I’ve been making and donating cloth face masks through a Facebook group I joined when the pandemic first started. If we need to wear masks, why not make them fun?! There are all kinds of masks out there — some with nose pieces, some with filter pockets, some with casings, some medical-grade. The ones here are very basic — perfect for a quick trip to the (hopefully not crowded) grocery store.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 pieces of tightly-woven, 100% cotton fabric, cut to 6 by 9 inches (adult size) or 7½ by 5
    (child size)
  • 2 pieces of 1/₈ to ¼ inch elastic, cut to
    7 inches long for adult mask and
    5 inches long for child mask
  •  Scissors
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron


  1. Stack the two pieces of fabric with right sides together, making sure all raw edges of the fabric are aligned.
  2. Pin one end of each piece of elastic ½ inch below the raw edges at the top corners of the mask; repeat with the other end of elastic pieces ½ inch above the raw edges at the bottom of the mask.
  3. Using a ¼-inch seam, start stitching around the outside of the mask, starting at the bottom. Leave a 2- to 3-inch opening along the bottom.
  4. Clip the corners and turn the mask right-side out; use a pencil or a chopstick to help push out the seams in the four corners.
  5. Press the mask with your iron; carefully lining up and folding in the edges of the fabric in the opening.
  6. Measure and pin two evenly spaced pleats (about 1 inch) on each side of the mask, making sure the folds go in the same direction.
  7. Sew a ¼-inch seam along all sides of the mask to hold the pleats in place and close the small area of the open seam.

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