COVID-19 Masks

How-to make different masks using common household goods

By Abby Doeden

Masks of all kinds have become part of spring fashion during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the U.S. and states continue their safer at home orders, it has become a strong recommendation to wear masks around others and when leaving the house. Because of this, people have flocked to Amazon, Target and Etsy to buy face masks, and as a result, many places don’t have them in stock anymore. 

Instead of buying a mask, some are sewing them at home using sewing machines and some are even donating them to local hospitals and businesses to help the cause. However, others that don’t have sewing machines are left mask-less. 

If you are one of those people without a sewing machine – like me – here are a few easy ways to make a mask to help keep you safe during your errands and outings to visit family (six feet apart, of course).

Bandana Mask

This bandana mask is a great option for people who don’t want to spend much time on a mask or don’t have great sewing skills. For this mask, you only need a bandana, two elastics (I just used hair ties) and to know how to fold! While I would not recommend this be your go-to mask, as it can come unfolded and be a bit bulky, it is great if you need one for a last-minute outing. If you need a video to learn, here is the tutorial I used — otherwise, follow these steps!

What you’ll need:

  • Standard Bandana (22” x 22”)
  • Two elastics (either rubber bands, hair binders or elastics)
  • An iron (to make the folds better)


Bucky Mask

Everyone has old t-shirts lying around their house and most badgers have a free one from the UW Bookstore, and here is a way to use it! This mask is a great option for a no-sew more permanent option as it stays in place and is pretty comfortable. For this mask, you will need a t-shirt, two elastics, an iron and ironing board, and a needle and thread. Again, if you need a video tutorial, here is the one I followed — otherwise, follow these steps to make this mask!

What you’ll need:

  • An old t-shirt or rag, cut 8 in by 14.5 in
  • Scissors
  • Two elastic pieces, cut 7 in
  • A sewing needle
  • Thread
  • An iron


Here is a good tutorial on how to make a cotton face mask, and here is a beginner tutorial on how to make one using a sewing machine.