Introduction: Jack O'Lantern Face Mask

About: I am a paper engineer, writer, maker and chemist wannabe. In addition to pop-up cards I design and build furniture, lights, costumes or whatever I happen to need at the time. Lipstick, a mixing studio, all-pur…

If you want to make your own mask but you don't sew... this is for you. If a friend never seems to be able to cover their nose or mouth properly, make this mask for them. Or if you just want to wear a comfortable face mask you can make with ordinary (and cheap) materials while showing a little bit of halloween spirit, proceed to the next step!

Step 1: Materials and Tools


Template. Download from and use discount code INSTRUCTABLES2020 to get the Pumpkin/Jack O'Lantern template for free. This discount code will work until the 2020 Halloween Contest ends on November 10.
One sheet of orange card stock (65lb will work fine)
One small piece of brown or black felt and some chalk for tracing pattern
1/4" elastic, preferably black... but even two large rubber bands will work in a pinch. Safety pins to secure the elastic band.
Paper towel

Optional: duck tape, or electrical tape to reinforce the paper.


Scissors and/or scalpel knife
Scoring tool
Hole punch
Optional: glue gun (works better for gluing the felt, but white glue will work as well)

Step 2: Cut, Score and Assemble

The template comes with instructions as well, but to summarize:

  1. Cut along the solid black lines, and score* along all the dotted lines.
  2. Fold, glue the tabs, cut and glue the piece of felt so it covers all four holes
  3. Punch holes on the two side tabs, and attach your elastic so the mask fits comfortably. Don't make it too tight, or it will put too much stress on the cardboard which might rip.
  4. Optional: if you are wearing this for a long time, and it's hot an humid, it is best to reinforce the interior with duck tape or electric tape. Packing tape would probably work too. Just line the interior, particularly the areas near the elastics, and trim so it's not visible when the mask is on.

*Scoring creates a dent in the paper which allows you to fold it neatly, exactly where you need it to fold. You can use any blunt tool; traditionally scoring tools are made of bone but I prefer this one for comfort and precision**. In this situation, however, since all the score lines will be invisible when the mask is completed, you can simply score the lines by pressing down with a ball point pen. Use a ruler to get your lines straight!

** full disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate so I may earn a small commission if you click on the product link.

Step 3: Wearing Your Mask

Although the felt will serve as a filter, I'd recommend adding 2 layers of paper towel inside as well; it's easy, quick, cheap, and disposable. It will help if you get sweaty, and you can change it every day or multiple times a day. All you need to do is fold a piece of paper towel, shove it inside the mask, trim the sides so it doesn't stick out and you've got yourself a nice, breathable disposable and cheap filter!

Note: although this mask, like most cloth or surgical masks, will help protect you and those you love, it is not a medical grade mask and it alone will not necessarily prevent infections! You need to keep washing your hands, avoiding crowds and maintaining social distancing -- but you can still have a bit of fun with a little Jack O'Lantern on your face, right?

Step 4: Other Versions

There are two other versions of this face mask... and although they may look similar (all these masks are loosely based on the icosidodecahedron), each net (pattern) is distinct, based on variations on the shape and the materials to be used.

All patterns can be sized up or down simply by changing the scaling when you print the template.

Stay tuned, because I will be posting a video tutorial to complement the instructions!

Halloween Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Contest