DIY Mask


This is just a DIY Project. The doctors at Selsey Medical Practice wish to make it clear that they cannot endorse it as providing protection against Covid-19. This mask may simply help members of the public who do not have access to PPE to enhance the normal measures they are taking.

All of the measures and advice put in place by the Government, 111 and NHS England must always be followed in full.

Mask made from shirt fabric with filter layer inside. Make sure you wash the mask regularly.

Make your own Mask

During this troubling time it is good to feel you can do something to help protect yourself and others.

This is a DIY project you could try at home; it is a "PPE" mask which can be worn to offer some limited protection against the spread of Covid-19.

We must stress that this is not a certified mask in any way, and we can make no guarantee that it will stop the virus, however, we believe it is better than no protection at all. 

The project has been designed by our staff here at the practice, notably Jen Hymas and Dr Parrish. They have based the design on the shape of the paper masks that were issued to us by NHS England. They have made a few prototypes which are quite comfortable to wear. We want this to be an "open source" project, which means that anyone can contribute ideas or improvements. If you want to make a mask you can download and print our pattern and instructions (below).

If you have come up with any improvements please share them so we can add them to the design. (email

What you will need

You can print out the pattern and cut round it like a normal dressmaking pattern. Make sure you print at exactly 100% scale though (our printer always tries to scale it down for some reason!)

We recommend some thin fabric like polycotton for the mask - we used a worn-out men's shirt (from a worn-out man!) - you will need two layers 19.5 x 18 cm. We put a filter layer in between - there have been lots of suggestions for what to use here, ranging from plastic (provides a shield, air comes round the sides) to coffee filters (air is breathed through the mask but this needs to be washed/re-filtered regularly). You can experiment with materials for this layer but it should be washable or removeable.

You will need two pieces of thin elastic between 18cm long (small head) and 20cm long (larger head) for the ear loops. If you can't find elastic you might be able improvise with wool or string.

Obviously it helps if you have a sewing machine but the mask can be sewn by hand as it is quite small.

We sewed in some thin wire to shape the nose edge - we used a straightened out paper clip, but you should bend the ends over so there are no sharp parts.

Once you have ironed in the pleats (low temperature setting if you use some kind of plastic for the filter) and it is all assembled, you can top stitch up each side to trap in the elastic and fix the ends of the pleats.

You just need some simple materials and basic sewing skills.