Introduction: Simple Medical-Like Facemask

About: Github site for DIY projects.

DIY Simple Medical (like) Facemasks V3.0

Features: Pockets for filters and Nose fitter (pipe cleaner, bag tie etc)

This produces a very simple and fast to make cloth mask. Adjust size as needed.

Fact: Cloth masks should not replace PPE (N95) masks for airborne viruses. Only proper PPE with **handwash** is effective! Please read this Cloth mask study Lots of caveats with cloth masks.

Un-validated improvements for cloth masks:

  • Please add a non wicking layer between the inner and out mask. Examples: netting, tulle etc. There needs to be a moisture barrier. This non -wicking layer can be inserted in the pocket
  • Wearers: Replace cloth masks often, like after lunch! and wash hands after taking it off.

If you do not need a medical like facemask, please take a look at favorite mask pattern. It looks awesome and can be sewn by hand! If you are more cautious you can use the CDC mask.

For the rest of us with random supplies and lower skills, then this page is for you.


  • ONE ~19.5 by 8.5 inch piece of cloth. (Either Linen or Cotton)
  • 1 ~ 4in long 24 guage wire, paper clip, If for personal use bag ties or pipe cleaner work
  • 2 ~36-42 inch long bias tape. This can be made from 1 1/2" wide ribbon or quilt/blanket edging material.
  • Thread: any color

Step 1: Cut the Fabric

Use a sheet of paper for your template. Cut a single pieces of cloth the size of a sheet of paper + sheet of paper facing the other length. This gives out ~ 19 inches in length by 8.5 inches.

You do not have to be exact, simply within the ballpark. Make larger or smaller for your head.

From here on out, I will refer to this as the square.

Step 2: Make the Nose Pocket and Finish the Top Edge

On ONE of the short edges of the *square* we will add a pocket for the bag tie/pipe cleaner/24 gauge wire for making mask fit the nose.

Add it to the bottom **nice/right** side of the fabric. If it is on the top no worries, the mask will still work well.

Nose Pocket steps:

  • Fold in the two corners down about 1 1/2 inch
  • Fold the bottom over about 1/4 inch
  • Fold the bottom so that it aligns with folded corners (Look at pictures)
  • Sew with a zig zag stitch the along this folded edge.

NOTE: Some places do not want ANY plastic bag tie since the plastic melts when it is sterilized. The same is true with pipe cleaners. Both of these are fine if the uses is just washing and drying it in a normal home laundry equipment.

Top Edge:

  • Fold over the top edge (1/4 inch) and sew across it.

Step 3: Fold Fabric to Make an Envelope: Filter Pocket

Folder the fabric (while in portrait mode) in roughly in half. You want the WIDTH to be ~8.5 inches across. You also want the right (nice) side of the fabric facing out. Please leave a little (~1-2 inches) to fold over to make the envelope.

Step 4: Fold Fabric Like a Cummerbund / Paper Fan

Fold like a cummerbund or a paper fan.

I am finding that the shorter the length the sides are the better the fit. Have the cummerbund creases pointing to the bottom.

Step 5: Sew the Side Edges Together

Sew both sides of the mask with the bias tape. You want to sew the middle of the bias tape to the edges of the mask.

(Optional) Zig-zag stitch here is nice to use.

Step 6: Sew the Bias Tape Close

Starting at on end of the bias tape (using a straight stitch) sew the bias tape close.

Step 7: All Done


Please make one for you and one for your community.