How to Sew a Face Mask (With 15 Sewing Patterns and Tutorials to Try )

Ready to learn how to sew a face mask? Want to create your own masks to slow the spread of the Coronavirus

If you are then you are in luck! We wrote this blog post with you in mind. 

So let's dive off into it...

As COVID-19 continues to sweep across the globe, most of us have resorted to self-isolation as a precautionary measure.  

But it’s not all gloom and doom for crafty minds with sewing skills. At a time when protective face masks are a scarce, life-affirming necessity, why not learn how to sew a facemask from home? 

Why Should You Consider Learning How to Sew a Face Mask?

In addition to keeping you busy, sewing a facemask for yourself or for donating to healthcare facilities will help impede the spread of coronavirus. Even though homemade face masks don’t work as effectively as N-95 face masks, they are still better than nothing.

Besides, hand-sewn protective masks are cheaper, more accessible and even reusable. And did we mention that it’s an easy -peasy sewing project that you can master in under 10 minutes? Well, now we have.

So friends, in a bid to help our readers stay safe and busy during this time, we’ve curated this article on how to sew a face mask (DIY style). 

We’ll be filling you in on the materials and tools needed to sew face masks, multiple face mask patterns, easy-to-follow tutorials, and different websites that accept facemask donations and purchases.

We’ll also link you up with CDC facemask regulations to ensure that you are in line with all of them. So now, let’s learn more about making fabric face masks from home!

What are The Different Types of Face Masks?

As you embark on your journey to learning how to sew a face mask, you have to consider the different types of face masks.

There are masks geared towards protecting health workers who are in direct contact with patients, and face masks designated for the general public.

The latter, commonly referred to as N-95 respirators are exemplary when it comes to filtering out dust particles and air-bone viruses. Putting on one will help guard you against viral respiratory droplets, usually from a sneeze or cough.

N95 Face Mask 

But with the supply of surgical face masks hitting a critical low, DIY face masks are becoming the next best option. Even healthcare professionals have let their guard down a little bit, and are now wearing thick-layered fabric face masks. 

When used to cover N-95 respirators, fabric masks can help sustain the limited supply of medical-grade face protectors. As sewists, this is where you come in!

We’ll be teaching you how to sew simple, layered fabric face masks. These protective masks can be worn when running errands in crowded places if you can’t avoid it.

In as much they don’t inch any close to the level of effectiveness that N-95 face masks offer, these masks can help slow hand-to-mouth transmissions.

Let's dive in.

A List of Materials You Will Need to Sew a Face Mask

Typically, the best material for sewing a DIY facemask is linen towels and a double layer of tightly woven cotton fabric.  This material is highly regarded by medical professionals since they are less porous compared to other potential materials.

In this regard, this is a good opportunity to utilize the scrap cotton fabrics you’ve wanted to throw away. 

Well, friends, here is the best part. Even old bedsheets, clothing items, curtains, pillowcases, and drapes will do the magic. Just make sure that they are 100% cotton fabric and in good condition.  Quilter’s cotton material will also be fine.

We advise that you do now use knit fabrics such as jerseys, since they are prone to infiltration.

And who says you can’t make your personalized face mask fashionable and exciting? You can opt for fun, alluring fabric pieces to help cheer up your overall look.

Besides Fabric, Other Materials, And Tools That You Will Need Include:

  • A face mask pattern.

  • A non-woven interface ( preferable two layers).

  • A basic sewing machine (you can read our reviews or 10 step guide to finding the perfect machine for your sewing projects)

  • Basic sewing supplies like needle, thread and a pair of scissors.

  • Safety pins to clip the fabric into place.

  • Get some sewing elastics for securing the facemask on the face. If you can’t access these, clean shoe laces, fabric ties and premade bias binding will make suitable alternatives.

15 Easy To Follow Face Masks Patterns and Tutorials

With all your tools and materials at hand, it’s now time to pull out your facemask pattern and tutorial. If you have none, don’t worry we’ve got you covered.

In this section, we are going to align you with 15 free, printable face mask patterns to start you off. On top of that, we’ve also identified some over-simplified visual tutorials that you can follow easily and come up with an effective fabric face mask.

Even if you are just kick-starting your sewing practice, these guides will make you feel like an expert!

So, here we go…

Quick Note: Before diving head first into the post, here is a nifty video that we are excited to share that shows you how to sew an EASY DIY Face Mask (With a Filter Pocket)

#1:  The CDC Face Mask Pattern and Guide 

To accompany their recently released facemask guidelines, the CDC also laid out their facemask pattern to guide tailors. The guide includes a pattern, picture tutorials, and video guides.

#2:  Kid Friendly Face Mask

Do you have kids that would also benefit from a homemade facemask? Then check out this pattern and tutorial by Sarah maker. She shows you how to measure, cut and put together different sizes of face masks, including kids’ sizes.

#3:  Fun Pocket Face Mask Tutorial

If you love to play around with different design ideas, then we recommend this pattern and guide by craft passion.

You will learn how to sew ordinary and pocket face masks. The patterns are also organized according to sizes, such that you can easily choose which one to work with.

#4:  Olson Face Mask Pattern

Are you familiar with the Olson face mask pattern? Well, it’s a hospital-approved face mask pattern that properly covers the mouth, nose and cheek templates.

If you have health professionals in mind, this pattern, accompanied by these picture tutorial(s) by Sew can she will be of help.

#5:  Easy Peasy Face Mask with Pockets and Filter Tutorial

Are you an ambitious sewing novice who wants to try out pocket face masks? Have a look See Kate Sew simple instructions and sew yours. This face mask has no elastics and features a filter at the back.

#6:  Neoprene Face Mask Tutorial and Pattern

This super-simple Neoprene facemask will also be worth your time.

#8: DIY Protective Face Mask Cover

Would you love a protective yet cozy face mask cover? You are in luck because this tutorial and pattern from Riley Blake Designs offer just that.

#9: Floral and Pleated Face Mask Pattern

Speaking of cozy, this pleated, floral pattern from Blog Treasurie is just fabulous.

#10:  Protective Face Mask with a Filter

You can also check out this protective facemask with a filter pocket and start sewing yours.

#11:  Beginner Friendly Face Mask Tutorial

With most of us forced to stay at home, you may have picked up sewing as a new hobby. This beginner-friendly facemask pattern by hello sewing is a creative way to level up your sewing practice.

Accompanied by downloadable sewing instructions, the pattern comes in a one-size-fits-all option.

#12:  DIY Surgical Face Mask with Bias Tapes

This simple pattern by Sweet Red Poppy allows you to use bias tapes in place of sewing elastics.

#13:  Fu Curved Face Mask

How about sewing a curved DIY facemask that guarantees maximum face coverage? Have a look at this exciting fu facemask pattern.

#14: A.B Face Mask Sewing Pattern (For Nurses)

Here is another one for our health workers. This A.B facemask pattern by Instructable Crafts are designed for covering N-95 face masks, hence helping them last longer.

#15:  DIY Face Mask Tutorial (Washington Post)

You can’t decide whether you would like to hand sew or use a machine? This pattern and tutorial by Washington Post allows you to use either.

How and Where to Sell Here Sell Your Homemade Face Masks

So besides sewing face masks for your personal use, or sewing you may be wondering where else to take them.

You can choose to donate them for free or sell your masks to earn some extra cash. If you choose to donate, local hospitals will be a great place to start. The increasing number of COVID-19 cases have overwhelmed the available surgical face masks, making homemade masks the next best alternative.

Besides hospitals, you can also check in with nursing homes, smaller health care centers and fire stations caught in the middle of the current masks shortage.  To make your work easier, here is an online directory you can use.

If you decide to sew face masks for commercial purposes, you still have numerous options worth exploring.

Since physical craft shops are currently off the table, online purchases have never been more explosive. With most facemask purchases thriving online, more sewists are looking up the different avenues of doing so.

4 Ways to Earn Income from Selling Face Masks Online

If you are interested in using your sewing skills to create face masks and sell them online, here is a list of our top 4 list of ways that you can do so:

#1:  Start a Blog or Website

If you happen to be a sewing enthusiast who has a penchant for beautiful writing, starting a sewing blog will be great. 

In addition to curating helpful sewing-focused content, you can also use the site to market and sell your DIY face masks.  The best part about blogging is that you can still use it beyond the novel coronavirus.

WordPress is a popular blogging platform that more than 20% of people running websites online use to build their websites.

With WordPress you can simply purchase a domain nameget Web Hosting, and choose a WordPress theme with eCommerce capabilities and you're off to the races 

#2: Setup a Shop on Etsy to Sell your Face Masks

Just in case you are new to the online marketplace, meet Etsy, an acclaimed online hub for homemade items. This platform continues to support the fight against COVID-19 by pointing their sellers in the direction of fabric face masks.

According to Etsy, ‘fabric face masks’ has witnessed an exponential increase in traffic and topped their sales in the past few weeks.

Once you learn how to sew face masks, Etsy is one of the thriving markets that will support your course.

One benefit of selling with them is that you will always have a ready market. Be it sophisticated or minimal facemask designs, simply set up an Etsy shop and start selling.

#3:  Set Up an Online Shop

As COVID-19 continues to rage, even giant retailers like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Shopify are unable to sustain the raging demand for face masks.

If you can make many face masks at a go, you should consider opening an e-commerce store Luckily for you, e-Commerce builders like SquareUp are available online, and the process is not as daunting.

Square Up Lets You Start an online Store for Free

#4:  Make Good Use of Social Media Platforms

Do you love spending your time scrolling through your social media feeds? Why not make money out of it. Combined with brilliant sewing skills, social media indulgence will transform your basic sewing into a distinctive brand. 

You can post your completed face masks on Instagram and Facebook to attract buyers near you. Even better, consider surfing around for sewing-inclined Facebook groups and hashtags.

Just try to refrain from using product descriptions like ‘CDC-approved’ on your social accounts, for the sake of transparency.

Additional Considerations to Keep in Mind When Sewing Face Masks

Before you start sewing face masks, here are a few things that you should keep in mind: 

  • Always pre-wash and dry the fabric prior to sewing.

  • Ensure the fabric face masks can adjust to fit all face shapes and sizes. Since you are likely to be conducting most of your sales online, sew your masks in a one-size-fits-all fashion.

  • Include a filter and nose stay. This helps improve the fit of the facemask.

  • DO NOT make any medical proclamations regarding your face masks. Even though the CDC has accorded a green light to wearing fabric face masks in public settings, it doesn’t mean that they outshine the N-95 surgical face masks. face masks providers should, therefore, shun misleading the public by making misconstrued health statements.

  • Even though adding layers to your facemask will help reduce loopholes for infiltration, don’t overdo it. Ensure you leave some porosity so that one can breathe comfortably through the facemask.

Wrapping Things Up

Thank you for hanging tough with us throughout the blog post! We really hope you found this article helpful and you’ve now mastered how to sew a facemask on your own. 

Remember to stay home if you can and if you must go out, wear a face mask and uphold social distancing. 

Oh and as always, please dont forget to check out our latest blog posts and sewing machine reviews to find the perfect sewing machine for your next project.

Happy sewing!


Shelly is the main editor and author of this website. She is passionate about helping fellow sewing enthusiasts find the right sewing machine for your sewing projects plus design beautiful sewing spaces that inspire your creativity. If you're ready to DIY a stunning sewing room (on a budget), be sure to check out the Sewing Room that Sizzles Workbook bundle (complete with a 50+ page workbook) and two Bonus Guides that will put you on the fast track to setting up, designing and organizing a sewing room that is TOTALLY you (on a shoestring budget).