Workers and volunteers in long term care facilities, food banks, community houses, and more are continuing to try to deliver their necessary services during this crisis. Whether it’s working with the homeless, refugees or the elderly, we need to do what we can to keep them safe and healthy as they care for people in our city. But many of these people are unable to gain access to protective gear to reduce their risk of contracting Covid-19. 

We’d like you and your church to help.  While home made items are not equivalent to medical grade manufactured items, many organizations are finding them useful at reducing the risks. We’re asking those in the churches of Ottawa who have basic sewing skills and a few simple materials to mobilize to help equip our community workers. The caps and headbands below help workers by reducing the impact of having to constantly a mask. The damage to the skin around the ears can make it difficult to wear a mask for a long period of time. The buttons provide an alternative loop point for the elastic to connect with.

Note that Respond Ottawa has shifted our mask strategy. Now that masks have become more available on the market at a reasonable price, it seems more efficient to raise money to purchase masks rather than continuing to ask people to make them at home. If you want to contribute to the effort to gets masks into the hands of our front line workers across the city, please do so at


How to get started

Check out the notes and patterns below to start making caps and headbands with buttons. re needed most.

As your church produces gear, get in touch with Stephanie Seaver, our Respond Ottawa PPE coordinator, and she will arrange to collect your items and get them to those workers in need.

Making surgical caps

Get the instructions

(and please add buttons to the caps, 2 inches up from the hem and about 4-5 inches from where the ties start in the back of the finished cap)

Making headbands

Get the instructions



Have any questions? Contact Stephanie today!