Facemask Tutorial

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by Aaron Heidgerken-Greene


Project Overview

This facemask, adapted from a pattern created by Unity Point Health in Cedar Rapids, IA (https://www.unitypoint.org/cedarrapids/sewing-surgical-masks.aspx), was selected for easy of sewability and common availability of materials. It was altered from the original by removing the filter pocket, mainly to speed the sewing process.

Tools and Materials

  • Sewing Machine
  • Rotary Cutter or Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread
  • Approximately 1/8 yard fabric total
  • Ponytail holders or hair ties


Step-by-Step Instructions

Using the template, cut four pieces (two of the liner fabric, and two of the exterior fabric). If using a rotary cutter, you can directly cut around the outside of an acrylic template, obtainable from the Carleton College makerspace (email ajhg@carleton.edu to arrange pickup).

Sewing along the convex edge of the pieces, seam together the two pieces of the liner material. Do the same with the two pieces of the shell material.

Inverting the shell pieces, pin together the shell and liner materials at the nose and the chin.

Sew around three sides of the mask, as indicated in the photo, using quarter inch seam allowances. Be sure to align all edges of the liner and shell as you sew.

(OPTIONAL) Using a zigzag stitch, sew a pipe cleaner folded into quarters across the bridge of the nose.

Turn the mask inside out through the unseamed edge, taking care to fully invert the corners.

Fold in the unseamed edges of the mask, so they are tucked into the body of the mask. Foldover should be approximately 1/4".

Fold the unseamed end of the mask over a ponytail holder (by 1/2" for large masks, 1" for small masks), and sew down using a zigzag stitch. Repeat with the other end of the mask.

Voila! A finished mask! If you are donating masks back to the college, please place them in the bin outside the makerspace, or contact ajhg@carleton.edu to arrange dropoff. Thank you! Carleton appreciates all your hard work!