Illustration by Mary Berger | Art Director

4 Ways to DIY a Mask

May 27, 2021

4 ways to DIY a mask

By Madyson Lewellyn | The Beat Editor

W hether you haven’t been fully vaccinated yet or just aren’t ready for people to see the other half of your face, a mask is always the way to go.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced that fully vaccinated Americans are able to go mask-free in indoor and outdoor crowds, the newly relaxed rules come with exceptions. Don’t toss all your masks just yet; there will still be several instances in which a face mask might be required, such as work, school, travel, restaurants and other businesses. The final say is up to individual discretion.

Whether a mask is still needed or not, why not get creative in the meantime? Luckily, they can easily be customized in several different ways to express your shining personality. Turn a plain, dull mask into your own personal masterpiece right from the comfort of home. Here are four different ways to DIY a face mask:


Tie-dying is a timeless technique that will never go out of style. It’s an easy way to take your forgotten white mask and turn it into a new favorite accessory. All you’ll need is a white mask, your tie-dye paint colors of choice, rubber bands, a pair of latex gloves and plastic wrap. First, dampen your mask in water. Wring it out before folding the mask and rubber banding different sections. Some sectioning methods include the bullseye design, diagonal stripes, polka dots and the pinwheel swirl.

After your mask has been rubber banded to your liking, it’s time to start squirting the dye. Make sure the entire mask is covered with dye before wrapping in plastic wrap to dry. After six to eight hours, wash the mask in cold water until all the excess dye has come off. Lastly, wash and dry again to seal the colors.

Iron-on patches

If you’re looking to personalize your face mask in the easiest way possible, look no further. With iron-on patches, the options are endless. Some creative ideas involve your school logo, initials, quotes and even a favorite sports team. Grab your desired patch, a cloth mask, an iron, an ironing board and a cloth.

Turn the iron on the hottest setting and let it heat for five to ten minutes. Make sure the steam setting is turned off. Next, lay out your mask flat on the ironing board and place your patch in the desired spot. Cover the mask and patch with the cloth before ironing for 25 to 30 seconds. Wait for the mask to cool and check if the patch is fully attached. Repeat ironing if needed.


Have an old pair of jeans lying around? We all do. Instead of letting them collect more dust, why not transform them into a trendy denim mask? This technique is more advanced but will surely leave you pleased in the end. Supplies include a section of lightweight denim fabric, lightweight interfacing fabric, a pattern template (available for download on Joann Fabrics), twill tape and basic sewing supplies.

After downloading a pattern template, cut four denim patterns. Make four fabric ties by cutting 1 ½ in. wide of desired fabric. Place two pieces of denim together and sew the outer curve. Repeat with the other two denim patterns. Place fabric ties on each corner sew along the exterior of the mask.

Upcycle an old T-shirt

With a cotton T-shirt and a pair of trusty scissors, you can achieve the highest level of mask comfort. The best part? You only need a few minutes of spare time. First, lay the T-shirt flat and make sure the sleeve is big enough to cover your nose and mouth. Cut along the seams of one sleeve. Next, make the strap of the mask by cutting 1 in. along the bottom of the shirt, leaving you with a loop of fabric.

Lay out the sleeve piece with the middle seam facing up. Put the ends of the strap though the sides of the sleeve. One loop should be at the top to cover the upper part of your head. Wrap the bottom around the back of your lower head and tie.

AUTHOR: Madyson Lewellyn
EDITOR: Emma Dollenmayer
COPY EDITOR: Isabel Nissley