How to Make a Face Mask
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How to Make a Face Mask

Difficulty Beginner
Budget < £10
Time < 1 hour

With a few basic sewing techniques create a comfortable face covering which is easily adjustable.

The best fabric to use for your homemade mask would be tightly woven 100% cotton.

Use with our homemade ear savers, the tutorial can be found here >

Follow this tutorial by sewing expert Sophia Palmer from Sew Jessalli


Please note this face covering is not a 'medical' device.

For information regarding local groups of sewing volunteers who have been making for their communities and how to join in please visit The Big Community Sew

You will need

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How to make

How to Make a Face Covering

Step 1

All seam allowances 10mm unless stated

Cut a piece of cotton fabric that measures 40cm x 22cm

Step 2

Fold in half long ways to create a square shape. Pin and sew the top open edge only (opposite fold) with a straight stitch, leaving a gap of about 6cm in the centre

Step 3

Move this seam to the middle and press the seams open. You can top-stitch around the gap from the inside if you want to. Give the whole piece a press

Step 4

FOR TIE OPTION: Cut 4 strips of bias binding 50cm long or 4 bias cut strips of fabric measuring 50cm x 4cm

Step 5

If making your own from strips of fabric, press them in half lengthways, then press the edges into this middle fold.

Tuck in one end of each strip and press flat in half lengthways.

Do the same on pre made bias binding. They should now be 49cm lengths with approx 1cm widths

Step 6

On both bias binding and pressed fabric strips, stitch down the open edge along each strip to secure into place.

Go as close to the edge as possible

Step 7

Insert the whole strip of binding inside the fabric square, with the raw end of each strip poking out each corner.

Pin each strip into each corner.

Sew down each open side

Step 8

FOR EAR ELASTIC OPTION: Cut two pieces of elastic 15cm long. Place each piece of elastic inside the square, with raw ends poking out top and bottom corners, pin in place.

Make sure the elastic isn’t twisted. Repeat on other side. Sew down each open side

Step 9

ALL OPTIONS: Turn the mask the right way around through the small gap in the centre

Step 10

Press the mask in half, then fold the top and bottom into the middle and press. This should give you three pressed lines

Step 11

Fold your pressed edges downwards to make three pleats.

You may want to test out sizing for different face shapes, but we made our pleats 1.5cm each.

Pin your pleats in place

Step 12

Sew down each edge securing pleats. Then repeat close to the edge to keep it really strong.

It’s ready to wear


You can add a replaceable filter through the gap. Coffee Filters or Sew In Interfacing work well.

If you want to add a nose wire, add a pipe cleaner (fold it edge in to round them slightly) through the gap and push to run along the top edge. Stitch along side it to secure in place

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