Home > Uncategorized > Making facemasks: a step-by-step guide

Making facemasks: a step-by-step guide

April 2, 2020

You’ll need:

I’m following the pattern for “Mask 2 (large)” on this webpage. But to be honest I found it hard to follow which is why I’m going to tell you quite plainly how to do this relatively quickly.

First, download and print this pdf: mask+2+large+pattern

Or simply eyeball the following picture with the ruler as a guide:

You’ll want to cut out the printed version and then outline it onto cardboard, then cut out the cardboard so you’ll have a form you can reuse a bunch of times with sharpies:

This has been used a bunch and is kind of a mess. That’s ok.

Then you outline with a sharpie on your dishcloth:

I got 12 cardboard outlines on! That means 3 masks. Be sure to avoid the hemmed edges.

Next you cut them all out:

Next, pair up the cloth pieces to match:

Next, sew along the foot of those matched boots for both pairs with a 1/4″ seam:

And now put those two pieces together, with the seams on the outside for both pieces:

Next, sew all around the above piece (so sew the two pieces together) with a 1/4″ seam except for about two inches at the bottom seam:


It’s time to turn this whole thing inside out by squeezing it through that two inch slit!

Poke your fingers into all four corners plus the nose part at the top to make sure it’s all the way inside out.

Here’s the other side:

Next, sew a three inch line along the nose top (a 1″ seam) and stick the metal wire into that channel:

Do you see the channel? The wire has to go in this area except, of course, you need to have it on the inside.

Next, you want to sew along the entire edge (very close to the edge, maybe 1/4″), starting at one end of the nose wire channel. Halfway along you’ll carefully close the hole at the bottom:

Here it is at the end:

this picture is overexposed but the idea is you close up the nose wire channel on both sides.

Next, you fold back 1.5″ of the ear flaps and sew down:

This is the back of the mask after sewing down both flaps.

Next, measure out 1 yard of elastic cord and tie together the ends:

Next, use a crochet needle to pull through flaps and then tie it together:

Finally, yank the elastic cord until it’s hidden inside a flap and tidy everything up by snipping off the stray threads.

It’s ready for a cute model!

Now’s the time to squeeze the metal wire to make it fit your nose.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. April 3, 2020 at 1:40 am

    Thanks very much.

    BTW, you say dishcloth but to me it looks like a tea towel. The former we may use to wash dishes and the latter we may use to dry dishes. The latter often is bought as a souvenir but never the former.

    And which cloth or towel has the necessary electrostatic properties? And how do we maintain these properties during or after washing the mask?

    Liked by 1 person

    • April 3, 2020 at 7:17 am

      I’ve updated the post but the amazon link definitely calls these dish cloths! No idea about electrostatic properties, but these are definitely machine washable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. John Cremona
    April 3, 2020 at 5:06 am

    I was hoping that the cute model would be you, Cathy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. April 3, 2020 at 5:53 am

    This is a very helpful guide. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Robert Domitz
    April 3, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Great idea!!

    One problem, however: I asked my daughter, who is in her twenties, to poll her former classmates as to whether they have or can use a sewing machine. The results were not encouraging; only two women admitted to having a sewing machine or knowing how to use one. Many said that their mother had or used to have a sewing machine, but they were never taught to use it.

    When I went to high school, everyone learned, either in home economics or textile shop. Junior high students were required to take one or the other.


  5. Greg Taylor
    April 3, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    St. Luke’s has a video and pattern for making an “Olson” cloth mask that can be used with a removable HEPA filter insert. It is close to N95 quality when the insert is attached to the face with two-sided tape. They were soliciting people who could make the cloth part of the mask for health care workers and evidently have had many responses in the past week. The insert can be made from HEPA vacuum filters if no better source exists. St. Luke’s provides their own insert for workers. Click the “show more” below the video for a link to the pattern. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIAAAxn0lLo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. April 4, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Thanks for the detailed instructions, the facemasks are all sold out here so I’ll be following your step-by-step tutorial today. Thanks for the help!


  7. April 8, 2020 at 8:39 am

    Than you for these great instructions, your masks are more form-fitting and probably more helpful than some others I’ve seen. I wonder whether you could sew them by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine? Probably would take a long time though.


  1. April 3, 2020 at 6:38 am
  2. April 14, 2020 at 12:59 am
  3. April 14, 2020 at 2:04 pm
  4. April 14, 2020 at 8:56 pm
  5. April 15, 2020 at 7:49 am
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: