I'll Start This One With a Disclaimer
The following list of masks will not replace an N-95 mask but may help you if you have nothing else to wear.
So many readers have asked me about this that I felt I had to pull something together. This is not a recommendation on our part, only a list for our reader's convenience and at their request. Please make your own decisions about your health and seek the advice of the experts in your community.
Given the recent outbreak, many have realized the benefits of using face masks when going out in public. This has even been mandated in many countries already and it seems like it may only be a matter of time before that comes to the US.
Here is some very recent information from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommending the use of homemade masks if nothing else is available. Click the link for the full details on the CDC website.
Unfortunately, many people have now discovered that all the major stores including the likes of Amazon are currently out of N95 mask or that the prices have been jacked up so much that they are simply not affordable.
It's unclear what value a fabric face mask would have but it seems to me it is probably better than nothing. It will not stop truly aerosolized virus particles but it definitely seems like it would help if someone coughed or sneezed directly on you. You'll have to make your own call.
As a filtration material, lots of readers have been recommending Scott Shop Towels. I've ordered some but have yet to receive them. It looks like a good option to me. This has been an often-asked question so I'll put a source below.
In any case, here's a list of a bunch of different styles of face mask sewing patterns. Please enjoy and stay well.
Please Consider Supporting Our Site
If you'd like to support our site where almost everything we do is free to everyone, we'd really appreciate a cup of coffee to keep us going..
Here Are a Few of the Things We've Been Stocking Up On
Face Mask Sewing Pattern Roundup
Here's a list of some of the best face mask sewing patterns that I could find on the internet. I hope they are of value to you. Hover over the picture to show the title, click to open, or right-click and open in a new tab to keep this page open too. And don’t forget to pin it.
Looking After Someone Sick?
This unisex scrubs pants pattern will come very handy if you need to look after a sick person suffering from a contagious illness.
Hi Myra the designs for the face masks look superb they appear much more better, I like the designs very much could you please send me the link, i would like to try them out, print , cut and stitch them myself.
Hi Cary, please click on the pictures it will take you to the pattern and instructions.
Cut thread wrapped hair ties for the ear loops. Also 3D printed -/-/-/-O-\-\-\- objects can be made that make the mask tighter and eliminates pressure on ears from loops.
How lucky am I to live in a country (Norway) that not only still supplies face maskes in the shops, but the price has come down!
I still make my own as that seems to be the best way for the environment. Thank you for this pattern.
You are very lucky to live in Norway, never been but it is high on my list.
I wear glasses and I am looking for a mask high enough on my nose so my glasses don’t fog up. I found the Hayhem mask. On the girl wearing it, it looks like it’s the height I’m looking for. Is this the correct pattern?
Hi, you can use a folded tissue paper inside the mask at the area of the nose bridge, that will allow you to solve the fogging problem.
I had the same problem with fogging up. I unpicked the seam at the nose area of all my masks (I have several kinds) and flattened out a bunch of bread ties (so they’re not all twisty). Inserted the bread ties as close to the seam as possible and sewed all the way around them to keep them in place. Then molded them around my nose. The fogging issue was very much reduced.
Hi, Melody. I wear glasses too and I am a biker, so you could imagine the problem :p The only solution that I have found that works every time is fold a litle paper napkin and place it over my nose under the mask, where my glasses press the mask. So, no wires, any mask, no problems and is descartable.
[…] following the discussion and information that was available about handmade masks, starting with a blog post I read on So Sew Easy with a long list of various mask […]
I’ve used pipe cleaners (ends folded over), the tops of the coffee bags (ran out) & am now using an office supply…it’s a flexible clasp, meant to hold papers in place after using a 2-hole punch. Since mine are old, the newer ones maybe lighter weight & more flexible but they seem to work well. I over wrap them in fabric before inserting them. Keep reading conflicting information on what the best material is. The most recent recommendation was denim, canvas & chiffon. I’ve seen non-woven interfacing suggested, fusible suggested & then seen fusible not recommended. As a quilter, I have a lot of cotton scraps. I’ve made masks w/elastic & ties. Suspect the ties may hold up better after repeated washing/drying.
I’ve read articles saying not to put them in the washing machine because most people use cold water to wash nowadays and the masks don’t get washed in hot enough water to kill germs.
They should be washed in hot water, the hotter the better, using dishwashing liquid to remove any sweat/skin grease/makeup that gets deposited on the masks (over time these can build up making it more difficult to breathe through the mask).
Putting them in the dryer can help get it hot enough but hang drying helps the fabric and elastic last longer. And if you can hang dry in the sun then UV rays can help kill pathogens too.
Research shows quilting or other tight weave cotton is best. Hubby runs a immunology lab and he tested them for me.
[…] There are tons of DIYs online, including this no-sew one that I used before I got my own or these patterns. […]
I have bought Paracord from Hobby Lobby for strings for masks. I make the masks reversible for style, using paperclips stretched out sewn in with a zigzag stitch, and strings for masks so they are more comfortable. I do work in the medical professions. They may not give you protection but think of the protection for the kids and elderly. I never want to be the cause of someone else losing a loved one.
where did you find a Hobby Lobby which is open?
Most likely they were purchased online.
In my face masks, I use air vent filters that I bought at Home Depot for $4.65. There’s 12 in the pack, cutting each in half. They fit perfectly between the layers of the mask without any additional cutting.
[…] a list of a bunch of different styles of face mask sewing patterns. Please enjoy and stay […]
[…] Face Mask Sewing Patterns Roundup — So Sew Easy […]
Another idea for a nose piece is to use the closure piece from a pound coffee bag. This is nice and wide and can be cut to the size you require. Also, if you snip just at the corners, it will slide into the holder more easily. I have also seen that it is suggested you use bias tape as the holder. Ribbon works well also .
I would like to see mask measurements or patterns on here. Please.
Hi Fran, you you checked out this free pattern? https://so-sew-easy.com/super-simple-face-mask/
It dawned on me this morning; what if a child is playing around and gets poked in the by a wire???
What if the child plays with matches and gets burned?
That wasn’t very nice.
For children, I find facemask for glasses best. No wire needed.
I think bobbypins are a wonderful idea as long as they’re not too heavy to bend effectively.
I have been using chenille pipe cleaners, for a better fit over the nose. I cut them about a 5 1/4″ length (with a small loop turned back on each end for safety, so no metal sticks out to poke through fabric) and then sew them between the layers of the mask. They wash nicely and can be shaped to any nose
I am using bobby pins that I unbent for the nose area
now why didn’t i think of that. i’ve been using the twistee ties from the produce section.
I’ve really enjoyed your website, the topics and show you how to do’s is fantastic, Thank You.
I am using floral wire and turning the ends in before stitching by machine with a zigzag stitch. It is working fine. It was a suggestion that I found while researching masks to make.
where is the link for the proper filtering material please
Hi Claire, see the link above for Scott Shop Towels.
I sent my hubby to Walmart to get an air filter – I told him to get the largest one he could – I over did it – I think there is enough filter for about 50 masks in the large size – also, some have the wire facing and backing – prickly to remove the filter material so maybe check out ones without the wire facing and backing…
I saw on You Tube they took a disposable tin pan and cut 1” x 2” pieces and folded it with the raw ends folded. I can sew them into the mask with the sewing machine. I can not find non woven interfacing anywhere.
Thanks for the idea with the disposable tin pans! The most easily available interfacing you will find branded as “Pelion”.
Instead of elastic, I saw where someone cut open a bungee cord and it was full of elastic they could use!
Regarding ties: It’s not gross if you wash them it hot water with bleach but how about the elastic waistbands from old underwear? I tried it before for a costume. Cut out the elastic, measure for length and insert it into a “tube” made from fabric. Close off both ends, make four of them for each mask, and two of them onto each side. Or make loops, (measure for your face) and sew one loop on each side to hook over your ears.
I think that is a great suggestion. I am using (new) lingerie elastic, because that is all that I could find. At this point in time, we have to work with what we’ve got.
I have posted 3 comments here and none of them have actually been posted. Can anyone tell me why? That is if this is posted.
I made a few masks. I wanted to put some kind of wire so it can be shaped around the nose area, so I took a pipe cleaner (craft stores, Walmart probably carry them) and stitched it in place. The tips were bent inwards so as to not poke one’s face. They work well.
I save coffee bag closures and bread bag twist ties, so I tested both as a nose piece for masks. Twist ties weren’t firm enough, but I took the Dunkin Donuts Coffee dark brown bag closures, which are 1/2″ wide and and 6″ long and split down the middle, trimming off excess plastic. They seem to be very sturdy and can be molded to hold mask closed at the top of nose. Hang in there every one. ..we’ll get thru this.
stack 2 or 3 twist ties together, one on top of the other. I like 3 of the kind I have. Great seal that way.
Did you make the pipe cleaners removal or are they able to be washed?
Pipe cleaners will rust as they are just pain steel/iron wire inside. Other alternatives are;
– make it removable
– garden ties (for tying plants to support-stakes)
– short lengths of lead-free solder from the hardware store
– don’t get the flux-core type as the flux will leak out as it warms and will irritate the skin
What are the dimensions of the masks?
Could you please share what pattern you used for the mask at the top of the page? Thanks
Hi Adriana, that was a version of this mask: https://so-sew-easy.com/super-simple-face-mask/
Shoelaces also work well as mask ties. Tie the top one at the back of your head with the string over your ears, then bring up the bottom ties and tie above that, holds on your face better. Retired nurse from charity hospital, never thought I’d see these used again… God bless you all for sewing these!
I’ve been cutting strips of pantyhose (about 1-1.5 cm width) & stretching them slightly — better & softer than elastic, I found!
I’m finally getting on this bandwagon! using reuseable grocery bag for outer layer, underlining with coffee filter, then inner lining of wool jersey for comfort. Like the idea of ties rather than ear straps for hearing aid users.
I’ve been thinking of using a coffee filter, too. I have Pelon 809 decor bond that I’ve made some with. They hold the shape very nicely. I’ve seen patterns calling for light wt. Pelon but none using 809. I wonder if they filter the same?
Sorry, I just noticed that I missed an l in Pellon?.
Hey, would it work if someone put a thin charcoal filter between the mask and have the mask close with Velcro so you can replace filter. I think you can get those filters at vacuum cleaner stores or large sheets where they sell furnace filters, like at Home Depot.
Don’t forget a lot of people don’t tolerate wool very well.
I hope this isn’t a stupid question but where do I find the tutorial and pattern for the face mask at the very top of this page? Thank you for your time <3
I will publish it on Tuesday! stay tuned.
Thank you so much Mayra!
Hi Mayra, I’ve been looking for the tutorial but I cannot find it…can you please give me the link to it? Thank you!!
Hi Mary, are you referring to the tutorial for the Super Simple Face Mask? Here it is.
Hi Mayra, no I am referring to the mask at the top of this page. It is fitted.
yes, that is the one without the visor.
Thank you for your response but I still do not know which one that is. I found one like it so I will just use the one I have.
Thanks for sharing
Wondering if grosgrain ribbon is used and ties behind head touching on hair what keeps the ribbon from slipping down? Will it slip the whole time? Being it will be there for a prolonged time does it need to frequently retied?
Thanks for the idea, will put the team to work on that concept!