How to make a cloth face covering at home with or without sewing


Here is some information and tutorials from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to wear a cloth face covering, how to make one and why. The CDC is now recommending everyone wear a cloth face covering whenever they go out into the public to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

How to wear cloth face coverings

Cloth face coverings should —

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?

Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?

A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a cloth face covering. How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering? Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their cloth face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

Sewn cloth face covering


  • Two 10”x6” rectangles of cotton fabric
  • Two 6” pieces of elastic (or rubber bands, string, cloth strips, or hair ties)
  • Needle and thread (or bobby pin)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine


  1. Cut out two 10-by-6-inch rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets. T-shirt fabric will work in a pinch. Stack the two rectangles; you will sew the cloth face covering as if it was a single piece of fabric.
  2. Fold over the long sides ¼ inch and hem. Then fold the double layer of fabric over ½ inch along the short sides and stitch down.
  3. Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the cloth face covering. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight.

Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the cloth face covering behind your head.

  1. Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem.

Gather the sides of the cloth face covering on the elastic and adjust so the cloth face covering fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.

Quick cut T-shirt cloth face covering (no sew method)


  • T-shirt
  • Scissors


  1. Cut the bottom 7-8 inches off a T-shirt
  2. Cut a rectangle out of each side, 6-7 inches wide. Leave some fabric on the top and bottom to be used as tie strings. Cut the end of the tie strings to create four strings
  3. Tie the bottom two strings around your neck and the top two over the top of your head with the center piece of the fabric secured over your nose and mouth.

Bandana cloth face covering (no sew method)


  • Bandana (or square cotton cloth approximately 20”x20”)
  • Coffee filter
  • Rubber bands (or hair ties)
  • Scissors (if you are cutting your own cloth)


  1. Cut coffee filter horizontally in half
  2. Fold the bandana in half. The rectangle should be longer than tall
  3. Place filter in center of folded bandana. Fold into thirds by folding the top down and bottom up.
  4. Place bandana through rubber bands or hair ties that are about 6 inches apart
  5. Fold sides to the middle and tuck
  6. Place folded bandana over nose and mouth and pull hair ties or rubber bands behind ears