How to Make Face Masks at Home

images of dar es salaam families making face masks at home

Personal Protective Equipment are a necessity during this time, especially in medical centers and clinics. In order to support our local clinics and hospitals, IST is beginning a drive to create re-usable masks that can be shared with medical facilities to limit the spread of COVID-19.

If you have access to a sewing machine and some spare kitenge, the video below is very straightforward.

Tutorial as provided by Erica Arndt, author of Confessions of a Homeschooler Blog.

Download Erica's How to Sew Face Mask PDF Pattern here!

Handmade Facemask Supplies:

  • 2 pieces 100% cotton fabric (or Kitenge fabric) 6″ x 9″
  • 1 piece 100% cotton fabric (or Kitenge fabric) for lining 6″ x 9″
  • 4 fabric strips 1-1/2″ x 18″
  • Cotton Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Wonder Clips (if you have them)

Facemask Sizes:

  • 5″ x 7″ for Kids
  • 6″ x 9″ for Adult Female
  • 7″ x 9″ for Adult Male

How to Make Fabric Ties for Facemasks:

Medical personnel have requested masks with ties as opposed to elastics to fasten, as this makes it easier to clean and sterilize by ironing. Here are the additional instructions needed to make fabric ties:

  1. Cut a strip of fabric 1-1/2”x 18-20.”
  2. Fold one short end 1/4” in and sew.
  3. Next fold the fabric strip long edges in so they meet in the center then fold in half lengthwise again.
  4. Sew down the open edge to secure.
  5. Place the tie with the raw edge next to the corners of the mask just like the elastic is shown in the video.
  6. Tip: Make sure not to sew over the loose end of the tie as you sew around the mask.

Don’t worry if you are not a seamstress, you can still help by volunteering to cut material. This can all be done in the safety of your home, and the necessary sizes for cut sections is outlined above under, “facemask sizes.”

International School of Tanganyika will be collecting all completed masks, and fabric at the Haile Selassie Gate on the Secondary Campus.
Thank you for supporting this great cause and helping fight COVID-19 in Tanzania.
If you have any questions, you can email IST here.
Please note hand sewn masks are not medical grade masks. Be sure to wash after each use. You can read more strategies for the supply of facemasks on CDC's website here.

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