Make Your Own Face Mask

Joan Lynch sewing a face mask

This list of masks was compiled by Joan Lynch, Arlington Arts’ Director of Arts Enterprise and a professional costumer who formerly ran the Arlington CostumeLab. She and sewing partners Sharon McDaniel, Andrea Blackmon, Dan Lynch, Lindsey Moore, Rory Gilmartin and Tessa Grippaudo-Luque have been sewing masks to be distributed through Arlington County Department of Human Services and the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office.

Joan, her team, and over 40 volunteers have sewn over 1,000 masks for Arlington County departments. The patterns they use are:

  • New York Times Fitted Face Mask (multiple sizes)
  • Cynthia Rowley Mask Pattern [Video] [Pattern]
    • The pattern can be resized to small, medium and large.
    • Materials: The designer uses scuba knit, but you can also use other stretchy fabrics like cotton Lycra, stretch denim, jersey knits.
    • Depending on the weight of the fabric the mask can be lined or unlined. Lining the mask gives double protection for the user.

Joan recommends the patterns below based on their designs and ease-of-use. Depending on your sewing skill level, and the materials you have at home, choose a design below.

Disclaimer: These mask designs are non-medical and are not meant to replace hospital-grade surgical face masks.

No-Sew Masks

  • 2-Minute 5 Layer 3D No-Sew Paper Towel Face Mask, by George Yang, MD [Video]
    • Materials: Paper towel, tissue, printer paper, stapler, rubber bands
  • 5-Minute No Sew Mask with an Up-cycled T-Shirt, by Jan Howell [Video]
    • Materials: T-shirt, Scissors
  • Face Mask with a Scarf/Bandanna and Hair Bands, by Crafty Caboodle [Video]
    • Materials: Scarf or Bandanna, Hair Bands
  • Quick Cut T-shirt Cloth Face Covering (no sew method) from the CDC [Instructions]
    • Materials: T-shirt
  • Bandana Cloth Face Covering (no sew method) from the CDC [Instructions]
    • Materials: Bandana or square cotton cloth approx. 20″x20″, Coffee Filter, Rubber Bands or Hair Ties

Hand Sewn Masks

  • How to Hand Sew a Face Mask, by Kristin Esser [Video] [Pattern]
    • Materials: T Shirt Material, Cotton Fabric
  • How to Make a Simple Hand Stitched Face Mask, by YouCanSew [Video]
    • Materials: Cotton Fabric, Elastic or Yarn

Sewing Machine Masks

  • Face Mask with Elastic in 10 Minutes, by Melanie Ham [Video] [Instructions]
    • Materials: Cotton Fabric, Elastic
  • Face Mask with Ties, Fitted Nose, and Filter Pocket, by Melanie Ham [Video]
    • Materials: Cotton Fabric
  • Simplified Face Mask made with a T-Shirt, by Jan Howell [Video]
    • Materials: T-Shirt
  • Adding a pocket for a filter to a face mask. Using fabric and the pattern shown by Dr. Yang’s 2-Minute 5 Layer No-Sew Paper Towel Face Mask [Video], you can adapt the pattern by following the instructions in this video for DIY Fitted Face Mask [Video], begins at 3:30, switch to first video after 10:50]. Download instructions made by Arlington County Cultural Affairs staff member Darlene Tsukamoto. [Instructions]
    • Materials: Cotton fabric, Elastic, Filters (varies: can use pieces of t-shirts, flannel, coffee filters, etc.)
  • Sewn Cloth Face Covering, from the CDC [Instructions]
    • Materials: Cotton Fabric, Elastic

Child-Size Masks

  • 4 Ways to Sew a Face Mask by Erin Phraner [Video]
    • Materials: Cotton Fabric, Ties
  • Kid Face Mask Pattern Tutorial by SeeKateSew [Video] [Pattern]
    • Materials: Cotton Fabric, Bead Elastic, Yarn Needle

Masks to Fit Over Beards

  • No Sew Mask [Video]
    • Materials: Bandanna, Rubber Bands
  • Sewing Machine Mask [Video]
    • Materials: Cotton Fabric

Interested in learning more about how to wear and care for your new mask? Check out A User’s Guide to Face Masks from the New York Times.