How to make a face mask: 3 ways to sew your own

You don't need to be a sewing pro to make your own face mask. With these 3 easy methods you can learn how to make a face mask without a sewing machine, or try our downloadable pdf face mask sewing patterns to make a pleated face mask or a wired mask.

How to make a face mask

Whip up a DIY mask for yourself and your loved ones with these 3 easy face mask patterns by Burda Style.

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You’ll find 3 free mask methods (which include patterns for both pleated and shaped masks) below. Try our easy face mask pattern video tutorial, or if you’re more confident with a sewing machine, scroll down for full step-by-step photo instructions and downloadable PDF face mask patterns.


Your guide to handmade face masks


The World Health Organisation and UK government are now advising that people should wear a face covering on public transport, in shops and confined spaces to slow the spread of Coronavirus. So we’ve made a really easy video to show you how to make your own at home, even if you’ve never sewn anything before.

If you’re more confident with a sewing machine, we’re also sharing two face mask patterns by Burda Style – with thanks to them for kindly offering to share this pattern with you all. Keep on reading for step-by-step picture guides and downloadable PDFS to make a pleated face mask pattern and wired face mask pattern.

Before you make and wear your mask

In sharing this pattern for how to sew a DIY protective face mask, we need to let you know that this mask pattern is not officially certified nor has it been officially tested. The making and wearing of this mask is at your own risk. This is not a medical-grade face mask, and we cannot take responsibility for protecting you or your family from catching or spreading Coronavirus or other illnesses. That said, we are sharing it for your personal use to help you feel more at ease if you have to go out in public during this unsettling time.

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How to make a face mask without a sewing machine


We know that not everyone has a sewing machine so we’ve created a video to show you how to hand sew a face mask. All you’ll need is thread, kitchen towel, fabric and some pins. Handmade face masks have never been so easy and quick to make!

This easy face mask pattern includes a simple pocket which you can slip a third filter layer into.

How to make a child’s face mask


You can easily adapt the face mask video method above for into a face mask pattern for kids by simply starting off with smaller piece of fabric. Our first downloadable face mask pattern below also includes a child’s size, though you may need to try making it a bit smaller again for small children. To adapt the pleated mask pattern, try printing it out at a slightly smaller size and folding a dummy copy from paper to check it fits your child’s face before you cut into your fabric for the final version.

How to make a face mask: step-by-step

Prepare the fabric before you get started – as with all of our sewing patterns, we recommend that you wash each fabric before you cut and sew it. That way, the sewn sections can’t shrink later in the wash. Iron the fabric smooth before you start to make it easier to cut.

Free mask patterns
This tutorial shows you how to make a face mask in two ways. Face mask 1 (pictured on the left) is shown in size L (for Adults). Scroll down this post to find out how to make Mask 2 (pictured right).

Face mask sewing pattern 1 – DIY Face Mask

You will need

  • Tightly woven cotton fabric – 40 x 40 cm (16x16in)
  • Elastic – 5 mm (316in) wide, about 50 cm (20in)
  • 2 small safety pins
  • Florist’s wire or medium weight hobby wire, about 20 cm (8in)
  • Interchangeable filter layer – for example paper kitchen towels or antibacterial fibre fleece (you could use a high-filter vacuum cleaner bag or clean antibacterial dish washing sponge cloth)
  • Basic sewing kit
  • Sewing thread and a sewing machine (a sewing machine would be ideal but with a little patience, this mask can also be sewn by hand)
How to make a face mask

Burda face mask pattern

Download our Face mask pattern to get started.

The pattern pieces include 1 cm (⅜in) seam allowance.

Sizes

  • M Children (Normal) / Adults (Small)
  • L Adults (Normal)
  • XL Adults (Large)

Find more sewing inspiration

If you fancy trying your hand at sewing check out our best sewing machines for beginners and best overlockers. Or find your next sewing pattern below!

How to use a sewing machine

Step 1

Prepare your materials. Before you begin, gather all required supplies. Cut out the paper pattern pieces in your size from pages 4 and 5 of our free mask pattern (above).

Cut the following pieces:

  • Pattern piece 1 – cut 1 x piece 1 from the top cotton fabric
  • Pattern piece 2 – cut 2 x piece 2 from the both the lining and filter

If you would like to sew different sizes, please use tracing paper or dressmaker’s carbon paper to trace each size. The pattern pieces include 1 cm (⅜in) seam allowance. You will also have to sew 1 cm (⅜in) next to the edge.

How to make a Face mask step 1

Step 2

Cut out the pieces for the mask: Fold the fabric in half, right side facing in. Pin paper pattern piece 1 to the double layer of fabric (printed side facing up) and use chalk or a pen to mark along the edge of the paper pattern piece. Cut out on the marked lines. Clip about 3 mm (⅛in) into the seam allowances at the small markings. Use pattern piece 2 to cut out the lining and the filter. Trim the upper and lower edges of the pieces for the filter each by 1 cm (⅜in) so that they better fit into the mask.

How to make a Face mask step 2

Step 3

Stitch the centre seam: Remove the paper pattern pieces but leave the fabric pieces together. Stitch the pieces together along the curved centre seam spaced 1 cm (⅜in) next to the edge. Then trim the seam allowances to 5 mm (316in). The allowances can also be clipped toward the line of stitching along the curve. Important: Do not cut into the seam.  Then press the allowances open. Stitch the seams on the lining and centre seam on the filter likewise.

How to make a Face mask step 3

Step 4

Topstitch the centre seam. Stitch to each side of the centre seam on all pieces (outer mask, lining and filter) spaced 2 mm (a scant (⅛in) next to the pressed open seam allowances. This will make the seam lie flat.

How to make a Face mask step 4

Step 5

Finish the side edges of the lining: Neaten the allowances at the short edges of the lining with a narrow zigzag stitch or overlock stitch. Then press the allowances 1 cm (⅜in) wide to the inside and stitch.

How to make a Face mask step 5

Step 6

Double the mask: Lay the lining on the mask with right sides facing, e.g. the ‘good’ fabric sides are facing in. Pin the upper and lower edges of the mask and lining together (matching centre seams). Stitch these edges together 1 cm next to the edges. Turn the mask right side out (the ‘good’ fabric side is now facing out) and press the upper and lower edges flat. Also press the seam allowance not yet sewn at the end of both edges. Stitch 7mm (¼”) wide along the upper edge (width of your machine’s presser foot) from one side edge to the other.

How to make a Face mask step 6

Step 7

Construct a casing for the elastic: Press the allowances at the side edges of the mask 1.5 cm (⅝in) wide to inside (the small clippings indicate the width), and stitch the allowances 1 cm (⅜in) next to the edges.

How to make a Face mask step 7

Step 8

Insert the elastic: Cut the elastic into two equal pieces. Use a safety pin as a bodkin to insert the elastic through the side casings. Overlap the ends of the elastic for a proper fit and use a safety pin to secure each end. The elastic can then be removed before washing the mask.

How to make a Face mask step 8

Step 9

Insert the wire: Cut a piece of wire about 16 cm (6½in) long. Bend over the ends of the wire and slip it into the casing at the upper edge (space between upper edge and stitched seam). Press the wire to your face when you put on the mask. This will ensure an optimal fit. Insert the filter layer between the outer mask and the inside lining from the side. The elastic, wire and filter can be removed before washing the mask.

How to make a Face mask step 9

Care and cleaning

Your mask must always be kept dry. After wearing, carefully remove it and avoid touching the fabric sides. Wash the mask after use (at least once a day at a minimum of 60°). Remove the insert beforehand, then let it dry completely.

How to make a Face mask
Your finished DIY Face Mask 1 (made with the pattern above) should look like this.

Face mask sewing pattern 2 – Pleated face mask pattern

You will need

  • Tightly woven cotton fabric – 25 x 50 cm (10x20in)
  • Elastic – 5 mm (316in) wide, about 50 cm (20in)
  • 2 small safety pins
  • Florist’s wire or medium weight hobby wire, about 20 cm (8in)
  • Interchangeable filter layer –14cm x 7cm (5½in x 3in) for example paper kitchen towels or antibacterial fibre fleece (you could use a high-filter vacuum cleaner bag or clean antibacterial dish washing sponge cloth)
  • Basic sewing kit
  • Sewing thread and a sewing machine (a sewing machine would be ideal but with a little patience, this mask can also be sewn by hand)

Free pleated mask pattern 2

Download our  Pleated face mask pattern here.

The pattern pieces include 1 cm (⅜in) seam allowance.

Face Mask Sewing Pattern

Step 1

Prepare your materials: Before you begin, gather all required supplies. A sewing machine would be ideal, but with a little patience, however, the mask can also be sewn by hand. Cut out the paper pattern piece from page 4 of our free pattern (above) The pattern piece includes seam allowances. If you would like to sew different sizes, the fabric can be cut wider or narrower.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 1

Step 2

Cut out the pieces for the mask: Using our free pattern PDF (above) you will need:

  • 1 x outside (aussen) piece
  • 1x  inside (innen) piece

Pin the paper pattern piece to the fabric (printed side facing up) and use chalk or a pen to mark along the edge of the paper pattern piece. Cut out the piece on the marked lines (= outside piece). To cut out the smaller piece for the inside of the mask, fold the paper pattern piece on the broken line (“inside”) and then pin it to the fabric. Use chalk or a pen to mark along the edge of the paper pattern piece. Cut out the piece on the marked lines. Cut the filter according the the given measurements.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 2

Step 3

Transfer the markings for the pleats on both pieces: Clip the edges of the fabric on the inside and outside pieces for the markings by about 3 mm (⅛in). Fold the pieces from clipping to clipping along the edges and pin them in place with straight pins. The arrows on the paper pattern piece indicate the direction. Press the pleats across the entire width.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 3

Step 4

Stitch the pleats: Stitch the pleats on both sides on both pieces (inside and outside pieces) spaced 1.5 cm (⅝in) next to the edge.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 4

Step 5

Finish the narrow edges. Neaten the allowances at the narrow edges of the inside and outside pieces with narrow zigzag stitching or with overlock stitch. Then press the edges of the inside piece 1.5cm (⅝in) wide to the inside and stitch 1 cm (⅜in) next to edge.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 5

Step 6

Double the mask: Use one straight pin each to mark the centre on the long edges of both pieces. Lay the inside piece on the outside piece with right sides facing (the ‘good’ fabric side faces in). Pin the upper and lower edges together (matching marked centres). Stitch together 1cm (⅜in) next to edges. Turn the mask right side out (the ‘good’ fabric side is now facing out) and press the upper and lower edges flat. Also press the seam allowance not yet sewn at the end of both edges.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 6

Step 7

Construct a casing for the wire: Stitch 7 mm (¼in) wide along the upper edge (width of your machine’s presser foot) from one side edge to the other. This will create a casing for the wire. Stitch 7 mm (¼in) wide along the lower edge likewise.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 7

Step 8

Construct a casing for the elastic: Press the allowances at the side edges of the outside piece 1.5 cm (⅝in) wide to inside (the small clippings indicate the width), and stitch the allowances 1 cm (⅜in) next to the edges.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 8

Step 9

Insert elastic and wire: Cut the elastic into two equal pieces. Use a safety pin as a bodkin to insert the elastic through the side casings. Use safety pins to secure the ends to fit you properly. Bend over the ends of the wire and slip it into the top casing. Press the wire to your face when you put on the mask. This will ensure an optimal fit. Insert the filter layer between the outside and inside piece from the side. The elastic, wire and filter can be removed before washing the mask.

Mask Sewing Pattern step 9

Now you’ve finished your mask, remember to check the latest guidelines about wearing masks at the top of this post and we hope this pattern is useful for you and your family.

This pattern has been kindly shared for free by the folks over at www.burdastyle.com  – head to their website to browse thousands of sewing patterns and join their thriving community of fellow new friends who love to sew!

DIY Mask Pattern

Short of time? 5 of the best handmade face masks


If you’re not sure our patterns are for you, try these Etsy sellers who are offering handmade, inexpensive masks.

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  1. Krimson Knits – £6.50  100% cotton double-layered face masks (star pattern)
  2. Koko Bella Creations – £8.00 – Handmade face masks, double layer, washable
  3. Handmade Face masks co – £9.00 – the Etsy store behind these masks are donating the £2 from each mask sold to The Dons Local Action Group who are collecting and distributing food to the vulnerable in South Londo
  4. Kids dinosaur face mask – £5 – these small-scale masks from Heaven Gifts 2020 add a fun touch for mini mask wearers
  5. Pack of 3 floral face masks – £19.50 – Handmade Face Masks Co have created this multipack with a regency blooms style
Handmade facemasks
Oh hello star-spangled masks from Krimson Knits on Etsy