We are so honored to be partnering with you in this incredible effort to provide hand-sewn masks to the organizations and agencies that are requesting them across America. While cloth masks will not prevent people from COVID-19 exposure, they may help slow the spread of the pandemic when worn by non-frontline healthcare people. Please refer to this website for further information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about hand-sewn masks.
We’ve laid out all the instructions and links you need below to reach our collective goal of 1,000,000+ masks crafted by 4-H.
If every county in America commits to creating 350 masks, 4-H would be responsible for donating over one million masks!
If you are a volunteer, scroll down below the photo of the sewing machine to find information for you!
For the 4-H County Professional
How to mobilize your county:
We will be using the group organizing app, PlanHero™, to coordinate our effort. They are allowing 4-H and COVID Mask Crafters to use the platform for free for the next six months (normally $9/month). Click here to view the signup that you can replicate to enlist your volunteers and get the sewing machines humming.
How to get started:
1. Sign up for a 30-day free trial for the Signup Tool
2. Contact Jennifer Berman at email@example.com and let her know your county is participating (we’re going for 100%!). She’s a 4-H club leader in Santa Barbara County.
- She will give you the Promo Code to give you six additional months for free.
- She is coordinating with COVID Mask Crafters so you don’t have to. We want to eliminate confusion by maintaining a single point of contact.
3. It’s important that we all follow the same procedures to ensure that we’re adhering to the guidelines set forth by COVID Mask Crafters. This includes all information about what kind of masks we are creating and how they are to be distributed.
4. COVID Mask Crafters has volunteers called “hubbers” working to coordinate efforts in local areas throughout the country.
- Jennifer is working on a comprehensive list of “hubbers.”
- If one is already established in your area, Jennifer will provide contact information.
- If there is no hubber in your area, the chief coordinator for your county can take the lead.
- Please review the responsibilities of the (#1) chief coordinator below with regard to coordination and distribution efforts.
5. If you have sewing project leaders in your county, we suggest you loop them in before sending out the all-member email.
6. Set-up your volunteer signup on PlanHero™ by following the steps in this how-to video and/or following the steps in this PDF. Don’t worry, it will only take a few minutes!
7. Finally, draft an email (see sample wording below) attaching the link to your PlanHero™ signup and send it out to all of your county members to begin acquiring volunteers!
Instructions for creating the PlanHero™ signup:
Draft email for members:
Dear ________ County 4-H members, families, and volunteers,
As we all know, these are unprecedented times in our country. The COVID-19 virus has most of us confined to our homes. Many of us are seeking a meaningful way to help those in need. We have found a way our 4-H family can help.
COVID Mask Crafters is a grass-roots effort to get local community members to sew cloth masks to help meet the desperate need nationwide. These masks do not replace the N95 masks nor surgical masks, which offer the greatest protection against COVID-19. But they can help workers and people in lower risk environments. This is where 4-H can offer “hands to larger service.”
If every county in America commits to creating 350 masks, 4-H would be responsible for donating over a million masks!
If you go to this link (copy the link from your PlanHero™ signup), you will see what is needed for volunteers, supplies, and donations. Sign up to volunteer where you are able and let’s help close the nationwide gap one mask at a time.
For the 4-H County Volunteers
Volunteer how-to-signup-to-volunteer instructions:
- Click Sign Up on the items you wish to volunteer for
- Click Next: Review & Confirm (you may have to click it twice)
- On the final Confirmation page, enter your Name, Email Address, and Phone Number
- Click Confirm
Sewing and supplies instructions:
Spools of 100% polyester or poly-cotton blend thread
1 Yard of High Thread Count light-colored 100% cotton fabric pre-washed in hot water with fragrance-free detergent (think bed sheets, pillow cases, quilting fabric, etc.) We need about 30 yards for our county. 1 yard of 42″ wide fabric makes 12 masks. (Quantity needed to make 350 DIY masks = 30 yards)
1 Yard of Bias tape (700 yards needed if all masks made with ties or lesser amount needed if combined with elastic). Each masks requires (2) 1/4″ (finished) x 36″ ties. (Quantity needed to make 350 DIY masks = 700 yards)
1 Yard 1/4″ elastic (136 yards needed or lesser amount if combined with bias tape ties). Each mask requires (2) 7″ elastic pieces. (Quantity needed to make 350 DIY masks = 136 yards)
Elastic can be purchased online at The Creation Station.
There are 5 critical volunteer needs:
#1 Chief Coordinator
Volunteer needed to coordinate cutting, sewing, supplies, and pick-up/launder/delivery effort within your county following these steps:
1) Connect with Covid Mask Crafters hubber (local Covid Mask Crafters volunteer) in your area. If there is one, you will be provided with that info.
2) If there is no hubber in your area, chief coordinator will coordinate delivery of masks to organizations and/or agencies that have identified a need on the Covid Mask Crafters website. Jennifer Berman will provide that info for your county. If there isn’t one,
3) Chief coordinator and other volunteers can contact local organizations and/or agencies to assess their need for masks. As you identify needs, please ask the organization or agency to fill out the request form to be listed on the Covid Mask Crafters website.
- Formalize this request via email by including the following verbiage:
- It was nice speaking with you today, and we’re excited to get to work on crafting hand-sewn masks for you. Please register your request on the Covid Mask Crafters website (click here). As you are likely already aware, hand-sewn masks do not replace N95 masks or surgical masks, nor do they protect the wearer from small droplets or aerosol droplets containing the COVID-19 virus. It is imperative that you follow the strictest level of health and safety protocols that govern your organization. This may be your local Public Health Department, your state Public Health Department, the Center for Disease Control, or another organization.
- Formalize this request via email by including the following verbiage:
4) If no needs are identified in your area, or you have met all of the needs and have surplus inventory, you will ship the masks to the nearest Covid Mask Crafters hubbers, or the nearest organization/agency listed in your region here. Jennifer Berman can provide you with your nearest hubber’s contact information.
5) When your group has satisfied an identified need, update Covid Mask Crafters so they can update their website.
Below is a list of the supplies needed for mask making. Sign up if you have any of these items to donate. Elastic can be purchased online at The Creation Station. They have an excellent supply.
#3 Supplies Pick-up / Mask Laundering / Mask Delivery / Shippers
A supply coordinator is needed to coordinate supplies pick up and drop-off, mask laundering after they are made, and mask delivery , or shipping, when completed and provide status info to the chief coordinator. Volunteers are also needed to pick up and deliver supplies to sewers and then pick up masks, launder them, and deliver or ship them to organizations.
- Note: Pattern can be made with elastic or bias tape (or homemade bias tape) ties whichever you have the most of. Elastic can be purchased online at The Creation Station.
- Note: Wash all masks in hot water and dry on high heat place in plastic bags (like Ziplock) prior to delivery or shipping.
- Include a note that contains the following information (download a printable version here):
“These are 100% cotton hand-sewn face masks crafted by volunteers.
These masks are “Non Medical”.
They are not sewn in a 21 CFR 820 facility, nor a facility with a 510(k) clearance.
These masks are Not Recommended for Surgical Settings.
They are not guaranteed against antimicrobial, antiviral, infection prevention or reduction.
Please consult your local Public Health Department and/or the Center for Disease control to ensure that you are practicing the strictest health and safety protocols with them.”
- Volunteers must have access to a vehicle and have a valid driver’s license and automobile insurance. Volunteers should not be at high-risk for COVID-19 (i.e. elderly and/or having a compromised immune system) since they may come in contact with other people during pick-ups/drop-offs.
A coordinator is needed to coordinate cutters and provide them with approved patterns. Volunteers are needed to cut fabric.
- Note: Wash all fabric in hot water and dry on high heat before cutting! Use fragrance-free detergent, if possible, and do not use dryer sheets.
A coordinator is needed to coordinate sewers and provide them with approved patterns. Sewing volunteers are greatly needed.
- Note: Pattern can be made with elastic or bias tape (or homemade bias tape) ties, which ever you have the most of. See Sewing Directions below.
How to sew a DIY mask:
There are many mask patterns out there. For the purpose of mass production, 4-H has chosen to sew the DIY mask because it is the mask most requested by organizations in need.
1) Read through these instructions before cutting.
2) Start by washing 100% high thread count cotton in hot water and dry in high heat. Use fragrance-free detergent, if possible, and do not use dryer sheets.
3) Then taking one yard (or more) of 42″ wide fabric, fold the fabric in half so that the selvage edges are together with selvage edges running left to right on your cutting table (so 21″ wide).
4) Starting at the selvage edges, measure 7″ down and cut a strip (left to right). If you are working with a yard, you will end up with 3 strips measuring 7″ x 36″.
5) Cut the strips into four 9″ sections. You will end up with (12) 7″ x 9″ sections.
6) Watch this video for construction.
7) If you do not have elastic, you will need to make ties that are 36″ long. Bias tape can be used for ties or you can cut an 1″ x 36″ wide strip of fabric. Fold bias tape or fabric strip to an inch width and stitch with a top stitch finishing each end.
8) Watch this video for a quick and easy tie modification to the DIY mask.
9) Wash all masks again in hot water with fragrance-free detergent and dry on high heat prior to delivery or shipping.
- Drop-off to identified need within county/region (Jennifer Berman will provide this information), if none
- Contact local organizations and/or agencies. If no need at local organizations and/or agencies,
- Ship to nearest hubber from COVID Mask Crafters who will then distribute (Jennifer Berman will connect you with the nearest hubber); or
- Ship to nearest regional location on the Covid Mask Crafters needs list.
- When your group has satisfied an identified need, update Covid Mask Crafters so they can update their website