Coronavirus: how to make a homemade mask step by step

Knowing how to make a homemade antivirus protection mask can be very useful to us as events with the coronavirus appear these days.


It may be the case that there are supply problems or that we reside in a region where mobility is restricted or simply that we do not want to spend resources that may be vital for other people. For any of these reasons, it can be very useful to know how it is used, in which cases to use it and how we can make a protective mask with homemade materials.


But first, let's talk about the WHO recommendations regarding when and how to wear a mask. We recommend using a mask:

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are caring for someone suspected of having 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Also wear a mask if you have a cough or sneeze.
  • Masks are only effective if combined with frequent hand washing with a hydroalcoholic solution or soap and water.
  • If you need to wear a mask, learn how to wear and remove it properly.

They also advise us how to put on, use, remove and discard a mask:

  • Before putting on a mask, wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it; if you do, wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or soap and water.
  • Change your mask as soon as it is wet and do not reuse single-use masks. 
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask); immediately dispose of it in a closed container; and wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or soap and water.

Among the many tutorials we have found online, we have liked one from the Ecuador Red Cross for its simplicity.

Home protection mask materials.

The materials we will need to make our own mask at home are:

  • Cloth or towel.
  • 70 cm elastic or equivalent.
  • Thread and needle.
  • Matches or lighter.
  • Scissors.
  • Pen.
  • Rule.

Homemade mask instructions.

  1. Draw a  6.5 inches tall by 9.5 inches wide rectangle on the fabric or towel. You can calculate smaller measurements for children.
  2. Cut out the rectangle with the scissors.
  3. Burn the ends of the elastic with the matches or the lighter.
  4. Place the elastic at the ends of the rectangle, making a fold of 1 cm on it.
  5. Sew each end of the fabric.
  6. Make a knot to join the two ends of the elastic.



To create a surgical mask, you will need a needle, thread, and two pieces of compact (tight, non-porous, non-leaking) fabric 6.5 inches tall by 9.5 inches wide. An example of a useful fabric for making masks could be a shirt that you no longer wear.

You will also need four 18-inch-long, 2-inch-wide cords, thick threads, or strips of sturdy cotton fabric.

To make the ties: For each strip, fold each long edge toward the center so that the ends meet. Fold it back in the center so that the folded edges meet. Sew it to close it as a circle.

Credit: New York Times


To make the mask: Start with one of your larger layers of fabric with the outer side (i.e. the design side) facing you. Put one end of the fabric strips at each corner, slightly sloping toward the center of the mask.

Credit: New York Times

Credit: New York Times

Credit: New York Times


Credit: New York Times

Lay the second piece of cotton fabric on top, with the right sides together and matching the edges. Hook them onto the fabric with a pin so they don't move while sewing.


From the center of one of the long edges of the fabric, sew around the perimeter making sure to catch each layer of fabric. Sew onto the thin strips several times to secure them.


Make three short folds with pieces of fabric on one side of the mask. Do the same on the other side and make sure the folds go in the same direction on both sides of the mask. Sew completely around the mask twice to make sure everything is safe.


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