How to Sew a Face Mask

There are dozens of face mask patterns available out there. We tested several and combined our favorite parts of each. We knew we wanted a mask that had the option to insert a filter. We also added pipe cleaner at the top to help get a tighter fit across the face.

***These masks are intended to serve as supplemental protection for healthcare workers. While they’re great for pollen/pollution, they are not meant to protect individuals from bacteria or viruses. Please check the CDC for current recommendations concerning personal use.

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What you need...

  • Fabric (9x13)
  • 2 pieces of elastic (7")
  • Pipe Cleaner

Steps (with approx. time stamps)

  1. Fold a narrow hem on short sides. Top stitch to secure. (5:00)
  2. Line up hemmed edges. Iron bottom fold to mark center. (10:00)
  3. Lay fabric flat, right side up. (10:27)
  4. Fold top hem just past center fold. (10:38)
  5. Repeat with bottom hem. (10:55)
  6. Insert elastic in bottom corners. Elastic should be hidden inside the fabric. Pin in place. (11:40)
  7. Sew down both sides, stopping a ½” before the end. (This will leave a hold to insert pipe cleaner.) (13:30)
  8. Turn right side out and press flat. (15:44)
  9. Sew casing along top edge, approx. ¼” from edge of fabric. (16:56)
  10. Fold pipe cleaner. Insert into casing. Try to center. Optional: sew on either end to hold in place. (18:09)
  11. Grab mask approx. 2” from bottom edge, fold to meet bottom (this makes your first pleat). Pin in place. Fold a second pleat to meet the first. (20:15)
  12. Insert other end of elastic into pipe cleaner casing. Pin in place. (26:45)
  13. Top stitch along edges to secure pleats and elastic. Be sure to back stitch at both ends. Go slow over the pleats! The folds can be tricky. (28:30)
  14. All done! (35:50)

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