Pleated DIY Face Mask in Under 30 Minutes? Yes, Please!

Kaara's style
by Kaara's style
7 Materials
30 Minutes

Let’s face it, the world’s newest accessory is the face mask. This is not going to disappear anytime soon and so, instead of buying masks all the time and throwing them away, why don’t you sew your own DIY face mask? Fabric face masks make it easier to breathe, you will save some dollars, and you won't be contributing towards landfills of face masks. This easy face mask tutorial is great for beginners too and you could give back by making a bunch for charity, your local old age home, or even your loved ones. Let’s get sewing!

Tools and materials:

  • Fabric (if you have cotton better)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Paper for the pattern
  • Pins
  • ¼” width elastic cut to 6.5”(16.5cm)
  • Ruler
Easy DIY face mask

Cut your fabric

Take a piece of fabric of your choice, ( the best would be one lying around your house that you will probably land up throwing away) and cut it into a rectangle. The measurements are as follows- 6 inches for the height and 9 inches wide. Make sure you cut it on the fold.

How to make a face mask

Sew the top

Now you need to sew the top, leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance for the opening on top. The opening is there as we will be turning the fabric piece inside out. Place pins where your allowance will be so that you won’t sew over them.

Easy face mask

Make the side allowance and elastic

The same pertains to the sides; draw ¼ seam allowance on either side.

Sew a face mask

Before you sew the sides, add your elastic to the sides. The elastics should measure 6.5 inches. Pin the elastic inside, so that it runs from top to bottom, along each side as shown.


To make your life easier while sewing the face mask, make sure the tip of each elastic pops out a little.

Make a face mask

Next, sew your sides. Be careful that you don't sew the whole length of the elastic with the sides, simply sew the edges on each corner of the fabric. If your fabric is a little stretchy like mine, be sure to stretch it while sewing.

How to sew a face mask

Turn it inside out

We are almost there, only a few more steps until you have your lovely, easy face mask. Now that your sides are sewn, you can turn the fabric inside out. This for me is the most exciting part as you get to see it finally coming together. Once it’s turned inside out, press the fabric with the iron so that it smooths out nicely.

Face mask tutorial

Top stitch the face mask

Topstitch all the sides of the face mask. Go over all the stitches that you sewed before.

Make 3 pleats

Add 3 pleats

So this is the most important part! Cut a pattern for yourself to make things easier. On a piece of paper, draw 6in x 9in. On the top draw a ¼ inch seam allowance, and then from there measure 1inch down from each side, and from there, draw a line every half inch. So now you have a grid that will make it easier for you to follow for the next step.

Pin each half inch

When your pattern is complete, put it on top of your face mask, and pin each half inch on the sides, as shown. You should have 9 pins in total on each side.

Fold your pleats

Now it’s time to start pleating. This step may be confusing, but read and watch carefully and you will definitely get it right! Starting from the bottom, fold your first pin onto the third pin. Remove the pin in the middle, (which is essentially the second pin), and re-pin it on the pleat you’ve just created, so it holds it together. Take out the first and third pin, you won’t need it anymore.

Repeat the process

Repeat the process on the rest of the pins, moving upwards. You should have three lovely pleats pinned in place. They should be nicely tucked and pinned tightly. Once you’ve done one side, do the exact same on the other side.

Sew pleats together

Sew the pleats

This is the last step! It’s time to sew these pleats together. Before you do that, make sure to iron your fabric again. Sew your pleats using a topstitch. Sew along the sides where your pins are placed.

Lovely Pleated DIY Face mask

Here it is! You now have a lovely, pleated DIY face mask. How easy was that? I love how the pleats give the face mask a great effect. It actually looks like a face mask from the store, except that you didn’t have to buy this and you are also being kind to the environment by making a reusable face mask. I hope you enjoyed this face mask tutorial. Happy sewing!

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewinch machine
See all materials

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