Due to the scarcity of medical-grade masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Red & Black has compiled photos with instructions on how to make your own mask at home.

These masks are based on instructions from The New York Times and require a sewing machine and the ability to sew. Check with your local hospital if you want to donate a mask as specifications of masks accepted may vary. From The Red & Black photo desk: stay safe, stay healthy and practice proper social distancing.

Step 1

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To make a mask at home, you will need the following supplies: A sewing machine (or thread and needle) Scissors Measuring tape/ruler Pins (safety pins could work) A piece of 100% cotton fabric at least 20 inches by 20 inches Iron (optional) Fabric glue (optional) You can use other fabrics, and scientists have found that flannel and high-thread-count cotton used for quilts, pillowcases and bed linens seem to filter microscopic particles well while staying breathable enough to wear. Because cotton usually shrinks, it is recommended that you wash and dry your fabric before beginning. Elastic is in short supply, so we’ll use fabric strips to create ties in this tutorial.

Step 2

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Take your fabric piece and fold it in half. Measure a rectangle 9.5 inches by 6.5 inches.

Step 3

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Cut out the rectangle.

Step 4

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You should have two identical rectangles.

Step 5

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With your fabric still folded in half, measure and cut two long strips 18 inches by 2 inches. You should have four identical strips. You can use the same fabric as your mask or another color. You can also use clean shoelaces.

Step 6

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With your fabric still folded in half, measure and cut two long strips 18 inches by 2 inches. You should have four identical strips. You can use the same fabric as your mask or another color. You can also use clean shoelaces.

Step 7

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At this point you should have two mask pieces and four tie pieces.

Step 8

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If you have an iron, it makes this step easier. Fold each 18 inch strip in half lengthwise. Then fold each side towards the middle so that the strip ends up 1/2 inch wide with both raw edges on the inside.

Step 9

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Using a sewing machine (or needle and thread), sew a straight line to close the open ends on the four straps. If you’re using a sewing machine, make sure to backstitch to secure the thread at each end. If you’re using a needle and thread, tie several knots when you start and finish so it does not come undone.

Step 10

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Once all four straps are sewn, take one piece of mask fabric and lay it face up. Pin one strap piece to each corner with about an inch hanging off. Pile the other ends of the straps into the center of the mask fabric.

Step 11

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With all four straps pinned on, the mask should look like this.

Step 12

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Take the second piece of mask fabric and place it face down (so both of the “good” sides of the fabric are touching) on top of the pile of straps. Line up the edges and pin in place.

Step 13

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Sew along each edge, making sure to leave a hole in between two of the straps on one short side of the mask. As you sew, make sure the ends of the straps stay inside the pocket created by the mask fabric and you do not sew over any strap pieces other than the four sticking out.

Step 14

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This is the hole I left in between two of the straps.

Step 15

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Using your fingers, pull the mask and straps through the hole to turn it right side out.

Step 16

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After this step, you should have a mask base with four straps.

Step 17

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Again, an iron will be helpful but not necessary. Fold the mask fabric over two or three times to create pleats. These will help the mask conform to your face and fit snugly over your nose.

Step 18

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I folded the mask over twice to create three pleats. If you do not iron the pleats, use pins to keep them in place.

Step 19

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I folded the mask over twice to create three pleats. If you do not iron the pleats, use pins to keep them in place.

Step 20

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I used fabric glue to seal the hole I left to turn the mask inside out. If you do not have fabric glue, just fold the fabric into the hole so that it is in line with the rest of that side of the mask and sew it in place in the next step.

Step 21

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Sew one straight line down each short side of the mask to hold the pleats in place. If you did not use fabric glue, make sure to sew close enough to the edge to stitch over the fabric ends you folded in.

Step 22

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Congratulations, your face mask is done and ready for use!
When wearing your mask, make sure it fits snugly over your nose and under your chin. Once you tie it on, do not touch it anymore, as you will just introduce germs to your face if you continue to mess with it.
After each use outside of your home, wash your mask separately from other laundry in the hottest water available.

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