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:
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
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!
A ski mask gives even more coverage than a neck gaiter.
16. Add A Nose Wire
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
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:
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!