconds with lukewarm water.

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