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Community cloth face covering instructions

April 12, 2020
How-to make cloth face coverings

Photo: PeaceHealth pharmacist Ike Ekeya models how the completed face covering should look. 

Thank you for your interest and generosity in creating a homemade cloth face covering. We appreciate your support. And, of course, be sure to keep some masks for yourself and family members.

Please use these instructions that have been approved by our Infection Prevention team to create hand-sewn face covering. If you have already made face coverings using a different design template, you may donate those as well. Please pre-shrink (wash and dry) fabric prior to making the face covering. All donated face coverings will be laundered and safely stored to use in alignment with CDC guidelines during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Face coverings should be used by permitted visitors and certain asymptomatic patients in our hospitals and clinics.

Once you’ve created the face covering, please reach out to your nearby PeaceHealth hospital or clinic for directions on how to donate it, if that's your intention. 

Download Printable Instructions

Safety Guidelines

  • Avoid making face coverings if you are sick or think you might be getting sick.
  • Avoid making face coverings if you have been told you have a multi-drug resistant organism like MRSA or C. diff., or if you have any open or draining wounds.
  • Keep all face covering materials away from household pets.
  • Be sure the area in which you are working is clean (sanitize all surfaces with a disinfectant) before making face coverings.
  • Be sure to perform hand hygiene before touching face covering materials.
  • If you are sharing the community face coverings you are making with others, face coverings should be washed before wear.


Face Covering Materials and Tools

Materials Needed

  • Instructions
  • Fabric – 1/2 Yard
    1. One face covering body: 14 ½” x 7 ½”
    2. Two straps
      1. 34” x ¾” each if fabric type doesn’t ravel on edge OR
      2. 34” x 1 ½” each if fabric does ravel on edge (form closed casing) OR
      3. 34” long, Bias Tape, Wide Single Fold

Tools Needed

  • Sewing Machine
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Ruler

Materials Preparation

Please properly washing your hands before making this face covering.

Cutting the Fabric:

  1. Using a rotary cutter or scissors and ruler, cut ONE piece of fabric to a rectangular size of 14 ½” x 7 ½”. This piece will become the body of the face covering.
  2. Using a rotary cutter or scissors and ruler, cut TWO pieces of fabric to long rectangular size of 34” x 1 ½” for cotton fabric. These pieces will become the face covering straps.

Marking the Fabric for Folding

  1. On each long side of the face body, make 12 small (less than ¼”) cuts with scissors at the measurement intervals indicated on the Face Covering Body Pattern below. These cuts are perpendicular to the face covering edge and will be used to ensure proper folding or pleating.
  2. Starting at the center fold line of the face covering body and going down, label or note the six scissor cuts as #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 and #6. Knowing these reference points will ease your way (see illustration below).

Face Covering Piece Patterns

Face Covering Body

Face Covering Straps

  • 2 Straps – each 34” x ¾” (fabric doesn’t ravel on edge) OR
  • 2 Straps – each 34” x 1 ½” (fabric does ravel on edge like most cotton or quilting fabrics) OR
  • 2 Straps – each 34” x 1 ½” Bias Tape or Wide single fold non-fraying material

Face Covering Instructions

  1. Wash your hands prior to beginning.

  2. Fold face covering fabric piece in half at center line. Align edges so sides match on each side.

  3. Stitch ¼” seam on non-folded, non-marked side.

  4. Turn face covering piece inside out so that the seam is inside, and press seam to flatten. Place seamed edge on bottom, toward you.

  5. Create pleats or folds:
    1. Placing your thumb and index finger on the top fabric surface, and on either side of mark #1, gather fabric to create pleat and hand crease across.

    2. While continuing to hold the fabric together, fold this layer on the line of mark #2, and then place the edge on the line of mark #3. This will result in a pleat at the top of the face covering of approximately 1 ½” from top to bottom.

    3. Iron flat to ensure straight and pin in place.

    4. Repeat steps A-C for second pleat (mark #4-6).
    5. Face Covering should now have two uniform pleats. Along each short side, stitch pleats in place using a ¼” seam, remove pins.

  6. Create Straps:
    1. Take one strap piece and align the center of strap with the center of the short side of the face covering body.

    2. Wrap strap piece front to back to equally cover the face covering raw edge (pleated side). If using fabric that ravels, turn over edge or use bias tape for finished look and longevity.
    3. Stitch in place, lengthwise along the body of the face covering (may stitch full strap length if using self turned casing or Bias Tape.

    4. Repeat Steps A-C for second strap.
  7. Trim all threads.

Congratulations. You’ve made a cloth face covering. 

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