I just learned how to make face masks last week and if you had asked me whether I would write/shoot a tutorial I would have said HELL, NO. For a couple of weeks, I was resistant to mask making out of sheer exhaustion and since our ski neck warmers were serving the purpose. However, then I couldn’t keep up with laundering our ski neck warmers fast enough so I finally broke down and decided to learn. I tried some of the easier approaches but they felt super clunky on my face. As I reviewed tutorials I kept looking for ways to optimize the process and a bunch of people recently asked me for a tutorial so here I am. I have essentially created a hybrid based on this New York Times mask tutorial and pocket mask tutorial, adding tweaks along the way. By my eighth mask I finally felt like I nailed the approach so I’d like to help you avoid seven masks worth of trial and error!

And since I’m a super visual learner I thought it would be helpful to shoot some quick video. These are not fancy videos; you will see I didn’t even bother cleaning my office! Let’s get started with preparation and then I’ll launch into construction. I have written out quick tips below but I definitely recommend you watch the videos for additional details and explanations.

How to Batch Prepare Fabric for Face Masks

Before we get to the construction I want to talk batch preparation because even if you’re just planning on making a few masks, it’s so much easier to only think about measurements once! This past weekend I prepared fabric for a half dozen masks before sitting down to sew and it just made the whole process so much more efficient. Here’s what I recommend (the video below walks you through the process):

Prepare fabric. Wash fabric and iron it.

Cut stiff paper templates for mask bases. I use 10” x 6” for adults and 7” x 5” for kids. You will need 3 pieces of each per mask.

Cut mask base rectangles. Figure out which direction will give you the most out of your fabric (unless you have a pattern that requires a certain orientation). Tightly fold your fabric around your paper template as many times as you want masks. Slide the paper out and iron the folds shut. Slide your scissors into and cut the folded sides.

Cut ties. You will need four ties per mask. I use 1.25” to 1.5” wide x 15” long for kid size and 18” inches long for adult. If you’re good at eyeballing, great, but otherwise a ruler is about the right width for the ties so you can line up then tightly fold your fabric around the ruler. Slide the ruler out and press the folds flat then slide your scissors and cut the sides.

This content was originally published here.

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