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Home Research Guides DIY Masks- what you need to know

DIY Masks- what you need to know

Tutorial videos
Make a surgeon-style mask
Make an Olson-style mask
Surgeon General Shows How to Make Your Own Face Covering

Help us make masks!

Our Goal

We had a goal of making 250 masks to be distributed to the Fargo/Moorhead community.  We have made 398! Thank you to all are dedicated volunteers and those who have cotntributed supplies.

There is a need for more and we are hoping people will continue to sew. We are offering kits (10 masks each) to volunteers to assemble. 

We are working with local organizations to supply masks to those in need. 

If you can help by sewing, donating materials fill out the NDSU Libraries Covid-19 Crowdsourcing Form(link is external)

If you need masks, let us know how many with  this form(link is external).

This is the mask we are making: Olson Mask


Please email if you need a child-size pattern.


Making a mask for you or for others


This site(link is external) has a good breakdown of the benefits of different fabrics to use for a mask.


Patterns and instructions

Instuctions on making a mask from the CDC.(link is external)

Olson Mask(link is external)

How to make a face mask (surgical style)(link is external)

How to Make an Adult Mask with Ties(link is external)


The CDC says:(link is external)

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
  • You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
  • Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
  • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
  • The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  • Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
  • Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.

How to Wear a Cloth Face Covering(link is external)

Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

CDC on Homemade Cloth Face Coverings

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.  Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators.  Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned regularly? How regularly?

Yes. They should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

How does one safely sterilize/clean a cloth face covering?

A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering.

How does one safely remove a used cloth face covering?

Individuals should be careful not to touch their eyes, nose, and mouth when removing their face covering and wash hands immediately after removing.

How we are doing?

Number of kits available: More are being assembled.

Number of masks donated: 398

Who are we sewing for:

Fargo VA
Rosewood on Broadway (senior home)
Churches United (homeless services) 

Who has  received masks:

Fargo YMCA: 65

Fargo VA: 85

Churches United: 218

Rosewood on Broadway: 30 

Donations: Who needs masks

Sandford Health

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota: 

Contact Nona Bixler, director of Volunteer Services, at (605) 333-5273 or sends e-mail).

In Fargo, North Dakota: 

Drop off donations of homemade, surgical and N95 face masks at Sanford Health HealthCare Accessories, 3223 32nd Ave. S. in Fargo, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
An employee will come out to your vehicle to collect donations. Unopened hand sanitizer and unopened disinfecting wipes also would be welcomed. Donations also can be dropped off anytime at a bin inside the entrance to F-M Ambulance Services at 2215 18th St. S. in Fargo.

In Bismarck, North Dakota: 

Contact Weston Dressler with Community Relations at sends e-mail) or (701) 323-5762. A drop-off receptacle is also available in the entrance of First International Bank & Trust, 1601 12th St. N. in Bismarck.

In Bemidji, Minnesota: 

Drop off donations of homemade masks, in individual zip-top bags, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at the designated (no touch) bin at front entrance on the east side of the Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, 1300 Anne St. N.W. in Bemidji. Donations of unopened disinfecting wipes are also appreciated.


FM Ambulance Service

Contact: Kari
Phone: 701-364-1704
Email: sends e-mail)


PPE Donation - not home made


At #GetUsPPE we are working to build a national, centralized platform to enable communities to get PPE to healthcare providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.