There are plenty of excellent mask-making patterns to choose from online. Our best advice is to select a mask that has a good fit for you. Simply put – the less face leakage, the fewer holes around the breathing area, the better the protection.

Here, we provide an example of a hand-made mask: it tightens-up around the side of the face, it also features a pouch for holding filter material. We took the decision to create this mask, as it doesn’t have any stitching in the front breathing area. Holes made from stitches are actually quite big entry-points for tiny airborne microbial and inert particles.

We also tried to provide a mask design with the least amount of shape cutting, folding and stitching. If you’re not confident in your sewing abilities or are pushed for time, we think that this design is for you. We have been cutting, sewing, and wearing different designs, we like this one very much. It is exceptionally comfortable for a tight-fighting mask and we think, easy for beginners to make, as well as experienced individuals.
Finally apologies for the dry-looking hands (in the video below), there’s been a significant amount of hand-washing going on of late!


  • Fabric: Tightly woven cotton 24″x 8″
  • Nose-Clip: Bendy metal wire e.g paperclip, gardening wire, pipe-cleaner etc.
  • Padding for nose-clip e.g. fluffy fleece 9″ x 3″
  • Ties: approx. 33″ e.g. Elastic, string, hair-tie, cloth-strips, shoe-laces etc.


  • Pins OR clips
  • Needle & Thread, or sewing machine
  • Ruler
  • Scissors or rotary cutter
  • Wooden skewer/rod or QuickTurn
  • Iron

Filter Material For Hand-Made Masks – Which Material Is Best?


  • HEPA-certified vacuum filters.
  • HEPA vacuum bags.
  • Air conditioner filters ~ avoid products that contain fiberglass materials.
  • Polypropylene non-woven fibers (used in non-shiny reusable fabric grocery bags & tote bags).

IMPORTANT NOTE: AVOID filter materials that contain dangerous materials such as fiberglass OR other dangerous synthetic components.


  • Coffee filters.
  • Paper towels.
  • Tissues.

Filter Material Should Be: Breathable. Comfortable. Safe. Block Particles.

The filter material should be replaced often, OR even washable.

By using filter material in your own masks, you may help prevent the spread of the virus. If used in conjunction with good preventative practices, such as those described by the CDC you can help reduce the risk of spread and infection.

However, if you insist on hanging out in close proximity with your friends or going to crowded places, or you choose not to wash your hands, or you constantly fiddle with you mask – taking it on and off, or hanging your nose over the top, or you ignore to practice other preventative measures, there’s definitely a chance that you’ll contract the virus.


Ideally your mask should fit snuggly on your face, with minimal ‘face leakage’.

Use multiple layers of fabric, if possible add filter material to your design.

Ensure that you can still breath through the mask. Don’t use non-breathable materials such as thick non-permeable membranes.

Choose comfortable ties, whenever possible. e.g. avoid short lengths of tight elastic bands as these can be painful after just a few minutes.

Ensure that your materials are machine-washable and that they won’t break apart during the spin-cycle.

Remember to wash your mask after wearing it in the presence of others, or if you’ve been outside your home or ‘safe-zone’.

Removing facial hair will help improve the effectiveness of a respirator, as it may help provide a more effective facial seal.