face mask

How to Make or Buy a Cloth Face Mask


We are closing in on one month of stay-at-home orders.  In certain states, such as New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, you are required to wear a face covering or a cloth face mask whenever in public.  While N95 and surgical masks should be reserved for health care professionals on the frontlines of the pandemic, we can utilize cloth masks.

We’re going to talk about some places where you can order fabric, tutorials to make your own, and, if you are not into sewing, a few great places to purchase from that donate to charity.

But, first….

Why do I need to wear a mask?

Wearing a mask not only helps you stop touching your face, but it also helps keep your own illnesses from being spread.  Whether you are making or buying masks, make sure it has a pocket for a filter or is made of several layers of material, and fits snuggly on your face.

Online Stores

There are many options for buying fabric online.  You will need cotton fabric (enough to make at least three layers), elastic for the ear fasteners, a filter (optional and must be non-woven material), needle and thread, and if you have one, a sewing machine.  You can order fabric from big retailers like Joann Fabrics or purely online stores such as Fabric Depot.

Be sure to wash your fabric before sitting down to sew!


If you need a tutorial to make a face mask, check out the CDC’s website.  You can also check out Youtube for numerous tutorials.  We especially like this one, and it’s for beginners!

Tweak the sizing of the elastic and fabric if need be.

Purchasing Cloth Masks

If you are not into sewing, you can purchase a cloth mask online.  We love online stores that also donate to charity, so we feel good about the purchase we make.  We especially love companies that donate to those working to fight this virus.

When you purchase a 1 one face mask from Nineteenth Amendment, they will donate 1, 5, 10 or more masks to those in most need.  There are many people who are struggling to make it financially during this pandemic, so receiving a mask for free is a huge help.  

If you live in the Boston area, consider purchasing a face mask from Workforce.  For every mask purchased, they will donate a mask to hospitals in the Boston area.

IFG Fit has a buy one give one for a face mask purchase, which donates a face mask to first responders, healthcare workers, and those on the frontlines.

Feeling like you need a bit of style?  Kenny Flowers donates a mask to those in need in Bali, plus donates the rest of the proceeds to Direct Relief which delivers medical grade masks and supplies to healthcare workers in the USA.

Birdwell has cool face masks for sale, and a mask will be donated to CORE.  CORE provides free drive-thru COVID-19 testing to high risk people in the LA area.

There are so many ways to protect ourselves and those around us by wearing cloth masks, while allowing medical grade masks to be used by frontline workers.  Whether you work from home, or are an essential worker, there’s a mask for you.

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