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Step-by-Step Instructions for Making a DIY Sock Face Mask

Create a homemade face covering, no sewing required

En español | If you are heading out to the grocery store or any public area, face masks are essential gear. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised all Americans to wear nonmedical-grade face coverings and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19. For those of us who are all thumbs with a needle and haven't seen a sewing machine since high school Home Ec the thought of going the DIY route may be a bit daunting. But we've got you (and your face) covered. Here's a quick tutorial on how to make an easy, no-sew face covering out of a sock.

scissors and cotton sock


1. First, gather your materials. You will need a pair of sharp scissors and a clean cotton sock — an athletic ankle sock works well — with a tight weave. You can also use a longer sock and cut off the top.

hands cutting off end of the sock


2. Lay down the sock horizontally on a flat surface. Using your scissors, cut the sock in half between the toe and the heel. Remove the half with the toe and discard.

hands cutting folded sock


3. Turn the sock vertically so the cut end is at the top, and the heel to your left. Make another cut on the right side from the ankle opening to the cut end of the sock.

hands folding sock mask


4. Fold the sock in half.

hands cutting notch in face mask


5. At about 1/2 inch from the edge, cut a 1/2- to 1-inch slit starting from the fold. Do not cut all the way through the sock.

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hands holding sock face mask with loops


6. Open up the fabric.

placing fabric in sock face mask


7. For extra protection, place a folded piece of fabric (T-shirt material or cotton cloth) in the nose and mouth area.

woman placing face mask made out of a sock


8. To put on the mask, stretch the loops over your ears. Make sure it fits snugly over your nose and mouth and that you can breathe freely.

woman washing hands


9. Wash your hands before you put on the mask and after you remove it.

hands placing sock mask in the washing machine


10. Launder your mask frequently, ideally after every use.