Making Face Masks


Do you want to make your own homemade face masks?  Below are instructions of how I make them.  These are NOT medical grade face masks.  But if you need a face mask, as many places are requiring them these will work great.  There are lots of different masks out there and lots of different ways to make them.  This works for me.

Supplies you’ll need:  Fabric, 1/4″ elastic, scissors, straight pins and a sewing machine.  The fabric, ideally, should be a cotton or cotton blend.  T-shirt fabric works well.  Sheets, pillow cases or denim also work.  The denim, although it works, if it’s too heavy, your sewing machine is going to have a hard time handling it.  The light blue ones above are a fairly heavy denim and I was only able to get 2 pleats instead of 3 because of the thickness.

For one mask, you’ll need 2 pieces of 6″ X 9″ fabric and 2 pieces of 7″elastic.

With RIGHT sides together, pin the elastic between the layers at each corner.  Be careful not to twist the elastic.

Sew around the outer edge of the 2 pieces, leaving about a 2″ opening along one of the long sides. I used about a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Using the 2″ opening, turn the fabric right side out.  Now your elastic will be on the outside of the piece.

Next fold and pin 3 pleats on each end of the fabric.  I just eyeball this.  Some people use precise measurements, but accuracy is not essential here.  I also pin closed the 2″ area that I used to turn the fabric. *An important note: be sure that the pleats on both sides of the mask face the same direction. I use the pin I put in the opening to remind me. I have them all face down toward it.  

Carefully sew around the perimeter of the piece, being careful not to sew over the pins.  On the pleats, if the fabric is heavy, go slow to be easy on your needle and sewing machine. I sew around the perimeter twice for extra security.  This is up to you.

I then press the pleats flat.  But as you can see from the picture above, it’s really not a necessary step.

And there you go!  You just completed a face mask.  After you do a few of these, the process will go faster.

A few notes and tips: I will often use a lighter weight fabric with a heavier one to make it easier to sew.  You end up with a mask that has 2 different sides. I had a hard time finding 1/4″ elastic for a while so I just cut the pieces length-wise to make them more narrow. 

I don’t charge for the masks that I make.  Some people do, but there are so many people unemployed, this is a source of income for them. There is a huge need for these. They go out as fast as I can make them. Consider your mail carrier, or grocery store clerk, delivery drivers, lawn workers.  Also think about the homeless shelters, assisted living communities, senior centers. Every little bit helps.

If I left anything out in my instructions above, or if you have any questions just let me know.

Have fun!

Copyright 2020 Penny Wilson

Thank you for joining me on this journey.  ❤ Penny

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