Hi friends! Today you’ll be hearing from my aunt, who wrote this great DIY face mask tutorial for my blog. As places are starting to reopen, we need to make sure we all have masks that will protect us and those around us! I love these masks because they’re comfortable and easy to breathe through. I hope that you find this tutorial helpful!

One way to improve your wellbeing is to take control over the source of your stress.  For me, that means making face masks for family and friends.  I can’t stop the coronavirus, but I can do my part to help keep those I love from getting sick.  There are plenty of patterns online, including some no-sew ideas.  But, if you have some basic sewing skills, you can make masks that your friends and family will love.  Even if your sewing skills are rusty, this DIY face mask tutorial is very forgiving!

I looked at several recommendations from the CDC and different medical facilities and considered several patterns before I settled on this one.  This design is simple and minimizes the amount of elastic used (since that is a limited resource).  I decided against including a nose wire and filter pocket, because I wanted a simple mask that people can grab and wear, without having to worry about inserting a filter or washing a wire that might rust.  Instead, I chose to use three layers of fabric—one layer of flannel against the skin, and two layers of a tightly woven cotton, like that you’d use for a quilt (or old sheets). For this tutorial, my flannel is printed with dogs and my cotton is white.

Face Mask Tutorial

First, wash your fabric. Cut the fabric into 6”x9” rectangles*, and cut two 6” pieces of elastic (I’ve successfully used both 1/8” and 1/4” wide elastic).  On the flannel, right side up, pin the elastic to the short sides, about ¼” from the top and bottom edge.  Make sure the elastic isn’t twisted.

Place the outside layer face down on the flannel, and place the middle layer on top.  Pin these two layers to the flannel.  You will have to stretch the elastic to pin the pieces flat, but once you place the pins, the piece will be fairly flat.  Be careful to ensure the elastic is only pinned at the edges!  I also place a pin horizontally along one of the long sides to remind myself to leave an opening so I can turn the mask right side out.

Sew around the mask, leaving the opening (about 2”).  I used a 3/8” seam allowance.  Backstitch over the elastic as you sew for a little extra hold.  Snip your corners.

Turn the mask right side out.  Press, making sure to fold in the seams of the opening.

Now, add a few pleats.  The first pattern I used had a complicated way of marking pleats; it was time-consuming and tedious.  I found a different way to make pleats by ironing them.  Simply fold the mask in half vertically and press; then fold in each long edge to the middle and press again.  Use those pressed lines to pinch your pleats.  After doing this a few times, I got to the point that I started eyeballing the pleats, making it much quicker.  Again, this is a mask and the pleats will do their job whether they are perfect or imperfect.  The key here is to make sure they are not overlapping one another.

Topstitch around the mask close to the edge, and you’re done!

Completed face mask

*You can also adapt this pattern to make a junior-sized mask. Just use two 5”x7” rectangles, 5” pieces of elastic, and two pleats instead of three.  I decided on two layers instead of three to make it just a little easier for a kid to breathe.  Also, I cut a 5”x14” piece of flannel and folded it in half, to make it even easier. 

One way to improve your wellbeing is to take control over the source of your stress.  For me, that means making face masks for family and friends.  I can’t stop the coronavirus, but I can do my part to help keep those I love from getting sick.  There are plenty of patterns online, including some no-sew ideas.  But, if you have some basic sewing skills, you can make masks that your friends and family will love.  Even if your sewing skills are rusty, this DIY face mask tutorial is very forgiving!