Face Mask Sewing Patterns Roundup

face mask sewing patterns

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.

face mask sewing pattern

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 this melt-blown, non-woven cloth as exactly the material that is in professional masks. I've ordered some but yet to receive. It looks like a good option to me.  This has been an often-asked question so I'll put a source below. 

face mask sewing pattern

In any case, here's a list of a bunch of different styles of face mask sewing patterns.  Please enjoy and stay well.

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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.

unisex scrubs pants pattern

Get it HERE

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219 Responses to Face Mask Sewing Patterns Roundup

  1. Kathy L Gonzalez says:

    From what I’ve read, surgical masks are 98% effective in preventing the spread of germs. If you (correctly) make your own using a vacuum cleaner bag, it would be 97% effective.

  2. Debbra Good says:

    My thinking was to make them for my kids and grandkids if they go to the store. They could put them on before going in and take them off once they are back in the car. I was going to make paw mitts (like one you put on a newborn) so they could do the same with them. When they get in the car, they pull everything off, put in a plastic bag and into the laundry when they get home. Not a perfect solution, but I thought it might reduce their risk of catching any type of flu and lowering their immune level. I am elderly and medically high risk, so I am just confining myself to my home.

  3. Chiara Massa says:

    how about a doubled mask where the outer layer is made of neoprene/scuba knit? this fabric is water proof

  4. Ute Loeffler says:

    Was so happy to find you had a pattern to make masks. Unfortunately, you left out the pattern and instruction !!!

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Ute, which one are you referring to? Make sure to click on the image of the one you’re interested in and it will take you to the site hosting the instructions and pattern.

  5. Donna Barnes says:

    Which of the of the face mask patterns did you use for the ones that you made? thank you for the info and collection of various masks.

  6. Jacquie says:

    If you think you need to wear a mask to protect you from being on the other end of coughs (covid-19 doesn’t make you sneeze) then you need to wear safety glasses too because the virus can enter the body through the eye membrane too. But quite honestly you all need to re-read the long post at the top.
    If you after thinking about that you still think you need to wear a face mask, make lots as they need replacing at least two hourly. Wash your hands, take off the one you’ve been wearing and put it somewhere to be hot washed, wash your hands again and put on a clean one. At least it will keep you busy and make you feel safer.

  7. JIllaine Gallagher says:

    Retired ER, ICU RN who is really glad I am retired. Visited Vietnam a few years ago and purchased a mask ( I have asthma and everyone over there smokes) and noted the fine porous mesh inside and a fine microfiber outside. Worked great and I could wash it easily after wearing. Haven’t been able to locate either of those fabrics or locate the mask on line. Should’ve purchased more! The pattern looks great with a nice fit, Pay attention to the writer who addressed the wet mask and the things that could happen with that.

  8. Cindy Cabe says:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AjwLMkEufJ2SSHRYyXpp3QY9jvQS7n–/view?usp=drivesdk

    I hope this link works. It is a study from 2013 about homemade face masks.I will be making masks today!

    Blessed be,

    Cindy

  9. R.T> says:

    As an RN with multiple friends and family in the medical field I would say PLEASE STAY HOME. The only safe mask is a professionally fit tested N95 mask .!! Homemade masks tend to give people a false sense of security. Read CDC guidelines.

  10. Marty h says:

    I do NOT recommend cloth mask. If someone does cough or sneeze on you, the cloth will hold onto those droplets so that you can continue to breathe through them. If you are that concerned, you need to stay away from people at least 6 feet. Period

    • Alex says:

      Actually, cloth masks–assuming it is multi layer–allows the virus lose its wetness (make it to dry) which makes the virus inactive.

  11. Cathy Barron says:

    Good discussion, but there were no patterns. Where can they be found?

  12. Rachel D says:

    While I don’t think these will help at all with viral protection, I can’t believe I didn’t think of making myself one of these for when I’m up in the attic and can’t stand the insulation dust that kicks from me crawling around! Thanks for the links! I’m going to make myself a few for the next attic home improvement task (replacing the bathroom vent fan, if anyone’s curious 🙂

  13. Jessica Shellenberger says:

    Comment from a nurse on another platform I’m on:
    With the hoarding and shortages of medical masks, there’s a temptation for people to knit, sew, or crochet DIY “medical” masks. It seems like people think that if they can’t get medical masks, DIY masks are better than nothing, right?

    This is a very dangerous error. Wearing DIY masks actually INCREASES your chances of infecting others and becoming infected.

    All masks, even N95 and surgical masks, collect moisture from your breath over time. Droplet-transmitted pathogens like Covid-19 survive by staying damp… and can crawl through materials that are permeated with water. If you’re wearing any mask for longer than it takes to get a little sweaty and moist from your breath, you’re wearing a virus hotel on your face.

    DIY masks are even worse— instead of two layers of paper and a micro-blown filter between, they’re just wool or cotton or whatever extremely permeable fiber you pick. They’re virus hotels with MASSIVE holes in them. You might as well be wiping your nose with other people’s tissues.

    If you touch your breath-dampened mask with a contaminated hand, it is exactly the same as if you just touched your face.

    • Debra Burton says:

      Cambridge study suggests otherwise: “The results showed that moisture and time had very little impact on effectiveness for any of the masks.” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258525804_Testing_the_Efficacy_of_Homemade_Masks_Would_They_Protect_in_an_Influenza_Pandemic

    • anda says:

      Thank you for this comment, I could not agree more. I’m all for DIY and masks used for gardening or whatever, but it is absolutely irresponsible to make these with the expectation that they could prevent the spread of illness. These patterns shouldn’t even be posted, OF COURSE people are going to start making these in a false sense of security, regardless of the disclaimer that they won’t block particles – just read through the comments. Any face mask will also not prevent pathogens from entering your system through the eyes – and you may be less vigilant in your precautions because you feel protected by a mask. I enjoy reading this blog but the writers ARE NOT qualified to say a DIY mask will help you if someone sneezes on you. Good grief…

    • Laura says:

      Scientists from the University of Cambridge found them to be helpful. Link to research found in this blog that also summarizes the University’s findings. The homemade mask actually performed better than itself after 3 hours of wearing it: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/diy-homemade-mask-protect-virus-coronavirus/
      For me it is definitely better than nothing as I have a bad habit of touching my face, nose and mouth. I would also wash sanitize it in the washer and dryer after wearing it.

    • Kathryn says:

      This is so true…please everyone read the post from Jessisca Shellenberger.

    • KBB says:

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258525804_Testing_the_Efficacy_of_Homemade_Masks_Would_They_Protect_in_an_Influenza_Pandemic

      Our findings suggest that a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection.

      • Jessica says:

        This seems like an extremely small study, that has not been duplicated. I was unable to find any actual data and just a small blurb about it but that may be due to mobile formatting.

        If a study of 21 people got a virus but all survived would you proclaim it to not be something serious? A much much larger sample size is needed for any testing or research, and results must be able to be duplicated

    • Nancy says:

      She is correct about the fabric masks. But I was thinking—what if the mask has a breathable yet waterproof filter between laters thats made from the same materials 3m uses for their resp mask? That way you are not absorbing moisture in. According to the extensive research I did the material I’m using for a filter blocks out over 90% of microns smaller than the coronavirus who’s microns are large.

    • pattyprit says:

      I find it disappointing that you didn’t say something positive to the person here who is trying to help others. There are very lightweight tightly woven or extruded fabrics that could at least provide protection to others from the person wearing the mask. Multiple masks can be made and changed often, and worn masks can be dropped into a mesh bag and laundered with Clorox at the end of the day. There are solutions for those who DIY to make appropriate masks.

      Since the beginning of this crisis, I’ve met at least one self-important person claiming to be a medical provider (out of uniform) spreading multiple pieces of misinformation to others with an air of great authority, so one must take what one reads online with a rain of salt. I am not referring to you but the supposed nurse in the online platform you met.

      Though I consider much of what you said is basically true, the way in which it was delivered was not appropriate nor did it provide possible solutions. Your comments could have been delivered in a helpful, not angry, dismissive manner.

      I am a former class II water treatment facility operator. Some of the water filters I’ve dealt with could be unassembled, flattened and DIY’d into passable masks that actually filter pretty well. Not at N-95 level, but far better than nothing. I’ve already seen hospitals having nurses using fabric filters like these rather than go with no protection. They have people in some hospitals constructing fabric and paper filters out of other materials than the “officially approved” materials for hours on end, and plastic face shields made from from supplies from Home Depot.

      Take a breath and add to the support people are looking for instead of shooting the messenger for something that hospitals are already doing.

    • Royce Ellen Hettler says:

      I totally agree! We used to buy home improvement masks at hardware stores. If they don’t have a vent, I can’t breathe wearing one. The ventilated ones that are rated properly for any work is the only way to go. I’m sure that homemade cloth masks would be more harmful than helpful. I read a comment recently saying we should not be buying safe medical masks because it reduces the availability for medical personnel! These type of masks are just as necessary for all sorts of industrial use! Otherwise, they would not be available on Amazon, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. Just stay home like we’ve been told & stay safe!

  14. Deena says:

    Thank you for the information. I was wondering how to make them!

  15. Nancy says:

    I think I will make one for my nail tech. She just needs to keep from breathing nail dust. She can’t even find masks.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Hi Nancy, Indeed there are no masks at all where I live. I started looking for masks back at the end of January. I used them to clean my bookcases that gather a lot of dust.
      While gardening because the wind is sometimes strong and in the winter for the same reason the wind is so cold sometimes it hurts my lungs.

  16. Laurie says:

    Thanks! I have been looking for masks for some home maintenance and repair I have been wanting to do this spring, and of course none are to be found.

  17. Beverlie says:

    WHERE IS THE FULL SIZE PATTERN

  18. Robynd says:

    I ordered some charcoal inserts and am putting a pocket in mine to switch out the filter insert and wash and reuse the masks.

  19. Linda L says:

    Thank you for providing this resource. I do realize the limitations of this kind of mask, but I do plan to make some for a child in need who has no other options at this time. It will save so much time to have so many pattern options available in one place. Thank you so much!

  20. E Fogle says:

    Only helpful to wear one out in public if you are ill. The experts say that wearing one when not ill, just leaves you more vulnerable because the mask catches the germs out of the air and you do a lot of face touching when putting it on and adjusting it throughout the time you are wearing it.

    • Zann says:

      Virus is airborne and can stay on the surfaces for days.

      Keep yourself safe by putting on a mask and cleaning your hands.

      Covid 19 doesn’t have symptoms on most people, until it starts attacking your immune system.

  21. Pearl says:

    Nurse here. A couple of weeks ago, I started making masks for my family. I didn’t want to take any off the shelves (disposables, if used correctly, wouldn’t last you a week). I figured, it would be better to have them in the moment of need than wish I had them, so I started sewing.

    I picked a pattern with a contoured face fit. The only modification I made was to sew in some bendable metal in the bridge of the nose area, so I could clip the fabric in for a closer fit.

    I agree, it doesn’t offer ‘protection’. Covid19 can last for hours in the air and days on surfaces. But it does add a barrier, however minor it is, it’s better than nothing.
    It also may let other people know, hey, I’m in a high-risk group, stay 6 feet away please. 🙂
    Or for those, like me, who worry about being an asymptotic carrier, it reminds me to not touch my face and catches a lot of my normal droplet production.

    Best wishes, stay safe and healthy.

    • regina mackiewicz says:

      What did you use for bendable metal?

      • kct3458 says:

        You can use pipe cleaners. I am making the masks with my embroidery machine and the design calls for a pipe cleaner sewn into the top casing.

        • Carol says:

          Who had the mask design? I have a embroidery machine. I also have COPD and would feel a bit better. I need one for mowing the yard and work around house. I am a new widow so must do it all now

    • Lois says:

      Pearl..where did you get the bendable metal? I can’t leave the house because my hubby has severe COPD?

      • Addy says:

        I have not made one but just throwing in my 2 cents. I would think a small paperclip stretched out( rounding the ends) would work or even a thick twist-tie might work(again rounding the ends do it won’t poke thru) for the bendable metal. I do jeweryj making so I also have wire from that, or even floral wire twist several srands together, or a pipe cleaner. Round the ends of anything that is sharp or may poke thru .

      • Elena Foster says:

        Hello,

        I am not Pearl, but I found some very heavy duty twist ties and just stitched down the plastic middle. They can be found on Amazon (Weststone twist ties)

      • pattyprit says:

        Crafting supplies include thin sheet metals like brass and copper for jewelry making or metalwork that can be cut into strips with tinsnips. Wear gloves. Sand the sharp edges of your strip with a rough grit sandpaper (150 or so). I would make a tight enclosure for the strip, with extra seam allowance to allow sewing the little packet you made into the mask fabric. Pick a fairly lightweight metal that bends relatively easily, not overly stiff. Set the shape of the strip to fit your nose once, and place multiple masks in a laundry bag to protect them and wash on gentle. Clorox will kill the virus on contact.

  22. Dawn Bina Gerardi-Reid says:

    Unfortunately the star wars pattern link is dead. The blog post comes up but the pattern link not so much

  23. Shani says:

    Definitely a good way to remind ourselves to not touch our faces, or make a medical grade face mask prettier.

  24. I ordered some non-woven 100% polypropylene from Joanns…that’s what is used to line surgical masks and that’s what they say is the most protective, so that’s what I’m going to use. I made one with felt, also.

  25. Melanee Phillips says:

    Ithinksew just came out with a free facemask that you can put a filter in.

  26. Kae Gregis says:

    The WHO does not recommend cloth masks under any circumstances!
    https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/330987

  27. Roseanne Morgan says:

    These types of masks capture aerosols as they come out of our mouths. They will not do much to protect us for 2 reasons. 1 – they do not seal on the surface of the face to prevent the virus from coming in around the edges of the mask as we breathe. 2 – the types of fabric available in our homes have pore sizes (holes) much larger than the microscopic virus size. Even with a tight fit, viruses will come straight through as we breathe in. Materials made for respirators are thick, non- wovens with minuscule pores; enough to let air in while filtering out particles sized in the microns.

  28. Michela Lod says:

    I’m writing from Brescia, Italy. PLEASE REMEMBER A MASK MADE BY YOURSELF IS NOT SAFE!! It’s really Dangerous, stay at home, do not shake hands, do not embrace, stay safe!

  29. Angel M says:

    My husband and I do woodworking, and I have been looking online (pre virus scare) for something adequate to wear in our retirement community Woodshop. I can’t believe it never dawned on me to make my own! Thank you for sharing. I’ll be making some with my scraps since we are staying indoors for a couple of weeks.

  30. Monocle Geoffchard says:

    Wearing a mask encourages you to touch your face more (repositioning it etc) and so is worse than not wearing one at all.

    • pattyprit says:

      a comfortable custom mask like these, as opposed to the ill-fitting commercial paper ones does not need adjusting.

      • Betty says:

        Agreed!

        I’ve been using self-made masks for a few days now, with the size of the mask and length of rubber bands fitted to my face. The only thing I touch is my ears when I put the mask on or take it off.

        And _if_ I needed to adjust the mask, I’d be touching the mask itself, not my face.

        As for a generalized “you’re better off without a mask” … that has strong “troll” vibes to it.

  31. colleen Peters says:

    I’m going to add a non bulky quilt batten to mine as well.

  32. Melinda Barsby says:

    Good idea ..i have seen c.o.p.d. mask aswell.. good idea for that too as i suffer with c.o.o.d

  33. Celeste says:

    I think a coffee filter on the inside of the face mask would make it great. I spend a lot of time with the public and may be making one or two

    • Juli says:

      Just don’t use too much stuff to not be suffocating and be open the mouth under the mask for more air. What is worse to get more virus. Basically avoid to get out if is possible and wash your hands more. If you need mask to go out wash the mask afyer use, don’t use the same mSk all the time. Use hot iron to be sure not be with virus. I hope this helps.

  34. Anne Evans says:

    There’s a very interesting article on homemade face masks here: (basically, some fabrics are better than others, and all are better than nothing)
    https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/

    • jkf says:

      This is an interesting and informative article. However, it led me to wonder what thread count the pillowcase should be. The article didn’t address that fact, although the assumption can be made that the higher the thread count the better. Just a thought to consider.

  35. pamela says:

    CERTAINLY anyone who feels ill needs to wear one.

    • Jacquie says:

      Anyone who feels ill’ ( with covid-19 symptoms) needs to stay at home as should everyone they live with. It would be very irresponsible to feel ill and think that a mask, home made or otherwise, makes it ok to go out.

  36. Vlierbloesem says:

    These are not effective for the virus. Only for use in those countries where a mask is mandatory. But always remember, this will not protect you in any way against the virus.

  37. Dot Levy says:

    Any of these masks would keep you from touching your nose or your mouth which is highly recommended.

  38. Carole Cook says:

    So Sew Easy states going in, a DIY cloth mask isn’t aerosolized virus contamination proof. I agree100% however, they’re certainly a
    changable/washable barrier against direct cough & sneeze particulates landing on your face! I want that, don’t you? Thanks So Sew Easy for instructions & pattern varieties anyone can make. Stay safe & well. Sanitize. God bless us.

  39. Karen Little says:

    I think I will make the green one in fleece and cotton to use next winter! I couldn’t find a pattern for one that wasn’t attached to a hood for this year — didn’t even think to use elastic ear loops 🙂 Anyway, I’m not saying that this virus isn’t serious, it seems to be affecting so many people. Stay well folks.

  40. We may find ourselves using them. Thank you for your efforts on our behalf.

What do you think?