Do you want a breathable, comfortable face mask for summer? You can sew a pleated face mask with filter pocket using our free pattern and tutorial video. This DIY face mask gives you room to breathe and the freedom to adjust the amount of filtration you need.

Our pattern for this Pleated Face Mask with Filter Pocket is similar to our DIY Cloth Face Mask Pattern, but it includes a pocket for you to add a removable filter for extra filtration.

(If you don’t sew, no worries! Click over to our No-Sew Face Mask with Filter Pocket tutorial.)
 

Keep reading for step-by-step directions for how to make a pleated face mask with a filter pocket. If you want to skip right to the printable patterns, here you go…

Six sizes of our Face Mask with Filter Pocket Pattern:

First download the Pleated Face Mask Pattern and then download the patterns in your preferred sizes…

  1. ADULT Size
  2. LARGE Child Size
  3. REGULAR Child Size
  4. SMALL Child Size
  5. EXTRA SMALL Child Size
  6. EXTRA-EXTRA SMALL Child Size

We’ve provided Extra-Small Child and Extra-Extra-Small Child face mask sizes, but please remember that face masks should not be worn by children under 2 years old or anyone who cannot remove their own mask.

Six sizes of our Face Mask with Filter Pocket Pattern:

First download the Pleated Face Mask Pattern and then download the patterns in your preferred sizes…

We’ve provided Extra-Small Child and Extra-Extra-Small Child face mask sizes, but please remember that face masks should not be worn by children under 2 years old or anyone who cannot remove their own mask.

A New Type of Summer Protection

In this crazy, new world, summer protection now means more than just applying enough sunscreen. When we head out anywhere there will be groups of people, we need face masks.

To help you and your family keep your face masks actually on your faces, protecting yourself and those around you, you want a breathable, lightweight face mask.

Our sewing pattern for a pleated face mask with a filter pocket allows you to make a face mask that has a pocket for a removable filter, so you can use a filter when you want increased protection, or you can wear it without the filter with just the two layers of woven cotton.

You can use a variety of filter options, such as an inexpensive DIY filter cut from a coffee filter.

Adding a simple rectangle or oval cut from a coffee filter gives you the peace of mind of extra filtration while helping to hold the fabric of the mask in shape, still giving you room to breathe.

Please note that face masks should not be used by anyone having difficulty breathing, nor should face masks be used on children under two years old or on anyone who cannot remove the mask themselves. This mask is not a replacement for N95.

How to Sew a Pleated Face Mask with Filter Pocket

SUPPLIES

Printable Version of Instructions: Click here to download a printable PDF of the following pleated face mask instructions.

Fold 8”x 16” fabric in half, with right sides together, to form an 8”x 8” square with the folded edge at the bottom and raw edges flush together at the top.

To make the pocket, you will sew in 2” from sides, leaving a 4” opening in the middle of the seam. You may wish to place pins at the 2” mark to remind you to stop sewing for the 4” opening.

Sew with 1/2” seam allowance to the 2” mark. Remember to backstitch at the 4” opening.

After sewing, turn square right side out and slide the stitch line and pocket opening down 1/2” from the top fold.

Do not press open the seam allowance. Leave it facing down and press.

Topstitch 1/4” below seam to 2” mark to secure seam allowance. Do not sew over the opening.

You may wish to place pins to mark 4” opening.

Only topstitch below the seam. Do not topstitch above seamline.

The next step is to add pipe cleaners to the bottom and top of the mask to create a snug fit.

To reinforce the pipe cleaner over the bridge of the nose, you can wrap 5” of craft wire around pipe cleaner.

You can position the pocket opening near the bottom or the top of your mask.

I prefer to have the pocket opening at the bottom of my mask, but either way will work fine.

Place the reinforced pipe cleaner inside the square along the top seam and the other pipe cleaner inside the square along the bottom seam and clip in place.

how to sew a mask with pipe cleaners

Stitch pipe cleaners in place, sewing 3/8“ from the edge, on top and bottom seams.

cloth face mask with pipe cleaners and filter pocket


cloth face mask with pipe cleaners and filter pocket

To reinforce the pipe cleaner over the bridge of the nose, you can wrap 5” of craft wire around pipe cleaner.

You can position the pocket opening near the bottom or the top of your mask.

I prefer to have the pocket opening at the bottom of my mask, but either way will work fine.

Place the reinforced pipe cleaner inside the square along the top seam and the other pipe cleaner inside the square along the bottom seam and clip in place.

Stitch pipe cleaners in place, sewing 3/8“ from the edge, on top and bottom seams.

Now you have sewn your pipe cleaners in place and you have the pocket opening for your removable filter.

cloth face mask with filter pocket and pipe cleaners

Turn over the mask, so that the front of the mask is facing up. The pocket opening, which will end up on the inside bottom of finished mask, is facing the table.

how to sew cloth face mask with filter pocket and pipe cleaners

Now, starting at the end with your reinforced pipe cleaner, which will cover the nose bridge of finished mask, begin to fold the three pleats.

Fold pleats about 3/4” and nest each next to one another. Don’t worry, the pleats do not need to be perfect.

Face Mask with Pocket - How to Make Pleats

Turn over the mask, so that the front of the mask is facing up. The pocket opening, which will end up on the inside bottom of finished mask, is facing the table.

Now, starting at the end with your reinforced pipe cleaner, which will cover the nose bridge of finished mask, begin to fold the three pleats.

Fold pleats about 3/4” and nest each next to one another. Don’t worry, the pleats do not need to be perfect.

If you prefer to mark pleats before folding, download our free pattern for pleat markings.

Fasten with clips and press.

how to sew a pleated cloth face mask with filter pocket and pipe cleaners

how to sew a pleated cloth face mask with filter pocket and pipe cleanershow to sew a pleated cloth face mask with filter pocket and pipe cleaners

Stitch sides at 1/4” seam allowance to hold pleats in place.

pleated cloth face mask with filter pocket and pipe cleaners tutorial

Place mask front/right side up.

Place trim/binding fabric right side down, raw edges together.

pleated cloth face mask tutorial

Stitch 1/2” from raw edge on the sides of the mask.

pleated cloth face mask pattern and tutorial

pleated cloth face mask pattern and tutorial

Trim pipe cleaners and fold in sharp ends.

pleated cloth face mask pattern and tutorial

Fold back binding pieces at seams and press.

Turn over to the back of the mask and fold in raw edges of trim/binding pieces and press.

pleated face mask pattern

Fasten with clips and press.

Stitch sides at 1/4” seam allowance to hold pleats in place.

Place mask front/right side up.

Place trim/binding fabric right side down, raw edges together.

Stitch 1/2” from raw edge on the sides of the mask.

Trim pipe cleaners and fold in sharp ends.

Fold back binding pieces at seams and press.

Turn over to the back of the mask and fold in raw edges of trim/binding pieces and press.

Repeat on the other side.

Topstitch the side binding 1/8” catching folded edge of binding fabric in back.

pleated face mask pattern and tutorial

Using a bodkin, bobby pin, or safety pin, thread knit ties or elastic through binding on sides.

pleated face mask pattern with filter pocket and pipe cleaners

Watch our video tutorial at 5 Minutes for Mom to learn how to make stretchy knit fabric ties.

Knot 7”-10” ties or elastic to fit snugly around ears or use one 25” tie or elastic to go around head.

The pocket for an optional, removable filter, for additional filtration, is at the bottom inside of the mask.

pleated face mask pattern with filter pocket and pipe cleaners

You can make a DIY filter from a coffee filter. Cut an oval slightly smaller than mask, about 6.5” x 4.5” and insert in the pocket.

(Don’t forget to remove disposable filter before washing mask.)

pleated face mask pattern with filter pocket and pipe cleaners

To create a snug fit around bottom of chin, you can fold small pleats at bottom of mask.

The reinforced pipe cleaner at the top helps the mask to fit snugly around the nose and cheeks.

Topstitch the side binding 1/8” catching folded edge of binding fabric in back.

Using a bodkin, bobby pin, or safety pin, thread knit ties or elastic through binding on sides.

Watch our video tutorial at 5 Minutes for Mom to learn how to make stretchy knit fabric ties.

Knot 7”-10” ties or elastic to fit snugly around ears or use one 25” tie or elastic to go around head.

The pocket for an optional, removable filter, for additional filtration, is at the bottom inside of the mask.

You can make a DIY filter from a coffee filter. Cut an oval slightly smaller than mask, about 6.5” x 4.5” and insert in the pocket.

(Don’t forget to remove disposable filter before washing mask.)

To create a snug fit around bottom of chin, you can fold small pleats at bottom of mask.

The reinforced pipe cleaner at the top helps the mask to fit snugly around the nose and cheeks.

More DIY Face Mask Tutorials

If you want a pleated face mask without a filter pocket, you can use our original DIY cloth face mask pattern which also includes sizes for adults and children.

If you don’t want to sew, you only need a stapler and a t-shirt to make this No-Sew Face Mask with Pocket for Removable Filter.

Another no-sew face mask option is a bandana mask. In just a couple minutes, you can fold up a piece of fabric into a simple homemade mask.

Also see how to make fabric ties for face masks from old t-shirts or leggings. These face mask straps are the most comfortable and super easy to make.

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