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DIY Facemask with Filter Pocket

Facemasks certainly don’t seem to be going away soon, and many people are looking for ways to avoid buying disposable masks in bulk. You can make great masks at home, that have a filter pocket too. These are cute, and your first one should take twenty minutes at most. If you’re making a few for your household, or people you know, you might be able to do one in ten minutes or less as you get more familiar with it.


Easy Steps to Start a Great Facemask

These steps are super simple, whether you’re new to sewing or if you have worked behind a machine for years.


  1. Use a zig-zag stitch on the end of the short edges of the 15” x 7.5” fabric.
  2. Fold in half "hamburger" style, so the right sides face each other. The zig-zag edges should touch.
  3. Pin about ¼-inch down from the top and then sew 1 ½-inches inward from the sides, leaving the center open to be the pocket for an insertable filter.
  4. Fold the material over so that the seam is in the center, and then iron the seam open, making both sides lay flat.
  5. Turn the piece.
  6. Put an edge stitch with a ⅛-inch  seam allowance across both sides of the filter opening and across the open area for the filter. Don't sew the filter opening shut!
  7. Position the new seam about ½-inch downward and press the fabric to make the new “top” of the mask.
  8. Put a ¼-inch seam all the way around the edge of the project.
  9. Put the pipe cleaner (6 ½-inches long) in through the top of the pocket opening, then sew over the stitch again to lock that pipe cleaner into place.


Adding Your Pleats and Elastic


Create ½-inch pleats along the front side; that is, the side without the filter opening. You can do this by gently folding the fabric at ½-inch intervals, which should result in 3 pleat folds. Pin and press your folds. Unlike other pleats, you won't be sewing in toward the center of the material because you want to keep that filter pocket open. Instead, sew straight down the edges about 1-inch inward from the sides.


Finally, to add the attachments to hook over your ears, you'll use bias binding. You can always use the same material cut to 1 ½-inches x 4-inches. Begin on the backside, and pin the binding face down with the edges matching.


Press the excess edges down, so the binding appears with the "right" side touching the right sides of the mask. Fold the binding over twice to create a loop that you can thread elastic through. Do your final topstitch over the binding edges, and you're good to go!

If you aren’t a fan of the pleated look, check out our blog on a pleatless facemask!