Super Simple Face Mask Pattern For Adults And Kids

super simple face maskBy now, most countries have some sort of shortage of face masks.  So what can you do if you can't get your hands on one?  With this super simple face mask you can help protect yourself and those you care about.

I never thought we would get to this state.  But really, when you think about it, how many books have you read, and how many science fiction movies have you watched that have been warning us of things like this.  The real world is surprisingly like a movie, we're experiencing a gripping and tragic story that's, gluing us to our seats. We have the villain (the virus), the heroes (the doctors), and the anti-heroes (the naysayers and the indifferent), and the hundreds of supporting extras.

super simple face maskThe extras help the hero, cure, treat and stop the spread of the disease.  Who are the extras?  Everyone in your home, your neighbors, your community, your country, your continent, the world — all those people doing their best to limit the spread of the virus. It is because of the sheer number of extras that we have the power to stop and come back from this disease, and it all starts with the right mindset.

These self-made masks will not filter out the virus from the air.  But it will stop you from touching your face and transporting the virus to your mouth, eyes, or nose where you can be infected.  Additionally, it will help keep infectious droplets if you cough, sneeze, or talk, away from others — preventing you from infecting other people if you're a carrier.

super simple face mask

If you're looking for a face mask in a different shape or style, please make sure to check out our super popular Face Mask Sewing Patterns Roundup where you'll find one of the best collections of free face mask patterns out there.

Face Mask Sewing Patterns Roundup


  • One 15 X 8″ fabric square. Use fabric with a tight weave, such as linen, quilting cotton or calico
  • One 6 1/2 X 3 1/2″ rectangle of batting, interfacing, or other padding material (optional)
  • 14 inches of 1/4″ or 3/8″ elastic
  • Thread
  • 4 X 1″ strip of aluminum from a beer or soda can, bendable wire, flower wire or a garbage tie

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.


  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Iron with steam
  • Sewing machine needle 70 or 80
  • Ruler
  • Water-soluble ink pen, Frixion pen or tailor's chalk

Fabric Recommendations

Pattern Download

Download HERE

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Sewing Skill Level:  Beginner

A beginner that can follow written instructions should do fine with this pattern.

Seam allowance is included and marked in the pattern.  Use a small stitch.  Please wash your mask every time you use it or at least place it inside the dryer on high heat.

What To Use To Make The Nose Guard

We will be making the nose guard with soft wire, a garbage bag tie, flower arrangement wire or soda can strip.  The purpose of this guard is to help the mask seal properly over the bridge of your nose to help keep the nasties out.

If using a soda can cut a strip 4″ X 1″

super simple face mask

then fold in half.

super simple face mask

How To Sew Your Super Simple Face Mask

Step One:  Sewing The Top And Adding The Wire 

Cut the pattern out and place it in on the fabric folded twice.  You will end up with two pieces.

Trace the pattern, marking the pleats on both sides.  If you are using a fabric with a print, let us pretend the lined side is the print side.

super simple face mask

So, print sides together, sew at 3/4″.

medical face mask

Fold in half and mark the middle.

super simple face mask

super simple face mask

Sew a rectangle to encase either soda can strip or wire, 5/8″ for the soda strip and 1/4″ for the wire.

medical face mask

Leave one side open to be able to insert the wire.

super simple face mask

Insert the wire or the strip of aluminum and close the gap.

super simple face masksuper simple face masksuper simple face mask

Step Two: Folding The Pleats And Adding The Elastic

Place the work open with the pleats vertically

medical face mask

Print side up, you will fold the pleats on the right towards the right-hand side.

super simple face maskmedical face mask

Do the opposite on the left.

super simple face mask

Pin the elastic.  One side next to the top seam the other the seam at the bottom.

medical face mask

Fold the pleated side over the right side with the elastic.

super simple face mask

Sew at 1/4″.

super simple face mask

Clip the corners.

super simple face mask

Turn the mask right side out.

Insert the padded rectangle, batting or interfacing inside.

super simple face mask

Fold the edges in 1/2″ and sew.

super simple face mask

super simple face mask

Super Simple Face Mask For Kids

Simply reduce the length and width of the pattern by 1″

So I am inviting you to see it from a different perspective if you have nothing to wear on your face would you rather wear a homemade mask or nothing at all.   It is not just about you getting sick but rather you or I not coughing on someone.   If you do not approve, please place your link below of your story from your social media on how you are helping your community and donating all your N-95 masks to the people that really need it the doctors and nurses on the front line, not just pointing fingers.   I think we are past that, we need solutions and solidarity not just naysayers.

I want to make sure it's clear again, this mask is not like the N-95 masks that can filter out the virus from the air. However, in many places, they are in critically short supply. This self-made alternative will stop a major source of infection, the touching of the face — and help limit your spreading of the virus by your sneezing and coughing. If you can, get your hands on the best medical masks available, but this super simple face mask is much better than nothing. After all, we need solutions and solidarity not just naysayers.

So here we are, it's time for you to choose your role in this movie. Doing your part, no matter how small, will make an important change. Protecting yourself and others, even if it's just with your own homemade super simple face mask will make more of a difference than you can imagine. I wish you all good health and good luck!

In case you missed it, our Face Mask Sewing Pattern Roundup was article was linked to by the New York Post.

Our Face Mask Sewing Patterns Article Linked in NY Post

Join me next week when I will be sharing a vinyl coat perfect to go shopping for food supplies that protect your clothes and it is easy to wash and wear.

Stay healthy and Happy Sewing!

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97 Responses to Super Simple Face Mask Pattern For Adults And Kids

  1. Kimberly Kinder says:

    I think that if you use an aluminum can for the nose area, you should round the corners and cover the aluminum strip with duct tape, medical tape or athletic tape. This should prevent it from poking through the fabric and cutting the wearer.

  2. Anarose says:

    I used the flexible plastic strip to keep the aluminum packet of coffee closed for the nose strip.

  3. Fantastic directions and pattern. Very clear.
    Thank you so much.

  4. Elaynn says:

    what about using a thick washcloth? I want to protect myself from others who may be carriers and are not wearing any masks at all. I never see anything using washcloths (nice thick ones) for a face mask. Wouldn’t it work just as well?

    • Marilyn Ackerman says:

      Usually it is advisable to use tightly woven cotten for the masks. I think a washcloth, no matter how thick, might be too porous.(Maybe as a liner in a cotton mask.) Just my opinion

  5. Jamaaam says:

    Thank you for the paragraph about this is just to keep you from touching your mouth and nose and to keep you from accidentally sneezing/coughing on people. I feel that many people think wearing the masks keeps them from all germs/viruses. This was a good reminder. Thank you.

  6. khartig1 says:

    Thank you for the pattern. I have made some for neighbors and family. I have made a few adjustments.
    I finished the edges around the three sides from top before sewing. I stay stitched the folds before final sew. And I left the bottom and about an 1 1/4 in from each of the sides for sewers in my family to put in their choice of filters and to adjust the elastic for each.
    Stay safe and healthy. Please.

  7. Ann says:

    either use two different print, or color fabrics or have some way to differentiate which side of the mask is the inside and which side is the outside. If you take it off and want to put it back on, you do not want to put the outside of the mask against your mouth and nose. Remember, when you are handling your mask that the outside of the mask that is exposed to others is “dirty” or “contaminated” and can potentially transfer germs to whatever surface it touches. Also, wash your hands after you remove a mask.

  8. Theresa Travelute says:

    Love the idea of coffee filters!!!

  9. Bets says:

    All these ideas are great. I’m anxious to start sewing ! Tip– can use shoe strings for ties if you don’t have elastics. My neighbor cut up old bras and top elastic from underwear! Works great! Use disposable aluminum pans for metal nose pieces. Cut 2.5 ” length by 1″ w. Fold length wise in half to eliminate rough edges, then fold ends in a tiny bit!

  10. suzyqrn27 says:

    Hi all, just an upday FYI… Discovered that an online company named: has 1/4″ elastic. The only color that they currently have is navy blue. I just ordered 10 yards @ 29cents a yard.

  11. Hassani says:

    Thank you for the pattern. I’m going to go make them as soon as my materials arrive. Just a quick question. Are these washable and reusable masks or are they disposables?

  12. Katherine R Keene says:

    Just saw this trick – cut open a bungee cord – it’s full of elastic!!

  13. Helen says:

    The metal around the nose is a good idea — I’ve not seen that added to fabric masks before. I’m just wondering how it fares in the wash. Does it rust?

  14. suzyqrn27 says:

    Hi there,
    I just made two masks for my son who flys a lot, he’s a flight attendant. I used a 5″ piece of pipe cleaner, bent the ends over so the sharp end wouldn’t poke through. Then, after placing it correctly at the top of the mask, used my zipper foot to sew around it and hold it in place. Worked like a charm.
    I also used hair ties that are joined in the middle and placed then on a mask that I cut much wider, to accommodate the shorter piece of elastic band. However, I didn’t make it wide enough to fit my son’s face, so told him to give it to someone who had a less wide face.

  15. Megan Fosha says:

    Can someone link where they got the flower/garbage tie soft wire? Thanks!

  16. Mary McQueen says:

    The medical grade filtration material is available to purchase on Amazon. It is called “meltblown non woven fabric” and a roll of it isn’t expensive. I am waiting for it to be delivered–found out about it from an anesthesiologist in Taiwan who made a video about making a

    DIY mask:

    The ingredients are “non woven waterproof material” for the layer next to your mouth, “microfibre meltblown non woven fabric” for the second, effective filtation layer and a cloth layer for the outside.

    He says, however, that people with heart disease should never wear a mask for more than a short time.

  17. Sherrel Zimmerman says:

    I have been using a sewn together coffee filter for the masks I’ve been making. It’s quick, disposable and cheap.

  18. Mary Ann says:

    Thanks so much!! Making for my neighbors, friends and daughter who is an NP, has limited N95 masks but wants to wear something at her clinic at ALL times. These will help.

  19. Peggy says:

    I am unclear on the cutting instructions because it says something is folded. Should I end of with two pieces roughly 7″ by 7″ or two pieces roughly 7″ by 14″? Thanks.

  20. Not really a comment, but a request–do you know where I can find a pattern or directions to make an insulated tiffin bag? Thanks!

  21. Ivlia Vespasia says:

    Instead of the batting in the middle, see up the mask with a pocket on the inside half of the mask a d use this to slip a “filter” into it. Something like a dry baby wipe which is made from a non woven fabric. You then throw out the filter and aSh the maxm, using a new one next time you go out. If you need to use the mask more than once each day replace the filter we h time a d spray the outer side of the mask with lemon juice or citric acid,which apparently helps sanitise between wears. Hot wash asap. Reuse as needed. Am making them for home care workers.

    • suzyqrn27 says:

      I would never use batting in the mask as it would probably make it very difficult to breathe. One thing I have done is us large baby wipes. I rinse them with warm water then lay them out on towels to dry. This process removes the perfume odor that most of the wipes have. I double them over and insert between the mask layers. As noted by Ivlia above, change the filter after each trip out doors.

      • Mayra Cecilia says:

        I have used the mask and there is no problem breathing, I was the mask every time I wear it. It is best to wash the masks or at least place them in the dryer at a hot temperature.

      • Janice McDonald says:

        I have taken apart a 1500 furnace filter (catches virus sizes). Don’t know if it helps for Covid but once you unfold a filter, it is huge!

        • pua says:

          Please be careful that the material does not contain any glass fibers or the likes (furnace filters often do), but that you get a filter which is made from paper or nonhazardious fibers only. Please check with the manufacturer.

  22. Linda Polito says:

    There is a site that is generally devoted to sewing bridal wear, but has a really good pattern and instructions for making a mask about as close to N 95 as you can get. She takes an old one from one of their painting projects and cut it apart to make the pattern. Sorry I don’t know what the site URL is

  23. Bonnie says:

    Great article about sewing masks, but I’m also interested in the head scarf pictured in the article. Is there a pattern for it?

  24. Marilyn Ackerman says:

    This post was terrific. I am using 2 layers of iron on interfacing, on the front and back of the mask of quilting cotton…colorful…I have been searching frantically for the roll of elastic that I know is here somewhere. I have masks cut out and ready to go. Just realized I have some elastic hairbands that can be utilized.God Bless and keep safe and healthy .

  25. vbfossil says:

    If you can’t find any elastic, make narrow fabric ties from your fabric or binding and attach them at the corners. They must be long enough to tie into bows behind the head to secure the mask. If you don’t know what I mean, watch an old MASH show.

  26. Raquel says:

    I used a piece of pipe cleaner, curled the edges right, and encased it in a small piece of bias tape, then sewed it on the inside. Worked like a charm. Hope the works for you too !

  27. Nancy says:

    I suggest making you pics smaller, your page borders narrow, and condense everything in the Doc to fit on less paper.

  28. Nelly says:

    My pattern print out is not coming out with accurate measurements. It is not printing pattern 8″ across. only 7.5″. I have tried 3 different print methods. How far apart are the pleats? What am I doing wrong? Any help would be appreciated.
    Thank you for sharing instructions.

  29. Judy Carol Frey says:

    Frankly I’m disappointed. I am an experienced seamstress who can make sense of the pattern but not sure others will. The demonstration model should have used two difference dark fabrics sewn with white thread that truly demonstrate each step of the process.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Me too very disappointed 22 pictures can not help you figure out the free pattern? I will give you a refund if you have donated to the site.

    • Kahuna Waianae says:

      Really? I hope you’ve posted a video of your glorious perfect free pattern.

    • Stephanie says:

      I’ve only ever sewn a few very simple garments and find this pattern quite easy to follow. I think t may be time for you to get off your high horse there, as the pattern works perfectly for others.

  30. Hauwei Lien says:

    Hi Mayra, thank you for making this post, but please note that it is widely said, but not true, that masks in general and homemade cloth masks are not able to filter coronavirus. There have been studies done that show that even homemade masks help filter viruses and prevent their spread. This is why many Asian countries highly recommend (and some even require people) to wear masks when they go out of the house. Can you please consider updating your posts to reflect that making and wearing masks will help stop the spread of coronavirus? Of course, we should save the most effective manufactured masks and n95 respirators for our health care workers and make DIY ones to use in our everyday lives.

    Here is a post with a link to a Cambridge University study about the effectiveness of homemade masks:
    Here is a post that discusses different material that can be used:
    I hope this is helpful to you and your subscribers!

  31. Tara Packham says:

    I would not add quilt batting, its purpose is to TRAP AIR which will make it hard to breathe. After lots of reading, 2 layers of tight weave linen or cotton Jersey is the best balance of filter power and air flow.

  32. Lisa Cordodor says:

    Thanks for this! As an RN in the middle of the shortage, this is important. I am concerned with the gap between mask and cheek on the model. It’s important the mask sits firmly all the way around, gaps are not safe. Can you recommend ways to eliminate this? More fabric on the sides?

    • MamaT says:

      I have been creating a sleeve on the side and running elastic tied in a circle (like a hair band) through it, which “gathers” the sides when stretched around the ears.

    • suzyqrn27 says:

      Hi there, try a different placement of the elastic and that should take care of the problem. Also, I made my tucks a little deeper than suggested.

    • Tina Othello says:

      I’ve been thinking about a dart or pleat of extra fabric sewn on to fill the gap between nose bridge and cheek. (ie vertical & on any shape of mask) Have to get myself into action as am escorting someone to Public Hospital Clinic for extended Neurological consult in a couple of days if it isn’t cancelled.

    • Robi Andison says:

      i am talking to my cousin in Italy about this. She says they are recommending this style of mask, with an enclosed wire or pipe cleaner or twisty ties across the top, encased in the fabric. I am using this stuff that i use in the garden to tie up peas and other climbing plants to the trellis material.

    • Linda Jones says:

      I believe it’s possible to get double sided tape to use to secure mask . See the one called Olson mask. It mentions double sided tape

  33. Debra Ann Brown says:

    Great pattern. Looking forward to making some for the homeless.

  34. Cindi says:

    Thank you!

  35. littleleftie says:

    I thank you for this pattern but also, for your words of wisdom No, it isn’t an N95. BUT….I agree, it WILL decrease the fingers-in-the-face action. Definitely.
    Just remind people to switch to a clean one each outing. Wash this one either by hand or in the laundry with the rest of one’s clothing. Hang to dry is probably best.
    As an RN who has worked in the Operating Room for many years, I want people to know that it will NOT do it’s job if it is a) hung around the neck and not on your face b) worn while wet (it will likely increase the chance of germs multiplying therefore change when moist c) do not sling it on your mouth but below your nose–it has to cover both mouth and nose d) wash your hands after removing it.
    Thanks ladies!!

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks for these tips! Hope you don’t mind but I’m going to copy and attach to any masks I give to family and friends or donate.

  36. Teri says:

    Love it. I will make some for my family and friends.
    Thank you also for asking for solidarity not naysaying.

  37. Fran Bott says:

    I want to know how to make the scrub hat in the picture!

  38. Amy says:

    What happens when you can’t find elastic? There’s none to be had at the stores in my area, or on Amazon. All sold out!!!

    • Lilias Schlender says:

      use the elastic from a fitted sheet, 100% cotton and you can use the fabric for masks too.

    • MamaT says:

      Try making the mask a little wider, create a sleeve on the side, and use a hair tie. The hair tie is smaller and will only stretch a bit, so you have to make up for that with the mask width.

    • suzyqrn27 says:

      Try I ordered some elastic thread and it is on its way to me now.

      • Dawn says:

        Thanks so much for telling me about this web site. I’ll be using it now and in the future for my sewing projects.

    • Barb says:

      What about elastic bands?

    • kjay says:

      sew narrow fabric ties…

    • Nelly says:

      I was going through some material scraps and came across a piece of material I had cut off from the bottom of a top. I wear petites and this top was way too long.

      It was very stretchy so I looked at the top’s label. It is 95% polyester & 5% nylon.

      I think I will cut it in thinner strips & use in place of elastic. It is soft too.

    • Cyndee says:

      either use ribbon or bias tape for ties… OR .. buy elastic hair bands, and use those! I read about a lady who bought them cheap at a dollar store.

    • Katherine R Keene says:

      Just saw this trick – cut open a bungee cord – it’s full of elastic!!

  39. Phyllis Wyatt says:

    Great simple instructions. I especially love the metal insert.

  40. Joan Webber says:

    This is great. Thanks so much. I’ll be making a few for my family.

    • LisaMarie says:

      Thanks so much for all the information that I have learned from this article; the comments below the article from everyone, the links to other articles… So much support from the sewing community.
      I work for a First Nations community that has banned entrance to anyone who is not a member of that community. The work being done there is so very important to each person there. The community is vulnerable to the virus as many members have health issues that make them susceptible to any illness. Due to the poverty, housing issues, diabetes, and the other issues that come with a small rural population who all dont have running water, access to proper healthcare. Even access to the internet which most of us consider a necessity for day to day life is not something that many families have. So there are children who are not going to be able to continue their education. Which is a basic human right in this country. But what about the children of many first nations communities??? Do they not need to learn? Or are we going to forget about them again??
      I am making masks for people of the Six Nations community in Ontario Canada. Where 8 people have tested positive and there has been 1 fatality so far.
      I am going to make as many masks as I can but I’m still working full time now. I am really worried about the fact that many of these First Nations communities do not have access to the health care that the rest of us do. Many dont have running water; so how do you wash your hands all the time when the water in the well is also all you have to drink as well? Many do not have access to the internet to access the help being provided by the government. In order to access the funds here in Canada you have to have done your income tax return; which many first nations people do not do; so how do the access the funds?? If you dont have a computer or havent done your taxes? Is this intentional by the government? Another attempt at genocide of the Indigenous people of Canada??
      I did not intend to go on a rant when I started out writing this post. I just don’t want people to forget about the people that don’t have the same opportunities as the rest of us. Please help out in any way possible if you have a First Nations community in your area. Especially the rural Northen communities that do not have ready access to supplies (Even in times of prosperity) Many of these communities are fly in only and basic supplies are extraordinarily expensive. So while we are hoarding supplies for ourselves during this time; people are going hungry and can not afford the same opportunity as we have.
      I am making as many mask as I can and will be sending them to the rural Northern Communities, along with any other supplies that I can get to them.
      Please please please let us all help someone who doesn’t have the means to do it for themselves. If it is not an Indigenous community, maybe it is a homeless shelter, a shelter for women who are escaping from domestic violence, elderly seniors…….. This is the time for all of us to pay it forward!! Someone has gifted us with the skills to sew, let’s return that to our community by helping out the people who are sometimes marginalized by our culture, government and even ourselves.
      If you’re interested in donating to a First Nations community or an Indigenous Organization, just look on Google. There is no shortage of people who are in need.
      Now to get back sewing…..You are all amazing!!!!

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