How to Make a Face Mask with Filter Pocket and Fabric Ties

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The CDC is now recommending that everyone wear a cloth face mask when outside their home.  Medical N95 and surgical masks are in short supply, so please leave those for the medical and essential workers.  Check with the CDC regarding the advantages and benefits of wearing a fabric masks.  They will not prevent Corona Virus, but it is believed they may help slow the spread.

I have made two variations, one with fabric ties, and one with elastic.  They are contructed the same as far as the body of the mask.  The only difference being instead of tucking two separate strings on each end, I simply tuck both ends of a 7″ (Adult) or 6″ (Child) into each end to form a loop.

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There are a TON of face mask tutorials available online.  Including the elastic, pleated version I posted earlier.  You can find that tutorial by clicking HERE.  I have been sewing face masks for a local assisted senior living facility.  The elastic can be tedious and uncomfortable for extended used.  I decided to come up with my own pattern using fabric ties.  You can substitute Ribbon, Twill, Bias Tape, or any other durable, washable and comfortable tie.

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I also wanted to make a face mask with a pocket for a filter.  You can see the pocket in the photo above.  It makes it really easy to remove and change the filter.

I also needed a child size version.  I made this version which I guesstimate to fit a child age 4-12.


I have a step by step tutorial as well as FREE PDF patterns for both sizes.  You can find the FREE PDF patterns in my SHOP here:

 ADULT SIZE  PDF                          CHILD SIZE PDF

Here is the Step By Step Tutorial:

49 thoughts on “How to Make a Face Mask with Filter Pocket and Fabric Ties

  1. Melissa says:

    The PDF links for the mask patterns aren’t working on my end. Just wondering if it’s just me?

  2. Barbara Mehaffey says:

    This is the best pattern for what I need. Two questions: 1. what type of filter goes in the filter pocket? Do you use a commercial filter or a template for one to make from the vacuum bags? 2. Do you find the mask snug enough at the bridge of the nose without any sort of bendable nose piece? Thanks. Great video, by the way. Barbara

    • Lorrie Nunemaker says:

      As far as filters – I am not an authority and don’t feel comfortable advising what should or should not be used. I am using a shop towel by tool box. I read an article by someone who conducted tests and found it to be a good medium for filters but again, I am not an authority on filter material and i am not recommending what should be used. I find this pattern to be very fitted. Doug and I both found that we did not need the nose wire but you can easily add it (I did it on some).

  3. Kate says:

    This patten is just what I needed! And I found your advice about making these assembly-style really helpful. On that note, would you mind linking to the rotary board and cutting tools you use in your video? I feel like I’m spending an awfully long time just cutting material and would really love to speed this part up!

  4. Margaret Moodie says:

    Hi Lorrie, love the mask YouTube thank you!

    I have a home business selling military wedding gathers etc on Etsy, (Always With Me)
    I am about to start making masks and would like to use your patterns
    I know you said you had a few acrylic patterns that you would be willing to give away, I would like to do a sell 3 maybe 2 / donate 1 to military.
    I’ll donate more if can.
    Anyway your acrylic pattern would be immensely valuable to me.
    Can you let me know if that is possible.
    Much appreciated

  5. Diane says:

    Have you had an idea to add the nose wire (plastic twist tie)? I made about 20 the accordion type with elastic for my family and friends and am finding it uncomfortable for long use. I’d love this but with a nose wire

  6. Pamela Rehling says:

    Lorrie. Great pattern and I see you are in production mode and work very fast. I would comment though for an inexperienced sewer, please make sure that you are showing good safety when cutting. Holding your work in your left hand and cutting into your hand is NOT recommended. Also when using the rotary cutter, speed is not ideal. A cutter can slip even over the acrylic template and cut into a finger or worse. These are sharp precision tools and should be used with the utmost care. Thanks again for the pattern. Works very well.

  7. laura Balsley says:

    Hi Lorrie
    I ve made 15 of your masks adult size… they came out perfect.. BUT.. some of my sisters find it big on them.. would the child size be too small? I find these fit the men very well.. as well as myself.. so now I can see some faces are smaller than others.. the child size would fit up to what age?
    thank you so much
    back to sewing!!

  8. Leslie Blanding says:

    This is a great pattern. Thank you for posting it. One question: Topstitching gives a nice finish, but could the needle holes make ‘leaks’ allowing virus to pass through? Some people recommend the use of clips instead of pins to avoid making holes. Just wondering!

    Also, I added a 6″ piece of casing, stitching it to seam allowance on the right side of the filter pocket piece before stitching all 3 pieces together. When reversed I had a nice channel to insert half a pipe cleaner (ends folded over to avoid sharp wire) for the nose wire. It keeps the wire right where you want it.

  9. Leslie Blanding says:

    Mistake– I stitched the casing to the WRONG side of the filter cover so it would be accessible inside the pocket when the mask was completed. Sorry!

  10. Hope says:

    Hi Lorrie. I made two of the adult-sized small masks and we tested them today and they work great. For the ties I used half inch ready-made seam binding, which worked well. Thank you so much for the pattern.


    I would love to see how you cut out your fabric for mass production: How many layers at a time?


  12. Barbara Grimm says:

    I really want to print this pattern and I can’t get it to print. I hit print button and see no share on bottom. I have perfect fabric for cardiologist son in laws nurses. Getting frustrated. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  13. Joan Gumbel says:

    I love this pattern! Thanks for sharing. Your rotary cutter goes through all those layers so easily unlike mine!

  14. joan gumbel says:

    I’ve been making these masks for months- everybody says they are the most comfortable they’ve worn. Thank you. But for some reason my brain has forgotten how long to make the earloops for the large. For small adult [women’s] I’ve been using 6″. Where I got these measurements I can’t remember!!

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