Fabric Face Mask with TIES

This is not a replacement for PPE. The best thing we can do right now to lessen the curve and strain on our health care system is to Stay Home.


Print it, share it with friends, pass it around.
Or save the pattern image below to your phone.

Feedback I’ve received from many healthcare workers is that elastic behind the ears is causing ear fatigue…..and also limits the sizing flexibility. It would be a shame to make masks for donation with a limited size range.
ANSWER: Make masks with ties!
Lots of sizing options!
And very comfy.

 MAKE A FACE MASK HERE (CLICK PLAY):  or watch on my YouTube channel


A homemade face mask is not a replacement for medical PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Wearing a homemade face mask does not protect you from COVID-19. But it can help your germs from spreading to others, since you or I can be asymptomatic. But a homemade mask is not the same as medical PPE. Be informed and follow what our health professionals are recommending.

Testing Shows Types of Cloth Used in Homemade Masks Makes a Difference, Doctors Say
What’s the Best Material for a Mask?

Use clean, cotton fabric that is tightly woven on both sides, and sew on a clean work surface.
Wash your hands before sewing.
Do not make masks if you are feeling sick.

• When you get to your car, take the mask off. It works best to untie from your neck first, and pull the mask up and over your head, then place the mask in a bag. You may use a fabric bag or pillowcase for this, so when you get home you can wash everything together. If you wore gloves to the store, pull those off from the inside out and place them in the bag also.
• When you get home, WASH your hands for 20 seconds.
• Wash the mask in a washing machine. Throw away the gloves (if they are disposable).
• Disinfect your car by wiping down the things you touched, your steering wheel, keys, phone, credit card, doorknob to the house when you came in.

Yes! There is a size chart on the 1-page pattern, or see the image below!

Healthcare workers, grocery store workers, and those who wear a mask for extended periods of time have ear fatigue from elastic behind their ears. If you are making a mask for personal use, then ear elastic is fine. If you are making a mask to donate, I recommend fabric ties. They are more comfortable and fit a wider range of sizes.

Elastic has been hard to find…so make a mask with ties! I prefer using knit fabric because most knits don’t fray at the edges, and most people have an old T-shirt or worn-out pair of leggings laying around. If you don’t have knit fabrics, make the ties from other fabrics! Knits just stretch well and make for a variety of sizing. And they hold up better after washing and drying. Watch how I make knit ties in my video.

If your knit fabric is not rolling up into a tube, that’s okay! You can still use it for ties!
The best kind of knits that will roll up have a bit of spandex in them. Just look at the raw edge of the fabric. If it’s already rolling up a bit, then it’s going to work (watch me cut up a pair of leggings here).
Still not sure if it’s a good knit? Cut a piece off and try tugging on it. Try using a stretchy soft t-shirt (not the cheap “free t-shirt” stuff you might have from an event). Or use a pair of worn out leggings (the Cat and Jack ones from Target work GREAT). Watch more in my detailed video here.

You can make ties out of cotton fabric too! Check out my easy BIAS TAPE video here. And if you don’t have a little bias tape maker, no worries! Just fold it over by hand. Or use quilt binding, or make faux “bias tape” by cutting a 2 inch wide strip, pressing the sides over a 1/2 inch, and then fold the whole thing in half and press together. It will not be true bias tape (and won’t “stretch” as much) but will work.

Watch my easy video here!

The pleats allow the mask to expand and shape around your face.

Yes, this mask style works very well over an N95 mask (or similar grade).

Yes. To make the mask mold around your nose better, you may insert a pipe cleaner, floral wire, twist tie, or small piece of flat bendable metal to the top inside of the mask before forming the pleats. Topstitch next to it to hold it in place. OR, you may sew a small piece of bias tape to the outside of the mask — insert the metal piece into the bias tape instead so that it can be removed before washing.

—more FAQs below the photos—-

Yes. This mask is designed with an opening at the bottom edge, so an additional piece/layer of filtering material can be inserted. Ideally, after each use you would wash the fabric mask, dispose of the filter, and insert a new filter for the next use.

I am just doing a quick topstitch on the two opening areas. It’s not polished, but it works. I do this when the mask is flat, before pleating.

In a medical setting, a paper-like fabric called “surgical drape” works well. It is papery on one side, and has a slight plastic film on the other side. It’s lightweight enough to breath through, but adds a barrier to help keep moisture from coming in or out of the mask. I’m not sure if this fabric is available currently online, in light of the pandemic. People have mentioned “shop towels” to use for a filter layer or non-woven interfacing. If you are using interfacing, I would NOT fuse it to the fabric, but just cut it to be inserted as the disposable filter between washings. Some even just use an additional layer of fabric in lieu of another option.
Please Note: I have not tried all these options. This is just info I have heard from others.

Cut a piece that is about 7 x 4 inches (for the adult size mask in this pattern). Fold it in half lengthwise, and trim the ends so they angle and curve in (very approximate)–see my photo below. Basically, make it look like the shape of the mask when it’s open.

Wash the mask in a washing machine, and then dry. If you have worn your mask to the grocery store, I would take the take the mask off when you get to your car. Place it in a bag, so you are not spreading germs into your car. When you arrive home, wash the mask. Here’s a great idea for a bag…

To make washing easy, one option is to place the mask in the fabric bag or pillowcase after wearing it, and throw the whole bag in the washing machine.
I have a video for making a simple drawstring bag here.

You can use a fabric bag or pillowcase to place scrubs and other worn items in, before entering the car or a home. Throw the whole bag and included items in the washing machine together. I have a video for making a simple drawstring bag here.

(to help secure masks with elastic around the ears, for ear fatigue?)
Yes. I have a simple knit fabric headband video here.

I’ve opened up a Virtual Bulletin Board to help connect makers with those needing a mask. You can find that on my Instagram post here.
I recommend making masks for family, friends, grocery store workers, postal workers, and asking around in your community to see who is in need. Call a local hospital, ask friends who work in the medical community. And search online. There are tons of groups who have organized ways to give masks.
Please check with a donation center before sewing large quantities of masks, to confirm they will accept your style of mask. They may have specifics about the style of mask they prefer.

That’s a helpful idea. It’s easy to type up a small piece of paper with “mask info” to give along with a mask (rather than having to text or email that info to each person).
You can write in your own words, but some topics I’ve included in my printable:
• Please wash this mask before using it
• To put the mask on…
• To take the mask off…
• How to wash the mask
• Links to the research articles on homemade masks.
You can refer to my info at the beginning of this post.


I first made my masks with elastic behind the head, and you can definitely do that. As elastic became scarce for most people, I switched to using fabric ties, which is why all my info here is pointed at that method. I actually prefer ties now, to elastic.
If you would like to use elastic behind the head, I used these sizes (the elastics are two different lengths for the Top and Bottom elastics. Just play with the sizes till they fit you just right):
14- Adults: Top Elastic – 13 inches, Bottom Elastic – 11 inches
9-13 years: Top Elastic – 11 inches, Bottom Elastic – 9 inches
* 5-8 years: Top Elastic – 10 inches, Bottom Elastic – 8 inches
* Toddler: Top Elastic – 10 inches, Bottom Elastic – 8 inches
* I have not tried all these elastic lengths out on the child sizes, so please play with them till they fit your child correctly. If you have made these sizes, please let me know and I will updated this info. Thanks!

This is a Mask with Elastic behind the head:

I am not a medical expert. These are not meant to replace real medical supplies nor the N95 masks that are used in medical settings.
I have read that doctors and other medical staff need extra supplies and masks. They’ve said that fabric masks can be used over the top of an N95 mask, so that N95 masks can be worn for a longer period of time. Or these masks can be used in situations where a simple surgical mask is typically worn, to reserve other masks for COVID-19 medical staff.

Be safe and healthy, friends!

WARNING: This is an educational tutorial only. This tutorial, design, or any product created therefrom is intended to be used for educational purposes only and is not intended to be used to create a medical or similar device. This tutorial, design, or any product created therefrom is not intended, nor has it been tested, to reduce or eliminate the transmission of any respiratory or airborne pathogen, allergen, or any type of particle or droplet, and on that basis, should not be used for any such purpose. Dana Made, Inc., MADEEVERYDAY.com and Dana Willard make no warranties express or implied, that this tutorial, design, or any product created therefrom is intended, or is suitable for use to reduce or eliminate the transmission of any respiratory or airborne pathogen, allergen, or any type of particle or droplet. Any user of this tutorial, design, or any product created therefrom for anything other than educational purposes assumes the risk of serious injury or death. For information on how to reduce the transmission of pathogens, please consult a qualified and competent health care professional.


  1. 1) Sandy


    • 2) Dana

      If you don’t have elastic, you can Sew bias tape ties…OR, cut some strips of knit fabric and sew one into each corner and then you will have knit fabric ties. I will be sharing about that later in my instagram feed.

      • 3) Betty

        We are out of elastic too. We are using elastic headbands. One headband makes two ear loops. I got 72 at the door store for $9.00

        • 4) Julie Angelina Smith

          i’ve used shoe laces for toes too.

      • 5) Kim

        I found paracord to use when I ran out of elastic I make a channel on the sides where I feed the paracord thru.

      • 6) Odette

        You can also purchase ponytails elastic and insert for holding from the ears

      • 7) Liat Malca

        It is amaziinggggg and so easy thankbyou so much dear Dana.i admire your work❤❤❤👑

    • 8) Chrissy

      You can rip the elastic from an old fitted sheet.

      • 9) ann

        Yes! I have found a large piece of 3/8 ” elastic in a contour sheet. Thanks.

      • 10) AJ Wischmeyer

        Thanks for the pattern. I am over 65 with a wonky immune system so will definitely be wearing a mask when I have to pick up my groceries for the foreseeable future.

    • 11) Beth Mullen

      Shoelaces work great for the ties!

    • 12) Victoria

      I have found plenty of elastic on Etsy!

    • 13) Claudia WLulff

      I use men’s shoe laces for ties.

    • 14) Kaj

      Thank you soon much for taking the time putting this all together.

    • 15) jasmine Anron

      Thanks for this post! I’d share this comfortable disposable face mask for your guys. Click here. disposable face mask

      • 16) Barbara Gorman

        Your link to a disposable face mask does not work.

    • 17) Becky B

      Thank you very much for posting the elastic lengths for the over the head mask type for kids…and for different ages. I very much appreciate this information.

      • 18) Dana

        Oh good! I’m happy that helped 🙂

  2. 19) Rochelle

    Thanks for this post! If you place the elastic behind the ears instead of over the head, you will be able to use less elastic. As a nurse practitioner, all of the surgical masks I’ve used have been behind the ears, while N95 masks are typically over the head.

    • 20) Dana

      Yes. I have heard from my medical workers that it is uncomfortable behind the ears, with prolonged wear. But you can definitely sew the ear kind as well! I would use 7.5 inches of elastic for an average adult, and 7 inches of elastic for a smaller adult.

      • 21) Yashira

        And how long for kids ?

      • 22) Marcia K Gardner

        My daughter asked for some headbands with buttons sewn on them. They will attach the elastic to the buttons instead of around the ears.

        • 23) Glenna Rodell

          may I have the headband measurement to sew on with t shirt or other material for men size
          in PDF to print and measure

          Thanks in advance

    • 24) Penny Serwe

      I was told that the elastic behind the ears causes issues for the nurses, etc.

      • 25) dee

        My nurse daughter prefers the elastic BEHIND the ears.

        • 26) Dale

          My MD daughter also prefers the elastic for quick on/off. Ive made headbands for her office. There are videos online for these. Also, videos for extensions, which go on the back of the neck for those who don’t want a headband.
          Thanks for all of the useful information. I’m still tweaking my pattern. Oh, BTW, I understand the pleats should go down. Anyone heard differently?

          • 27) Bev

            Yes, I’ve been doing a lot of research and it’s recommended that the pleats on the outside of the mask point downward. That way, nothing can be caught in the folds.

        • 28) Carol

          Is the elastic around the head 1/4 “?

          THANK YOU


      • 29) Casey Smith

        Yes it’s called ear fatigue and it’s worse when you have any type of glasses on. Even when you wear masks all day for a profession this can be an issue for many.

  3. 30) Sharron

    Another benefit to NOT using elastic – using fabric ties instead – longevity. I suspect at with repeated boiling/bleaching/intense sanitation, elastic will not stand the test of time. Ties will. Just an idea!

    • 31) Dana

      Yes, good point!

      • 32) LISA MAJERSKY

        If the elastic gives out, it can be cut in halves, and tie each corner piece to another thing like shoelaces, or whatever can be found. Please don’t chuck out these masks just because the eleatic gets shot. We keep making more, and more people want them.

      • 33) Gail

        I am a nurse and the fabric ties do last longer. Thanks to all who are helping and staying safe. Love the cat fabric, where did you get it? Thanks again.

  4. 34) m grazia

    Thank you so much Dana! I’m writing from Milan, Italy. We’re in a very poor situation! So thank you once again! God bless you and your wonderful family

    • 35) Dana

      Oh wow. I’m sorry for everything going on over there. I hope you stay safe 🙂

  5. 36) Darcy Childress

    9″ high by 8″ wide or is it the opposite? Thanks for the clarification and the pattern!

    • 37) Dana

      9″ wide x 8″ high 🙂

    • 38) Lorraine

      Easy face make

  6. 39) Diane

    This is a great pattern. I would, however, recommend that you also include fabric ties as the elastic won’t hold up to a lot of hot water washing.

    • 40) Fran

      Another thought:
      I don’t think putting metal in the masks for adjusting over the nose is a good idea. The metal could rust or could poke through the fabric.

      • 41) Dana

        Thanks Diane! Great input. I just updated the tutorial, and created a video to use knit fabric ties. I actually like that better now!

      • 42) Vicki

        If you sew a little strip of seam binding tape for the pipe cleaners to go into, you can just slip them out for washing.

        • 43) Vicki

          I plan to get more elastic if there’s still any at the store next trip, for replacement ear loops if needed later on. Or whatever you are using in place of elastic, keep some extra on hand. Or replace with fabric ties later. Just whatever!

        • 44) Jutta

          This such a great idea! Thanks!

        • 45) Debby

          Amazon has all the elastic you need! Also I have bought ribbon at Hobby Lobby to sew 3 sides on the top inside of the mask to insert metal strip(ordered from Amazon) you can burn the open end of ribbon to keep it from traveling.

      • 46) dale

        I make the nosepiece removable. I’m using the pattern from Kim’s Kitchen Affair, updated to include this.

      • 47) Marilyn

        I am using plastic coated copper from hardware store. Copper does not rust or snap. I curl the ends if the coated wire in a small circle

      • 48) Linda Lee

        I was told that copper wire is good to use for masks because it doesn’t rust. I got a roll at Ace Hardware store. I was also told that the pipe cleaners don’t last long and do rust.

        Thanks so much for all the information, Dana! Loved your tutorial. You present really well with a calm and easy to understand voice, you don’t use background music (thank you for that additional gift!), your instructions are very clear and you present at a pace that’s easy to follow. Awesome job! (Just FYI – these comments come from a retired producer who led development of video training for a global market. These compliments don’t come lightly. You deserve them! ☺) God bless your family and you.

    • 49) LouAnn

      How long do you make home made ties

  7. 50) Speattle

    Love this pattern! Thank you so much, but I am also confused about which way the measurements go on the mask. Does the 9 inches go up the face, or across the face.

    A former oncology nurse and now an oncology patient going through treatment.

    • 51) Dana

      The fabric is 9 inches wide, 8 inches high.
      So the 9 inches is what spans across the face.

      • 52) Gayle Hoock

        Thank you! I also wanted to know this as it is not clear in the directions. I am a nurse manager and will be making these for all or my staff. Our plan is for them to wear it every day and wash it at night. They will get one surgical mask a week to wear over top of the cloth mask…this will hopefully preserve our short supply.

  8. 53) Laura

    Thanks for sharing this pattern. I’ve heard from an Industrial Hygienist for a large chemical company that there is a greater seal than when the elastic just goes around the ears.

  9. 54) Eilidh

    Hi Dana!
    If you straighten a large paper clip and sew it into the top of the mask you are able to mould it around your nose and will achieve a better fit this way and can still wash it as normal. Just about to make some for my family. Thanks for posting
    Eilidh x

    • 55) Dana

      That’s a great tip! Thanks for sharing.

      • 56) Deb

        You can use the green wire ties that you get at a garden center to tie up tomato plants for a flexible, plastic-covered nose piece. I cut mine 3 inches long and sew all around it. Stays in place and no sharp ends.

    • 57) Zenon Holtz

      The bendable re-closure pieces from bags of coffee make good nose bridge strips – they are like a stiffer, wider twist-tie usually plastic over wire.

      • 58) Sarah

        That’s a genius idea. And something I have in my house already! Thanks!

  10. 59) Kathy

    How long should the fabric ties be?

    • 60) Brandi Lentz

      How long should the ties be for kids/teens?

      • 61) Dana

        For Kids I would cut the fabric 7×7 inches, and the ties 15 inches long
        For Teens I would cut the fabric 8×8 inches, and the ties 16 inches long

    • 62) Dana

      18 inches long (46 cm)

      • 63) Pam

        You state 18″ long, but you don’t state how wide? 1″?

  11. 64) Janet

    just Finished the first mask. I would suggest making the bottom elastic about 2” shorter to make it tight enough.

    • 65) Dana

      Yes, It’s not a one size fits all. The elastic in the pattern worked better on my husband and on our adult male neighbor, but the bottom part was looser on me…but you can just pull that up higher on your head.
      OR this is why I like the knit fabric ties better now than the elastic!
      Give that a try and see what you think 🙂

      • 66) Emily

        For that reason, I’ve been doing elastic at the top and ties at the bottom.

        • 67) nancy

          Great idea!!

  12. 68) Erin

    What type of fabric is recommended? Thanks!

    • 69) Dana

      Cotton fabrics work well.

    • 70) Jill

      It’s suggested to hold whatever fabric you’re using to a light. You don’t want to clearly see the fibers/space between the threads. The tighter the weave, the better. Fabrics like flannels and canvas from what I’ve seen are good suggestions. You can also use HEPA vacuum bags cut up for filters. With a tight weave fabric, they protect about equal to one of the yellow paper masks you get at the drs.

      • 71) Pat McCabe

        Be certain the HEPA filters do not have fiberglass!

  13. 72) kristine


    Thank you so much for making this easy face mask pattern. Since I don’t have Instagram, would you mind sharing the video so I can see it? (that’s if you can) I’m not able to see Instagram stories without an account. Thank you for sharing this and all the hard work you do producing awesome content. I can’t wait till my kids are old enough to learn to sew and I will definitely be using your tutorials.

    Thanks, Kristine

  14. 75) Ann

    How long shall I make the fabric ties

    • 76) Dana

      18 inches

  15. 77) CARRIE



    How big is the finished mask (Up and down) after the pleats are in it? Like 7 X ?

    • 80) Dana

      The finished mask is 8×3 inches (WxH)

  17. 81) Barbara

    In this tutorial you used the same fabric on both sides, and in the description it says to use two different fabrics so you no the front from the back. I will definitely be making these with 2 different fabrics, and I thank you for this tutorial and all the other you have put out in the past years. I wish you and your family to be safe and healthy. Barbara xo

    • 82) Dana

      Yes, please use two DIFFERENT fabrics. I’ve been updating info and ideas as they come in, and my original tutorial did not reflect that 🙂 Thanks for your patience 🙂

  18. 83) Rani

    Thank you for posting this! I’ve been frantically making masks and shipping them out as quickly as possible. Stay safe and healthy!

  19. 84) beth

    This is wonderful thank you! love the straps-I have added a little wire to the nose band- and then you can mold it to the face-THe hospitals really appreciate that feature-I use headpiece making wire. Any medium gage jewlery wire works great-just bend edges so they are not sharp!!

  20. 85) sue

    don’t know if it was mentioned, but ties could be made from lengths of selvages also. They have a tighter weave than the cotton fabric they are attached to.

    • 86) Dana

      Fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

  21. 87) Kristin A Farwig


    I recently finished 20 masks and I used elastic – the thin, round type. I had to tie a knot on each end, which was very time consuming. Then I saw your tutorial and thought using knits as ties was a brilliant idea. I just went to Joann’s and bought 2 yards of a knit fabric. I asked the sales gals about knits, as I know nothing about them, other than that there are different stretch capabilities. Well, I cut a strip of the knit I bought and stretched it. It did not roll, and it also developed what I would characterize as ‘runs’. Did I buy the wrong type of knit? What type of knit should I buy? Thanks.

    • 88) Amy

      Did you sew it up one side and turn it rt side out? Like a casing or tubing? That would stop the running. Could stitch before cut it also. OR serge edge before turning.

      • 89) Cjh

        It’s possible if the strip is cut the other direction, it will roll. That is lengthwise of the fabric instead of crosswise?

        • 90) Kristin A Farwig

          Thanks for your reply. I’ve already returned the fabric.

      • 91) Kristin A Farwig

        Thanks for your reply, but no, I didn’t sew it.

    • 92) Dana

      Hi Kristin, Sorry about that. I wonder if you bought rib knit. But NO WORRIES. YOU CAN STILL MAKE IT WORK! 🙂 DON’T SEW THE FABRIC INTO TUBES (I mean, you can, but that will take too long). Just use the knit fabric that you have (cut them slightly thicker if needed so they’re not piecing apart at the edges) The ties won’t be as stretchy, but they will still stay nice on the head because of the texture of the fabric. It doesn’t slip on the hair as much as ribbon or other fabrics.
      FOR GOOD STRETCHY KNITS – the fabric needs to have a bit of spandex. I would try a stretchy t-shirt, or worn out leggings (if you have kids with old leggings, the Cat and Jack leggings from Target work GREAT). Hope that helps!

      • 93) Kristin A Farwig

        Thanks for your reply. I bought poly knit and returned it. Someone in my guild donated some tee shirts to use for the ties and one inch strips roll nicely from those.

  22. 94) Katherine

    Do you leave the opening permanently open? Thanks

    • 95) Amy

      No, topstitch all the way around it .

    • 96) Dana

      YES. LEAVE THE OPENING OPEN permanently. Sorry, I am updating info as it comes in from other sewers. So that was not reflected in my original pattern. You don’t have to leave it open. You can topstitch all the way around. But if you finish off the opening area separately (watch in my video) then people have the option of inserting a filter piece, if needed. Then they can pull that out, wash the mask and insert a new filter layer (which is that papery like “fabric” that you see on disposable medical lap covers, chest covers at the dentist, etc)

  23. 97) Nancy

    Hi. I was wondering can this be easily hand sewn? I’m sacrificing some Doctor Who fabric to make a couple for a family member who is at high risk

    • 98) Amy

      Just make the stitches smaller and really secure your ties or elastic.

  24. 99) Nancy

    Hi. Question. Can this be easily hand sewn? I’m planning on making a few for my family since we have someone who is at higher risk and it is allergy season.

    • 100) Dana

      Most projects can be handsewn! I always remind myself that people were sewing long before there were machines 🙂 It will just take you a little longer, and you need to make your stitches smaller and try to be consistent. Just practice on a scrap of fabric first and you’ll get the hang of it. 🙂

  25. 101) Amy

    I see no mention of using iron on interfacing and that is what I have been doing so its not so porous. I have also seen where they are sewing buttons onto stretch headbands and looping elastic around the button instead of behind the ears.

    • 102) Dana

      Hi Amy, I have seen people use NON-Woven interfacing inside of the layers, but I have not tried this out. I would check with the facility you are sending these to. Or if it’s for yourself, experiment with it first and see if that works.

      • 103) Dee

        I’ve been using fusible interfacing in mine and I must say that it is a struggle to sew the pleats down, even after I switched to a denim needle and removed lint from the feed dogs. Thoughts?

  26. 104) Dawn Ferris

    I used a 3 inch piece of aluminum flat (5mm wide) beading wire for nosepiece. Zigzag stitched it to inside piece of fabric. You can round off the ends of the strip so it doesn’t poke through outside fabric and aluminum doesn’t rust when washed. I got the flat wire at Hobby Lobby– comes in 3 yard package so one package will make 36 masks

    • 105) Dana

      Awesome. Thanks for sharing!

  27. 106) Marilyn

    Thank you for sharing the mask info. I’d like to make some for my family.

  28. 107) Jessica Mathews

    How big are the pleats?

    • 108) Dana

      They are about 3/4 inch each, but they don’t need to be exact. Just make 3 pleats, so that the total finished height is about 3 inches tall (rather than the 8 inches tall that we started with). Hope that helps!

  29. 109) Mary n

    How long should the elastic be for around the head for a adult?
    Thank you

  30. 111) Pavitra Chakravarty

    Hi Dana
    Do you have any idea what kind of filter can be inserted in front and where I can purchase it?

    • 112) Dana

      In medical facilities, the “filters” are small pieces of that papery-fabric material (the kind of stuff that the dentist puts over you at an appointment.) Since the average person doesn’t have that, I have heard people mention cutting up a vacuum bag to fit inside the mask, or A/C filter, or a non-woven interfacing. I have not tried any of these myself. That’s just info I’ve seen floating around.

      • 113) dee

        Seems like I read somewhere that vacuum bags and HVAC filters sometimes have fiberglass in them, which might not the safe to breath through plus the fiberglass might break down in the washer & dryer.

        • 114) Wendy

          Maybe a coffee filter would work.

          • 115) Pacita

            Yes— coffee filters work!

    • 116) C.G.

      Both a used dryer sheet and a dried up baby wipe might work. I know a dryer sheet is non-woven but baby wipes vary depending upon the brand.

  31. 117) Holly

    Instead on a paper clip to mold the mask to the face, I take a 6×6 piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and roll it super tight. It doesn’t rust

    • 118) Dana

      Great idea. Thanks Holly!

  32. 119) cindy

    About how tall should a finished child size mask be?

    • 120) Dana

      2.5 to 3 inches tall would be great

      • 121) Cindy

        Thanks so much!! ❤️❤️❤️

    • 122) Joleen

      Hi. I do not sew at all. I didn’t make dozens of those no pill fleece tie blankets tho. Any ideas on how to make a mask with with tying the fleece?

  33. 123) Carla

    Does the material have to be cotton? I was given a box of all kings of material and not sure what kind it is. Nothing is stretchy. Does thickness matter?

  34. 124) Betty leonard

    Our hospital and probably yours will have a pattern for you to use that fits their specifications. Ours doesn’t want ties, only elastic ear loops. Check with your local hospital first so they can use what you worked so hard to make.

    • 125) Dana

      Yes. My recommendation as well.

  35. 126) Faiza

    Thanks a lot for the tutorial! I couldn’t find elastic anywhere so this is perfect!

  36. 127) Heidi Squadrito

    I have been using 1/4” bias tape for the ties.

    • 128) Dana

      That works great too!

  37. 129) Marlene

    Need a source for non woven interfacing. I am OUT!

  38. 130) Rebecca

    The 3rd video I don’t see the templates. Where do I go to find them please?

    • 131) Dana

      You don’t need a “template pattern piece” if that’s what you’re referring to. It’s just rectangles of fabric. The 1-page pattern of instructions guides you through the steps. It’s here in this blog post, go to the very top and click the DOWNLOAD link, or just screen shot the image of the pattern.

  39. 132) Vicki

    No elastic? No bias tape? How about shoestrings. Then the finished end won’t fray.

  40. 133) Val

    The elastic is all wrong too tight around head and too loose around chin!

    • 134) Dana

      Give it a try! It fits really well! It doesn’t go under your chin. Both elastics go behind your head (or one can go around your neck). See the images of people wearing the mask.

  41. 135) Arabella

    Hi there I love how you create all these ideas and share them.

  42. 136) Elizabeth Vegvary

    Thank you so much for the tutorial on the knit jersey ties!!!! What a totally fun trick! It worked perfectly and sped up the mask-making process considerably. Plus the jersey ties seem to tie easier and hold better. I really appreciate your tips and videos and patterns. Stay safe, Elizabeth

    • 137) Dana

      Thanks Elizabeth! I actually like the fabric ties better also!

  43. 139) AZ

    PS above works with the right measurements. Just print on 8.5X 11 sheets

  44. 140) Deb

    Best one and easiest I found. Thank you for this video; so easy to follow.

  45. 141) Danette K Johnson

    When I click on teh link to download the printable pattern, it doesn’t work.
    It says “nothing found”.

    • 142) Dana

      Sorry about that! I was just updating the pattern. Try clicking the link again. You may need to clear your browser history or cache for the new file to load.

  46. 143) Gayle Hoock

    Hi Dana,
    Has anyone said what size to cut the filter to fit inside the mask?

    • 144) Dana

      I added that info above, here in the post. Read the FAQ stuff.
      I cut mine 7 x 4 inches, then folded it in half lengthwise, and curved the edges, so it ends up being about 2 inches where the sides of the mask come together. The photos above will help you visualize it better.

  47. 145) cHELSEY

    Can I use flannel for the fabric ties and will that be stretchy enough to still have the same comfort/stretchiness? Thanks for the video – new sewer here.

    • 146) Dana

      Flannel won’t stretch, but you can use most fabrics if you don’t have a knit….they will just fray at the edges, unless you sew them more like bias tape, or into a tube. But you could always cut the edges of your fabric with pinking shears (those zigzag scissors) to help prevent fraying.
      Hope that helps!

  48. 147) Brenda

    I am using a pattern similar to yours.
    But… I cut two Worcester of 9” x 15@ 100% cotton fabric. .
    I sew right side to wrong side
    I’m using pipe cleaners 6” long with ends bent in to avoid sharp points from poking the wearer.
    I sew that in.
    I also use 2 round ( knotted ends ) elastic 10”
    each and sew them in each corner (to go around the head and around the neck.
    I also dart the sides and make a dart at the bottom of mask—so it fits snugly around sides and under the chin.
    I make a pocket slot in mine, so my filters can be tucked inside.
    My filters consist of 973F fusible fleece fused to 1500 MPR furnace filter.
    They end up being 3”x 5”
    The filter side is away from face and the pellon side goes towards the face. Each filter is labeled and marked. Every mask gets 3 filters (per person) the filters can be washed in hot soapy water and air dried; meanwhile the cloth mask can be laundered and clean filters put back in.

    Just my own little variations adapted here.
    Retired if 18 years from Operating room nurse/surgical tech.

    Stay safe everyone. 😷

    • 148) Christy Ireland


    • 149) Hedgehog

      Furnace (HVAC) filters may contain fiberglass and chemicals. There are better materials to use as filters in these masks. Thanks for making them, Brenda.

      • 150) CAmille

        Someone suggested coffee filters

  49. 151) GIna

    Thank you so much for sharing your pattern for the mask, as I have nurses in our family and they know how the shortage of masks are effecting them. Our family appreciates your pattern.
    You and your family stay safe during these trying times, due to the pandemic.

  50. 152) Crystal Elston

    Thank You, Thank You Dana! You are fantastic!! Will be making some this weekend.

  51. 153) NancY

    I live in a large senior community(225 residents) and have been making masks, elastic works better as many are unable to tie the ties behind their heads. Have been using colorful fabrics and high quality unbleached muslin for the lining. Dear sweet husband presses as I see!

    • 154) Nancy

      Last word for my post should be sew!

    • 155) Dana

      I love that your husband is helping out!

  52. 156) Nancy

    Last word for my post should be sew!

  53. 157) Leah

    Thank you so much for this

  54. 158) deborah

    Great job! i have read that some fusible linings may have formaldehyde that doesn’t wash out (in the glue).
    also i have read that if the person is wearing it over the n95 mask, the fusible makes it really hard to breathe
    with all those layers so some have suggested not to iron on the fusible. maybe you could just cut a few squares of non iron on and since there is pocket, they can remove that “filter” and replace it with their own preference.
    Gardening gadgets have bendable rubber coated wire or other types of things to tie plants to stakes. they might work great.

  55. 159) Kim U

    I have been using a 4 inch piece of pipe cleaner (use needle nose pliers to curl the ends in), centered on the long side IN the seam allowance and zig zag stitching over it BEFORE turning right side out and top stitching the edges and pleats.

  56. 160) Jamie Xu

    But I can’t able to buy more elastic band.

  57. 161) Dorina

    Hi Dana, Thank you for this mask!! I was hoping that you also make a facemask and you did! In fact, this is the best pattern I have seen so far.
    You are great as always!

  58. 162) Christy Ireland

    I just wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to make such a simple pattern to follow! I can’t wait to get started!

  59. 163) jessica

    How can I get the knit ties to roll up in the right direction that the pattern is on? It is being stubborn and rolling in on the wrong side. Any suggestions?

    • 164) Dana

      You have to cut the fabric the other direction. Watch my video. I talk about that briefly in there. But even if it rolls to the wrong side, that’s fine! They just need to be ties!

  60. 165) Lynn Jones

    Thanks so much for the pattern and tutorial. I made my first one this morning. I love the knit ties. I just cut up an old soft t-shirt. I wondered if anyone has tried to use the knit like you would the elastic? I think it might work to cut it like you were doing the elastic over the ears. But did not want to waste my knit fabric if it just did not work and would stretch out.
    Thanks again.

    • 166) Dana

      Yea. I’ve thought of that….but I decided that the ties give you more options with sizing, so I’ve just stuck with that.

  61. 167) Annabelle Hammer

    I have run out of elastic and bias tape too. I have a lot of polar fleece around though. Will it work if I cut 1/2-inch x 18-inches pieces of fleece for the ties? Thanks! Love your tutorial.–Annabelle

    • 168) Dana

      That’s a fun idea, sure try it! I like it!

  62. 169) Katherine

    Thank you for this, Dana! I have been experimenting with cutting “rings” from legs of tights – they roll up beautifully and you can tie a little knot to shorten them if they are too big for those who want to wrap around ears. and they are soft. Can also cut “rings” from the panty portion at top of tights and then snip to use for lengths of knit ties. Also I think, if nobody has already said it, that cutting such rings from the bottom of t-shirts and snipping to a length of knit tie strip is a great way to use stuff you have.
    Or raid those old clothes for elastic in the waist.
    And just a thought, as I might be insane, but who isn’t right now: What about cutting up old bras to use as a liner,
    as long as the fabric is breathable enough? the cup shape is already there. Anybody working with this idea?
    Thank you for your terrific tutorial and wonderful follow-up.

    • 170) Dana

      Haha. That’s an awesome idea on the bras! Hadn’t thought of that!

    • 171) Theresa

      I saw a wife and husband at the grocery store with black lace bra cups for their masks and they used the straps for the ties. LOL They had a lot of people laughing and telling them what a great idea it was.

  63. 172) Cathy

    THANK YOU so very much!!
    Today we were advised to wear masks outside our homes.
    My daughter and her boyfriend live in Brooklyn and have been adhering to the stay-in-place guidelines.
    I made them masks and sent them in the mail so they can use them during their necessary trips out.
    THANK YOU!!!

  64. 173) Dawn Castonguay

    Hi, I do not know where i could get surgical drape and my vacuum bags are way too expensive. What do you think about using several sheets of new coffee filters for the insert? BTW, i did google and CDC said that as far as simple filtration goes sheets top the list (the higher the thread count the better) for the DYI masks. They actually have a graph, big surprise, where tee shirt material comes in second. Sorry, i don’t remember the rest of the options. Looking forward to making these, thank you for the pattern. DC

    • 174) Dana

      Yes. I’m not sure where to purchase surgical drape. A nurse friend sent me some…but I mailed it to another healthcare worker, so they can use it.

  65. 175) EGrant

    Thank you so very much for your great tutotrials and illustrations for making much needed masks. I believe the pictures with the man and little girl show the masks worn wrong side up. I believe the masks should be worn with pleats pointing down for best protection.

    • 176) Dana

      Yes. Down is best. Sorry if my pictures are going the wrong way. Just flip it over!

      • 177) Michele

        The photos with the pleats going “up” are correct. The inside of the mask where the person is breathing has the pleats going “down”. I have read about this on many other sites as we all have been thinking the same thing. But outside they go “up” and inside they go “down”.

        • 178) Laurie

          Pleats on the outside should face down, always. Good way to also tell which side goes to the face when same fabric is used on both sides.

  66. 179) ROse

    P;ease, Please, Please let people know that if they use elastic it should be latex free. Also please discourage the use of flannel if it is the layer next to the nose and mouth. Flannel sheds/lints tiny fibers that would be dangerous to breath in. I know some of the “experts” were recommending flannel but they are not thinking about or aware of this danger. To see what I mean run a clean lint roller over the flannel (a darker colored flannel will show this better than a light one but the light ones shed too).

  67. 180) Danice

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. The ties behind the head will be so much more comfortable for those of us who wear glasses. Going to make some of these masks today.

    • 181) Dana

      Yes. I prefer the ties now, to the elastic. They WASH and DRY so much better! And they are more comfortable.

  68. 182) Melissa

    Hello Dana! I hope you’re doing well. 2 questions for you, do I pre-wash my quilting cotton before I start this project? Also, do I finish the bias tape edges before inserting them into my project to sew? Thank you!! Melissa M.

    • 183) Dana

      yes, yes. Pre-wash and dry fabrics! They will likely still shrink a bit with the next washing (of your finished mask) but not as much if the fabric is pre-washed.
      You don’t need to finish off bias tape edges that are pointed IN to the seam allowance. Those will end up being on the inside of the mask. But the other ends need to be sewn off with a little stitch, or tied in a knot. If you use knit fabric instead for your ties, you don’t need to do anything. Most knits won’t fray.

  69. 184) Barbara

    I have come to understand the pleats on the fabric mask are to be pointed down so as to protect against dust particles.

    • 185) Dana

      Yes. Down is best. Sorry if my pictures are going the wrong way. Just flip it over!

  70. 186) Rebecca Sharim

    Hi Dana, my husband and I are both physicians and I’ve been looking for a pattern for masks. I’m a beginner sewer and also was using your great circle skirt instructions a few years ago. You definitely have the best mask tutorial around and we so appreciate your talent and willingness to share <3

  71. 187) Krista Richardson

    Dana, these are helping people in Long Beach, too–thanks for being so quick with the pattern and making all your updates. It’s pretty near perfect! xo from the beach

    • 188) Dana

      That’s so awesome. Thanks Krista for making and sharing in your community!

  72. 189) Gabriela gammo

    Hi Dana! Thanks for this simple tutorial! It’s the best so far! I just shared it with the Organic Fabric Company mailing list!


  73. 190) Ramona

    I’ve seen a lot of patterns, this simple and to the point thank you…I’m in Mexicali

  74. 191) Lynn

    I looked on Amazon and there was lots of elastic for sale!

  75. 192) Eunice Collier

    In New York, in the hospital’s now, instead of the elastic ,behind the ears, the are making a head band like a runner would wear, that covers just the top of the head, come’s down right above the ear, Then puts 2 large button on the material above the ear, so when they wear a mask with elastic for the ears, they wrap the elastic onto the buttons, that way it saves the back of the ear’s from getting raw.

    • 193) Dana

      Yes. That’s a great idea!

  76. 194) Kim

    Note, health experts say the virus survives on spandex better than any other fabric; they recommend no synthetics. This is from Dr. Griffin at Columbia Univ: “Don’t use a synthetic or a polyester because they’ve looked at the virus’s ability to survive on surfaces, and spandex is the worst.” I love your pattern though! Will make cotton ties.

  77. 195) Jean

    When wearing the masks, please be sure to have the pleats facing down. If you think of the pleats as ” germ catchers” you will be sure and put them facing down so they fall to the ground.
    Stay safe,

    • 196) Dana

      Yes. Down is best. Sorry if my pictures are going the wrong way. Just flip it over!

  78. 197) Nicole Bear

    Thank you for the super easy pattern and tutorial. However, I urge you to PLEASE remove the advice about what to use as filters, as some of those can be dangerous. A/C filters could contain glass fibers, and dryer sheets are filled with toxic chemicals, both of which can cause serious lung/respiratory issues. This is something you definitely don’t want, as people with these issues become much more susceptible to the current virus that causes Covid-19.

    • 198) Dana

      Thanks Nicole.

  79. 199) Shauna

    Hi! Thanks for the great info. I noticed the download list 8×8” fabric for all sizes at the bottom. It also list 8×9” at the top. It appears in some of the photos, that there are different cut sizes for different size masks, which I assume is the correct info. Could you please let me know which is correct. Thanks again!

    • 200) Dana

      If you look on the pattern, there are additional sizes for making it smaller. You can size it however you’d like. I found that as I sized down, it was easier to cut the fabric in a square, to have enough fabric for making pleats. But feel free to do as you like.
      And I recommend doing the four ties (instead of elastic). It fits a variety of sizes much better!

  80. 201) Virginia Smith

    Hi..Just wanted o clarify the measurements of the cut fabric for Child & Toddler as in the above chart.
    It’s the same measurements as the others..All cut fabric sizes are the same.
    Please clarify if this is correct……….Thank you.

    • 202) Dana

      Hi Virginia,
      Sorry about that, I’ve switched the pattern out a couple times as I’ve played with the pattern, and as people have shared updates. For a child (6-10ish) I would cut 8×8 inches. For a child (5 and younger) I would cut 7×7. And I recommend the ties, instead of elastic. It will fit everyone much better!

  81. 203) Virginia Smith

    PLEASE DELETE my above query re cut fabric size…I didn’t see the detailed pattern page with various measurements..Thank You!.

    • 204) Dana

      haha. no worries! I’ll leave the comment in case others need it 🙂

  82. 205) Robbin

    Vacuum cleaner bags may have fiberglass in them. Not recommended for this use, and not good for sewing machines.

    • 206) Dana

      Thanks for the info! I just removed that part.
      I love how we’re all evolving this process together! It’s a giant sewing think tank 🙂

  83. 207) Christine

    I saw that a bungee cord, if cut open, has lots of elastic in it.

    • 208) Dana

      I haven’t tried that.

  84. 209) Linda

    I cut a 100% t-shirt into 1 “ strips and pulled. Did not roll like your material did. I also made sure it was pulled cut on the stretchy side. Disappointed.

    • 210) Dana

      Sorry Linda, read the info above again with some tips for knit fabrics. It depends on how “stretchy” your shirt is. It helps if there’s a bit of spandex or lycra in the fabric. Check my FAQ points above and see if that helps. And watch my video too.

  85. 211) Michele

    I found that sewing a dart at the top and bottom makes the masks fit better.

    • 212) Dana

      Great idea! Thanks Michele

  86. 213) Brandy

    Hey Dana,

    This is so informative, thank you! I just made a mask similar to the one in this post using fusible interfacing – the tutorial I saw had you fuse the interfacing to the fabric. Why would you NOT recommend doing this? The washability? Thank you so much!


    • 214) Jimena

      Hello, thanks for the instruction!
      Can I use a bamboo breast pad as a filter?

    • 215) Dana

      Yes. I think it would be nice to be able to pull that layer in and out and put a new one in, if needed. Like a filter. But I don’t really know…some of this is info I am hearing from others. So there are mixed opinions on what works best. 🙂

  87. 216) april

    the knit tie/’t-shirt cord’ option is a TOTAL game changer! thank you SO very much!!!

  88. 217) Deb

    Just an FYI, I tried a few with the pipecleaner, and when washed they got all mashed up so bad they didn’t extend all the way to the edges anymore, so for the next few I made, I extended the pipe cleaner to the outside of the mask, sewed over it like I did the top straps to reinforce and then doubled it back inside and stitched it again so hopefully it wont be ‘lost’ in the mask and will just need to be straightened out. (I haven’t washed them yet but I totally expect it to work fine.) and thank you for the great pattern and easy instructions!

    • 218) Dana

      Great idea! yes. I have heard of people sewing a strip of bias tape to the outside of the mask (like a tube) so the pipecleaner or twist tie can come in and out when the mask is washed.

  89. 219) Kathie

    I have cut up soda cans into about 3/8” strips, wrapped each one in sew in interfacing & inserted into the top center area of the mask. Then top stitched around it. Able to bend it to pinch around my nose & no poking from the metal.

  90. 220) Gloria

    Use an Ace bandage cut into narrow strips for elastic.

  91. 221) Hedgehog

    Just read where vacuum bag manufacturers are saying don’t use their products as filters, some brands contain glass particles. Also HVAC filters may contain particles and/or chemicals that should not be inhaled. Good quality batiks and high count sheets are very good fabrics to use because of the high thread count.

    • 222) Dana

      Good to know thank you. I have removed that info out of the post. Appreciate you sharing that!

  92. 223) Gail Pickens-Barger

    This goes to the top of my list of top 19 tutorials for making a face mask diy with material you have on hand.

    I’m old school, and your written instructions are to the point, descriptive enough, and I LOVE the one pager.

    Some people learn by video, as I see you have done on your instagram. I like what you did there too, but it was the one pager that sold me! There is another tutorial done with photos, similar to what you’ve done, but you have the ability to really communicate this well to those of us, who are written instructions types of learners.

    Good job!

    Now to add you to my list! Thank you. Going to go make some more masks now…

    Yoga with Gail, part time crafter/sewing person.

    You have a blessed day!

    • 224) Dana

      What awesome feedback. Thank you Gail for sharing that! I really appreciate it, and I’m so happy that it helped!

  93. 225) Ann-Marie

    Someone made me a mask with elastic to go around the ears. It is too tight. Any solutions to this problem?

    • 226) Sara

      You could always clip the elastic and hand sew a bit of extra fabric onto the loops!

      • 227) Dana

        Yes! Love what Sara said….or maybe just clip the elastic loops, and turn them into head ties. Tie or sew some ties to the cut pieces of elastic and then it will fit over your head!

  94. 228) Eirian Alison

    Brilliant Dana- thank you for your generosity in composing and sharing the designs and your work. You have greatly benefited our hospice clinicians and patients alike with the patterns and bright and fun fabrics! God Bless you and your contributions <3

    • 229) Dana

      Thanks Eirian 🙂 I was so happy I could make some for your team. It’s nice to know the person behind the mask 🙂 hahah

  95. 230) Sara

    I don’t sew very often, but I recently made 12 masks. I didn’t have any elastic and its sold out all over. I also didn’t have any jersey material and I’m trying to watch my spending. I made ties out of fabric and those seem to do the trick. When I ran out of ties (mostly for my own mask) I used 1/2″ thick ribbon to create loops to go around my ears. They are not the most beautiful looking, but I’m hoping the recipients will use them anyways.

    • 231) Dana

      Fantastic! That’s so awesome of you Sara. I love the Make-it-Work perseverance 🙂

  96. 232) Barbara jackson

    I have only made three masks so far but I did use a fusible interfacing and just didn’t extend it into the sides so it wouldn’t make sewing pleats more difficult . Before I go further I am wondering about the iron on Pellon. Is this an unhealthy option. I was thinking it could be a replacement for a filter. Please advise before i move forward.

    • 233) Nance in Reno

      My friend couldn’t get pipe cleaners so she used Acco fasteners (the fasteners that you use a two hole punch at the top of a folder) and cut of the prongs to use in the nose part.

      I make a lot of laundry for the homeless. I buy old pillowcases at the thrift store for 50 cents (can’t beat the price). Sew a buttonhole towards the bottom of the cuff near the side seam and a second one on the opposite side of the cuff. Cut open the buttonholes. Fold down the cuff and sew down the cuff. Thread your drawstrings through the buttonholes. Top stitch around the top edge of the cuff. For a laundry bag, I like to get an 8″ piece of twill ribbon or webbing and sew the ribbon 4 inches apart so it hangs on a doorknob.

    • 234) Dana

      Hi Barbara, I’m actually not sure on that. I have a link to two articles with info about Best fabrics to use…and one of them says that a layer of Fleece fabric in the middle works well. It does make the mask a lot bulkier to sew, but I did that yesterday with a couple masks and that might be a good option.

      • 235) Dana

        The links to the BEST FABRICS STUDY are above in this post.

  97. 236) ClR

    Shouldn’t the pleats be worn “facing” down? The germs/moisture drops would not fall into the pleats that way.

    • 237) Dana

      Yes. Just flip the mask over!

  98. 238) Tammia Prottsman

    Thanks, Dana, for taking the time to write such a wonderful pattern/tutorial. I am a longtime follower, have made several of your patterns, and was relieved when I saw your pattern (I was getting completely overwhelmed with plethora of mask tutorials). Thank you!

    • 239) Dana

      Aw thanks Tammia! I’m happy I could help 🙂 Thank you for following along all these years. You guys make me want to continue sharing.

  99. 240) Rita Aalbertsberg

    Thank you so much for this pattern. There are so many out there, but this one is what I have been looking for! you are awesome!

    • 241) Dana

      Oh good! Thanks for sharing Rita!

  100. 242) Jessica

    Thank you for this pattern. I made both the adult size and the toddler size (I opted to use ties instead of the elastic and inserted pipe cleaners for the nose area). The adult sizes fit well and the toddler sizes fit both my 3yo and my 19 month old great. Thanks again!

    • 243) Dana

      Awesome that’s good to know on the kid sizes!

  101. 244) Jill

    HEPA vaccum bags can be cut and used for filter too. When used with fabrics like canvas or flannel (hold it up to a light, the less you can see the separate threads making the fabric, the better for a mask) it filters about 65% of particulates, about the same as a standard paper hospital mask. N95 filters somewhere in the 90s percentile range, but those should be left for medical staff.

    • 245) Sandra W.

      HEPA vacuum bags have dangerous fibers in them . Not safe to use these as filters.

  102. 246) Jean Leaman

    When I made the mask with elastic ear loops, the elastic slips off my ears? Any ideas?

    • 247) Dana

      The elastic is mean to go behind the head, not the ears. If you want to do ear elastic, you need to sew it to the other sides of the mask, and cut it about 7-7.5 inches (depending on the head size)
      I strongly recommend head ties! They fit the most sizes!!

  103. 248) Emily

    The toddler mask size is great! It would probably fit a 2-4 year old. Thanks for the pattern!

    • 249) Dana

      Awesome! Good to know. Thanks!

  104. 250) Cheryl

    I noticed on the photos that they mask looks loose under the chin… this is a problem, but I found a solution …
    If it isn’t tight under the chin… cup it , by making a small tuck or dart in the bottom edge, try the mask on , and pinch in the fabric to fit close to the chin, do this with the mouth partially open..
    It works and tightens up the chin… or you can add a piece of wire there just like you can for the nose.
    Tight fitting masks are very important…

    • 251) Dana

      Great tip! Thanks Cheryl.

  105. 252) Sara

    I wish I had found your tutorial weeks ago! I have made 180 masks so far and followed the pattern I was given in the beginning. It is designed like yours but called for cotton and flannel. 1/4” X 13” top & bottom. Pipe cleaner nose piece. As we were already on a stay at home order I quickly used up what I had on hand so started experimenting. 1/2” wide knit shoestrings were my best find but I only had a few.
    In our area Doctors were reporting that we He over the ear elastic was making blisters! So I stopped that style. I also heard that pipe cleaners do not hold up under high heat. (This I found out after my 100th mask)
    Currently I am using a soft elastic that is used for hair ties ( a friend sent me 4 – 100yd spools ) so that is what I will use from now on.
    I love the idea of jewelry wire! I may have some of that. There is no going to the store to buy what I need so I rely on what people donate. Mine have gone to nieces and nephews who are on the front line. Friends, family & neighbors. I Indiana the general public has been strongly advised to use homemade masks so I am now sewing for them, plus one other hospital. Thank you for all of your good advise. There are so many patterns out there but I don’t agree with most of them. You have the best sound advice!

    • 253) Dana

      You have been busy making masks! Thank you for making and sharing in your community!

  106. 254) Kathy Wright

    I have a ‘new’ sewing machine that was purchased five years ago, and it has been in the bottom of the closet. I have not sewn in forty years. I have some light weight flannel, and cotton t-shirts. I was thinking of making some masks. I do not have the iron-on bias tape or the ponytail holders. I intended to make ties. I have 1/4″ elastic that can be cut in half lengthwise. I am not so sure of the nose piece. I knit, crochet and do genealogy. Do you think I might possibly be able to make some masks with what I have here at home? Thank you so much for the pattern and opinion. It has been a wonderful read.

  107. 255) Diane G Humber

    I’m using fuzzy sticks as substitute for pipe cleaner but have to cut and it leaves a sharp edge. Any idea how to keep ends from poking through fabric?

    • 256) Lelani Romero

      Use a needle nose pliers on the wire or etc . fold ends in to a loop pinch down , then cover the edges with a dab of glue from the glue gun..

  108. 257) Lelani Romero

    Use a needle nose pliers on the wire or etc . fold ends in to a loop pinch down , then cover the edges with a dab of glue from the glue gun..

  109. 258) Robin reed

    Great video.
    Can you tell me the model of the sewing machine you use in the face mask tutorial?
    Thanks, Robin.

  110. 260) Amber

    Wonderful tutorial, and one of the easiest mask patterns I have seen. I have heard of using felt as a filter for a mask. Just wanted to mention it.

  111. 261) Anne

    Hi Dana!
    There is a small mistake in the chart, I use cm and for the child, elastique, I was confused with the 89 cm! It’s the same than toddler, 28cm I Fortunately, I have an inch rule 😉
    Thanks for this great pattern 🙂

  112. 262) Sherry Grimes

    I can’t find a date on this so I don’t know if you are still answering questons but I have one. Do you just leave the opening completely unfinished? It looks like it but I’m not sure how that would not fray. Thanks.

    • 263) Dana

      I finished it off with a quick topstitch. It’s still a little raw inside, but after many washings, it’s held up fine! I do this step when the mask is still flat, before making the pleats.

  113. 264) Delora Cain

    For filters I cut from cotton quilt batting, Warm and Natural or Warm and White (JoAnns or Hobby Lobby)sold by the yard or sometimes in small packages.

  114. 265) Jordan Robinson

    I love the masks! Do you sell them in solid colors like black and navy blue?

  115. 266) Beth Mullen

    This was easy to follow and sew! Thank you! I used shoelaces for the ties – works perfectly!

  116. 267) MRl

    Thank you!! 👩🏻‍⚕️I was able to buy mask tie strings in bulk from Wayne Mills Inc. 1-800-220-8053
    I understand this company primarily sells to fabric medical industries.

  117. 268) Mary

    Thank you for the fantastic instructions, Dana!

    One thing I learned was to put the inner fabric inside out so that it’s more obvious which side is the inside and which is the outside. Probably more useful if you’re in a big hurry or putting it on and off multiple times. Still, thought I’d share. 🙂

  118. 269) Brenda

    I appreciate your pattern. The only comment I have is to add wire for a nose piece to your pattern. This adds additional protection and personalized sizing. I use 2 lengths of light floral wire that I wrist together. As a retired nurse this is helpful, and I like the elastic around the ears.
    Thank you.

    • 270) Dana

      Yes, that’s a great tip!

  119. 271) DIANA


    Thank you so very much for your excellent tutorial. I have ordered fabric masks 2 times from 2 different sellers & it’s over 2 wks – rec’d nothing. I am NOT a sewer but with your instructions I am going to give it a try. Here
    in NJ we need to wear masks whenever we are out in public. God Bless & Thank You Kindly.

    • 272) Dana

      Oh man. What a pain! Sorry about that. I’m glad you were able to make some!

  120. 273) Rene

    Thank you so much for the pattern. Your tutorial is very easy to understand. I made 8 of them today for family members.

    • 274) Dana

      That’s so awesome and wonderful to hear!

  121. 275) JanelLe

    I used nylons that I had never worn for the ear ties they were much softer and a small knot could be added easily for better fit .

  122. 276) Poppy

    Dana how long does this game to make?
    Also, do you have to replace it each time you to put wearing it?
    From poppy aged 11

  123. 277) Pat Ewing

    I have been using old tee shirts for ties. Cut a lentgth 7 sew raw edges under if desired.

  124. 278) Liz

    I cant find the pattern youre talking about???
    I see some instructions that are half covered up, I cant see the whole thing….
    I downloaded it but still see the same thing.
    I cant figure out what Im doing wrong…..
    Can you help me figure out how to get the whole instructions?
    Thank You!

  125. 279) ❤dana

    Sorry if you can’t see it Liz it only works on particular devices
    Try on a computer or pc
    Happy crafting!
    (Or not haha)

  126. 280) Michelle smART

    Thank you for the amazingly abundant information. I just received some elastic today. In all honesty, I love the ties so much better, they are so versatile and fit everyone! I have been making my own bias with coordinating fabric but that has taken some time (and fabric). Hoping to find some knit material somewhere around this house! Thank you, you are doing a great job with information.

  127. 281) gloria dow

    I have a lot of grograin ribbon, is it o.k. to use that?

  128. 282) Heidi Heard

    Hi, Dana!

    Question: can you explain how the “tube” of bias tape would work, so that whatever you used in it to make a nose bridge piece, doesn’t slip out?

    I chatted with someone who is sewing facemasks for our local hospital, and she is using coffee closure tabs, which I that was genius, since they don’t rust, aren’t sharp, and area flexible. The other option will probably be 16 or 18 gauge galvanzied stainless steel wire.

    I now live on the South Carolina coast, but have alot of friends in the Austin area. When I saw your “Eat More Tacos” bag, I immediately thought of my favorite place, Chuy’s!

    Hugs from Charleston, SC,

    Heidi Heard

  129. 283) Sandra W.

    Please, people…the word is breathE, not breath. Similar, & yet not the same. Yes, it is
    a bit confusing. Hope this helps.

    According to Webster’s dictionary:
    breath: air inhaled or exhaled during breathing. (noun)

    breathe ( with an “e” at the end): to inhale and exhale. (verb)

  130. 284) Kathy Snider

    I’ve made three different types of masks today. So far your pattern is the easiest to follow, the fastest to sew, and the best fitting! Great job on the simple step-by-step pattern with only four steps! Thank you! I do need to try making the next one using elastic. That would be better for our son to use. Thanks also for the different sizes!

  131. 285) Studdybear

    Love your idea. I have sewed 4 that are of the “solid” type and find that they move up and down to much on the nose when talking. I think the pleats are the answer. The ones I have made I inserted a pocket along the top side (Nose side) so that I can insert a piece of wire to bend around the nose. This helps a lot with those who wear glasses. Will see if your design is conducive to this but I think so as they are similar to medical masks. Oh by the way the 4 masks I have made are the first time I have ever used a sewing machine at age 48 and somehow find it soothing although took me over an hour to figure out the bobbin idea on my mothers machine. She is in NZ under isolation with my sister while dad is here with my partner and I.

  132. 286) ChaRlotte

    While I appreciate the tutorial, PLEASE remove the toddler size. Masks should not be put on kids younger than 3, and even then I’d be hesitant. You have a suffocation risk with young children.

  133. 287) Kate

    Does your jersey knit fray as you work with it to make ties? Does this stop after a wash or two?

  134. 288) Kathy

    Enjoyed reading all of these great ideas. How about using shoelaces for the ties? Just a thought.

  135. 289) Charlotte

    Thank you so much!!!!
    I’ve been looking at several different patterns, and I love this one the most. Especially the knit ties!❤️

  136. 290) Anita D

    DO NOT make masks for toddlers! A mask should never be put on a child under two years old.

    • 291) Dana

      These “Toddler sizes” are meant more for 3-5 year olds.

  137. 292) Kris

    Toddlers should not be wearing masks! They can and will asphyxiate. Please remove the toddler thing! :/ all small children need to stay at home or be worn or in a stroller to keep them from touching things and people away.

  138. 293) Ruby

    PLEASE do not put a face mask on a toddler it is very dangerous!! Small children have a high chance of suffocating when faces are covered. Their airways are not as developed. Please remove the toddler size for safety.

  139. 294) Dawn

    The elasic band in the scruncies is 1/4 inch. If u cut the seem on the scru chie and ppen it there is a seem where the elastic is snip that and u have about 6in of elastic. The faberic from the scruchies and be used as ties. Probally more for kids sizes than adults.

  140. 295) Katy

    Who makes the adorable blue cat face fabric you used for one of your masks? ADORABLE! Thanks for the great simple pattern!

    • 296) Dana

      Thanks! The cat fabric is my own design! It’s printed by Art Gallery Fabrics. You can find it on Amazon actually 🙂 Here’s a link: https://amzn.to/2VM192i

  141. 297) Kathryn

    I have struggled with the elastic vs. ties. My solution is to sew small cord loops into the ends of the mask, top and bottom, and then put the elastic through the loop and sew the elastic together. That way the elastic can be changed out later if needed, or substituted for ties.

    • 298) Dana

      Great idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  142. 299) Claire Pow chong

    Hi Dana. Thanks for the great tutorial. My needles keep breaking every time I see through the pleats…any suggestions as to what may be causing this? I’ve tried a 100/16 needle now, but I have to sew really slowly as I can see the needle bending when I sew.

    • 300) Dana

      I typically sew with an 80 size needle. Try going slower through the pleats, and turn the needle by hand (on the side of your machine) if needed. Maybe rethread? And don’t sew over pins?
      Sorry I’m sure you’ve tried all of those. Just things that come to mind 🙂

    • 301) ellie s

      Try a denim machine needle

  143. 302) Dawn Satow

    What about using nylons/pantyhose/knee highs or girls tights cut in strips for ear loops? I tried them and they stretch, are soft and comfortable. Is there any reason to NOT use this material?
    Love all your tutorials! Thank you!

  144. 303) Cynthia

    Thanks for making this video. One important note in the video, you untied the top and let the mask fall on your chest. If the mask was contaminated, you’ve now, contaminated your chest. It may seem picky, but, its important to highlight not to untie the top and let the outside contaminate another surface. Thanks again and stay well 🙂

    • 304) Dana

      Right. I’ve tried to share with people to untie from the neck and pull up over your head. Just wasn’t thinking in the video 🙂

  145. 305) RO

    Thank you for sharing. I love your masks! After a bunch of reading I found “cleanroom masks” KIMTECH PURE* M5 MASKS WITH SOFT TIES, PLEAT STYLE and read its description and materials list. They use polyester and cellulose. I googled that combo and found that embroidery stabalizer is made with these components. I have been using heavy grade (2.5 and ordered 3.0) in mine. I do wash after sewing because some stabilizers needle lubricants in them. Wash a batch, press, and find them homes. Just food for thought.

  146. 306) RO

    For clarification, I use the stabilizer as a permanent sewn in filtering layer. It has held up to washing so far.

  147. 307) Kilby K

    I searched and searched the web for a tutorial that made sense to my non-sewing brain and this is the best! I used old leggings of my girls’ to make the strips and pinned everything for my 9 year old to sew. Thank you!

  148. 308) Ellie s.

    Please, no vacuum bags, some contain fiberglass and other bad respiratory things. I was an O.R. Nurse and I make no claims or accept no liability, but to me the best filter hands down is blue paper like double layer used to wrap instrument sets prior to autoclave to sterilize forsurgery. I bought About a very large piece for about 48” by 48 “” for about $11.00 plus shipping. ( company called Devine Express/ “ Halyard H600 sterilization wrap”. 600 is the best coverageI have made 15-18 masks so far and still have some left. Check first on people with asthma and copd but easy for me to breath through. I like the pipe cleaners but need to roll/curl on end to avoid poking. They work a lot better than ones I worked in the O.R. with metal that pokes. In my mind, we are hurrying way too fast and never to late to make more. Any tips on eye/face shields? I bought the clear acrylic on a roll near at hobby lobby and a noodle for forehead, but would appreciate hints for making these for our firemen. Thanks for this awesome thread!

  149. 309) Kurt Strigun

    I enjoyed reading all the positive things on your posts!. My wife would be grateful if we could get some your masks. Where can I find some?

    Thanks for all the great information!

  150. 310) Mary

    Absolutely the best, most informative mask instructions I’ve seen! Wonderful job on assembling all these choices and instructions!

  151. 311) Casey

    Yes it’s called ear fatigue and it’s worse when you have any type of glasses on. Even when you wear masks all day for a profession this can be an issue for many.

  152. 312) Nancy Perry

    I had someone, specifically, ask for ear loops instead of ties. I used the t-shirt ties cut down to eat loop size. Worked perfectly, and they are very comfortable! Now I’m wondering what size might work for behind the head… Hmmmmm!

  153. 313) Elizabeth D'Andrea


  154. 314) Carol

    I love the idea of using strips of jersey fabric for the ties. As a knitter, I’ve been fighting stockinette curl my whole life and now it’s a feature, not a bug!

    But now these masks that people are loving are coming back with slight tears in the ties where they come out of the corners of the masks. I’ve been putting in so-called “strain relief” by putting some stitches there. But either the tearing still happens where the extra stitches aren’t, or the tearing just moves down the tie beyond where the stitches are.

    I’m currently experimenting with different solutions. I’d love to hear if anyone else has had this problem or any ideas about fixes. I’m devoted to this tie idea. It avoids the problems with elastics, with pressure behind the ears yet still has some elasticity, is comfortable, is non-slip, the material is readily accessible and plentiful, and so on.


    • 315) Carol Ginsberg Brown

      I’ve come up with a solution. First: the “fix”, putting in reinforcing stitches, was actually just repeating the original problem. It was the original stitching of the ties into the mask that was causing tears in the jersey threads. Maybe I’m not using the right needle. Anyway, putting a little piece of woven cotton fabric (like sheeting) inside the tie, where the seam stitches down the tie, fixed the problem. It’s an extra, labor intensive step, but I was having masks come back with ties broken off. Not cool.

  155. 316) Gayle M Compton

    Does the opening for the filter go on the top of the mask or bottom ?

    • 317) Carol Ginsberg Brown

      The mask is reversible, so the opening will be on the top or bottom depending on which side you use.

  156. 318) Barbara Mellish

    I didn’t read through all the comments. so this one may have been made. If you tie the bottom ties to the top of your head and the top ties over your ears to the back of your head it will hold the bottom of the mask closer to your chin making a close fit/ less gap.

  157. 319) Jolene

    Thank you so much for your pattern! It’s a great design and easy to understand. Can you please explain/post a photo to illustrate the bias tape added for a removable nose wire? I am assuming you don’t sew all around? Or you do but you leave the bias tape folds (on the length of the piece of tape) open? Thank you!

  158. 320) Sarah m

    Finally, an easy to read graphic with instructions that are simple and not time consuming. I was able to make this easily by just looking at the graphic. I made the 5-8 age one and instead of strings I used colored hair ties cut in half. I was grateful my hands are small to fit inside but overall it was very easy.

    • 321) Dana

      Awesome great!

  159. 322) Robin

    This is perfect. I wear hearing aids and glasses. I absolutely cannot wear elastic behind the ears! There’s just no more room not to mention that it is extremely uncomfortable.

  160. 323) Jolene

    If you cut true bias tape, it should be stretchy (before sewing it). If you then straight stitch it, won’t it not be stretchy anymore because straight stitches are not stretchy. Can I just leave my bias tape as a single flat, unsewn layer instead of folding it up and sewing it?

  161. 324) MILLIE

    This looks like a well thought out and comprehensive set of instrutions and some very good tips. Thank you very much. I’m going to use your instuctions to make some masks for personal use.

  162. 325) Emily

    I was doing your pattern in batches of 7-10 ish masks at a time then was asked by a family member to make masks with ear loops instead of the individual ties that tie behind the head. Now I have a bunch of masks in the stage after step 3 (ties sewn into the corners already) and wonder if they can be converted into ear loop-style aside from just knotting the upper and lower ties together. Yes, I’m lazy. I’ve used old T-shirt material for the ties. Any suggestions – or just knot them?

  163. 326) Angel

    This is a great tutorial. I have followed your YouTube channel for a while and enjoy the videos. This is easy to follow, but I would also like to make these with ear loops or elastic behind the head. Is there an easy way to do this? Could I extend the pattern by about 1/2 inch on each side to place the elastic in or do you have a recommendation? Thanks for all your help.

  164. 327) Diane Hurd

    Thank you, just made a face mask with ties for my son. I had made the ones with elastic, but he has to wear it all day and said it hurt his ears. He sent me your pattern and the amazing way to make the ties with an old t-shirt!! Now I get to make more for him and his worker friends. Thank you for supporting the workers out there!

  165. 329) Kris Bolick

    My daughter is a nurse and they need a more fitted mask. I put a couple of tiny pleats along the bottom so it’s more fitted under the chin.

  166. 330) TheAJdance

    Thanks this is awesome! I am going to make them for my family!

  167. 331) rbuirevqbj


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