Tiny Turnip's Step-by-Step Guide to Sewing Your Own Fabric Protective Face Mask at Home

The CDC is now recommending that the general public wear cloth or fabric face masks during social distancing. The CDC says that when outside in public or in grocery stores, the general population should wear fabric masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  It is mainly to add extra protection while practicing social distancing and prevent those who have the virus - and might not even know it - from spreading the infection to others.  Over 20% of COVID-19 carriers are completely asymptomatic - and can still spread the disease to others through droplet or skin contact.


The great news is that these fabric masks can easily be made at home in as little as 30 minutes with a few pieces of scrap fabric you probably have around the house!
We wanted to share with you step by step instructions and a little tutorial on how to do so. We would love to see your results, so please take pictures and send them to us at customerservice@tinyturnip.com or tag us @tinyturnip on Facebook or Instagram.
If you are unable to sew your own, no sweat, we have pre-made masks for sale on our website (and 100% of the profits go to COVID-19 Relief Charities!)


If you are an essential worker and need a mask or know of an essential worker who needs a mask and can not afford to purchase one please email us at customerservice@tinyturnip.com and we'll do our best to get you one!


Team Tiny Turnip and our families worked over the week to sew some to donate to  our local grocery store clerks in San Clemente, CA.  We dropped the first ones off today, and they were a big hit and made the cashiers so happy:-)




Step-By-Step Guide for Sewing your Own Fabric Mask:

We are using our “Melon Head” Fabric.  This mask and others are available for purchase on our website (100% of Proceeds go to COVID-19 Charities!) 




  • cotton fabric (If you don’t have fabric, re-purpose what you do have like old sheets, old t-shirts etc…)
  • scissors
  • pins
  • measuring tape or ruler
  • sewing machine
  • wire (18 - 20  gage is good. This can even be a straightened paper clip)
  • 4 fabric ties: 18” long OR
  • 2 elastic strips 7” each ( elastic is hard to come by as it is being used for much needed medical masks)



STEP 1: Cut a rectangle out of the fabric of your choice.

  • adult: 16” long x 8.5” wide
  • kids: 14” long x 6.5” wide



STEP 2: Fold the fabric in half and pin it with a 2” opening.



STEP 3: Move the opening to the center and sew along the top, creating a small casing to slide the metal nose piece into.



STEP 4: Insert your metal wire into the casing and position it into the center.  Tack it into place by sewing each side of the casing shut.



STEP 5:  Sew your fabric ties.



STEP 6:  Pin the ties to the corners of the mask laying flat and tuck the straps into the center.  Sew the sides of the mask closed.



STEP 7:  Pull the ties out of the 2” opening and turn the entire mask, right side out. 



STEP 8:  Fold even pleats and pin down in place. Final length for adult should measure about 3.75”


STEP 9:  Sew the pleats down on each side, removing the pins as you go.


STEP 10:  Now, trim any threads and inspect your creation! 



FITTING NOTES: When you try on your mask, please do the following for maximum effectiveness:

  • Bend the metal piece above your nose, so it fits nice and firm with no gaps.
  • The folds on the outside of the mask should be going downward ( so not to catch any droplets.
  • The inside folds will be going upward, and there is a hole if you would like to insert any additional filter.


WEARING NOTES: Before and after you wear your mask, wash and dry it. If you are the ironing type, you can do that as well!



BONUS STEP:  Give yourself a pat on the back for your amazing accomplishment and for helping to keep yourself, your family, and everyone else safer!

We hope you enjoyed these instructions and that you have fun making these masks while helping to flatten the curve.  Here are some pictures of my family making masks and memories together.  Please feel free to share this page with your friends, and If you do decide to make some masks, please share your photos with us! We would love to see both your work in progress and your final masterpieces!  Please email them to us at customerservice@tinyturnip.com, or post to Instagram and Facebook and tag us @tinyturnip

Remember… Stay home if you can! And if you have to venture out… wear a mask, wash your hands, keep your distance and stay safe!


Thanks so much!


Rachel, Jalynne and Team Tiny Turnip!

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