How to Make Fabric Face Masks

Greenhouse Fabrics Pattern B4720 Ice

written by Donna Cash, Designs by Donna


In a time of crisis, a maker makes things. I’m making pleated style face masks.

One thing I do well, other than making beautiful things with fabric is to share quick and efficient, step-by-step ways to make things.  So during this time of unrest and unease, I thought I would share with you how I have streamlined making of the pleated style face masks with elastic and a hole for inserting a tissue or other type of filtration material.

Note:  These are NOT medically approved.  These may, however, add a level of protection when used with a medically approved mask.

Supplies needed to make a pleated style face mask:

For each pleated face mask, you’ll need the following

  • One piece of prewashed tightly woven cotton fabric 15″ x 7 1/2″
  • Two pieces of elastic @ 7″
  • A pattern made of paper or buckram, 6″ x 6 1/2″
  • A sewing machine
  • Scissors

Pre-wash your fabric prior to making the masks. Cut the fabric 15″ x 7 1/2″. Serge or zig-zag each short edge of the fabric.

Cut two pieces of elastic @ 7″ for each face mask.  I used 3/8″ elastic because this is what I had.  You can use a similar size elastic.

Make a tool for easily marking and folding the pleats for the face mask. I used a 6″ wide buckram but you can also use paper. Fold it into sections as shown on this template.

Watch this video to easily sew your face masks.  Start and stop the video and sew your face masks along with me. How to easily make a pleated style face mask. Because this pleated style face mask has a hole in the top, you can simply enclose a piece of tissue or other material as added filtration. Check with local medical providers in your area, nursing homes, police stations, and fire stations to see where you may be able to offer the masks you are making. Stay safe. Practice safe social distancing to protect not only yourself but others also. Together we will get through this crisis.

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