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How to make your own mask in 10 minutes - Stuck in a Shoebox
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How to make your own mask in 10 minutes

In the state of New York, similar to other places, we have to wear a mask to go outside. Last week I went up to the Costco in Harlem to pick up some groceries for a family that can’t go to the grocery store right now. On that trip I was using my last mask that I had.

I was starting to get stressed because I needed to find an alternative solution and for me, a bandana wasn’t cutting it. A bandana makes me feel super claustrophobic and it’s just not very protective. I understand there is sometimes no other choice. (I wore a bandana just a few weeks ago before some masks came in as a gift)

Ordering a mask was an option for awhile, and trust me I am still thinking about it. It may happen. However, shipping right now is not necessarily reliable and myself as like many others aren’t wanting to spend more than they absolutely have to.

After some googling and playing around with a few things I grabbed my super cheap sewing kit, an old t-shirt, and two rubber band hair ties. I made this in less than 10 minutes and made it outside on a walk in no time!

**To remind, I made this in 10 minutes, my sewing work reflects this**

So here’s what you need

  • Scissors (preferably fabric scissors, but since this is an at-home DIY, do with what you have)
  • Fabric (think an old shirt, something that particles won’t easily go through)
  • Two rubber bands /hair ties
  • A needle and thread

1. Lay out two pieces of fabric on top of each other

Make sure it is thick enough fabric to be beneficial. It shouldn’t be see through at all.

2. Cut a rectangle out of the fabric

It should still be two pieces of fabric on top of each other. (so two rectangles). The size depends on your face. You can get a string and put it ear to ear and make it a little longer than that measurement. You will want it longer because when you sew the rubber bands in, it gets smaller.

3. Sew the top and the bottom ends of the fabric together

Don’t sew the sides yet. The two longer sides should be the ones sewed. If you would like, you can add a coffee filter in between the two pieces and sew that in.

4. Place your rubber band on the sides of the fabric and sew

Fold the end of the fabric over one of the sides of the rubber bands and sew. One half of the rubber band should be now covered in fabric. Once done with one side, sew the rubber band in on the other.

5. Yay! You have a mask!

But don’t forget… having a mask on does not excuse you from participating in proper social distancing.

Social distancing reminder for those who may have forgotten 🙂

  • Stand at least 6 feet a part
  • Cover your nose and mouth
  • Wash your hands
  • Do not have people over
  • “Social Distancing Parties” are not social distancing
  • “Quarantine Parties” are not social distancing
  • Respect your elders and keep them safe
  • Avoid unnecessary public places

Stay safe out there! If you have made a mask, comment below how it went!


  • Grace

    Thank you, Stuck in a Shoebox! I spent 20 minutes STRUGGLING with my mask yesterday and this will help me so much.

    For those of you having house parties, it must be nice to live in a world where everything is about you! Be considerate and stay home / go on walks 6 ft apart while that is still the professional medical advice!

  • Lana Davis

    It looks like this quarantine time is going to last for a while longer and this method of making a mask is a great idea. I certainly have plenty of old t-shirts. I went to the closest dollar store and bought a package of hair ties. I followed you directions and ended up with a colorful, usable mask. That was an accomplishment for a person who doesn’t sew. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Karen

    Great step by step directions! Thank you for sharing. Hope your social distancing isn’t tooooo much longer.

    Love your Blog! PLEASE keep it going!

  • Beverly Tye

    I love this idea because we all have these items at home and don’t have to go out to purchase anything to make our mask. This would be a fun project too for children looking for what to do with all of their time!

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