Make your own Masks - How To Guide

Why not make your own mask?

Here's the simplest way to make them, that is an ideal project for a beginner.


What you need


   Fabric - must be breathable, so 100% cotton is recommended.  Avoid polyester and other non-breathable synthetic fabrics.  

 Thread - we recommend Gutermann polyester thread.

 Elastic - 5mm flat braided elastic works well.  Two 15” sections required.


Must haves: 
  • Sewing machine - must be capable of a straight stitch in forward and reverse as a minimum
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric pencils/marker
  • Scissors/rotary cutter with cutting mat and cutting ruler
  • Iron and Ironing board

Nice to haves:

  • Bodkin
  • Sewing guide
  • Sewing gauge

Before you start

It is advisable to pre-wash your fabric to avoid your finished masks shrinking in the wash.  Make sure your fabric is ironed before cutting out.  You can make two masks out of one fat quarter.  Please take note of whether your fabric is directional before cutting out so that the finished mask does not appear at right angles to the direction of the fabric.


  1. Cut fabric - 15” by 10”/38 cm by 25 cm. This shows how the fat quarter has been cut into 2 mask panels
  2. Fold fabric in half short edges together, right sides together:
  3. Mark filter flap 2.5”/4 cm from each edge:
  4. Sew up to and from filter flap markings with a ¼”/.06 mm seam allowance - secure by sewing a few stitches forward and back:

Optional: If filter flap is not required, sew along the whole edge.

  1. Press seam open - do not press the fold edges 

  2. Turn right side out, with seam in the middle:   If desired, the filter flap can be reinforced by top stitching the edges: 
  3. Mark lower pleat on each raw edge ½”/1.3 cm below the middle seam and again 1”/2.5 cm below that: 
  4. Fold from the bottom pleat marking to the top pleat marking - pin and press:  
  5. Mark middle pleat 1”/2.5 cm above the middle seam line: Fold middle pleat from the middle seam to the top of the pleat marking as for step 7 - pin and press: 
  6. Mark top pleat ½”/1.3 cm above the top of the middle pleat and again 1”/2.5 cm above that:  
  7. Fold pleat as in steps 8 and 9 - pin and press diagram: 
  8. Mark 1.5”/4 cm from either raw edge diagram:
  9. Stitch pleats in place along the line of the marking - anchor the stitches by going forwards and back a few stitches at either end
  10. Fold each raw edge up to the stitch line - press:  
  11. Fold sides over again along the stitch line to enclose the seam and create the elastic channels - pin and press: 
  12. Top stitch elastic channels close to the edge - anchor stitching by going forwards and back a few stitches at either end:  
  13. Thread elastic through elastic channels - a bodkin is especially useful here: 
  14. Tie knot in elastic at desired length so that mask sits securely against the face and comfortably behind the ears.  Rotate knot into elastic channel to hide it.