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DIY: How to make your own washable face mask (printable pattern included)

We’re now on Week 3 of Community Quarantine. Walking outside for a quick food run is characterized by empty streets, limited food stocks on the shelf, and multiple signs saying ‘SOLD OUT: Face Masks and Alcohol”. While majority of stock issues are no longer in our hands (since people resorted to hoarding a few weeks back), there is one thing we can create ourselves – face masks.

Front liners are in need of surgical masks and N95 masks more than any of us in the comfort of our homes, so for those of us who are privileged enough to own a sewing kit or sewing machine and a printer at home, here’s an easy step-by-step guide on how to create a DIY protective gear for the whole family.

What you’ll need:

  • Outer fabric (20cm x 80cm) – You can add your own embroidery or lace for kids to encourage them to wear it.
  • Inner fabric (20cm x 80cm)
  • Band (2m)
  • Printer to create a printable pattern
  • Sewing machine/sewing tools

* These measurements are good for three masks.

SIZE CHART
SizeFinished sizeLength of ear band
For babies (9 months – 3 years)8.5cm x 12.5cm29cm x 2 pieces
For children (5 – 9 years)11cm x 14.5cm31cm x 2 pieces
For adults13cm x 17cm35cm x 2 pieces

How to make the face mask:

(Video and step-by-step guide from Brother Philippines)

1.Sew the outer fabric together.

Cut two pieces of the outer fabric according to the pattern, which you can print here for accuracy. Place the pieces together right-side in, then sew them with 1cm seam allowance. You can sew these by hand or for better results, tighter stitches, and a more durable mask, you can machine-stitch it with reliable tools such as Brother Sewing Machines (if you have these at home!).

Press-iron edges and topstitch. Don’t forget to reinforce the stitches at the start and end.

2. Do the same for the inner fabric.

You can decorate the mask at this step.

3. Sew the inner and the outer fabric together.

Place the inner and outer fabric together right-side in, then sew the top and bottom. Press-iron edges and topstitch. Then turn the inner fabrics right-side out. Press-iron and topstitch.

4. Make the elastic band.

Sew the inner mask layer. Fold one edge three times and stitch. Do the same for the other side.

Assemble the elastic band by cutting it according to the measurements in the size chart plus 3cm seam allowance. (You’re free to adjust the measurements as needed.) Insert it through the edges of the mask and tie a knot to secure them.

5. Iron the mask and then you’re done!

Cloth face masks may not be super effective in filtering the virus, but you can add a later of filter (if available) on these DIY masks for a bit of protection. Would like to believe that this is better than having none at all.

Note: Thank you to Brother Philippines for sharing this. They also stand with the nation in our fight against COVID-19.

For other ways to help from home, you can visit our previous posts:

Stay safe and healthy, everyone! Wash your hands and observe social distancing at all times.

For more updates on how to help and for suggestions on what you can do during the lockdown, follow Manila Millennial on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

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