How to Sew a Simple Cloth Face Mask

The Mint Chip Mama - How to Sew a Simple Face Mask

Sew a Simple Cloth Face Mask

As Covid-19 spreads we must be protecting ourselves from contact. Many people in the medical profession are near, but not close enough to get the highly coveted, low inventory medical grade face masks.

Helping Our Community Stay Safe

We wanted to help those in our community who need masks but can’t get them right now. This includes staff in nursing homes, the elderly, etc. For them, these masks will help, but of course, we understand nothing replaces an actual medical-grade mask if needed.

We also enacted our made-up “Eva’s Law” – like New York Governor Cuomo’s Matilda’s Law – in honor of my mom – Eva. With that said, we will make a mask for anyone in our community who is over 70 or with a compromised immune system in our fantastic flannel “I Love Grandma” fabric! We will also happily drop off the mask right into their mailbox.

There’s a very generous woman in our town who shared in a Facebook group that she is creating “kits” and donating to anyone who knows how to sew. She is then collecting them back and distributing them to people requesting them in our community (all steps are being done outside on her stoop with minimal contact between humans). JoAnn Fabrics is also creating kits for sewers and then distributing completed masks to local hospitals.

Easy Directions On How To Sew a Simple Cloth Face Mask

I don’t like videos so I’m making an easy easy basic pictorial guide on how to make a mask. If you can make a pillow you can make a mask.

Here we go!

Simple Cloth Face Mask Supplies

2 pieces of fabric: 6″ x 9″

2 pieces of elastic: 6.5″ (1/4″ or smaller)


If you don’t have a sewing machine you can sew by hand as well!

This is a team effort! I highly suggest setting up an assembly line if you have another helper in your house or town. The “kits” are our first step. Then I’m pinning the masks while my 10-year-old daughter sews them.

The Mint Chip Mama - How to Sew a Simple Face Mask

Easy To Follow Steps

Step 1: Put each piece of elastic diagonally on opposite corners of material piece A (blue)

Step 2: Cover piece A with piece B (Olaf).

*Remember to put material “inside out” so when you flip it (in Step 9) the correct sides are on the outside (like when you make a pillow).

Next,Step 3: Line up pieces A, B, and elastic in the corner and pin them together on a diagonal

Step 4: Repeat on the opposite corner

Step 5: Take elastic from the top corner and make a “U” shape on the other side. (This will be the ear strap)

Step 6: Line up pieces A, B, and elastic in the corner and pin them together (same as Step 3)

Step 7: Repeat on the bottom corner

Now all 4 corners are pinned with elastic.

You Are Ready To Sew!

Step 8: Start on one of the long sides in the middle, double back (I sew 5 stitches, reverse for 5 stitches, and sew another 5 stitches), and then go around the whole rectangle until you get back to the original side. Double back again about 2″ from where you started leaving a gap big enough to flip the piece inside out – or right side out.

You can double back on each corner as you go around to reinforce the elastic in each corner.

The Mint Chip Mama - How to Sew a Simple Face Mask

Now my daughter’s favorite part!

Flip It!

Step 9: Flip your mask so it’s right side & elastic out! It will now start to look like a mask!

Much like when you make a pillow, there will be a 2″ gap where you didn’t sew on the long side of the rectangle.

She is sewing and flipping all of these and then passing them back to me for the next wave of the assembly line.

Step 10: Vertically pin the gap.

*Update: After making more masks, I’ve changed this a bit to speed things up. Now, I’m pinning the gap as well as pinning the pleats at the same time and then sewing around it all twice. This was hard for my daughter to do so I was taking it over after Step 9. For kids – continue below. For Adults – use this for a bit more efficiency.*

Step 11: Sew all the way around (as close to the edges as you can) to reinforce your stitching and make the mask flat.

The Mint Chip Mama - How to Sew a Simple Face Mask

You’re Almost Done!

She is sewing all of these and then passing them back to me for the next wave of the assembly line.

Home stretch!

This is the last and hardest part but is still super easy.

It’s All About The Pleats

Step 12: Fold the material to make pleats (there is much discussion on having 1, 2, or 3 pleats. It’s up to you. I used 2) and pin each side vertically. Make sure all pleats are facing the same direction.

I eyeballed the pleats each time. I found it easier to lay the mask out flat, make the pleat, poke one pin in standing up on each side (so the pleat was even) and then go back and put each pin in through all the material.

Step 13: Sew all around the mask one more time securing the pleats.

I’ve been lining the foot up with my original stitches (from Step 11) while I go around the rectangle.


Voila! You have a mask!

You have helped the world! 🙂

The Mint Chip Mama - How to Sew a Simple Face Mask

We hope this helps!

Please be sure to follow The Mint Chip Mama on Facebook, Instagram, and right here on my blog. Please also enjoy the list I’ve created of all the free live steaming classes while we’re all (hopefully) staying home and social distancing!

Published by Stacey Wallenstein

Stacey Gish Wallenstein created The Mint Chip Mama blog in 2013 to share her love and passion for giving children meaningful life experiences and helping moms like her navigate the challenges and benefits of raising children in the New York metropolitan area. Before becoming a full-time mom in 2010, Stacey spent the better part of the preceding decade as a high-end customer relationship management (CRM) professional for some of the most well-known brands in the hotel, luxury, fashion, and beauty industries, such as Harrah’s Entertainment, Chanel and Christian Dior, Inc. She managed customer loyalty programs for thousands of clients around the country and created social media strategies for a span of industries including healthcare services, restaurants, consumer packaged goods, specialty foods, local attractions and retail locations. After 13 wonderful years in Manhattan (the last three of which spent as a city mom), Stacey and her husband moved to Long Island in 2014, where they now reside with their three children (13, 10, and 7). There, she is a founding member of her local Parenting Center, which provides classes and coordinates events designed to educate and inform parents while fostering an environment of support and friendship within the community. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Stacey has been active in the New York area alumni organization for nearly twenty years, serving as a board member on the school’s University of Michigan Alumni Club of New York City. She also holds a Masters in Psychology from The New School in New York City. Please check out The Mint Chip Mama in the Press: The New York Post, Psychology Today, NY Metro Parents, New York Family, Parents Magazine, Newsday, News 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt: Kids, NerdWallet, Big Apple Kids Guide, and more! The Mint Chip Mama was also nominated as "The Best Blog On Long Island" for 2022, 2023, 2024, one of the Top 20 New York Mom Blogs & Websites, and one of the Top 100 Mom Lifestyle Blogs on the web! For more updates, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest.

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