Don't have a mask to wear? Here's a simple way to make one

Publish Date
Wednesday, 12 August 2020, 12:28PM

All New Zealanders are now encouraged to wear masks when social distancing isn't possible, and Aucklanders have been told to wear them whenever out of the home.

If you haven't bought a mask, there's no need to panic because they can be made at home with supplies you already have.

In Victoria, where it's an offence to go outside without a face covering, the state government has issued guidelines on how to make a cloth face mask at home.


Its guidelines say you need three layers of fabric and two ear loops.

The outer layer should be water-resistant fabric, which can be found in clothing, exercise gear or reusable shopping bags.

The middle layer can be any fabric blend found in clothing.

The inner layer should be water-absorbing cotton.

For the ear loops you need elastic, string or cloth strips. Shoe laces will do the job, too.

Cut a 25cmx25cm square out of all three layers and lay them out stacked one on top of the other finishing with the cotton layer on top.

Fold the top and bottom edges in about 1cm on each side and stitch them together with a needle and thread.

Fold the remaining sides in a bit wider - about 1.5cm - and stitch with enough room to thread your ear loops through.

Knot the ear loops closed tightly. Put the mask on with the outer layer facing away from your face.



A simple face covering can be made with a rectangular piece of fabric and two rubber bands.

With four folds of the fabric and two rubber bands you'll be able to achieve a face covering that doesn't have the same effectiveness of the three layered mask, but will still give you some coverage.


Last week the Ministry of Health publicised guidelines on the safest way to handle masks whether it's a single-use mask or home-made facial coverings.

They include how you put it on, what to do while wearing it, how to take it off and how to handle it safely after use to avoid the risk of infection.

Stay safe, NZ.


This article was first published to and repurposed with permission.