How To Sew Your Own Face Mask With or Without Filter Insert

We are going to make a DIY face mask! It’s so easy and you can cut and sew it at home, even if you have never sewn before. We will use fabrics that are easy to cut, but also provide great coverage for the skin. There is no need to spend money on expensive products when you can make your own with this how-to guide.

What is the most suitable material for making face masks?

A study by reveals that cotton shirts and pillowcases are best at-home materials for DIY face masks – they catch more particles better than other at-home materials, but still remain breathable to keep you cool.

Making a DIY face mask has actually ended up being the leading stay-home activity during the unique coronavirus outbreak. Whether it’s for your own individual usage or to contribute to health care centers, you should wear a face covering at all times when going out in public. Medical face masks for health care employees are running dangerously low

Some people need N-95 masks to protect themselves from catching a sickness. But they might not have the money to buy them for themselves, so hospitals are asking for donations. Other people are making their own N-95 masks because there aren’t enough of them to go around.

Some people have made surgical masks with their own hands. They are on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Some details you need to know about this:

You need a sewing machine to do this task. If you don’t have one, someone in your community might be able to help you get one or teach you how to use it.

The Good House Cleaning Institute Textiles Laboratory reached out to the people who make masks (doctors, sewing professionals, material providers) and they put together everything you need to know about making masks. They have a tutorial on stitching with a pattern of fabric and standards from healthcare facilities.

No-Sew Face Masks How To Easily Make at Home

Do material face masks really work?

Did you know that a kind of mask is better for people who are treating patients with COVID-19? It’s not as good as N-95 masks. The CDC recommends using N-95 masks, but if there are no hospital approved masks, then a bandanna or headscarf would be the second best choice.

The homemade variations are likewise being worn on top of N-95 masks to help them last longer. These masks are being allocated wherever they’re still readily available. Although they’re made for single usage, healthcare facility workers are being told to re-wear the very same N-95 mask for days or even weeks at a time.

The Centers for Disease Control does not advise the use of N-95 masks for any person besides those who are working with sick people.

If you’re trying to find a mask for yourself or others, the CDC says that homemade cloth masks can help slow the spread of COVID-19. These fabric masks will work best if everyone wears them. Even people who don’t have any symptoms can still be spreading out the virus because they might not know they are sick.

What’s the best material for a multiple-use face mask?

The best fabric for homemade masks is a tightly woven, 100% cotton material. If you are going to make a mask, do not use knit fabrics since they have holes when they stretch that the illness could get through.

You will need nonwoven component for masks that you can use to block particles. You will also need some elastic or ties to keep it in place on your face. To make the mask fit comfortably, you’ll need something like a paper clip. A/C filters, re-usable coffee filters and HEPA vacuum bags are also made of nonwoven material with excellent purification abilities. Although they don’t always contain fiberglass, they should not be automatically considered as a viable option because some do. And any filter containing fiberglass could cause severe respiratory issues for a wearer, and or itch and irritation to the face.

If you have clothes or bedding products that are in good condition, use these instead of new ones. JOANN shops are letting people get fabric to make masks for free.

There is a new type of mask that has not been tested by the CDC, so you might want to try it out. It is called a polyester shop towel. This was developed by a group of seamstresses who said they could filter particles better than other masks. These have not been tested yet but can be used if you are interested.

Below are several videos that will show you just how to sew a face mask.


How to Sew a Covid-19 Face Mask

By Maker’s Habitat KL

This tutorial is inspired by Dr. Chen Guanting’s post on fabric masks:…


1. While fabric masks will not offer the full protection of a surgical mask, regular fabric masks (referring to ones without filter pockets) have shown to be able to capture at least 50% of 0.02-micron Bacteriophage MS2 particles (5 times smaller than the coronavirus). Source:…

2. CDC has recommended homemade masks (referring to the ones without filter pocket) when medical-grade PPE supplies are exhausted. Source:…

3. As part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19, China, Taiwan, HK have encouraged universal mask-wearing (ie, not just for the sick). The Czech Republic has also followed suit– in the words of the Mayor of Prague: “Whether you have medical masks, self-made masks, or use a scarf, anything is better than nothing.” Source:…

4. Some hospitals in the US have asked the public to sew fabric masks for them due to a shortage of surgical masks. We encourage all sewists who would like to contribute to the first check with your local healthcare providers on whether they would need/accept fabric masks. For example, in Taiwan hospitals, do not encourage the use of fabric masks (take note that they also do not have a shortage of surgical masks). If you are making them for a hospital in need, make them with these filter pockets as an extra protection barrier.

Dr. Chen Guanting advises on his Facebook post that if you’re not actually sick, a fabric mask will suffice as a form of general protection, as long as there is a non-woven layer inside the mask. The non-woven layer acts as a filter.

What can you use for the non-woven layer? The easiest material would be gauze from the pharmacy (non-woven), dried out wet wipes (unscented), our brand new polyester floor wipes (dry ones).

Dr. Chen recommends the following:

– Wash fabric masks daily

– Replace the non-woven layer with a fresh one– do not reuse!

– Do not wear masks if you have respiratory illnesses

– Save the surgical masks for medical professionals who are on the front line of healthcare, and use them only when you need to

– Washing your hands often– it’s more important than wearing a mask.

Please read our full blog post to understand what a fabric mask CAN and CANNOT do for you:…



Main Fabric: 24cm x 19cm

Lining: 18cm x 13cm

Elastic length per piece: 30cm if the elastic is very stretchy, or 35cm if it’s not very stretchy. Try it on and adjust the length if needed.


Main Fabric: 21.5cm x 16.5cm

Lining: 15.5cm x 10.5cm

Elastic length per piece: 25cm if the elastic is very stretchy, or 30cm if it’s not very stretchy. Try it on and adjust the length if needed.

How to Sew a Face Mask


After many requests for a more fitted face mask after my pleated face mask tutorial, I’m sharing a tutorial and free pattern for this face mask! It can be worn alone or layered over an N95 mask.

Get the Pattern Download and detailed tutorial here:

This mask features a flexible nose wire to allow for a tight fit along with the nose and the option to use bias strips or elastic.

It’s important to use a tightly woven 100% cotton fabric. If you’re not sure what tightly woven means hold it up to the light, you should not be able to see through it.

Please make sure that you prewash your fabric using a mild detergent and do not use fabric softener.

This will help to shrink the fabric to prevent it from shrinking later on after it’s been sewn.

Once your masks have been donated, they should be washed and sanitized by the hospital before being put into use.

*Homemade masks will not prevent someone from becoming infected with Covid-19.

They are approved by the CDC to be used as a last resort when all other PPE options have run out.

Health providers experiencing shortages, who have handmade masks can use them on lower-risk patients allowing N95s to be reserved for emergency cases. By Sweet Red Poppy

How to Sew a Medical Face Mask


Supplies: 2 pieces cotton fabric 6″ x 9″ 1 piece cotton flannel or interfacing 6″ x 9″ 2 elastic strips 1/8″ x 6” women, 7” men, 5” children

Optional: ribbon or fabric ties 18”-20” in length. For fabric ties: use a strip 1”x 18-20”.

Fold one short end 1/4” in and sew.

Next, fold the fabric strip long edges in so they meet in the center then fold in half length again.

Sew down the open edge to secure.

Place the tie with the raw edge next to the corners of the mask just like the elastic was.

Tip: Make sure not to sew over the loose end of the tie as you sew around the mask.

Kids size: make fabric 5”x7”, and elastic 5” long.

*** Please wash thoroughly after each use! *** * Use tightly woven fabric, or hospital grade material. *

Keep in mind men and women will be wearing masks when choosing fabric for the mask that will be donated. *

Contact local health facilities to see if they are in need of donations.

Currently, the supply of surgical masks is at a critical all-time low throughout the entire nation.

As a community of sewists, this is a great way we can band together and make a huge difference in this time of need!

While handmade fabric face masks are NOT a substitution for N95 masks, in times of emergency, the CDC may allow handmade fabric masks to be used when critical shortages take place.

You can read more from the CDC here on the use of homemade masks here:…

According to the CDC website “homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.”

In addition to helping the medical staff during critical shortages, these masks can be used at home as well.

While wearing homemade face masks will not prevent catching a respiratory illness, they can help reduce the spread of large particles when someone sneezes or coughs. By Erica Arndt

How to Sew a Face Mask in 10 Minutes


Easy to sew using two 9″ squares, elastic, and twisty tie.

Very detailed instructions.

Washing Instructions: Recommend washing the mask every time you return home after being out in public.

Do not touch your face – eyes, mouth, nose. Wash your hands frequently.


The Sewing Room Channel: for a complete list of videos, go to…

By the Sewing Room Channel

How to Sew a DIY Face Mask


Join the FREE TRIAL at SEWITACADEMY.COM to learn the basics to help you sew this mask. By Mimi G Style.

No obligation and no credit card required to sign up.


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