Free Face Mask Patterns & Instructions

Handmade Irish crafts & craft supplies for home craftspeople

Face Mask Instructions

Legal Disclaimer

The Face Mask created as part of this publication should NOT be used as a replacement for conventional and approved Personal Protective Equipment. The instructions, pattern or the face masks have not been industry tested nor has it been HSE approved. The instructions, patterns or face masks below shall not constitute or be deemed to constitute any representation by the authors, this web site or any affiliates, and is intended for educational purposes only. The decision to use this device is solely your own.



This is a free resource for the home crafter, below are step by step instructions to assist you in creating your free face mask. 

We have made three patterns which can be downloaded free. Please click on the buttons above to download your pattern. The patterns available are Men’s, Women’s / Teenager & Kids.



1.   Fabric for front of mask 14” X 7”. You could consider up cycling your pre washed favorite old shirt.

2.   Filter material 10” X 5”. We are using 4 oz Wadding. You can use whatever is to hand, possibly a piece of toweling material.

3.   Fabric for the rear of mask 14” X 6”. We are using Poly Cotton. We have also used a pre washed T Shirt material.

4.   Elastic cord depending on the size of head 12”-18”. If you do not have this to hand you could use twine, cord, ribbon, even an old shoe lace. Remember to check your length as these will not stretch & will have to be tied.


1.   Sewing machine or you can hand sew?

2.   Chalk, marker, pencil, pen or anything which you can mark the material with.

3.    Scissors or cutting wheel.

4.   Pins, to pin pattern to fabric when marking & cutting, not essential.


Step By Step Instructions  

1.   Download & open the PDF free mask pattern in the size required.

2.   Print the pattern out. N.B. Make sure that you select print to ACTUAL Size. Once printed check that the rectangle at the top of the page is 2” wide.

www.creativecrafts.ie_Free_face_mask_printing Make sure scale is Actual size

3.   Add a seam allowance to your pattern. This can be done by sellotaping two pens together & tracing the pattern. At the flat part of the pattern we add 1” this makes it easy to fold in the last step. You do not have to do this but it can be quite difficult to get this fold nice & neat if not.

4. Cut around your pattern neatly keeping to the seam allowance line that you have traced.                                        Free Face Mask Pattern Image showing the cut out front pieces with seam allowances.

5.   On your next piece of front material flip the pattern over & repeat step 4. You have both front facing pieces cut now.


6. Next mark out and cut the lining material, I am using the same here as the front. Draw your ¼” seam allowance front, top & bottom. We do not need a seam allowance at the back. free face mask lining Image of seam allowance on lining
7. Now for the filter. We cut around the pattern without marking a seam allowance as this is sandwiched between the two layers
Free face mask pattern Filter is cut with no seam allowance
8. Line up both front pieces with the wadding ¼” back from the front edge.
www.creativecrafts.ie_Material_With_Filter Front pieces of material with filter ready to be sewn.
9.  Sew to attach the filter to the front material, this way when you wash the mask the filter will stay in place.
Center Front Seam Image of the center front seam being sewn.
10.  Next snip along the inside of the front edge every ¼ Inch. This does not need to be exact As it is just to let the mask take shape when you fold it the right way out.
Face Mask Snipping Snipping the inner front material.
11.  Open out the mask front, with your outward facing side down. We are now going to fold over the top seam allowance and sew, this also fixes the filter in place. Then repeat on the bottom seam.
Sewing the seam allowance Seam allowance being sewed in place.
Front of the mask with the seam finished. Front of the face mask after the seam allowance is sewn in place.
Front finished Front is finished now. Note the flaps on the outside are not sewn closed.
12. Repeat the sewing steps above for the internal layer of the mask, but exclude the filter on this layer.
Front & back ready to sew together. This is what you will have & we are ready to attach them together.
13. Sew the front & rear layers together.
Image of the front & rear layer Sew the front & rear layers together.
14. Fold the flaps in & sew. Remember to leave enough space so that you can thread the elastic trough.
Hard work done. Flaps folded & sewn.
15. Thread your elastic through. tie a knot & then slide the knot into the flap to hide it.
Mask with elastic fitted. The finished product.

Congratulations! Your mask is finished.
If you need any help, please contact us by email.


About Homemade Masks

What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?

With masks sold out during the coronavirus outbreak, many people will have to make do with what some scientists have called “the last resort”: the DIY mask.

Data shows that DIY and homemade masks are effective at capturing viruses. But if forced to make our own mask, what material is best suited to make a mask? As the coronavirus spread around China, netizens reported making masks with tissue paper, kitchen towels, cotton clothing fabrics, and even oranges!

The Best Material for Making a Homemade DIY Mask

Researchers at Cambridge University tested a wide range of household materials for homemade masks. To measure effectiveness, they shot Bacillus atrophaeus bacteria (0.93-1.25 microns) and Bacteriophage MS virus (0.023 microns in size) at different household materials.

Particle Sizes - Virus Labelled

They measured what percentage the materials could capture and compared them to the more common surgical mask.

Homemade Mask Virus Effectiveness

Not surprisingly, the surgical mask performed best, capturing 97% of the 1-micron bacteria. Yet every single material filtered out at least 50% of particles. The top performers were the vacuum cleaner bag (95%), the dish cloth (“tea towel” in the UK! 83%), the cotton blend shirt fabric (74%), and the 100% cotton shirt (69%).

Homemade Masks vs. Viruses

The test above used bacteria that were 1 micron large, yet the coronavirus is just 0.1 microns – ten times smaller. Can homemade masks capture smaller virus particles? To answer this question, the scientists tested 0.02 micron Bacteriophage MS2 particles (5 times smaller than the coronavirus).

Homemade Mask Materials Particle Capture Effectiveness

On average, the homemade masks captured 7% fewer virus particles than the larger bacteria particles. However, all of the homemade materials managed to capture 50% of virus particles or more (with the exception of the scarf at 49%).

Overall, the double layers didn’t help much. The double-layer pillowcase captured 1% more particles, and the double-layer shirt captured just 2% more particles. Yet the extra dish cloth layer boosted performance by 14%. That boost made the tea towel as effective as the surgical mask.

Looking at the data, the dish towel and vacuum cleaner bag were the top-performing materials. However, the researchers didn’t choose these as the best materials for DIY masks:

Pillowcase and cotton t-shirt best for homemade DIY mask

Instead, they concluded the pillowcase and the 100% cotton t-shirt are the best materials for DIY masks. Why?

The Importance of DIY Mask Breathability

The answer lies in breathability. How easy it is to breathe through your mask is an important factor that will affect how comfortable it is. And comfort isn’t merely a luxury. Comfort will influence how long you can wear your mask.

Fortunately, in addition to particle effectiveness, the researchers tested the pressure drop across each type of fabric. This gives us a good indication of how easy it is to breathe through each material. As a benchmark, they compared breathability of each DIY mask material to the surgical mask.

DIY Mask Material Breathability Pressure Drop

Although the tea towel and the vacuum bag captured the most particles, they were also the hardest to breath through. With two layers, the tea towel was over twice as hard to breathe through as the surgical mask. In contrast, the pillow case, t-shirt, scarf, and linen were all easier to breathe through than the surgical mask.

This article was published by Paddy Robertson  Coronavirus, Masks on the 8th of March 2020. All credit & copyright belongs to the author & smart air filters.    

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