How To Sew A Face Mask
Protect your health during these times with simple and do-it-yourself face masks. You only need a few supplies to create your own at home. The great thing about this is it’s reusable and washable.
CDC recommended wearing face masks in public areas to help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). That means, anywhere you may be exposed to respiratory droplets (when contamination is likely to occur), like at grocery stores, gas stations, and banks.
Here are a few ways to go about constructing your DIY mask, which includes no-sew techniques, as well as masks for the advanced sewer. However, all of these versions are relatively easy and don’t require too much time or effort!
Please keep in mind: DIY masks do not prevent you from getting Coronavirus. It is recommended to slow the spread of a respiratory virus. Always wash your hands after taking off your mask. Reuse your mask by washing warm and tumble dry low.
Check out the CDC recommendations for ways to prevent the spread of disease.
The Sewing Machine Face Mask
I love the Erica Arnd’t sewing machine method because the result is a clean and comfortable look. The pleated design uses three pieces of fabric to guard against viruses.
This method does require a sewing machine. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t familiar with using the sewing machine. There are a plethora of YouTube tutorials. Search for your specific sewing machine model and give it a try!
- Sewing machine
- Two 6”x9” rectangles of tightly-woven, 100% cotton fabric. You can check the weave by holding the fabric against light. Choose breathable fabric and avoid stretchy, shiny, and nylon material.
- 1 piece of cotton flanel for the lining or 100% cotton fabric
- Two 6” pieces of elastic (stretchable string, cloth strips, or hair ties to wrap behind your ear)
- ⅛ X 6” women’s size (choose a width that is comfortable around your ear)
- 7” men’s size
- 5.5” children’s size
- Pins or clips
- Scissors or rotary trim (fabric scissors are the best for cutting through fabric)
- Cut out two 6”X9” rectangles of cotton fabric. Use tightly woven cotton, such as quilting fabric or cotton sheets.
- Place the cotton fabric right-side up on top of the fannel.
- Pin the elastic pieces on top of the stack, one on each side, about half an inch from the edge. The elastic pieces should be turned in and not on the outside edge.
- Place the other cotton fabric right-side down on top of the fabric stack and elastic pieces. Pin down, again.
- Sew the fabric perimeter starting from the elastic pins. Leave a 2 ½” gap on both vertical sides. Double-sew over elastic bands to reinforce placement.
- Turn the mask right-side out. Clip the outside corners, careful not to cut the stitch.
- Clip a ¼” pleat three times, clip, and sew the edges.
- Use a pencil to turn out the corners. Press the fabric with an iron
- Run a 6-inch length of 1/8-inch wide elastic through the wider hem on each side of the mask. These will be the ear loops. Use a large needle or a bobby pin to thread it through. Tie the ends tight.
- Don’t have elastic? Use hair ties or elastic head bands. If you only have string, you can make the ties longer and tie the mask behind your head.
- Gently pull on the elastic so that the knots are tucked inside the hem. Gather the sides of the mask on the elastic and adjust so the mask fits your face. Then securely stitch the elastic in place to keep it from slipping.
Form-Fitting Sew Mask
If you’re up for the task, check out Raising Nobles’ video tutorial which includes a nose wire and a pocket to insert air filters. Air filters should be replaced regularly between uses. This design closely resembles the medical respirator mask.
No-Sew Face Mask
This is a minimal effort technique that is strictly done by hand. Yes! No sewing machine required. Remember to use a breathable, cotton t-shirt.
- Tightly-woven 100% cotton fabric (t-shirt, bandana, or any recyclable fabric)
- Two hair ties or rubber bands
- Two safety pins
- Cut the neck and sleeves of the t-shirt.
- Cut the side seams of the t-shirt on each side. The mask should be about 16” x 18” on a regular t-shirt, but can be adjusted to fit your face size.
- Do a horizontal fold into thirds. It should look like a crepe! **You can add a cut air filter at this step for added protection.
- Add the hair ties to each end like a bow-tie.
- Now, vertically fold the fabric into thirds.
- Secure the fabric tucked inside the end of the other side from the middle with the two safety pins. There should be six layers to secure.
Have a big family or volunteering to supply face masks to your community? Thoughtful Creativity’s video tutorial shows you how to make ten masks in one hour!