How to Make a DIY Face Mask (with Video!)

DIY Face Mask Tutorial - with video! - Tilly and the Buttons

Want to make your own face mask or covering?

Update: The UK government currently recommends that adults wear face coverings when in enclosed public spaces, such as on public transport or at the supermarket. 

In anticipation of such an announcement, I made a video tutorial on how to sew your own reusable fabric face mask. I hope it is helpful.

This mask fastens with ties since elastic is in short supply at the time of making, plus it has a pocket for a disposable filter and optional nose wire for a closer fit. Please be sure to wash the mask at a high temperature between uses.

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT designed to be a medical grade mask, it is for personal use, and is not intended to replace social distancing or hand washing. Advice about wearing masks and their possible effectiveness in helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is changing all the time and is different from country to country, so please check current guidelines where you are and make up your own mind.


DIY Face Mask Tutorial - with video! - Tilly and the Buttons

You will need:

  • 22cm x 40cm (8 1/2in x 16in) rectangle of fabric for the mask – preferably a tightly woven cotton – I’m using a quilting cotton bought from the Village Haberdashery
  • 4 strips of fabric for the ties – mine are 45cm x 4cm (18in x 1 1/2in)
  • Optional wire – I’m using a folded out paper clip, you could also use a pipe cleaner or a twisty sandwich bag tie.
  • Plus a sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins, tape measure or ruler and an iron.

This is designed to be a unisex adult face covering. If you’d like to make it for a child, you could either try making the main dimensions about 6cm (2 1/4in) smaller, or try this mask on the child to work out how much smaller to make it to fit their particular face. Please note that UK guidelines don’t recommend face coverings for young children, and it would be a good idea to replace the ties with elastic if you can find it to avoid the ties getting trapped in something.

If you would like to attach elastic instead of ties, measure the area you would like the elastic to go around (your ears, or back of your head), then take off 10-15% for stretch.

DIY Face Mask Tutorial - with video! - Tilly and the Buttons
DIY Face Mask Tutorial - with video! - Tilly and the Buttons

I made this video on my phone at home during lockdown, without my usual trusty filmmaker Jenny, so apologies for the shakey cam and tatty ironing board 😉

Stay safe!

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