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Make your own non-medical mask

Make your own non-medical mask facemasks Facemask Facemask facemask
  • On April 13, 2020

By Shauna Stocken
Editor in Chief

A new regulation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) April 3 states that cloth face coverings should be worn in public settings.

Individuals who lack symptoms can still transmit the virus within close proximity to others while speaking, coughing or sneezing. 

Surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies for medical personnel, making homemade masks an alternative option to help slow the spread of COVID-19. When staying home and/or social distancing cannot be practiced, a store-bought or homemade face covering should be worn.

In addition to making and wearing a homemade mask, remember to further protect yourself and your family from the virus by properly washing the face covering. Cleaning masks daily in a washing machine will suffice.

Individuals wearing a mask when leaving the house for essential reasons should also be careful not to touch their face when removing a mask. The CDC recommends washing hands immediately after mask removal. 

While the homemade mask is not a substitute for staying at home and social distancing, the following steps will help one create a mask, no sewing required. 

Tools and Supplies:

  • Sewing shears or household scissors
  • Old T-shirt (100 percent cotton is best) or a bandanna
  • Paper towel or coffee filters
  • Two hair ties, pieces of ribbon or rubber bands for bandana mask

According to Lansing resident and sewer Anne Owen, due to the shortage of elastic, crafting bungee elastic, the elastic off old party hats, ribbon and bias tape also work to make a mask. Rubber bands are effective, but can cause discomfort.

Making a T-shirt Facemask:

The following T-shirt face mask instructions were found on,written by TIME staff, and published, April 9.

  • Cut seven inches off the bottom of a T-shirt.
  • The detached T-shirt bottom will make a two-layered rectangle. Cut a smaller rectangle across six to seven inches of the width of the material. The remaining fabric will make up the face covering and the strings to the mask.
  • Cut the middle of the fabric strips to make strings. Tie one set behind your neck and the other behind the back of your head. The mask dimensions are for the average adult; for smaller head sizes and children, cut additional fabric from the strips. The mask should feel snug when tied around the neck and head.
  • Insert a coffee filter or paper towel within the two layers of fabric in the mask. Inserting this extra layer is an optional precaution to further prevent the spread of germs. 

Making a Bandanna Facemask:

Instructions on making a no-sewing bandanna mask were found on the CDC website at

  • First, cut the coffee filter in half, lengthwise.
  • Next, fold the bandanna in half.
  • Place the top portion of the coffee filter in the middle of the folded bandanna.
  • Fold the top and bottom thirds of the bandanna over the middle section where you put the coffee filter.
  • Place rubber bands, hair ties, ribbon loops, etc., roughly six inches apart from both of the two ends.
  • Fold the ends over the middle and slip the rubber bands around your ears.

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