20 DIY Cloth Masks

The CDC recommends the use of homemade cloth face coverings in public where social distancing can be challenging to maintain.

This chart shows just how far droplets can travel with certain types of masks and without:

Image courtesy SingleCare

Now, everybody who knows how to sew has been taking up needle and thread and digging out that stash quilting cotton. Finally, all that fabric hoarding has become a superpower!

Just as quickly, crafters have been developing free patterns and tutorials for a wide variety of DIY cloth masks, and the useful accessories to go with them. If you’re just getting started on creating your own cloth masks, or if you’re looking to switch up your go-to pattern–or add a handy accessory, OR make a matching cloth mask for a kid’s teddy bear!–then check out the following list of my favorite DIY cloth mask patterns and tutorials below:

1. Pleated Quilting Cotton Face Mask With Elastic

fabric face mask

This is one of the standard DIY cloth mask patterns. It calls for two layers of quilting cotton and elastic to go around the ears, and relies on three pleats to cover the drape over the nose and below the chin.

2. Pleated Quilting Cotton Face Mask with Elastic And A Nose Piece

This standard pleated cloth face mask includes a pipe cleaner sewn into the top to help the mask mold over the nose.

3. Pleated Mask With Adjustable Elastic

Face sizes vary widely, even among adults, so this mask solves the problem of fit by using a loop of elastic that’s knotted instead of stitched into the mask. To adjust the size, you simply have to untie and then reknot the elastic.

4. Pleated Child-Sized Cloth Mask

A cloth face mask sized to an adult is going to be too large for a kid. This tutorial has child-specific sizes for age groups from 2-4 years, and 4-12 years.

5. Pleated Mask With A Filter Pocket

If you’d like to include a pocket for a disposable filter, scroll down through this tutorial to find the adjustment that makes that possible.

6. Single-Seam Pleated Mask With Ties

The beauty of this tutorial is that it includes several shortcuts that make the process much more efficient. If you’re sewing for donations, or even just sewing for a pack of family and friends, you know how much every tedious minute counts!

7. Non-Pleated Mask With Hair Bands

This alternate mask pattern uses shaped cheek and mouth pattern pieces instead of pleats to help the mask drape properly over the nose and below the chin. It uses hair ties instead of elastic for the ear pieces.

8. Non-Pleated Mask With Ties

If you’re out of elastic, or if it makes the backs of your ears sore, here’s a basic non-pleated mask pattern that calls for ties instead of elastic. You can make your own bias binding or use store-bought.

9. PUL Fabric Face Mask

PUL fabric is often used to make cloth diaper covers. It’s not a natural fabric, but is waterproof.

10. N95 Mask Cover

Scroll down this link for a tutorial to make a cloth cover for an N95 mask.

11. Hand-Sewn Cloth Mask

Most cloth mask tutorials assume the use of a sewing machine, and are written specifically for that. This tutorial, however, is designed for hand-sewers, and you’ll appreciate the tips and tricks that make hand-sewing a cloth mask easier!

12. No-Sew Cloth Mask

This mask consists of a bandanna and rubber bands, and requires no sewing at all!

13. Origami-Style Mask

Here’s a unique mask that’s neither fitted nor pleated; instead, it utilizes some clever origami-style folds to accommodate the drape over the nose and under the chin.

14. Neck Gaiter

It’s a scarf AND a mask all in one!

15. Balaclava

A ski mask gives even more coverage than a neck gaiter.

16. Add A Nose Wire

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Today I'm sharing lots of tips to help when making masks. I've been trying out different patterns & experimenting & making mistakes that I want to share with you to save your time & supplies. Buckle up: this is long! Pictures 2&3 show masks using @joann_stores & @johnshopkinsu & @made_everyday – the style is the same, sizes are different. Larger folks may prefer John's Hopkins or Made Everyday. Smaller heads may prefer Joann or Made Everyday's alternate sizes. How to fasten? Well, it can be tricky with this style get the ear (or head) loops the right size to fit snugly around ears/heads because you sew the ear bands into the mask. Your best fit with this style is ties (photo 3). Also the knit ties trick at @made_everyday is pure genius & much more comfy than elastic especially for kids. I recommend putting long hair in ponytails if you go the ties route though. Photos 4&5&6 show the @craftpassion pattern w/filter pocket. It's a little more involved to sew but I like that it's easier to get a snug fit because you add ear loops / head ties *after* the mask is sewn. You could even change them out if you like; Liam didn't like the elastic feel so I switched his to knit ties, for instance. Now if you really want masks to fit well, or if you have glasses, then adding wire is a must. Photos 6&7 show how to add bias tape (or a bit of fabric) on the inside & slip in a piece of removable wire / twist ties / pipe cleaner. Doing it this way will allow you to take out the wire before you wash it. Or alternatively you can slip the wire inside the mask, see the Made Everyday instructions for this. Bend the wire to fit your nose. For young kids, around-the-head ties seem to stay on best. However, if you put ties on like photo 8 then the bottom tie will always be loose around their neck. So best for this style to do ties like photo 3 for a snug fit. Photo 9: These are Elise's masks. Again, behind the head stays on best, & Craft Passion style allows it to fit snugly on the top & bottom. Lastly, be sure to add interfacing if you can & if not then add a filter pocket. I hope this helps. I'd love to hear your tips! #sewing #makersgonnamake #sewingblogger #masks #instasew

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A nose wire isn’t necessarily a must-have, even if you wear glasses (three out of four of us in my family wear glasses, and none of us have fogging issues with our basic pleated quilting cotton masks with elastic), but if you do need it, here’s how to add it to both a pleated and non-pleated cloth mask.

17. Ribbon And Button Headpiece For Elastic Masks

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My sister is a nurse and after wearing a face mask for her entire 12 hour shift, her ears are rubbed raw from the elastic chafing. 😣 So I’ve come up with a super simple EAR SAVER you can make with just a few supplies that you may already have on hand. If you’re making fabric face masks to donate, these would be a great addition too. 💕 . Swipe up link to the tutorial in my stories. . And thank you to every single healthcare worker who has sore ears from fighting this battle 12 hours at a time. 👏👏👏 You are my heroes. . . . . . #fabricfacemasks #diyfacemask #diycrafts #thankanurse #crafts #craftideas #getcrafty #craftingideas #craftingforacause #craftblog #craftblogger #diycraft #craftersofinstagram #craftersgonnacraft #craftersgonnacraft #craftersunite #makersgottamake #craftallthethings #crafternoon #craftaddict #craftaholic #craftylife #ribboncraft #helper #happycrafting #abmcrafty

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Use this headpiece with a mask that has elastic ear pieces to keep the backs of your ears from chafing or to make an incorrectly sized mask fit comfortably.

18. Headband For Elastic Masks

A headband with buttons sewn on is a comfortable way to keep the elastic from a cloth mask from chafing your ears–and it keeps your hair out of the way, too!

19. Pleated Doll Face Mask

I especially like this tutorial because it includes instructions for a couple of types of materials. Your kid’s doll doesn’t actually need a mask made of that precious, tightly-woven quilting cotton!

20. Non-Pleated Doll Face Mask

Obviously, a kid’s favorite doll or teddy bear needs a cloth mask, too!

21. Basic DIY Template

The team at SingleCare published some interesting data about usage of Face Masks, as well as some helpful templates for quick reference on DIY options:

Courtesy of SingleCare

We all have ways to make the world a better place. Right now, if you sew, you can make the world a better place for yourself and those around you using just fabric, needle and thread, and maybe some elastic.

Perhaps you can sew dozens of masks to donate. Perhaps you can sew a few extra masks to give to extended family and friends. Perhaps you can sew a kid a mask in fabric with her favorite cartoon character on it, or sew her doll a mask of her own, too. Perhaps you can sew your own mask to be so cute and cheerful that everyone who sees it smiles.

Whatever YOUR superpower is, it’s a great time to use it!

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

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