Learn how to make DIY face masks for non-medical purposes. Inside: the basics of what you need, gathering the right supplies, and the best patterns for making your own face masks. This post contains affiliate links. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.
While non-medical fabric face masks aren’t quite enough to protect you from airborne droplets, they are enough to prevent the spread – which is why many states are mandating or at least encouraging their use.
Many people are also helping to make DIY face masks from fabric to help healthcare workers extend the life of their medical masks.
There are so many DIY face masks out there, I wanted to share a rundown of different types in one place, as well as share with you the basics of what you need to get started, so that you can have a central resource for making your own face masks.
- Where to get fabric for face masks online
- The best sewing machine (and where to find one now)
- The top few designs for each purpose (regular, no-sew, Cricut, and more)
Where to get fabric for face masks online:
Since stores are closed, you’ll probably want to source your fabric online. I put together a list of the best places to buy fabric online a while ago but meanwhile, here are a few top picks with active warehouses at this time.
Please be aware that things can change at a moment’s notice so double check shipping time, etc before ordering.
Etsy: If we’re buying anyway, why not support some Etsy sellers? They’re usually more small order friendly as well, and since many are working from home, you don’t need to worry as much about warehousing delays. Search fabric here.
Fabric.com: My all-time favorite for fabrics, fabric.com has a fantastic selection for every purpose. They do have shipping delay warnings up now.
Onlinefabricstore.net: Not only do they have an easy-to-browse selection, but they have a dedicated section for shopping fabrics for face masks.
For elastic, Etsy is your best bet.
Best sewing machine for beginners – where to get it:
If you don’t have a sewing machine, I do have a no-sew version below. However, if you want to go all-in and sew them, I do have some previous research to share.
I put together a list of the best sewing machines for beginners but here are my top 2 current picks (updated models that are in stock at the moment – as many are out of stock):
In case these are out of stock, here are my favorite resources for scouting out sewing machines:
Sewing Machines Plus – have an enormous selection, easy to browse, and top quality machines. Their fulfillment delay is only a few days, they have true experts you can talk to for advice, and – the best parts – most states don’t pay sales tax!
They have free shipping over $49, a 60 day money back guarantee and painless financing options. And while many machines are out of stock, they seem to have a better selection in stock than many other places.
Walmart – They usually have a better selection but still have a few machines in stock. Since you’ll reach their free shipping minimum, you can toss in some other essentials that you need too. Once again, I’ve been satisfied with their shipping times through all this.
Ebay – Since machines are out of stock a lot now, eBay might be a better bet than typical. But just watch out for price gouging (you can find prices on out of stock machines in lots of places even if you can’t buy them).
Best DIY face masks tutorials and patterns:
Finally, some patterns for you to enjoy! Some of these are free, some aren’t. Choose what works best for you!
Just a reminder: these don’t necessarily protect from viruses – they are simply an extra precautionary measure that the CDC recommends, as well as a great way to help the medical community.
This simple pattern puts the elastic around the head instead of behind the ears for increased comfort.
Cricut face mask pattern – with cutting machines and without!
Cricut has a selection of face masks – both sew and no-sew versions, in many sizes. They also have also made them available as a PDF for non-Cricut users!!
This simple tutorial includes a free pattern. It’s perfect for beginner sewers, and since it mimics the style of surgical face masks, it’s a fantastic option for donating to healthcare workers.
While there are many “hack” face masks that don’t require sewing, I wanted to find a more permanent, polished version to share with you. This one is perfect.
This tutorial includes instructions for making fabric ties in case you’re struggling to get hold of elastic. It also includes instructions for an optional flexible nose piece (designed to help the mask fit better).
Have you made any DIY face masks? Which is your favorite style? Comment below!