Hello fellow sewists and makers! Thanks for joining the mobilization and solidarity effort! This COVID19 crisis is a big reminder that we are all interconnected. As makers we can put our skills to use during #StayAtHome, busying our hands and helping to protect community members.

This page contains information on making DIY facemasks.
If you would like to join NM Craft Responders as a maker or volunteer fill out this form. 

Getting Started: 
We have categorized mask patterns according to who they are appropriate for: Healthcare Worker (HCW) or Non-Healthcare Worker (non-HCW). This categorization is based on mask design features but is not absolute. 

Questions to ask when deciding what kind of mask to make: 
1. Do I need a filter pocket? • Providing a filter pocket allows the user to insert a non-woven material as a filter for extra protection. See info below on appropriate filter materials
• Mask options A2 and B provide filter pockets; these are recommended for HCWs or frontline workers with high exposure to others, such as grocery store employees. 

2. Do I need cloth ties or elastic? • Cloth ties are recommended for HCWs and other frontline workers. They are more comfortable for the wearer and can withstand commercial laundering. 
• Masks with elastic bands are faster to make. However, there are several disadvantages:
    a. When worn for long periods, elastic bands can cause pain around the ears.
    b. Elastic will break down rapidly if laundered multiple times.
    c. Elastic material is currently difficult to find since many are making DIY masks. 
    d. Those with latex allergies cannot wear elastic bands.

* * * * * * * 

• IMPORTANT: If you are making for HCW, always contact them directly to ask what they need • These masks are durable and can withstand industrial washing, but they’re more time-consuming to make• Use a different color fabric or “wrong” side on the inside of mask so it’s easy for HCW to distinguish inside/outside • You can use pre-purchased double-fold, cotton blend bias tape or make it yourself  [note: you don’t need to make it on the bias]

A1 option: 2 layers cotton, cloth ties. This is an N95 cover, designed to be worn over an N95 mask to prolong its use. This is known as the “A.B. Mask, for a nurse by a nurse.” Here’s another version.

A2 option: 2 layers cotton + filter pocket + nose wire, cloth ties. This is a versatile mask for HCWs or other frontline workers such as grocery store employees. Can be made without interfacing. 
>> Check out this A2 video tutorial


B option: 2 layers cotton + filter pocket + nose wire, elastic or knit ties. This is an easy pattern. Try knit ties (cut up t-shirt fabric) if you can’t find elastic. 

> C option: 2 layers cotton + nose wire, knit ties. This easy-to-make pattern was developed by Stitchology fabric store in Albuquerque, NM. 

> D option: This is a “No-Sew” mask. Easy to assemble and recommended for general population for those who can’t get a sewn mask. 

>> Check out this video on Prep Work, Tips, and Tricks for DIY Masks

IMPORTANT NOTES: (adapted from COVID Mask Crafters):

1.      Please pre-shrink your 100% cotton fabrics before you begin cutting out your masks.  Cotton fabrics tend to shrink significantly in the wash and the last thing we want is for your beautiful masks to shrink at the hospital and render them unusable.

2.      Washing Instructions: Use unscented detergent or WHITE VINEGAR in a hot wash followed by a hot dry cycle to remove as much of the shrinkage as possible.  Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets.

3.      Do not try on a mask that you are sending out.  Do not take photos of a mask on yourself or on a pet.  Masks that have been tried on and have not been washed should NOT be donated in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

4.     NM Craft Responders does not provide filters—since they can’t be washed and they need to be handled in order to be cut, it’s best if the wearer can buy their own. Use non-woven materials such as an unscented swiffer cloth; HEPA AC filter; coffee filters, blue shop towels; washed and dried wet wipes. See this article on best materials for filters.

5.     If you are making masks for NMCR, follow these Instructions for Packing:   
• Take a photo of your finished masks and share with us!
• Wash all masks in hot water and unscented detergent or white vinegar. Dry on high. No bleach, fabric softener, or dryer sheets.
• Wash your hands for 20 sec before handling the clean masks (to transfer to dryer and to plastic bags)
• Wear a mask while handling clean masks to pack. Place clean masks in a ziploc bag.
• Mark the outside of the ziploc with a permanent marker: quantity, mask type  (e.g. #7-A1), and your initials (this helps us keep track!)
NOTE: if you are packing “D” masks, they must be packed in bags of 10 or 20 only. Follow same instructions as above for washing and packing.
• One of our team members will contact you for pickup/delivery. Thank you!!