These DIY face masks are a cinch to sew with my easy tutorial. With a wired nose to guarantee a great fit and pleats along the sides and at the chin to ensure great coverage, these cloth face covers are an easy and practical project to make that is entirely do-able for sewers of all skill levels–even beginners! Continue reading for my complete cloth face mask sewing pattern, including tips at the end for how to sew fabric masks with ties instead of elastic loops.
Supplies Needed for this Face Mask Sewing Pattern
- (1) 6×9″ outer mask piece cut from woven cotton fabric
- (1) 6×9″ lining mask piece cut from woven cotton fabric
- (2) pieces of 1/4″ elastic cut to 6.5″ (or longer for larger faces)
- 3″ section of twist tie or floral wire
- Fabric marking pen
- Seam gauge or ruler
- Coordinating thread
- Basic sewing supplies: machine, pins, iron, shears, etc. (Click to see my list of my must-have sewing tools)
Place the outer mask piece face up on your work surface. Working along one of the short edges of the piece, pin the ends of one of the elastic pieces at each of the corners, as seen below. Make sure the elastic isn’t curled or twisted. Repeat along the opposite short edge with the remaining elastic piece.
Use a sewing machine to baste the ends of the elastic in place. Use pins to secure the elastic loops toward the middle of the fabric piece to keep them out of the way as the mask is being constructed in the next few steps.
Place the mask lining piece face down on top of the outer mask piece, so that the right sides are facing, making sure to line up all of the outer edges and corners. Pin the pieces together. Using a seam gauge or ruler and a marking pen and working along the top long edge of the pinned pieces, make an X to designate the center of the piece (you can measure in 4.5″ from either top corner to find this center point). Make two additional small marks, 2.5″ toward the center of the piece from each top corner, to create a total of 3 marks, as seen below. Stitch around the pinned pieces using a 1/4″ seam allowance, starting and stopping at the small marks. Remove the pins holding the elastic loops on the inside of the stitched pieces. Clip the corners and turn the piece right-side out; press flat.
Center the piece of twist tie/floral wire at the top of the inside opening and secure. (I like to use hair clips for holding them in place, but regular pins work fine, too.) Use a wide zig-zag stitch to secure the tie in place, and additionally anchor with a short line of stitching back and forth at each end.
Sew 1/8″ from the edge around the entire outer perimeter of the piece, closing the opening as you stitch.
On one of the sides with the elastic loop , make a mark 1″ from the left corner. Make 3 additional marks that each 1″ apart, as seen below. Make marks in the same way on the side of the mask with the other elastic loop. These will be the marks to guide you in making pleats to help your fabric mask fit snugly against the face when worn.
To form pleats, pinch at the second mark, and bring that fold over to the left meet the first mark, as seen below. Pin. Now, pinch at the third mark and bring that fold over to the right meet the fourth mark. Pin.
You’ve created a nice little box pleat. Great job! Now, create another pleat along the other side of the mask in the same way.
Stitch 1/8″ from each the side edges of the mask to secure the pleats, making sure to remove any pins as you sew! I like to stitch over each of the pleats twice in this way to make things doubly secure.
Now, we’re going to create another box pleat at the bottom of the mask so that it will fit snugly under the wearer’s chin. Working along the bottom edge of the mask (the side opposite the one with the twist tie) use your marking pen to make a mark at 2.5″ and 3.5″ from the left corner and 2.5″ and 3.5″ from the right corner, as seen below, to create a total of 4 marks.
Forming this pleat is exactly the same process as you followed for the side pleats. Pinch at the second mark and bring that fold over to the left to the first mark. Pin. Now, pinch at the third mark and bring that fold over to the right to meet the fourth mark. Pin. Stitch 1/8″ away from the lower edge of the piece to secure the pleat, making sure to remove the pins as you sew. As with the side pleats, I recommend stitching over this lower pleat twice to ensure it is nice and strong.
Your DIY cloth face mask is complete!
I really like the way adding the wire to the top of the mask allows the wearer to pinch the mask around the nose for a more secure fit. These cloth face masks really are easy to sew, and they are great for wearing to the store or in any public place.
These DIY face masks are easy to sew with just a minimal amount of fabric scraps. This face mask pattern is a great way to put those small remnants from other projects to good use!
I love that this face mask pattern is easy enough for beginning sewers to try. I’ve enjoyed making these with my daughter!
More Info about DIY Face Masks
- This sewing pattern for DIY face masks is intended for an average adult face. In order to achieve an ideal fit, it might be necessary to adjust the length of the elastic for the individual wearer.
- This same face mask pattern can also be made with ties instead of elastic loops. To do so, cut (4) 18″ lengths of 3/8″ ribbon (I recommend grosgrain, since it is sturdier than satin ribbon). Baste one of the ends of the ribbon pieces to each of the four corners instead of adding the elastic. Continue with the remainder of the tutorial to finish the mask. You can also use shoelaces for the ties instead of ribbon.
- These masks are not intended to be a substitute for medical-grade masks.
- Cloth face masks should be washed after each and every use, so I recommend making 3-4 so you always have a clean one available. Machine wash on warm and then line dry. Drying in the sun is even better, since sunshine is great for sanitizing!
- Always make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after outings, even when you have been wearing a mask! Remove your mask and place into the wash before washing your hands to prevent cross-contamination. This video is a really great resource for the WHO recommended method for handwashing.
- Sewing masks is a great way to help out during a time of need! Click here to see a list of health care facilities currently requesting mask donations.
Spending lots of time at home and wanting to hone your sewing skills with some fun and easy projects? Check out my posts below!
Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you’ll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.