Coronavirus: how to make your own mask



Three types of homemade face masks or covers


People in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland are recommended to cover their faces while in stores or on public transport to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

While face masks and medical respirators take precedence for healthcare and healthcare workers, you may want to try covering your face.

Here is our guide to different types and step-by-step instructions on how to make them.

Whether it’s practical with a sewing machine, like cutting old T-shirts or just want a quick fix, the principles are the same: the more layers of material, the better, and the mask should fit snugly around the face, and you should be able to breathe comfortably.

A study has shown that the best materials to use are tight cotton or twill, natural silk, or quilted cotton material. But you can also settle for what you have in your home.

Let’s start with an easier one.





The government advises you to wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before putting on and after removing your facial coatings.

You should also:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times
  • Store used facial liners in a plastic bag until you have a chance to wash them
  • Wash a face covering regularly; can go with other clothes, using your normal detergent

Our next example uses an old T-shirt, preferably thick cotton or a cotton-polyester blend. And still nothing to sew.





The government says that homemade masks are not necessarily intended to help the wearer, but could help prevent them from passing the disease on to others without realizing if they have it but show no symptoms.

If you have coronavirus symptoms, such as high temperature or continuous cough, you should stay indoors and isolate yourself at home.

Whatever face it covers, they are not a substitute for other blocking rules. Hand hygiene is especially as important as before, so wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds when you get home.

  • FACE MASKS: Should I use one?

Our third example needs a few stitches, but they can be as simple or complicated as you like as long as everything stays in place and survives a few washes.





There are plenty of other ways to cover your face, and plenty of examples on social media of professional designer logo masks to cut sports socks.

Have fun giving them a try. Remember that you may need more than one, so you have something to wear while washing the other.

Facial covers should not be used for children under the age of two or people who cannot fit properly.

UK government: how to make a covered face

All masks shown were made by members of the BBC Visual Journalism team

Graphics: Irene de la Torre-Arenas