Learn how to use our free face mask patterns and make your own masks with the help of a Cricut Explore or Cricut Maker … or just cut these by hand!
Calling all sewists! My brother-in-law Chad (who is a respiratory therapist at the hospital I was born at) just called me about making face masks because they are running out at the hospital. He made it very clear that some sort of mask is better than no mask. So I’ve researched the best materials to use per the CDC guidelines and the Cambridge University study and created a free face mask sewing pattern that can be cut by hand with my free printable PDF or on a Cricut Explore or Maker with my free SVG cut file. These Cricut face mask patterns use common household materials you probably already have and can be made with slots for filters, adjustable ties, and a wire to fit snugly around your nose. Help me sew DIY face masks for our essential hospital workers on the front line!
Important: These DIY face masks do not replace the need for N95 masks, but by making and wearing DIY face masks, we’re able to reserve the N95 masks for frontline healthcare workers. DIY face masks are a last resort when no N95 masks are available. Some mask is better than no mask at all. Healthcare workers: if you have an N95 mask, this DIY mask WILL fit right over an N95 without modification, if you’d like to use it to extend the life of your N95.
Look at all of these amazing people who have made masks from my DIY face mask pattern — so inspiring!
DIY Face Masks Made by JenniferMaker Crafters!
See the tutorial, pattern, and step-by-step video at https://jennifermaker.com/face-mask-patterns-cricut/
Here’s a photo of my brother-in-law Chad wearing his new face mask made from this pattern by his daughter Natalie! He says he loves it! I feel much better knowing he’ll have this when he needs it at his hospital.
This DIY face mask pattern has several important features, all requested by my favorite respiratory therapist. Most of the features are optional, so you can keep it simple with just two layers and some ties, or go for full-featured version with three layers, a filter, and an adjustable nose guard. Your choice!
First, this DIY face mask is made from two layers of tightly woven cotton and a layer of 100% heavyweight T-shirt cotton. Not only are these two materials the same material combination recommended by the Cambridge University research study, but they are things you probably already have at home. See my Best Fabrics for Face Mask List for a list of materials and their effectiveness + breathability.
My homemade face mask has a removable filter pocket so you can change the filter daily AND wash the face mask daily. The optional filter slips right into the pocket on the side. See my Face Mask Filter Materials List for a list of filter materials commonly used and any research I’ve gathered on their safety, effectiveness, and breathability. (Note: In the video tutorial, I made a filter from a HEPA air filter at the respiratory therapist’s request (see material safety data sheet), but since that time 3M Filtrete has issued a statement on their web site that says, “Our filters are designed to be used in HVAC systems, and the filter media has not been tested to be used as a face mask for respiratory protection.”)
The ties on my DIY face mask are adjustable, which means you can get a better fit than elastic. (Besides, elastic can be harder to find.) Just put on the face mask, find the right fit (close and tight is best), then knot the ribbons/ties in place so there’s no slipping. The ties are long enough that you can tie it either in the back of your head or behind your ears (I think it’s easier to get on and off if you tie it behind your ears—your choice!). I’m wearing the medium size face mask here:
Need a headband to keep face masks on without hurting ears? Check out our DIY Headband with Buttons tutorial!
And here’s how the DIY face mask looks tied behind your head (pictured face mask size here is small):
Finally, you can put a wire inside a channel at the top of the DIY face mask to create a nose guard for a better fit.
Our face mask pattern is really very comfortable to wear and easy to breathe in, which is good because you’re more likely to wear it and keep it on.
The DIY face mask pattern comes in three sizes — we recommend size small for kids and adults with small heads (I fit in the small), medium for women or kids with large heads, and large for men. But your mileage may vary, of course!
Remember, this DIY face mask is a last resort when no other masks are available. I strongly believe in mask wearing when it is warranted, and I urge you to wear this mask when you’re out, as it may prevent spreading germs to others who may be more vulnerable. The CDC agrees with me, and issued a statement recommending everyone wear cloth face coverings in public settings (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
Learn more about face masks and get more answers to your questions in my DIY Face Mask Guide:
Ready to make your own DIY face masks? This step-by-step tutorial shows you how to do it. This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Materials to Make DIY Face Masks with a Filter Pocket, Adjustable Ties, and Nose Guard
- One piece of 100% cotton heavyweight T-shirt, about 10″ x 12″ — can be new or old, but should be clean (you can sterilize it by boiling it, drying it at least 104°F, or using a hot iron) — click here to see research study that shows this is the best household item to use for a DIY face mask
- Two pieces of 100% cotton or cotton blend closely and TIGHTLY woven fabric, like that on a hypoallergenic pillowcase, about 10″ x 12″ (Tip: Use a fat quarter or one of the Cricut fabric samplers, these can be the same pattern or different) — see my list of Best Fabrics for Face Masks
- 1/4″-3/8″ wide ribbons or ties, at least 72″ (six feet) to make four 18″ ties — ribbons/ties make it adjustable and fit better (you can also use elastic if you prefer)
- (Optional) Something you can use as a filter — see my Face Mask Materials List for notes, effectiveness, and breathability so you can make an informed decision
- (Optional) 20-22-gauge wire or floral wire, 4″ long (to make a fitted top to go over the bridge of your nose)
- (Optional) Fabric marker (good if you want to mark the seam allowance)
- (Optional) Freezer paper (for bonding your fabric when cutting on a Cricut Explore — not needed with a Maker or hand cutting)
- (Optional) Elastic (1/8″ – 1/4″ and length of 6″ to 9″)
- Iron or Cricut EasyPress
- Pink FabricGrip mat (if you’re cutting this on your Cricut Maker, you can use the green StandardGrip mat if you’re cutting on your Cricut Explore)
- Sewing machine as shown in the video or this sewing machine as another option (or needle and thread for hand sewing — raid your travel mending kit if you have to)
- Pins (for keeping fabric attached while sewing)
- A way to cut your material (this tutorial covers using the Cricut Explore cutting machine and the Cricut Maker cutting machine, but you can also use scissors or a rotary blade with my printable PDF pattern)
- Design #198 – My free face mask pattern which comes as an SVG cut file or printable PDF pattern ( available here and in my free resource library—get the password by filling out the form at the bottom of this page)
How to Cut and Sew the DIY Face Mask
- Tightly woven Cotton or Cotton Blend Fabric (quarter of a yard) for the first two layers
- Heavyweight T-shirt (for the third layer)
- 1/4" - 3/8" ribbon or ties (at least 72 inches)
- (Optional) 20-22 gauge wire (floral wire works)
- Cricut Fabric Marker (Optional)
- Freezer paper (if you're cutting this on a Cricut Explore)
- Design #198 - My free SVG/DXF/PDF cut files (available in my free resource library—get the password at the bottom of this post)
- (Optional) Elastic (1/8" - 1/4" and length of 6" to 9")
- A way to cut your fabric (I use the amazing Cricut cutting machine -- you can do this on both a Maker and an Explore)
- Pink FabricGrip Mat (for Maker) or Green StandardGrip Mat (for Explore)
- Sewing Machine or a hand needle & thread
- Iron or EasyPress (I used both -- the iron for seams, the EasyPress for the freezer paper)
- Scissors (for cutting fabric and ribbons)
- Ruler (for measuring fabric and ribbons)
- Pins (for keeping pieces of fabric together)
Step 1: Get my free DIY face mask pattern
My free DIY Face Mask Pattern (Design #198) comes in several formats. You can get a printable PDF for cutting by hand, or an SVG cut file for cutting with a Cricut. My pattern collection has everything you need to make your own personal face mask. Download the DIY Face Mask pattern collection from my free resource library (get the password to the library in the form at the bottom of this post), or click here!
Here's what the printable pattern looks like after you download and print it:
And here’s what the uploaded SVG cut file will look like once uploaded to Cricut Design Space:
Tip: If you’re not sure how to upload an SVG cut file to Cricut Design Space, watch this helpful video training series I made. If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, here’s how to download and upload SVG files to the Cricut Design Space app.
NOTE: When you insert the image in Design Space, please verify the design size before you ungroup. (If you are using an iOS device, you may need to edit the design size.)
Face Mask Patterns All Sizes: 32.556" W x 23.418" H
Face Mask Patterns all Sizes with Filters: 32.556" W x 23.418" H
Face Mask Patterns All Sizes Two Layers: 16.247" W x 23.418" H
And here are the individual dimensions of each piece in each size mask:
Small Face Mask: 5.15" W x 6.4" H
Medium Face Mask: 6" W x 7.5" H
Large Face Mask: 6.4" W x 8.5" H
If you need help with how to upload and prepare the Face Mask pattern for cutting and fabric pen marking in Cricut Design Space, I have a video that you can watch: https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.anderson.marx/videos/10163276139275254/
Important Note: You'll also want to make sure to change the inner line of each face mask piece to "Draw" in the Linetype menu and attach it to the outer portion.
See me complete Step 1: Watch the video! I also recommend you check out my guide on how to cut fabric on Cricut Explore or Maker if you're new to that!
Step 2: Cut out your DIY face mask pattern pieces from fabric
There are three different sizes to choose from - small, medium, and large. I am wearing a medium in my photo, and I have to snug it pretty tight.
If you're cutting this face mask by hand, just print out the printable PDF, cut out each piece as directed, and use it to trace the patterns onto your fabric. Once you've traced the shapes, measure in 3/8" on all sides and mark (for seam allowance) and cut out your fabric.
Tip: If you plan to make a LOT of these, print out your patterns on card stock for tracing!
Note: This pattern can be made without the filter pocket -- just don't cut or sew one of the layers.
If you're cutting this face mask on a Cricut Maker: Place your fabric right side down on a pink FabricGrip cutting mat. Load your rotary blade and fabric marker into your Cricut machine, load your mat, and press the flashing button to begin your cut.
Tip: If you use a filter material, you may be able to use "Fusible Fabric" to cut filter material.
If you're cutting on a Cricut Explore, you must first bond your fabric first. To bond your fabric, cut a piece of freezer paper the same size as your material and attach to the wrong side of your fabric by pressing with an EasyPress or iron for 30 seconds at 350°F. Once your fabric is bonded, place the bonded fabric freezer paper side DOWN on your cutting mat (you can use the pink mat or a green mat), load your regular fine point or bonded fabric blade in (both will work), put in your Cricut fabric marker (optional), load your mat, and press the flashing button to begin your cut. When done with your cut, remove the cut pieces from the mat and peel off the freezer paper.
See me complete Step 2: Watch the video!
Step 3: Sew your DIY face mask halves together
After you've finished cutting out your face mask pieces, take your fabric pieces and line up the two halves of each set, right sides together, and sew along the curved outer edge, attaching the two pieces together.
Do the same thing for all matching sets until they are all attached along the curved edge.
Set your iron to the cotton setting and press your seams open and flat on all pieces except the filter piece.
Tip: Have problems getting those seams to lay flat because of the face masks' curve? Put something curved underneath it and then press it! I used a roll of paper towels to press the seams open on and it worked great.
Here's what the face mask pieces look like with the seams all pressed open EXCEPT for the filter (which you do not need to press open):
See me complete Step 3: Watch the video!
Step 4 (Optional): Prepare your filter pocket layer
If you're putting the optional filter pocket layer in your DIY face mask, fold over one end of the pocket layer TWICE about 1/2" with each fold, like this:
The purpose of this fold is to give you a clean edge for your pocket so you don't have threads unraveling or edges curling that could make it difficult to put your filter in and out.
Now place your filter pocket fabric layer inside your inner fabric layer, right side of the inner layer against the wrong side of the pocket layer (so you can see both right sides at the same time), like this:
Tip: Feel free to pin it in place (I didn't bother).
Now sew your folded edge to keep it folded:
See me complete Step 4: Watch the video!
Step 5: Pin and baste your ribbon/tie to each corner of your DIY face mask
Cut four 18" pieces of ribbon or string or whatever you have that is strong and NOT stretchy.
Pin one ribbon to each corner of your inner fabric layer about 3/8" down, like this:
Baste each ribbon in place with a sewing machine or needle & thread.
See me complete Step 5: Watch the video!
Step 6: Sew up your DIY face mask!
Place your outer fabric layer on top of your inner fabric layer, right sides together, like this:
Tuck your ribbons inside to make sure you don't "catch" them while sewing your pieces together. I just pulled one set all the way through to the other side to make sure they were free and clear.
Sew around the top, edge, and bottom of the face mask layers, 3/8" from the edge, leaving one side open.
Clip each corner to reduce bulk.
Carefully turn your DIY face mask right side out and poke out each corner.
Tip: Having problems getting the corners straight? Poke them from inside with the end of your scissors.
Turn in and enclose the side that is not sewn.
I found it helpful to pin it in place:
Carefully sew around the side closed, being sure to do a backstitch at the start and end to keep it secure.
Once it's all sewn up, iron the edges for a nice, crisp appearance and better fit.
See me complete Step 6: Watch the video!
Step 7: (Optional) Add a wire to make a nose guard
If you'd like a better fitting mask, you can add a nose guard with a piece of flexible 20-22 gauge wire. Cut off a piece about four inches long and curl each end in so it doesn't poke out of your mask:
Place the wire along the top middle edge of your face mask and mark its position at either end with pins.
Now sew a channel about 3/8" to 1/2" down from the top edge of the face mask starting at the first pin and sew across parallel to the top of the mask to the second pin, but do not sew up to the edge.
Put your wire into the channel you sewed.
Now just sew up the channel to keep the wire in place!
See me complete Step 7: Watch the video!
Step 8: (Optional) Put or Replace Your Filter
If you created the filter pocket, you can now put your filter in! I found it easiest to grab the left corner and put it in all the way to the inside left corner of the face mask, then smooth it out.
And here we go — the filter is in our DIY face mask
See me complete Step 8: Watch the video!
Congratulations! You made a DIY face mask!
Be sure to keep track of which side you wear outside, and always keep that side to the outside. That's why I used different colors and patterns of fabric. If you end up using the same fabric for the inside and outside of the mask, be sure to indicate which is the front and back for safety—write on it with a big Sharpie if you have to.
Alternate Straps with Elastic and Velcro
My niece Natalie had lots of elastic and velcro, so she used those to make her straps instead of ribbons. Here’s a photo of what that looks like:
To make the Velcro strap, cut two pieces of cotton 8 ½” long x 2 ¾“ wide. Fold cotton strips in half, long ways with right sides together; iron flat. Sew down the side of the strip opposite to the fold to create a tube. Flip tube right sides out (A chopstick, a pair of really long tweezers, or a safety pin can help with this) and iron. Turn edges of one end of the tube in to create a clean seam; sew closed. Next, cut 2 pieces of ⅝” wide, sew-on velcro that are 5 ½” long. Sew these pieces onto the straps, closest to the finished edge. The straps can now be used in replacement of ribbon at the bottom of the face mask.
To make the elastic strap, cut two pieces of cotton 26” long x 2 ¾” wide. Fold cotton strips in half, long ways with right sides together; iron flat. Sew down the side of the strip opposite to the fold to create a tube. Flip tube right sides out (A chopstick, a pair of really long tweezers, or a safety pin can help with this) and iron. Now, cut a piece of ¾” wide elastic that is 12 ½” long. Feed the elastic through the tube until the end on the elastic is flush with the end of the tube and sew closed. Using a pair of really long tweezers or a safety pin, firmly hold the elastic in place as you move the fabric towards the secured side and sew the unsecured side. This strap can now be used in replacement of the ribbon at the top of the face mask.
Answers to Your Questions about Making DIY Face Masks
Q: Do both sides of the face mask to be different fabrics, or can I use the same fabric?
A: I recommend they be different colors or patterns so the wearer can tell which is outside and which is inside. We don’t want them to accidentally put the side they’d be wearing on the outside against their face.
Q: I don’t have cute cotton fabric. Can I use an old pair of jeans or a T-shirt?
A: Totally! See my list of Best Fabrics for Face Masks. Your goal is to find and use closely knit cotton. You can tell how close it is by holding it up to a bright light — if not too much light is visible between the threads, it’s probably good.
Q: What kind of sewing machine do you recommend? I am new to sewing and want to make these headbands!
A: I am a big fan of Janome sewing machines, and that is the brand I am using in this tutorial. I think they are simple to use, affordable, and long-lasting. This is a good beginner sewing machine and the same one I use in this tutorial.
Q: I don’t have elastic. Can I still make these masks?
A: Yes! Use ribbon or bias tape instead. You can even make your own ties by cutting a long length of fabric, folding it in thirds lengthwise, ironing flat, and sewing it shut! If you really need underwear, some people like to use hair ties, elastic gathered from other places (old fitted sheets, underwwar, etc.).
Q: I have elastic and I want to use it instead so it loops around the ear. How do I do that?
A: Cut two 7″ pieces of 1/4″ braided elastic (or 6″ if the mask is for a kid) and sew each end of the elastic to each corner of the mask. Basically, you sew the one piece of elastic in the same places you sew two lengths of ribbon, one on each side of the mask.
Q: I need to make a mask for a school-age child. Do you have a pattern?
A: If you’re cutting this by hand, reduce the size of our small pattern by 85% when you go to print it out. If you’re cutting this on your Cricut, simply upload our mask patterns and change the size the small pattern (the red one) so that each half of the pattern is 4.35″ wide by 5.394″ tall.
Q: I don’t have 20-22 gauge wire. Can I use a more flexible wire (like 24 or 26)? Or can I use pipe cleaners?
A: Probably, yes. Many of our readers have reported success with this.
Q: Do I have to cut these on my Cricut?
A: Nope! If you’re only cutting out one face mask, you’ll probably like using a Cricut (if you have one). If you are making more than one face mask, you’ll find it faster to print out the printable PDF pattern from cardstock and cut out multiple layers of fabric using a rotary cutter.
Q: I don’t have freezer paper, but I really want to cut fabric on my Cricut Explore. Can I use wax paper or parchment paper instead?
A: No. Using wax paper will leave a waxy residue on your fabric that will be hard to get out. And using parchment paper will do nothing—it will not stick to your fabric. You need to either use freezer paper or another bonding material, such as Wonder Under. (Tip: In the UK, freezer paper is known as grease proof paper).
Q: You go over the Design Space directions too quickly in your video. Can you slow down please?
A: The video was made for a more general audience, not just Cricut owners, so I couldn’t spend too much time in Design Space. But I made a follow-up video that goes into depth on how to upload and prepare the file for cutting in Design Space in my Facebook group here. (If this link just takes you to information about the group, and not the group itself, be aware that you’ll need to join my group and then click that link once we have approved your request.
Q: What settings do I use when I cut the fabric on my Cricut Explore?
A: I used “Fusible Fabric” with my regular fine point blade.
Q: How do I wash my mask?
A: The CDC advises routinely washing your mask in a washing machine. The frequency of washing depends on your frequency of use. We will be washing our masks daily after we’ve worn it.
Q: How do I wear properly a face mask?
A: Check out this handy graphic we made to help you:
Q: I can’t sew. Do you have a no-sew pattern?
A: Yes, we have a super easy no-sew face mask pattern here!
Read more about the CDC’s Cloth Face Mask Recommendations.
Get my free printable PDF and SVG files to make your own Cricut DIY face mask!
Many thanks to my design fairy Miranda, who helped me get this DIY pattern and SVG cut file out for you quickly!
Here are more wonderful homemade face masks made by our readers — aren’t they awesome?
Need a headband to keep face masks on without hurting ears? Check out our DIY Headband with Buttons tutorial!
Looking to make a different style of face mask? Check out the easy Gaiter Face Mask, also with a filter pocket and nose wire!