DIY Fabric Mask Tutorial

March 26, 2020

DIY Fabric Mask Tutorial

Thank you to everyone on the front lines, especially those in the medical fields for your incredible efforts - Thank you for your bravery and courage each day for helping so many!
If you would like to sew your own masks, I've included a tutorial I created to fit the requirements of my local hospital, use what I have on hand (elastic is hard to find these days), allow for a filter or additional layer of fabric to be inserted inside and to be sewn quickly AND efficiently.  They are washable and reusable. They do not have wire for the nose. 
  • Each mask is made using two layers of woven cotton and have 4 knit (stretchy) ties (they DO NOT have wire in the nose)
  • Mask has an opening at the bottom in which a filter can be inserted or mask can be place over a filter to prolong use if needed.
  • Pre-wash and dry fabric in hot water.
  • Wash mask BEFORE first use and after EVERY use thereafter, using hot water. To maintain pleats, iron after washing.
PLEASE NOTE : These masks DO NOT replace medical grade personal protective equipment (PPE). Please do your research to make sure you are using a mask appropriately!
*My 8 year old son helped make this short video using some new skills he has learned during his time in homeschool!* 

Materials :

  • Use 2 different fabrics - cut each 8 x 8 inches
  • 4 fabric ties cut at 15 inches (I am using a knit fabric which is stretchy, if using woven fabric or bias tape, I would suggest cutting a few inches longer)
  • 4 x Pins or Wonder Clips
  • Pleat Template - To simplify the pleating process, I created a template for making the pleats. This way you can just lay your fabric over it and mold it over the pleats. But, you can easily just measure. Each pleat is ~1/2 inch wide, with the first pleat starting 1.5 inches from the top (the edge without the opening). Repeat these measurements 2 more times (3 total pleats).


Step 1 : Serge (or hem) one edge of each 8x8 piece of fabric

**Tip - you can cut your fabric along the selvage end, therefore there will be no need to serge or hem, it's alredy done for you! You can also skip this part if you don't need an opening.

Step 2 : Lay one piece of fabric right side up on your table. At each of the sides perpendicular to the serged/hemmed edge, place 2 ties near the corners. I offset the ties ~1/2 inch from the actual corner of fabric. Lay the remaining piece on top, right sides together. Pin in place.

Step 3 : To sew mask with opening, place mark along serged/hemmed edge to create a 3-4 inch gap.  

Step 4 : Starting at one mark, sew all the way around the mask using a 1/4" seam allowance. Backstitch at the beginning and end and when sewing over the ties to secure in place. Be sure the remaining length of each of the ties is out of the way. Stop sewing at the other mark to leave an opening in which a filter and/or additional layer of fabric can be inserted.

Step 5 : Clip corners, turn right side out and iron.

Step 6 : Make 3 pleats and pin in place.

Step 7 : Sew along pleated edges being sure to secure each pleat by backstitching 2-3x. Continue to top stitch along top of mask (edge without opening)

Step  8 : Tie a knot at the end of each tie.

***Please note : These masks DO NOT replace actual personal protective equipment (PPE).

If you are in need of a mask you can find information on purchasing one (or more) here :

(purchasing a mask is allowing me to continue sewing and donating masks for healthcare workers and for others on the front lines  - thank you for making this possible! If you are a healthcare professional in need of mask(s), please contact me directly or use code 'HERO' to receive one at no cost)

*For the masks I am making I adapted a pattern from
If you don't have a serger but still want the ability to insert a filter this is another great pattern resource :