Introduction: DIY Face Mask With Filter Pocket

About: A person who enjoys making things!

Let's be real, this Coronavirus has us all feeling like everyone has cooties and face masks are become more and more normal...Crazy times but this is 2020 I guess!

I had a friend reach out to me that was really wanting a face mask but couldn't find one anywhere and was hoping she could get some made. Since I sew I offered to help her out and learn how to make them, and turns out they are very easy! In this tutorial I go over how to make a DIY Fabric Face Mask with a pocket opening to put a filter and a wire to contour this over your nose. This is NOT a substitute for a medical grade mask but simply something to give you a little extra protection and you have the option to insert a filter if desired.

This is from a tutorial I originally found on Youtube which you can watch here. I am sharing my experience making it and breaking down all the steps, hopefully making it very easy for anyone to follow along! There are A LOT of tutorials out there but I'm hoping this helps someone as I would have liked to have this when I sewed my first one :)

As a bonus I made this out of some super cool Donkey Kong fabric which happened to be one of the only cotton fabrics I had on hand but it made the mask look really fun so that worked out haha! If your going to make one might as well have fun with it right?!

Find my work here :)

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Step 1: Watch the Full Video Tutorial!

Watch the full video tutorial here! I go over all the steps of how I created this face mask!

Step 2: Gather the Supplies

Everything I Used:


Sewing Machine






1 Piece of Cotton Fabric 15" x 7.5" -If your using a printed fabric with a directional print, make sure you cut this vertically like shown in the picture above to make sure your print doesn't end up sideways. I actually pieced mine together with 2 pieces of fabric to create one long piece since I was running out of fabric so please ignore the additional seam :)

2 Bias Strips of Fabric 1.5" x 4"

1 Pipe Cleaner 7.5" long (you could also substitute with wire or skip this step if you don't want the mask to contour over your nose)

2 Strips of Elastic 9.75" long (If you can't find elastic you could use long hair ties, strips of fabric or anything that would work to secure the mask over your ears)


Step 3: Add a Zig Zag Stitch to the Short Sides

To protect sides of the fabric, give them a clean finish by adding a zig zag stitch or if you have a serger, serge them. This only needs to be done to the 7.5" sides of the main piece of fabric.

Step 4: Fold and Sew the Top of the Mask

Fold your main piece of fabric in half with the right sides together.

Pin the top zig zag edges together.

Sew 1 1/2" in on both sides of the top zig zag edge with a 3/8" seam allowance, leaving a 4 1/2" gap in the center. This gap will be the pocket opening for the filter.

Step 5: Finish the Edge of the Pocket Opening

Center the seam allowance and use an iron to press the seam allowance flat.

Turn the mask right side out.

Add topstitching to both sides of the seam. This should be about 1/8" from the seam and will hold the seam allowance flat and in place.

Flatten your mask and position the seam/pocket opening 1/2" down from the top edge. To help out in the next step you can press this flat and pin the open edges together.

Sew an edge stitch around the entire outer edge as close to the edge as possible, about 1/8".

Step 6: Insert the Pipe Cleaner

For these masks I used a pipe cleaner but you could also use wire.

The wire will need to be 6 1/2" when inserted. I started with a 7 1/2" piece and used pliers to turn the edges a few times to round them out so they would not be pointy and poke a hole through the fabric once finished.

Insert the pipe cleaner though the pocket opening and center it at the top edge of the seam.

To lock it in place, sew right over your previous stitch on the top edge of the pocket opening seam. Your pocket should still be open and functional.

Step 7: Add the Pleats

Working from the front of the mask (the back is the side with the pocket opening) add 3 pleats. You could add however many you want but this is how I sewed mine.

I made my pleats about 1/2" wide and when I was finished my sides measured 3 1/2"

Pin the pleats in place and iron them flat.

Sew along the entire side with a 1/8" edge stitch to keep the pleats in place and repeat for both sides.

Step 8: Add the Bias Binding

Center one strip of bias to the back of one of the pleated sides with the right sides together, and pin in place. You should have 1/4" excess on both sides.

Fold the 1/4" excess over to the front of the mask and pin in place.

Sew the bias to the mask using a 1/8" edge stitch.

Repeat these steps for the opposite side.

Fold the bias tape out and press the 1/4" folds down with an iron.

Repeat for both sides.

To finish the bound edges, fold the bias in towards the mask 2 times and pin in place. You should have nice folded edges. This binding will create a tunnel for your elastic to slide through.

Sew along the inner edge of the binding with a 1/8" edge stitch so keep the binding in place and give you room for the elastic. Repeat for both sides.

Step 9: Add the Elastic

Take 1 elastic strip and attach one end to a safety pin.

Slide the safety pin through one side of the binding and push it all the way through.

To secure your elastic, double knot the ends so they are tight.

To finish, pull your elastic to slide the knot into the binding. This will conceal the elastic knot. This part can be a little tricky depending on the size of elastic you are using.

Repeat for the opposite side.

Step 10: Wear and Enjoy!

And that's it! Now you can wear your new mask and enjoy it! Make some for your family and friends or donate them to anyone who needs them!

**(I will be making my daughter a smaller one! These are just too big for a toddlers face as is lol)**

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, thank you so much for checking it out!

Find more of my work here:

Instagram: @sentfrommars

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Twitter: @tweetedfrommars

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