#HowTo DIY Face Masks with Filter Pocket

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lady wearing face mask

Here are 2 DIY patterns to make two kinds of cloth face masks with an interior pocket in which you can insert additional filter material, and elastic ear loops.

An Important Distinction

Homemade face masks are not as effective as the N95 filtration mask recommended by the health professionals, and are not a substitute for proper PPE during this coronavirus pandemic.

It’s important to remember that homemade and hand-sewn face masks should be used in combination with appropriate social distancing on walks and in stores, and that thorough hand-washing is still the most advocated medical advice for healthy people to avoid acquiring the virus.

Non-N95 face masks or coverings may not be able to block the smallest particles, but there are some benefits to wearing one, in addition to following other precautions:

  • May block large particles ejected from sneezing and coughing
  • Might help protect others from your sneezes and coughs if you acquired the virus but are otherwise asymptomatic and in public
  • Could encourage more mindful behavior, including avoiding touching one’s mouth, nose and eyes
  • Peace of mind

Test data shows that the best choices for DIY fabric masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials. Using a double layer of material for your DIY mask adds a small increase in filtration effectiveness.

Other research has found that most effective masks were constructed of two layers of heavyweight “quilters cotton” with a thread count of at least 180, and had a thicker and tighter weave.

To make these masks more effective, you can create a pocket and insert a HEPA filter that can be easily bought online in Indonesia. Example here >>

Pattern 1

This pattern has 2 layers of fabric, and an internal pocket in which you can add additional layers of disposable filtration material if desired.

A printable version of these pattern instructions is available here >>

Just download and print on an A4 paper and proceed with the instructions on the youtube tutorial, which are very clear.

To make these masks more effective, you can create a pocket and insert a HEPA filter that can be easily bought online in Indonesia. Example here >>

Pattern 2

Here is the second pattern which is much simpler and you make an additional pocket to insert the HEPA filter too.

  • cotton fabric, tightly woven
  • 1/8″ elastic, or fabric ties

Tools

  • sewing machine and thread
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • sewing pins or clips

Instructions

  1. Cut the fabric. For an adult size mask, cut 1 fabric rectangle 16″ long and 8.5″ wide. Cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 7″ long. Or, cut 4 fabric ties 18″ long.
    For a child-size mask, cut 1 fabric rectangle 14″ long and 6.5″ wide. Then, cut 2 pieces of elastic, each 6″ long.
  2. Sew the top side, with pocket opening. Fold the fabric in half, with the right sides facing.
    Sew along the 8.5″ width edge, using a 5/8″ seam allowance. Leave a 3” opening in the center of this seam to create an opening for the filter pocket, and to allow the mask to be turned right side out after sewing.
    Press the seam open. Topstitch/zig-zag stitch along both sides of the seam for a neater edge.
  3. Pin Elastic or Fabric Ties. Pin one piece of elastic to each side of the mask, one end to the top corner and one end to the bottom corner. If using fabric ties, pin one tie to each corner, with the rest of the tie sandwiched inside the two layers of fabric.
  4. Sew the Sides. Sew the sides of the facemask. Backstitch over the elastic or fabric ties to secure them.
    Clip the corners, turn the mask right side out, and press with an iron.
  5. Sew the Pleats
    Create three evenly spaced 1/2” pleats. Pin the folds in place, making sure all pleats are facing the same direction. Sew down each side to secure the pleats.
    Note: When the mask is worn, the pleats should open downwards to prevent any particles from collecting in the fold pockets.

DIY how to make your own face mask

Let us know if you made these face masks at home?

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