Free printable pattern: how to sew a DIY face mask, step-by-step

12 April 2020 - 00:04 By Margie Barry/Nick & Barry
You can make a DIY fabric face mask in just eight simple steps.
You can make a DIY fabric face mask in just eight simple steps.
Image: Margie Barry/Nick & Barry

Save the fancy N95 masks for those on the front-line of the Covid-19 pandemic and make your own face masks at home. It's quick and easy to do — just follow these simple instructions.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • Our free printable pattern (see below)
  • Tightly-woven cotton fabric
  • Lining/t-shirting fabric
  • Scissors
  • Elastic (optional; you can make fabric ties)
  • A sewing kit/sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Pins
You'll need two types of fabric to make a face mask: tightly-woven cotton and lining/t-shirting.
You'll need two types of fabric to make a face mask: tightly-woven cotton and lining/t-shirting.
Image: Margie Barry/Nick & Barry

HOW TO SEW YOUR FACE MASK

1. DOWNLOAD AND PRINT THIS FREE PATTERN

Created by Margie Barry of Nick & Barry it can be used to make face masks in three sizes:

  • Small (22cm x 14cm)
  • Medium (23cm x 15cm)
  • Larger (24cm x 16cm)

2. CUT OUT THE PATTERN AND FABRIC

Cut out the pattern and cut 2 pieces tightly-woven cotton fabric. Cut 1 piece lining/t-shirting fabric.

Step 2.
Step 2.
Image: Margie Barry/Nick & Barry

3. PLACE FABRIC

Place lining/t-shirting fabric face down. Layer first cotton piece right-side up. Then layer second cotton piece right-side down.

4. PLACE ELASTIC/TIES

Cut 2 pieces of elastic 18-20cm depending on mask size. Pin the elastic inside the mask between the 2 cotton layers (see pic below) 2cm from top & bottom edges.

Alternatively, use 4 fabric ties (45cm each).

Step 4.
Step 4.
Image: Margie Barry/Nick & Barry

5. SEW 

Sew all the way around, leaving a 6cm gap on one short side. Clip corners. Turn mask inside out, through opening.

It helps to iron each stage.

Step 5.
Step 5.
Image: Margie Barry/Nick & Barry

6. MAKE FOLDS

Make two pleats in mask and pin in place.

Step 6.
Step 6.
Image: Margie Barry/Nick & Barry

7. TOPSTITCH

Topstitch all the way around, stitching down short side to keep the pleats in place.

8. #MASKSFORALL

Make as many masks as possible to share with those who don’t have access to them.

• #MasksForAll and #AfricaMasks4All are movements that encourage the public to reserve the use of medical-grade masks for health-care professionals and to use homemade masks instead. For more info, visit africamasks4all.com