DIY: Make Your Own Facemask Out of Household Items

Community & Services

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has become more readily available thanks to the efforts of manufacturers and private citizens who have stepped up to meet demands during this COVID-19 pandemic. However, Orange County residents may find themselves short of a face mask or two as they prepare for the phased reopening of our community.

“The good news is you can make your own face covering using common household items,” said Jeff Benavides, Orange County Chief Sustainability and Resilience Officer. “All you need are a pair of scissors and two rubber bands, as well as a tee shirt or bandana or hand towel. You can ‘upcycle’ these items from stuff you have lying around.”

To make your mask, Benavides suggests following these easy steps:

  • Lay a tee shirt on a flat surface and straighten it out.
  • Cut the area right underneath where the arm sleeves are located across the body of the shirt, from one arm sleeve to the other. Stay as straight as possible so you have a nice even face covering.
  • With this square piece of cloth you now have, start folding.
  • Make a 2-to-3-inch fold from the top, then do the same from the bottom.
  • Repeat this folding one more time. Adjust as you see fit.
  • Take a rubber band and thread one side of the folded cloth with it.
  • Take the other rubber band and thread the other side of the folded cloth with it.
  • Fold in the sides so the rubber bands are at the edges of the mask.
  • Pick up your face mask by the rubber bands and adjust it to your face.

And there you have it – a nice household cloth mask made from reusable materials that will help you stay safe … and sustainable.

To watch Jeff Benavides make a homemade face mask, visit For more information and updates on COVID-19, visit

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