How to Donate Hand-Sewn Face Masks

We are so grateful! Community volunteers have sewn and donated many thousands of fabric facemasks to help our patients and employees during the pandemic.

While VUMC has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) currently on hand to protect its employees and patients from COVID-19, cloth masks work well for other circumstances and can help conserve reserves of N95 respirator masks.

As a reminder, all patients, visitors and VUMC employees are required to wear a mask while on the Medical Center campus.

See latest masking guidance.

We will continue to accept donations of cloth masks for the foreseeable future. If you have questions about donating cloth masks, please email volunteer.services@vumc.org.

We are unable to offer pick-up service.

Hand-sewn masks can be dropped off between 8 am-4:30 pm. in a plastic bin under the portico at Entrance A, Vanderbilt One Hundred Oaks. This entrance is around the back of One Hundred Oaks, on the end of the mall nearest the movie theater. See map and directions here.

Donations for Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital can be dropped off at the hospital's Surgery Center entrance.  Items can be placed in a plastic bin Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

A recommended sewing pattern, along with suggested cloth materials, can be found below. Note versions with and without elastic (because apparently "elastic is the new toilet paper" and in short supply!).

Your efforts will help make a difference.

Instructions for Homemade Face Mask (with elastic)

Materials needed (with elastic)

  • Tight-weave cotton fabric (i.e. quilting cotton)
    • Fabric must be newly purchased.
    • Wash and dry fabric without fragrance or dyes prior to sewing.
  • Rope Elastic, beading cord elastic will work (you may also use 1/8” flat elastic if ¼” is unavailable.
  • Light-to-medium weight interfacing. Alternatively, one (1) extra fabric layer may be used.

One adult mask requires two (2) 9”x6” pieces tight-weave cotton and two (2) 7” pieces of 1/4 inch elastic, and one (1) piece of interfacing. Therefore, one yard of 44” wide fabric yields 12-15 masks. You need 7.5 yards of elastic for 25 masks (14 inches per mask).

You can make two sizes: Adult or Child. Adult-sized masks will be the greatest need.

  1. Put right sides of cotton fabric together (Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.)
    1. Cut 9x6 (Adult) or 7.5 x 5 (Child)
  2. Lay interfacing on top. Pin all layers together.
  3. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this.
  4. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back.
  5. Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again, put an elastic with the edge out.
  6. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic.
  7. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.
  8. Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction.
  9. Sew around the edge of the mask twice.

 

Instructions for Homemade Face Mask (no elastic needed)

Materials needed

  • Tight-weave cotton fabric (i.e. quilting cotton)
    • Fabric must be new.
    • Wash and dry fabric without fragrance or dyes prior to sewing.
  • Options for Ties
    • Bias Tape (either ½ or 7/8 as available)
      OR
    • Make ties from strips of fabric indicated above (cut strips 2 " wide by 16" long)
  • Light-to-medium weight interfacing. Alternatively, one (1) extra fabric layer may be used.

One adult mask requires two (2) 9”x6” pieces tight-weave cotton and four (4) 16” pieces of bias tape or fabric ties (64” total per mask), and one (1) piece of interfacing. Therefore, one yard of 44” wide fabric yields 12-15 masks. You need 21 1/3 yards of bias tape for 12 masks.

You can make two sizes: Adult or Child. Adult-sized masks will be the greatest need.

  1. Place right sides of cotton fabric together (Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.)
    1. Cut 9x6 (Adult) or 7.5 x 5 (Child)
  2. Lay interfacing on top. Pin all layers together.
  3. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew around the edges of the fabric leaving about 1.5” to 2” open.
  4. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.
  5. Pin three (3) ½” tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction.
  6. Make ties using Bias Tape or Fabric.
    1. Bias tape: stitch closed.
    2. Fabric: Fold in half, turn under 1/4 " on each long side, iron in place. Stitch long edges closed.
  7. Pin one (1) tie at each corner.
  8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice, catching the bias tape as you go.

 

Instructions for Homemade Face Mask with Window