Everyone is trying to figure out how to make DIY face masks in these scary times.
Searching the web, I found numerous tutorials. My masks were made using both Joann’s and Cricut’s directions. I also tried the tutorial for just using a bandana and hair rubber bands. That method didn’t work well for me. Only having really fat hair rubber bands, was a problem for me. They didn’t have enough stretch to stay behind my ears. Using regular elastic, I was successful following Joann’s tutorial and using the pattern on Cricut. I had a clear favorite between the two!
DIY Face Masks Tutorials
Joann’s has a nice video to watch. It’s easy to follow. One thing I felt they made too complicated was adding the pleats. I have provided the links to the patterns I made following their directions. The adult mask has the marks on the side for the pleat placements. After making my first mask, I felt just eyeballing where to put the pleats was much easier.
I developed the child’s mask pattern based on Joann’s pattern and scaled it down. For the adult’s maks they said to use 7″ pieces of elastic. When I did, the elastic was too tight for my husband, so I would recommend using 8″ elastic for a larger adult. For the child’s pattern, I used 5.5″ pieces of elastic. Click on the links below to download my patterns.
For my masks, I used some bandanas like these. I had some fabric leftover from previous projects similar to this. Fortunately, I had 1/4″ elastic in my sewing box. Joann said to use lightweight interfacing. The interfacing I had was medium to heavy, I would say. It made the mask very stiff. I opted to use some leftover flannel I had. Of course, I used thread and my sewing machine as well.
Which DIY Face Masks Method is Best?
Cricut’s face mask is much more complicated to make. It is definitely an intermediate level project, while Joann’s is a beginner level project. After making a couple of the Joann version, I was able to crank one out in about 7 minutes, once the fabric was cut. However, the Cricut mask involves much more detailed sewing. Another drawback for the Cricut mask was it required a lot of elastic! Instead of cutting two small pieces and attaching them separately, the pattern called for feeding a long piece all the way through the mask. I found the directions confusing. Given that elastic is hard to find now, I also didn’t want to use as much as they were calling for just to make one mask. I ended up cutting two small pieces and attaching it similarly to how Joann’s mask has you attach the elastic.
I recommend the Joann method. As I said, it is a beginner level project and you can make several in a short amount of time.
Step by Step Guide to DIY Face Masks
After printing and cutting your pattern piece, line up the pattern. on the fold.
The line at the top shows the 1/4″ seam allowance. Use 1/4″ seam allowance all the way around. For your liner piece, don’t cut on the fold. You only need one piece for the liner. You can use another piece of cotton fabric or flannel, like I did.
Fold your face mask piece right sides together and put the flannel on the top.
Now add the elastic. Put the elastic in the middle of the face mask material and pin it into place at each side corner. Make sure the elastic is up against the top seam and up against the fold on the bottom. This will ensure your mask straps are in the right place at the end.
Stich down the sides, but don’t worry about stitching along the bottom. After
adding the pleats, you will stitch all the way around the mask to finish it.
Now turn the face mask right side out through the opening you left at the top.
You can press it flat if you like.
For the pleats, you want three pleats. I just start at the top or bottom and eyeball to make sure they are evenly placed.
Topstitch all around the face mask. I found it’s easiest to start on one of the long edges. The pleats are quite thick and you may have to be stitching a little faster than normal to make it through the thickness.
If you are a beginning level sewer, I strongly recommend the Joann method over the Cricut. If you don’t have extra fabric in your stash, you might consider repurposing some older clothes. I have also seen people use shoelaces as ties instead of elastic.
Don’t be afraid to try the simple rectangular mask, it’s simple and maybe quite useful in the coming weeks.