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Do you sew? How to make a face mask

How to Make a Face Mask


Front: 100% unused cotton fabric – no metallic fabrics

Back: 100% unused cotton or cotton flannel

Attachment: 1/8”, 1/4”, or 3/8” flat elastic (white is preferred, black is OK)


Two 54” x 1/4” inch bias-tape style ties (no raw edges, white/light preferred, black/dark OK)       or Four 15” lengths of bias-tape

Floral wire if adding a nose form

Video instructions for making the masks can be found at these two websites:

How to make a surgical mask with 1/4” elastic:

How to make a surgical mask with bias tape (and nose form if you have appropriate material such as floral wire to do that)

If you do not have access to the internet, the instructions are detailed below:

(Note: The instructions list three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large. We would recommend making Small- and Medium-sized masks primarily. If possible, making a few Large masks would be helpful as well. See instructions for cutting sizes.)

1) Cut two rectangles of fabric, one for the inside, one for the outside.

  1. Small: 7.5 x 5 inches
  2. Medium: 9 x 6 inches
  3. Large: 10 x 7 inches

2) Cut elastic or ties. Elastic should be cut as follows. You will need 2 pieces for each mask.

  1. Small: 6.5 inches
  2. Medium: 7 inches
  3. Large: 7.5 inches

For bias-tape ties either cut two 54” lengths or four 15” lengths (one for each corner) of the mask. If using four corner-ties, you will insert them into the corners as you sew around the mask. If using the longer ties, you will encase the mask in the traditional bias-tape fashion – this method will also allow you to insert wire on one edge to make a more form-fitted mask.

To sew using elastic or 4 bias-tape corner-ties:

3) Put right sides of cotton mask fabric together.

4) Starting at the center of bottom (long) edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew a piece of elastic or a fabric tie into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this.

5) Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of that same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back. If you are using fabric ties, add a new tie.

6) Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again put a 7” length of elastic in the corner (or a new tie)

7) Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic (or a new tie).

8) Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread.

9) Turn mask right-side out.

10) Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are in the same direction. There must be 3 tucks to ensure a tight fit on the face.

11) Sew around the edge of the mask twice to hold the tucks in place and close the opening.

To sew the mask using 54” long bias-tape ties:

3) Put rights sides of cotton mask fabric together.

4) Sew along the two long edges of the fabric with a 3/8” seam allowance. Turn right side out and press.

5) Open the bias-tape and place one strip along each of the open edges of the mask. Stich along the crease.

6) Stitch the raw edges of the bias-tape closed on the ends. Fold the bias-tape over, encasing the raw edge and pin in place. If you are adding wire, cut a 5” piece and place it in the bias-tape on one of the sides, pushing it toward the fold. Stitch the bias-tape closed along the whole length of the tie. Stitch vertical “casing” lines on either side of the wire to hold it in place.

7) Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are in the same direction. There must be 3 tucks to ensure a tight fit on the face.

8) Sew around the edge of the mask twice to hold the tucks in place and close the opening.

When you have finished your masks, please use a Sharpie marker to mark a 1” tall S, M, or L on the lower left corner of the inside of each mask to indicate the size. If you do not have a Sharpie, please somehow designate size for the masks before you drop them off.

Note: Do not wash the masks. They will be laundered and sanitized here after we receive them. If you have “ultra light regular non-fusable interfacing (pellon)” that can be added in between layers if desired but the fusable pellon is not recommended due to possible allergies to the adhesive. Interfacing is optional.

You can deliver your finished masks to the Frederick Living lobby. Place them in a box or bag and include your Name, address and phone/email. If you prefer to mail them, use the address below:

Questions?   Contact Trina Brady at Frederick Living for assistance at  tbrady      Phone: (610) 754-7878 ext. 353