How to Make a Face Mask

This is Mary from jo-ann’s craft team here to
show you how you can make this mask if you’re looking for a way to help your
community while you’re at home to make your mask you will need cotton fabric
lightweight fusible interfacing quarter inch knit elastic a pencil scissors
ruler and piece of paper to make your pattern and of course basic sewing
supplies like a sewing machine thread and pin okay to make my pattern I’m
going to start by marking nine inches along the bottom of my paper from that nine inches I’m going to go
ahead and measure up six and then I’m going to go ahead and mark
this bottom 9-inch edge as being cut on the fold if you’re making these mess out of
scraps of fabric and your fabric is less than twelve by nine inches you are going
to want to go ahead and add an extra quarter of an inch along this length
here so that you can cut out of two pieces of fabric now I’m going to go
ahead I’m going to use a quarter inch seam allowance so I’m going to mark that
as well and this is going to help me mark where my pleats need to be so
there’s my quarter of an inch seam allowance along that side and now it’s
time to start marking my pleats so I’m going to take my ruler and I’m going to
line the eighth of an inch line up with my quarter inch seam allowance line and
this is going to give me the most evenly spaced pleats in the easiest way
possible so now I’m going to go ahead and mark the center points of my pleat
so this is the point that is folded outward so I’m going to mark at one and
a half inches then again at three inches and again at four and a half inches these are going to be 1/2 inch pleats
some also going to go ahead and mark with a dashed line where the rest of the
fabric for my pleat is going to take up so I’m going to mark out 1-inch and
again at two inches two and a half three and a half four and five then I’m going
to go ahead over to the opposite side of my mask and Mark those same points along
this edge working from this seam allowance edge down so that my pleats
match on both sides okay now that I have my finished pattern it’s time to cut out
my fabric so I’m going to go ahead and place this pattern on the fold of my
fabric and go ahead and cut out one I’ll also need to go ahead and cut out
the same piece out of my interfacing so now I have my interfacing applied to the
wrong side of my cotton fabric and I’ve got ahead and folded it right sides
together in half this way so that I have a 9-inch edge here and six inch edge
here before I start sewing I’m also going to need to cut two pieces of
elastic seven inches long each I’m gonna go ahead and pin my project
I’m a so along this edge first and I’m going to want to leave a section about
two and a half three inches long that is not sewn so I’m going to mark those
first and I like to put two pins together just as a reminder that I’m
supposed to do something different there okay let’s go take this and sew it okay
now that I have my edge sewn here with my open space in the center to turn it
right-side out I’m going to go ahead and place my elastic in so place it in each
end and tuck in the corner but just a little bit poking out there and you can
go ahead and pin this into place and then go ahead make sure your elastic
isn’t twisted and repeat in this top corner and then again on the other side okay so now that my elastic is pinned
into place I can go ahead and sew across both sides and I’ll want to make sure
that I’m back stitching really well across this elastic so it’s secured in
there okay both ends are securely sewn with my elastic caught inside so now I
can go ahead and turn this right side up now I’m gonna go ahead and take this
over to my ironing board give it a good press and tuck in the seam allowance on
the part that I’m going to need to shut closed
my mask is pressed it’s time to go ahead and mark my pleats using my pattern so
I’m lining up my seam allowance line and my folded line here and I’m going to go
ahead and mark the center of the pleat I’m also going to go ahead and mark the
bottom of each plate so in general I’m going to fold at that
center point and then fold again at that bottom point and that’s going to make up
my pleat so I’m going to go ahead and pin that into place so I’m going to take
this bottom pleat and fold it up and then mark it so from the side here
you’re going to want these pleats to kind of nest together so that you’re not
accumulating too much bulk here and then go ahead and fold that last pleat
everything nests together so I have three pleats there in the
center and I’m going to go ahead and repeat on this side now that my plates
are all marked I’m going to go ahead and sew around the entire perimeter of my
mask and that’s going to go ahead and catch those pleats and sew them flat and
also close up my opening down here so now that I’ve sewn around all sides and
removed my pins I have my finished face mask

100 thoughts on “How to Make a Face Mask

  1. Panty liners can be used a 'filter' between the layers of fabric. Just have to include an opening on the side NOT facing the public for easy installation and removal so the mask can be laundered. Watched an earlier video that did just that. Sorry I watched several videos today so dont remember the name of the person that posted it.

  2. I dont have light wait interfacing but I do have Pellon Stitch and tear that is used for applique. Would this work? If not, what else can be used? Thank you.


  4. Now all of the sudden there are a lot of dogs getting walked. You people are garbage. You should have walked the dog before. Now they pass were the last guy walked within at most 10 min it stays airborne for 30 @least. You people better get smart stop being the problem.

  5. Question on the interfacing construction step: when turned out, which side is best to make the pleats? The side where the interfacing is the outer facing fabrics or is the interfacing side on the face side, closest to skin side?
    And, will either choice be better or worse for the pleat making?

  6. Nurses here are asking for ties instead of elastic so they can fit these over the N95 masks. They have to wear one N95 mask for an entire 8-12 hour shift so having a fabric mask over it will help extend the life and keep them safer.

  7. Whilst searching my fabric storage, I found some white curtain liner- a VERY dense weave (holding up to light, you can not see thru it, which of course is the purpose of the fabric!). that I highly doubt would let any airborne droplets through. Though I do wonder if breathability will be an issue. I plan on sewing an elastic "casing" on each side thru which you can simply insert a single elastic strand, fit it to size , then knot the ends together tightly for a custom fit and tuck the knotted end inside either casing side.

  8. Use man made synthetic material. Cotton is an organic cellulose based material..which contains sugar that can keeps virus alive.

  9. Very helpful video. Thank you. If you don't have the interfacing you can just use 2 layers of the cotton fabric.. per Beth Israel Deaconness Hospital instructions.

  10. I'm in NYC, Where can I drop these off?? Haven't heard anything back from Mayors or Governors offices. Please advise. Thanks!

  11. Someone asked about a pattern, they have one here:

  12. JOANN FABRIC!!! PLEASE TAKE DOWN THAT ABSURD MESSAGE ON YOUR SIGHT THAT YOU ARE PARTNERING WITH AREA HOSPITALS TO PROVIDED MUCH NEEDS SUPPLIES! In Michigan, I called all my local and University hospitals and they say that that is a preposterous idea! How on god’s green earth you think they will take a 'HOMEMADE MASK' and give it to their employees already 'AT RISK' is just beyond incomprehensible!!! Crafters, STOP making these unsterile masks and STOP going OUT to get supplies to make them! We are supposed to be quarantined at home! Here's how you can HELP OUR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS… BY STAYING HOME!!!

  13. You may want to add some advice for how to sew tie back instead of using elastic. Elastic seems to be on back order now.

  14. What is the function of the Pleats? Just seems like the pleats will create crevices for vapor to build up.
    And, they seem to be a lot of extra time to implement.

  15. Thank you Joann for this video, I can sew but have no enough cotton fabric and have no flannel, I am willing to sew and donate if you can send me any leftovers fabrics. just count me in if you don't have enough donations from great sewers , God bless you all

  16. Thoughts on coffee filters? Maybe as a middle layer that can be removed when mask is washed? It seems like they would be effective.

  17. This is very helpful, thank you!! As the child of a nurse, my mom still has to go to work while the coronavirus situation is still going on. And I am so happy with the fact that I took an interest in sewing so that I can help make masks for my mom and her coworkers.

  18. A lot of people say these have no value because they aren't as protective as the N95 masks, but their value is in reducing the spread radius by catching a lot of the water droplets that spray when we breathe. These cloth masks are helpful for anything over two feet away. They are only helpful if they are clean and not messed with by our hands to adjust and readjust, so fit is important. Each time one readjusts a mask they must wash their hands. Healthcare workers such as those delivering food to rooms and cleaning rooms who don't come within two or feet of a patient can benefit from them. Even more so, store and warehouse employees who are forced to be around hundreds of potential carriers of the disease could benefit as they generally would not come closer to another person than three feet. If everyone could have at least a three foot safety radius, more people would be safer. This will not prevent the spread alone, but it can be helpful to reduce the likelihood of catching the virus in public places and they have really done well to help the spread of the disease in China.

  19. Does the fabric need to be cotton? I have a lot of cotton/polyester blend bed sheets that i would like to cut up and use but I don't know if they will be as effective as cotton only fabric?

  20. Cool. Thanks. The Nose Problem. Maybe I've got a pointy nose. Similar commercially made masks I bought and wore two months ago in Hong Kong never sealed properly against my nose ridge. I ended up fogging my glasses. I did use some medical tape (Leuk…?) to tape it against my cheeks but that didn't work very well. What did work and would also work for your mask. About 3.5" (9 cm) of wire inserted through a slit in the front of the mask about 2" off center. Single strand electric wire #14, or even a vegetable baggie 'tie' should work. What I had on hand, that was perfect was 2mm aluminum armature wire – used for clay figure modeling. This is soft enough that it bends really easily. It adjusts without breaking and you can wash your mask with it inserted. It sits inside the top seam, and once you give it a slight bend in the middle it stays in place. Here's a link to the wire

  21. Thank you to all who want to help, and offer your talents, time, support and encouragement! It means more than you will ever know. A nurse who works in NJ posted in a Facebook group that her hospital actually has this on their website:

    "Make a mask – Many members of our community have reached out and asked if they can help us by making masks. We created a video to show you how to make masks that can be used by those in health care spaces who are not taking care of patients with Coronavirus, but still may want additional protection. This will allow the professional protective gear to be used exclusively for healthcare professionals who are at higher risk of exposure. Learn how to make a face mask> "

    The link is :

    Check with your local facilities' websites, they may have similar opportunities available. Fantastic if we can still help protect the people who aren't giving direct care, and save the precious resources for those who are!

    And to the hater trolls – no time for you. Be part of the solution, or you're part of the problem. Everyone working in this is well aware of what is required – AND WHAT IS RUNNING OUT QUICKLY! No one here, myself included, has said that this is an appropriate replacement – we are looking at worst case very possible scenarios. And to the filthy hateful bug who said "a pox on you" – be careful what you wish for buddy! Look to technical sites about what is most effective to use in making your masks. Every one stay in, stay safe and healthy. To my fellow nurses, we will survive this together. Praying for you all!

  22. PLEASE: People need to realize, if making masks for others, try to use common sense because none of us know if we have been exposed or not. If we are handling the filters, and if we have been exposed, we could inadvertently contaminate the filter portion, which usually cannot be washed. Which would/could expose the wearer. Please, everybody, take extra precautions.
    ALSO: Please make sure any filter materials used are non toxic and free of fiberglass and toxic elements.

  23. I used underpad for baby. It got outside is waterproof material , inside is soft cotton. It works for me.

    After reading someone else’s idea about cutting strips from aluminum disposable pie pan (etc.) for the nose fitting portion, which is a good idea, I came up with what I think will be an easier idea, that will withstand washing (without rusting, as some have been concerned about for pipe cleaners and twisties, which also the paper can possibly come off when washed).
    This is something almost everyone has at home already:
    Heavy duty aluminum foil.
    1. cut a 5” x 3” rectangle.
    2. Fold in half lengthwise and crease.
    3. Open back up and fold each side to the center crease.
    4. Fold the ends in by 1/4” to 1/2”.
    5. Fold back in half lengthwise.

    (By folding in all the sharp edges, hopefully it will make it more comfortable to wear.)

    I tried fitting it around my nose and it seems to keep its shape well. I haven’t tried inside a mask yet, as I’m still info gathering, as I want to include all the best ideas on my first go.
    I plan to insert it into the top of the mask and then sew around the ends and bottom of it, prior to closing up the bottom opening of the mask.

    So, I recommend experimenting. If you don’t have heavy duty foil, just cut your piece bigger, say 5” x 6” and fold in half to 5” x 3” before following the above instructions. Size can be adjusted as you see fit.

  25. To all you seamstresses out there who need a pattern for this face mask… I have followed the instructions in the YouTube video above and have created a pattern. It's saved in PDF format and can be found here:

    To download the pattern, click on the downward arrow that is found at the right end of the black stripe that spans the top of the web page. The downloadable file is only the pattern. You will still need to follow the instructions in the video above.

    Please let me know if you can't access the online pattern.

    To Joann's corporate organization:
    Thank you for rising to the challenge and providing seamstresses and quilters with easy-to-follow instructions in this video. Your video above is part of the heroic effort that is part of containing this virus. We all recognize that these masks are not the N95 masks that are needed by doctors and nurses, but this is still a wonderful opportunity for us community members to be a part of the solution, and is also a GREAT RESPONSE to show our love, support and gratitude to the the medical community for their commitment to fight and win the battle against this virus. I trust them to determine how to best use these masks for the good of themselves and their patients. THANK YOU, Joanns!!!

  26. I was going to start to make home made masks but then I looked on the internet they say they aren’t working to good. I am thinking it has to be better than have none at all.

  27. Everybody is thinking about everybody else ,but the American people in my opinion, they were saying mask only for folks who are sick true,only for people that are incontact eith someone with it ,then young people can not get it, only those with precondition, then no children. I created my own mask and gloves . People that was laughing at me wearing one guess what ,how they are wearing one. Thdn i see so crazy stuff people with mask no gloves, people with gloves and no mask, in my opinion they should give alll americans mask,gloves .. Take care folks

  28. Is it possible for you to upload the pattern you are using? Something to scale I can download and print. I know it’s not complicated, and so far I like your video the best. It’s just those pleat measurements!

  29. IMNSHO unless you identify yourself as a healthcare care (I’m an Emergency Department Registered Nurse) please don’t give a negative comment about these DIY masks. Properly made, they are significantly better than wrapping a scarf around your head. Just say “no thank you” if offered one, and go without when supplies run out. NO TIME FOR NEGATIVITY!

  30. The nose piece to fit to face can be made from a regular sheathed wire or paperclip covered w/ electrical/masking tape. I used wire to make a wreath covered in tape.

  31. You can also drop off masks to your local fire department and they will get these to hospitals or anyone in need.
    I have been sewing for days and will do so until I run out of supplies. We all need to help where we can.

  32. PLEASE, if you are donating to a hospital there is a better video. She explains what materials are great and what materials are NOT. If you are going to the effort, why not make the very best mask you can? Be safe y'all.

  33. this is great but i wish it was a little less shadowy. it's so difficult to see how you are doing the pleats

  34. If you can’t find elastic, I got about 12 yards out of an old fitted sheet. I just cut into the channel and pulled. I cut the few places it was sewed into the sheet. I hope this helps!

  35. I know Joann’s is trying to be helpful, but I think this pattern that our local hospital recommends is a much more functional mask. There is a printable pattern. It has an opening so the med professional can put filter material inside. It has a wire sewn in at the nose, and it is shaped to fit the face.

  36. Why not just publish the pattern to down load instead of going through drawing it up? Then people can print it out and be with it.

  37. Serious question: why aren’t folks using bra cups for masks? And thank you for the tutorial — excited to try it.

  38. We know these won’t replace N95, BUT maybe these will help stretch the supply since we are being told to RE USE our N95 (America, huh), it can go over the N95. And maybe to save surgical masks, we can give these to patients on neutropenic precautions

  39. Kudos to everyone working on this. I’m very worried about the ill effects some of these masks may have in the way of fibers and what not that are constantly sucked into the lungs when worn. I would not use anything but cotton that has not been dyed or treated with chemicals. When I was a nurse I hated the masks with elastic around the ears quite frankly. They kill your ears and getting a decent fit is difficult. I would prefer ties that could be made from the same fabric or perhaps cotton twill. There are probably also people who like elastic around their ears

  40. Do these actually meet N95 standards or are these just the next best thing once the supply of N95 masks is depleted?

  41. 5ham i couldn't sleep , i want to help i want make mask , merci beaucoup help , i am a mother in the home do just my job housekeeper , i want to help community . sorry if my language is rude , i am french lady live in usa mo

  42. Thank you for the video tutorial, i have followed your video and made some adjustments like pipe on the sides for string instead of elastic, i have contributed a few maks to our community hospital and will do more. Thank you 🙏🏽

  43. 10 minutes to measure…pleat and sew a mask…because masks need to be drafted out to the tiniest of detail?

  44. Please check with your local area hospitals to see if the need for this type of mask is needed. Many are are just taking your email information and will contact you if they need them. This was what I found in my area. We all want to help but why make something that may not be useful?????

  45. QUESTIONS: My local hospital has asked us to follow this video… but they said to use the following materials:
    100% unused cotton fabric (front) – no metallic fabrics
    100% cotton or cotton flannel (back)
    1/4” or 3/8” flat elastic
    Would I use another piece of 100% cotton fabric in place of the interfacing?  I think so, right?  Thank you so much!

  46. Masks aside, the best defence is a strong immune system. So eat well and take plenty of vitamin C. And of course lots of prayers asking God to protect you.

  47. This maybe a dumb a question but , what specific lightweight interfacing should be used? I'm new to interfacing so I just want to be sure

  48. Our local hospital is also asking for these. Thank you for the instruction, I will make some for them as well as family and neighbors.

  49. where is the lightweight fusible interfacing used? I cannot find any in my area. will the masks be useless if I attempt to try making these without that fiber?

  50. Step 1 should be throughly wash your hand and don’t touch your face. I doubt they’re being washed before being handed out

  51. Also, maybe you can put zip ties or something and sew it on the nose part so it can conform to your nose. We took off the used ones from the masks and disinfected them and sewed it in to make it stay in place better. Stay safe, everyone.

  52. hey people i would like to help by sewing these and i am trying to search the comments for more answers does anybody know if the we need the fusable interfacing stuff thanks
    also how long should the elastic be because people keep saying different stuff…
    thank you so much

  53. This is so tight that it smashes my nose. (No, I don't have a big nose.) Some people are making these bigger. I recommend that. Ties or around-the-head elastic work better for many.

  54. Hi everyone!. I live in NY and I'd like to be volunteer to make those masks, if you have any información I'd greatly appreciate it…. I believe that what all the nurses and doctors do to save lives is extraordinary. But they need to be safe first. It will be privilege to contribute and put safety first for those who need the most. Thank you!

  55. Most importantly, add an aluminum wire/tie to the top, so that the mask conforms to the nose bridge. Add an opening on both sides of the mask to "slide in" pm2.5 capable filters so that you can change out easily. Also, the elastic ear piece length would need to be long enough so that it is not too tight on the ears/too loose.

  56. Can we use fusible tape if we don’t have sewing machine? This will enable lot of us to make masks fast and share with health care professionals also this is as close as it can get to n95


    The above link will show you how to make a Hepa filter mask!!!

  58. Someone suggests using trash bag metal tie-tie on top for tighter seal/cover the face. Also, make it open end in case you run out of N95 mask, you can use tp, paper tower or coffee filters in between the layers to get the best result.

  59. I need some guidance please. I picked up a kit from JoAnns. 1. It is cut into two pieces and is 1/4” smaller (which I believe in the video says it needs to be 1/4” larger if in two pieces) 2. It does not contain interfacing. Should I not use interfacing? Please advise. I need to get started!

  60. Thank you for sharing your expertise on making face masks.
    I live in NSW Australia and we cannot get any anywhere.
    So this is really handy to know.
    Thank god I can sew!!!
    Keep safe everyone.

  61. Ok I was told we need to leave an opening for nurses to put a manufactur mask inside the home made. Does anyone have a video of those instructions?

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