Hi everyone! I made this easy to follow DIY face mask tutorial and hope that it will be helpful to you!
Watch the Face Mask Tutorial Video:
Or, if you'd rather read step-by step instructions, my wonderful friend Hannah Kent converted the tutorial into a handy printable PDF. It includes pattern pieces for adult and kids sized face masks as well as the pattern for the filter! I can't thank Hannah enough for her help!
Before you start making masks, please read the following:
Wearing a mask DOES NOT mean you don’t need to socially distance or wash your hands very often—doing all three together is essential! Please read vital information regarding DIY cloth face coverings from the Centers for Disease Control here, and here.
1/4 inch elastic
Cut 1 of OUTER layer - 9.5 inches x 7.5 inches (24cm x 19cm)
Cut 2 of INNER layer or lining - 7 inches x 5.5 inches ( 17.5cm x 14cm)
Make 1 inch pleats
3 pleats total
Pleats should face downward
Finished pleated mask should be around 3" tall
1- time use filter pattern:
Cut 1 of filter material - 4 inches x 5.5 inches (10cm x 14cm)
Curve the edges in at the sides, down to 3 inches (7.5cm)
Discard filter after each use
Please do your own research on filter materials. I use blue shop towels based on this article’s recommendation.
You can also use replacable charcoal filter inserts.
Mask tie material:
For this mask, I used ¼ inch elastic.
Cut 10 - 12 inches (25cm - 30.5cm) in length for ear loops, depending on elasticity.
Test fit one mask before cutting en masse.
Other potential tie materials include: Grosgrain ribbon Bias tape Shoe laces, twill tape, round elastic, etc.
Mask making tips and guidelines:
Use TIGHTLY-WOVEN 100% cotton, like quilt cotton. If you hold the fabric up to a light and clearly see it coming through between the threads, you can bet way smaller dangerous particles can flow right through it, too. Cotton is important because it can help protect you while still being breathable. If you can’t breathe well enough through a mask, you won’t wear it, and that defeats the purpose. Do a cotton burn test if you are unsure the fabric you want to use is cotton.
Shop online for supplies to avoid unnecessary contact with others at stores. Try to support small businesses if you can.
Wash all purchased fabric lengths before cutting and sewing.
Wear a mask while making masks for others, and don’t try theirs on yourself (for the sake of this tutorial, I did not wear a mask so I could talk to you, but when I make batches of masks, I wear a mask)! If you’re asymptomatically infected and breathe on the masks you’re making, you can infect everyone who wears them. Please instruct all recipients of masks to wash or disinfect their mask/s before first use.
Research materials if you choose to insert a piece for nose bridge. Wire and pipe cleaners can rust after multiple washes.
While wearing a mask, avoid touching the mask and wash your hands immediately if you do. Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth when removing your face covering and wash your hands immediately after removing. Don’t put the mask in a sealed plastic bag—wash or disinfect immediately.
A washing machine should suffice in properly washing a face covering according to the CDC, and this should be done after every use with hot water, detergent, and hot dry cycle for maximum effectiveness. If you have a delicates bag, you can wash masks inside it in the washing machine, just don’t stuff it full. This would especially help prevent tangling of masks with ties, which you may want to loosely knot before laundering. If you choose to tumble dry your mask, it may bunch up after the cycle. You can easily iron the pleats back into your washed face mask, and I recommend doing so.
The alternative to washing the mask is using a UV light sanitizer/sterilizer. Please do your research and purchase from a reputable company with good reviews. I splurged and bought this EVLA's UV Sterilizer which fits multiple masks and other small belongings. Follow all manufacturer instructions.
Wearing a mask helps protect everyone involved, but it’s NOT guaranteed. It’s fabric, not a hazmat suit. You still need to maintain distance from others and wash your hands frequently.
Yaya Han is not a Healthcare Professional. Homemade masks are not as effective as N95 masks, but these need to be reserved for the frontline healthcare professionals risking their lives to save all of us. Homemade masks are not FDA approved, and cannot 100% protect you from viruses.