The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital Sewing Mask Challenge


Thank you for thinking of Guelph General Hospital (GGH) and for considering creative ways to help us.

Our Community is no different than others in that there is a global shortage of personal protective equipment (e.g., face shields and medical-grade masks) used to keep frontline workers and patients safe from infection when performing certain medical procedures. There is a collective effort from leaders across many disciplines to rectify this during these unprecedented circumstances.

Here is how YOU can help. Although there is no sewn face mask that can effectively replace a medical-grade mask (such as N95 masks) for our frontline workers, they can be used for other uses such as the general community, visitors or discharged patients. This allows GGH to save medical-grade masks for higher risk environments.

In fact, just recently, the Centre for Disease Control recommended 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.

Thus, the Foundation of Guelph General Hospital is issuing a challenge to all sewers to collectively make masks for GGH!


What you will need:

  • Clean cotton fabric (you could consider bed sheets, tea towels, t-shirts)
  • Standard sewing supplies (ie: sewing machine, measuring tape etc.)
  • Rope Elastic, beading cord elastic will work (you may also use 1/8” flat elastic
  • Cut the elastic 7” long and tie a knot at each end (do not knot the ends of the flat)

We will sanitize all sewn masks at the hospital but please use clean fabric to make your masks.

Video instructions

Click here for video instructions on how to make a mask

Simple Instructions

You can download simple instructions here

Share your creations on social media and tag us on Facebook with @FdnGGH, Instagram with @FdnofGGH and Twitter with @FdnofGGH, or send us photos directly by emailing [email protected].


Who will be given these masks?

  • All approved visitors who enter Guelph General Hospital
  • All of our discharged patients as they reintegrate into the community

Hospital healthcare providers will not use these masks. They have certified masks that they are required to wear. The Sewing Challenge does not replace the need for donations of certain types of personal protective equipment. Click here to learn more.

Where and when can I drop off my completed masks?

All sewn masks can be dropped off at the Frank Hasenfratz Centre For Excellence – Linamar, 700 Woodlawn Rd W, Guelph, between 9:00 am – 2:00 pm Monday to Friday OR 22 McTague Street between 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, 7 days a week.

Please put your sewn masks in an open box, labeled with your contact information and stating the contents of the box. When dropping off to 22 McTague Street, please leave the boxes on the porch.

As per the guidelines of social distancing, please keep at least 6 feet distance with others.

Please place the completed masks in the labelled box on the porch, no need to knock or ring the doorbell.

People who are in quarantine or self-isolation due to exposure are asked NOT to drop off anything.

I don’t have elastics. Can I use fabric ties?

Yes, you can absolutely replace the elastics in the pattern with fabric ties or twist ties.

I’m using a different pattern. Is that okay?

Yes! We just ask that you try to follow the fabric guidelines!

Aren’t all non-essential businesses closed? Where can I find fabric and sewing supplies right now?

In many cases, you can still shop online!

I have heard that there is a need for other sewn items like surgical caps, gowns and foot covers. Can/Should we make these as well?

We currently have not mobilized our sewing community for gowns or foot covers but check back for updates. There has been a community request by some of our employees for the making of surgical caps.  Please refer to this Facebook group for more information:

How do I wear a sewn mask and care for it?

Please click here to see how sewn masks are to be worn and cared for.

I have another question – who do I contact?

Please send an email to [email protected]

Thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe in our community.

Information adapted from Deaconess, Michael Garron Hospital and Cambridge Memorial Hospital. The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital and Guelph General Hospital assume no responsibility for cost or injuries related to the making of masks.  Nor does it vouch for the effectiveness of using sewn masks for preventing infection.