Out of Elastic?

The mask-making fury continues across the country, and despite the controversy about what works and what doesn’t I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s great!

No matter what you choose to do or not do, it’s great.

Many are sacrificing their time and making masks for friends and family, because something is better than nothing. If we don’t have the medical supply masks, we need to try and do our best to protect our friends and neighbors, even if that just means wearing a mask yourself.

I’ve also seen hospitals distributing medical grade supplies for sewists to sew and give back to the hospital- obviously this is IDEAL, but I have yet to get my hands on a kit- sewists all over the country are jumping at the chance to make a difference during this hard time.

If you’re like me, making masks in hopes that your elastic will be delivered sooner than you hope, you can find other supplies around the house that will work nicely!

How to Make a Mask without Elastic

Today I posted a video on how to use grosgrain ribbon to make the straps on the masks: quick, easy, and you don’t have 100″ of binding to sew. Check it out here:

No matter what you’re doing during this time, I hope you realize that there is no pressure. Your job is to stay in. Stay home. Stay calm. That’s all you’re being asked to do.

Edited to add:

I forgot to say how much ribbon I’m using in the video! I’ve found that 36″ on each side is a nice size.


  1. Thank-you for this. I do still have some elastic but not much longer. I am making the masks without filters. I can not get people to understand this is OK. Something is better than nothing. We are not making medical masks. Masks to run essential errands, for the homeless, for the patients in nursing homes and other facilities. Keep sewing. Many people in all states need the simple masks.

  2. Thank you, it’s a good alternative.
    Stay healthy-

  3. What a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

  4. If you are “cheap” like me, you will use T-shirt strips (1 to 1 1/2 inch widths) as the ties and they are soft and far more comfortable!!!

  5. Thank you, I ,too, ran out of elastic and will use the ribbon.

  6. How much gross grain ribbon do you use?

  7. Hi Rachel-Thank you so much for your video on making masks. I, too, have been working on some for many of my nurse colleagues and I know they truly appreciate them. I really liked the match tip which I had never seen before. I can’t wait to get back to taking some of your classes. Charlotte Robinette

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