Homemade Paper Mask

Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
April 7, 2020

Homemade Paper Mask - man modeling the maskRight now mask-wearing is in effect if you are to go outside, in some areas. Are you limited on resources at home? You can make a mask with a paper towel. It is not the same as N95 or surgical mask designed for healthcare employees, but we're trying to save those resources for those who need it most, plus it's literally impossible to find any available masks in general to buy right now.


This mask will help keep your droplets to yourself (just like it is better to sneeze into a napkin versus sneezing out in the open or into your bare hands). This would be ideal to make as a disposable mask and salvage the rubber bands after disinfecting with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Good to use when social distancing for a walk around your neighborhood for fresh air, getting the mail, or walking your dog. Or if this is all you have at home, it's better than nothing.

If you have fabric replace the paper towel - you could apply this same process and hand sew or use a sewing machine. And if you don't have elastic, you could use a rubber band temporarily.

Editor's Note: This type of paper mask should be only used as a last resort. Doubling the towels will help. Blue shop towels or thicker paper towels such as Bounty will be more effective. Be sure the mask is as tight fitting as possible for the best protection. Remember masks of any kind do not replace hand washing and social distancing as the main ways to help prevent the spread of the novel corona virus COVID19.

Total Time: 10 minutes



  • paper towel
  • stapler
  • rubber bands


  1. Our paper towels are different sizes so you want to figure out length between your folds and how many fold layers you would like to make. Then fold like pictured.
  2. Homemade Paper Mask - measuring for folds
    Homemade Paper Mask - pleating the towel
  3. At the top and bottom, you will create a little rim and staple.
  4. Homemade Paper Mask - stapling the rim
  5. Gather edges together and place through the rubber band.
  6. Homemade Paper Mask - placing the end through a rubber band
  7. Staple to secure rubberband in place. This rubberband will be the earloop. Repeat on the other side.
  8. Homemade Paper Mask - staple the paper towel around the rubber band

  9. Now your mask is complete! Thanks to my dad for being the model.
  10. Homemade Paper Mask - mask seen from the front
Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
April 24, 20200 found this helpful

I think this is a good idea but I am not sure how safe this is or how much it can actually protect you from the virus. I have read that this method can only protect you like 30% from catching this virus.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Silver Post Medal for All Time! 267 Posts
April 25, 20200 found this helpful

If you use the blue shop towels (non-woven), they are reported to have very good filtration, better than cloth. I would try making this mask pattern out of them instead of paper.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Diamond Post Medal for All Time! 1,298 Posts
April 29, 20200 found this helpful

Yes, correct! The blue shop towels or any durable would be better alternative. These masks are not proven in any means to prevent against COVID-19, but it is better than nothing and easy to make if one does not know how to sew or having a sewing machine on hand.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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