Face Masks DIY – 5 of the best, tried and tested
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Well, most of the world is wearing face masks some or all of the time so it is only sensible that many of us are looking to make our own face masks DIY. I currently have an adult household of 5 so I was quick to make some face masks for us but they are not all the same. I have been trying out various designs and identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each. Trust me when I say that my audience is not shy in giving me their opinion.
That is what this article is all about. I will show you what I have made, link to the original face mask tutorial so that you can make one and explain to you what I have learnt about each face mask. These are some of the best face mask patterns to sew. As you will see I wear spectacles so I will try to comment on that but to be honest I find they all steam up my glasses to some degree once it is cold outside.
All of my face masks have been made from cotton. The gaiter mask is made from old t-shirts and the rest are all made from fat quarters.
Some of it comes down to personal preference and also time of year but more of that in the explanations. So, let’s get started and see which is best for you.
Surgical Style Face Mask
This face mask is the traditional surgical style with 3 horizontal pleats. The tutorial at Sweet Red Poppy shows you all you need to know to make adult and child sizes of these masks. It is an online tutorial but you can also download a printable pdf version. I have made both adult and child sizes and they have been universally popular. Everyone agrees that they are comfortable and easy to use.
They are easy to sew with a sewing machine requiring only straight sewing. Forming the pleats can be a bit fiddly but pressing the face mask first to form them works really well. You could easily change the size of the masks by varying the length of the elastic or adjusting the size of the fabric rectangles used.
Overall this is the mask that I have made the most of and that gets used a lot in our house. That probably tells you all you need to know. Take a look now at Sweet Red Poppy.
No Fog Face Mask Pattern for Glasses
If you are looking for an anti-fog pattern then this is a great choice. This face mask involves a little more thought but to be honest the video tutorial is so easy to follow that it seems very straightforward. The big question is ‘Does it stop your glasses fogging up?’. Well, it is currently my favourite fitted face mask pattern for glasses and that is because my glasses have not been fogging up and because it is comfortable.
The shape of the mask holds it away from your face slightly which makes breathing more comfortable. Overall it is easy to make if you follow the tutorial closely and it is undoubtedly easy to breathe with it on.
As it is a YouTube tutorial I have embedded it for you here.
Gaiter Face Mask
This gaiter mask is on the Jennifer Maker website. This is the style of face mask that I have worn the least as it has been summer here. I suspect that I will wear one of these a lot in winter as it will be great for keeping me warm and covering my face. It can easily be pulled up when entering a building and lowered when leaving (or left there if it is really cold).
It is super easy to make and there are written and video instructions. There are dimensions to cut out and also printable pdf templates if you prefer. It is also suitable for your Cricut. There are various sizes and you really do have everything you could need. Jennifer’s instructions are excellent.
The key to success with gaiter masks is stretchy fabric and getting the sizing right. I used old t-shirts to make this one and I think stretchier fabric would have been better.
There is the option to include a nose wire and / or a filter pocket but I did not do either. It is lovely and comfortable but I am not sure how well it will stay up so I may make the next one with a nose wire.
So, take a look and see what you think at Jennifer Maker.
Fitted Face Mask
This face mask is a fitted shape and has a nose wire. It is from hellosewing.com. There are great instructions online and you can download and print off the instructions. It includes a pattern for the fabric pieces as it is shaped.
This is the first type of mask that I made as they were recommended to me. They are not as quick and easy to make as some of the other face masks but they are comfortable and do fit your face well.
I have worn mine a lot and it always stays in place well and feels comfortable. The nose wire does allow you to fit it to your face and reduce fogging of the glasses.
So, take a look and download your pattern from hellosewing now.
DIY Breathable Face Mask
This final mask is billed as a breathable mask and is shaped to allow you to breathe. As you can see this mask is quite large on my face and I find that it slips down quite a bit. If I make another of these for me I will make it slightly smaller. However it is shaped away from the nose and is therefore easy to breathe through.
The instructions are really easy to follow and I had no trouble making this mask. Again, the pleats can be a bit fiddly but persevere as they make the shaping.
As this is a YouTube tutorial I have embedded it here for you.
Summary of Face Masks DIY
In summary I would say that the easiest face masks DIY to make from these 5 are the surgical style face masks. I have found that it is easy to set up a little production line and make several together. They also seem to fit a lot of people without adjusting the size at all.
My personal favourite to wear is the ‘no fog on glasses’ design as it is comfortable and does minimise fogging on my glasses.
I can honestly recommend all of these tutorials as easy to follow and get great results from. If you are needing some fabric re-useable face masks then try some of these and you will not go wrong.
If you enjoy sewing then take a look at some of my other sewing tutorials:
Easy drawstring bag to keep your masks in
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Thanks for your reviews on all the face masks. I too have made the ones you have listed. My favourite is the “No Fog” type because I wear glasses and it is the best for me. I have also made some for my father as he has a beard and wanted one to cover it. So one without a bottom is how we went about it, just a longer piece of fabric going down to his chest. It works so he is happy.
We had a shortage of elastic here in Australia, so I improvised with stretchy tee-shirt yarn and crossed it at the back of the head, you have to put it over the head, it sits above the neck and works well too. It’s also good for people with hearing aids as it dosen’t go around the ears.
Thank you for your fantastic craft and gardening blog. I look forward to reading it very much.
I am so glad you enjoyed the reviews. I think that a lot of us have been trying different styles. Thank you for adding your great, innovative ideas. I love your use of tee-shirt yarn around the head and the fact that it does not hook on the ears. Perhaps I should try that too.
Timely post as the corona is everywhere nowadays.
Thank you for this review. I’ve been trying to find one that I like. Maybe it’s just adjusting to wearing them but this was very helpful. I like the look and functionality of neck/scarf one. In Canada that will be great very soon as fall weather and winter come.
I am glad you found it useful. I agree with you about the gaiter mask being useful in fall and winter. I am expecting to use mine a lot then.
Vid went to fast for me. Could not keep up. But hope to figure out how to do the no-fog mask.
If i can read my own sketches!
Yes, I know what you mean. I usually have it playing and pausing as I make it. Plus it is much easier after the first one. Good luck. I like mine and wear it a lot.
One, thank you for your helpful reviews.
Two, I am such a novice sewer that making masks has been a challenge. I found trying to make pleats too finicky for me. And even though it takes more work, I settled on the fitted face mask pattern. I myself LIKE the fitted design; my husband is one of the few who doesn’t! However, I have had comments from friends who say their glasses fog up with the fitted design – even though I supplied a nose wire.
So I’ve been attempting to find written instructions for the anti-fog mask. So far all I’ve found are the video tutorials! That is just not my style of learning. I like / NEED to see step-by-step directions with a picture for each step.. I can watch the video again & again but it doesn’t translate. Takes me back to kindergarten when we had to use bulky yarn to knit a potholder. I could NOT master the task by “watching” someone else do it – had to stay in at recess to have a BOY help me!
So if you come across websites with WRITTEN instructions – esp. for the anti-fog mask – I’d appreciate your referral. And I like to think there are others out there who would appreciate the same!!!
I know exactly what you mean. I started with the blog as I like written instructions and moved onto YouTube too as I realised that lots of people like videos. I have been having a look and found this one https://www.madebybarb.com/2020/07/20/fitted-face-mask-pattern-for-glasses/ . It is a bit different but seems to work in a similar way with the extra piece over the nose. I have not tried it. Please let me know how you get on if you do. I have to say that I have yet to find a design that stops fogging altogether but I do find the anti-fog ones better.