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Quarantine Busy-Time

I've been researching DIY face masks since there is such a shortage and people are starting to look for them. I found several I liked and tried out. But of course, I had to work out my own version!

(edited 3/28/20 - I've added variations on the elastic to include elastic that runs across the back of the head and neck, and bias tape ties - see Step 9)

Completed  DIY Face Mask

Here's how:

Start with the following supplies:

Fabric -

Make sure to use a tightly woven 100% cotton fabric.

1 piece - 11 x 6 inches (front)

1 piece - 9 x 6 inches (lining)

Child size would be:

1 piece - 9.5 x 5 inches (front)

1 piece - 7.5 x 5 inches (lining)

Elastic -

Make sure to use soft and narrow. This will cause less irritation to the back of your ears.

I used 1/8 inch braided elastic.

2 pieces 8 to 9 inches long

Child size would be:

2 pieces - 7 to 8 inches long

Wire (optional) -

If you want to have a form-fitting nose piece, you can use wire to be able to shape the mask.

I have various wires around the house. I went for aluminum and soft.

1 piece approximately 5 inches long

Child size would be:

1 piece 3 to 4 inches long

Tools -

Sewing Machine


Wire Cutters

Neele Nose Pliers

File (Emery Board)

Coordinating Thread

STEP 1 -

Gather your supplies and tools. Cut your fabric. Cut your elastic.

STEP 2 (Wire Prep) -

It is not necessary to add the wire to this mask. It fits fairly snugly to the face without it. However, if you feel the need, here is how to prepare the wire.

The wire that I worked with here is some I ordered online. It is a soft 14 gauge aluminum wire. You can also find soft wire in most stores that carry craft supplies. It is usually in the jewelry or floral area and comes in various colors.

Once you have your wire, cut a length of 5 inches for each face mask that you are making.

From there, take your file (an emery board will work due to the softness of the wire) and smooth the cut edges so that there are no sharp places to cut through the fabric.

Lastly, turn both ends of the wire and crimp it to make a smoother end to protect the fabric further.

STEP 3 -

Place the two pieces of fabric with right sides together. Where the lining is centered on the front fabric.

STEP 4 -

Sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance along the top and bottom edge of the fabric.

STEP 5 -

Turn the tube you have created right side out and press.

STEP 6 (with wire)-

This is where you place your wire if you are using wire.

Fold the mask in half and place a crease on the edge that will be the top of the mask.

Slide the wire into the top edge of the mask (between the layers of fabric). Center it and push it up tight to the seam. Pin it into place.

Top stitch across the top edge of the mask, creating a pocket that the wire sits in. This is why my wire is so thin. It fits under the presser foot of my machine. Top stitch the bottom edge of the mask.

STEP 6 (NO wire)-

Top stitch both the top and bottom edge of the mask.

STEP 7 -

This will create the pockets for the elastic. I did it this way so that the elastic can be changed out as needed.

Fold and press a 1/4 inch hem on both sides of the top fabric.

Fold and press a 1/2 inch hem on both sides of the top fabric.

Top stitch both sides. Remember to backstitch to reinforce the openings.

STEP 8 (elastic over the ears)-

Place a safety pin on the end of one of the pieces of elastic and slip it into one of the pockets on the sides of the mask.

Tie the elastic using a square knot. If you pull on the elastic and the knot slips, it's not a square knot.

Turn the elastic until it is inside the pocket.

Repeat on the other side with the second piece of elastic.

STEP 9 (back of the head elastic and ties)-

I have seen that some people who have to wear the masks for extended periods of time have problems with the elastic behind the ears, so here are two other options to keep the mask on your face!

I don't have any photos of these yet.