Handmade Masks to Help in the Fight Against Covid-19

Tasked with making masks for my husband and some of his coworkers who are on the front lines during the Covid-19 pandemic, I set out to find the best pattern to use for handmade masks. While searching, I came across this article by The Washington Post.

It mentions that Peter Tsai, “the materials scientist who invented the electrostatic charging technology that N95 masks… rely on,” recommends using car shop towels for making handmade masks. It is strong and washable, so the masks can be reused, and it offers more protection from the virus than cotton fabric.

The towels also make great filter inserts for fabric masks. (My favorite pattern for cotton fabric masks which incorporates a pocket is this one by Pins and Needles. )

The photo to the left shows some masks that I made from the Pins and Needles pattern.




I know we all have a lot on our plates right now. (I would have never guessed I’d be running my small at-home business while suddenly needing to homeschool 5 children and try to protect my family from a pandemic), but if you can find the materials and a little extra time to help make even just a few masks for your local community, please consider doing so. I’m sure the people who receive them will be very grateful!

Step 1 Photo










Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

This pattern is provided at no cost to anyone who would like to use it. If you would like to help cover the costs of supplies so that I can continue to make masks for those who need them, you may donate using the button below.






Step 1:

Gather materials

– Scott shop towels, cut into 8″ x 8″ squares

– Twist ties

– Elastic

– Thread

– Scissors

– And of course a sewing machine


Step 2:

Place twist tie at top of square. Make sure it is centered right in the middle. This doesn’t need to be exact, just eyeball it.









Step 3:

Fold top down over twist tie about 1/4″ and straight stitch along inner edge. Then go back and sew a few stitches vertically on either side of the twist tie to keep it from shifting out of place.






Step 4:

Now turn under the bottom edge 1/4″ and stitch. Then turn under each side 1/4″ – 1/2″ and stitch. All 4 sides have now been hemmed.





Step 5:

Orient your square so that the side with the twist tie is facing towards the top and the right side is facing out.

Beginning about 1″ from the bottom edge, fold down the first pleat 1/2″ and pin. Now fold down the second pleat directly above the first. Again 1/2, and pin. Repeat for the third and final pleat.


Step 6:

Stitch along each edge to tack down pleats, removing pins as you come to them.





Step 7:

Cut a 1/8″ – 1/4″ wide piece of elastic into 7.5″ strips.

Sew one end of the strip to the top corner of the wrong side of your mask, then sew the second end to the bottom corner as illustrated in the photo. Repeat these steps for the other side.

Make sure to backstitch and sew over the elastic again 1 or 2 times to help keep it from coming loose.