PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending Americans wear non-medical masks as an additional voluntary public health measure. Officials stress that you don’t need surgical or N95 masks. They need to be saved for first responders and health care workers who are in close contact with people who have the virus.

If you can’t get a mask, you can make your own with material that’s tightly woven, ideally a high quality cotton.

Luckily, the Pennsylvania Health Department has created a handy guide on how to make your own mask.

How to make a homemade mask:

Materials needed:

  • Fabric (100% cotton is most effective)
  • Fabric Ties
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or a needle and thread


  • Measure and cut two pieces of fabric in a rectangle pattern to fit snugly around the face (size
    12 inches by 6 inches is standard for adults).
  • Tightly sew both layers together on all edges.
  • Cut fabric ties to fit around the ears.
  • Sew the ties to the insides of the mask on the smaller edge, repeat on both sides.
  • Resew the sides to ensure a tight seal between both pieces of fabric and the earpiece.