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Making Homemade Face Masks

SAN FERNANDO, CA - Ariel Martinez, like many Americans, lost her job due to COVID-19. Instead of thinking of the “what ifs,” she thought about what she could do to help to keep her family safe. Martinez started making face masks in her spare time.

Photo, Amanda Alvarado

Martinez gives hand-made masks for free to her health care working family members. She also sells masks for $5.

Her grandmother first showed her how to make the masks. Martinez says if her grandmother never taught her how to sew, she would not know how to make the masks. Once she understood the process, she started creating a variety of different designs, including some that are reversible. She often makes four different sizes ranging from children to adults. The best-selling mask is the extra-large size because it fits customers who have facial hair or large beards.

“One single mask can probably take me maybe less than five minutes now that I have my design and my technique down,” said Martinez.

Martinez enjoys picking out the fabric. She usually purchases fabric that is 100 percent cotton. From all the materials she uses, elastic fabric is the hardest to come by due its to high demands. The longest she had to wait for an order of one yard of elastic fabric was one month.

No mask is 100 percent effective in preventing infection from the coronavirus, but wearing a mask offers more protection than not wearing a face covering at all. While some continue to not wear masks in public, Martinez says she feels more comfortable and safer when those around her are wearing a mask. A properly worn mask covers your nose, mouth and goes under your chin.

Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide mask mandate requiring everyone to wear a mask in public. This excludes children under the age of 2 years old, and/or anyone with a medical condition or disability that does not allow them to wear a mask. The CDC recommends mask with two or more layers. The CDC does not recommend gaiters and face shields.

Video, Amanda Alvarado

By Amanda Alvarado

Photo, Amanda Alvarado

Video, Amanda Alvarado


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