DIY Face Masks

This page will gather instructions for different types of face masks. I am the wrong kind of doctor to offer any sort of medical advice on the matter, so they are offered purely as a way to organize the different styles of DIY facemasks that seem reasonably attainable. I have a sewing machine and a very rudimentary level of tailoring experience, so I don’t plan to include anything too intricate.

Edit: Joann’s has an excellent page with videos and other resources: The Smart Air company released their latest study on the best material to use for a face mask. The trick is to balance breathability with filtering efficiency.

Edit 2: Before going into the mechanics of how to make a mask, here are some videos that illustrate how a mask works. The mask should cover the bridge of the nose and not just the tip.

DIY Mask Options

Style 1: Basic, N0-frills mask

This was the first type of mask I tried. I’ve made five of them, using cut up tee-shirts for material. It took me three tries to get it right, mostly because I jumped right into it. If, unlike my first attempts, you iron your material first and are careful about not stacking too much material at the edges when you make the folds at the end, you’ll be fine.

Deaconess Hospital’s webpage with instructions:

My first facemask

Joanna’s homepage with instructions and other resources:

Style 2: With Filter Pocket

Next, I made three masks of this style, using thicker tee-shirt material than with Style 1 (above), and following the instructions to the tee. Nailed it on the first try. I wore this mask, with a HEPA filter insert cut from a vacuum bag, on a 2-hour grocery shopping trip. It was not as breezy to breathe through as with Style 1, but it was not uncomfortable.

Update: This is the mask that I’m making in large quantities. It’s easy to do and I can make a bunch at a time. We’re running out of elastic so I’ll transition to making my own ties. My daughter is better at making Style 4. For both styles of mask, we use material from clothes that we’re grown out of. I’m still working on the balance between breathability and filterability.

Style 3

I haven’t tried this yet. It uses ties instead of elastic. I have loads of elastic, so may try this style last.

Coperni’s website with instructions:

STyle 4: Shaped Face Mask

Hello Sewing has a detailed step-by-step guide here:

The video if from JoAnn’s, but the shape looks similar to the one posted to Hello Sewing.

Joann’s homepage with PDF pattern:

Another design posted at JoAnn’s

Style 5: DuckBill Face Mask

I haven’t made this type yet. It seems like it’d be hard to breathe through, and difficult to launder.

Style 6: No Sew, Emergency Facemasks

I haven’t tried any of these yet and don’t plan too unless my sewing machine breaks. They’re included in case you don’t sew or need a quick mask in a pinch.

More Videos on Using Facemasks

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