How to Make a Face Mask from a Template
As long as we need to wear face masks, I like to have a deep inventory. I need fresh ones – doing laundry is not my favorite quarantine activity when the studio beckons. So I need lots of backups. And on the days I need to go out, I like to have choices that make me happy.
After learning How to Make a Fitted Face Mask from a paper pattern, I was so excited to find a shortcut to the process! Creative Grids has come out with a Mask Cutting Template for fitted face masks, designed for rotary cutting and eliminating the pattern tracing and scissor cutting steps. The template makes masks in three sizes. In addition, the packaging includes clear instructions – bonus!
So come along as I try the Creative Grids template for the first time. With the ruler’s clear markings and non slip fabric grips, I finished the first fitted face mask in just 30 minutes using the manufacturer’s instructions.
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For each face mask you will need:
- Creative Grids Face Mask Template
- Rotary Cutter (28mm or 45mm for cutting the concave curve)
- Cutting Mat
- Iron and Pressing Surface
- Tailor’s Ham (optional, but helpful for pressing curved seams)
- 2 6-inch squares for outside of mask
- 2 6-inch squares for mask lining
- 1/8 or 1/4-inch Elastic (10 to 17 inches, depending on mask size)
- Sewing Basics (thread, sewing machine, small scissors, chocolate, etc.)
The instructions are printed on sturdy card stock inside the label, so they will hold up to several sessions of mask making. But once you have the sewing sequence mastered, all the instructions you really need are printed right on the template: seam allowance, size lines, pleat placement – even recommended elastic lengths for the different sizes.
The instructions outline all the steps with clear illustrations.
Align the corners and edges of your 6-inch squares, right sides together. When you put the template on your fabric, use the marked size lines on the template as a placement guide. Cutting through all 4 layers at once was a snap.
This is what the cut pieces look like, so now they’re ready to sew.
Right sides together, sew the front curved seam of the face mask with a 1/4-inch seam. Then repeat for the lining. I like to use a 1/4-inch foot with an edge guide so I have a consistent seam.
Clip the curve (but not your stitching) every 1/2-inch or so on both the mask and the lining. Press to one side so that the seams will nest when you put the mask and lining together. So glad the tailor’s ham came to the rescue for pressing the curves!
Place the mask and lining right sides together, matching center seams (here’s where you can tell if you need to change a pressing direction) and side edges. Then stitch sides with 1/4-inch seam.
With your elastic cut to the right length for your mask, align the elastic between the layers along each side seam, lining one end of the elastic with the top edge of the mask. Pin in place.
Match top edge and pin. Then stitch with a 1/4-inch seam. I backstitched over the elastic to add strength.
Clip the curve, but take care to not cut through your stitches.
Align the other end of each elastic with the bottom edge of the mask along the side seam line. I ran my fingers along the elastic to make sure I had not twisted it, then coaxed it back between the layers. Pin the elastic in place, then pin the bottom seam, matching centers.
Sew the bottom edge, also with a 1/4-inch seam, backstitching over the elastic. Leave a gap of about 3 inches for turning the mask right side out and backstitch to reinforce the opening.
Turn mask to right side, give the elastic a little tug to pull out the corners, then press. No need to hand stitch the opening closed because the topstitch in the next step will take care of that. Using the markings on the template, pin the pleat in place. If you are not using the optional pleat, skip to the next step.
Topstitch around the mask with a scant 1/4-inch seam. I prefer to use an edgestitch foot for this step because it has a more prominent blade for lining up the edge and stitching a consistent topstitch. I moved my needle position to the left to get a stitch width that would catch the raw edges inside – that’s important when you stitch across the gap.
Here is my bunny model wearing the mask just 30 minutes after I started. I’m going to make more, and I think those will go together even faster!
Have fun and stay safe making face masks! If you prefer ties to elastic, there are tips for this in How to Make a Fitted Face Mask, including a way to secure the ties with cord-lock toggles. For Pleated Face Mask fans, we have you covered (ha – see what I did there?) for that style, too.
Browse through all of our face mask ideas and tips on Create Whimsy.