The Basic, Safety-Pinned Mask

This mask can be made from materials you already have in your house.
Draft the pattern as shown.
Draft the pattern as shown.

View a two-minute video showing how to make this mask.

This mask takes, at most, 5 minutes to make.
It can be made from items already in house.


  1. One piece of fabric, 15 inches by 8 inches, cut from 100% cotton. The mask can be cut from discarded clothing.
  2. Two shoe laces; 2 pieces of ribbon, or string, each 1 yard long for tying.
  3. Six safety pins

100% cotton fabric is preferred. If cutting from discarded clothing, check the label to determine the fiber content. One should be able to breath through two layers of the fabric.

The mask even has a pocket for a filter.

How to make the mask:

  1. Cut a 15 inches by 8 inches rectangle from the fabric. If a pattern is desired, download the first and second halves of the pattern. Tape the two halves of the pattern together, then cut the rectangle from the pattern.
  2. As shown in the diagram below, fold the long edges of the fabric in approximately 1/2 inch.
  3. Fold the bottom edge of the fabric up 1/2 inch.
  4. Fold the top edge of the fabric down 34 inch, then down another 1 1/2 inch.
  5. Fold the bottom of the mask up so it touches the fold that is 1 1/2 inch below the top of the mask.

Fold the Mask

Fold the cut mask as shown.

Add the Safety Pins

Pin the mask together as shown.
  1. Turn the mask over.
  2. Safety pin each side as shown.
  3. Be sure to pin the top safety pin through the underlying folds.
  4. Thread a shoe lace, string, or ribbon through the safety pins as shown.

If desired, add a nose grip

  1. Use a 6 inch pipe cleaner.
  2. Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner so it won’t scratch the nose.
  3. Hand sew as shown in the diagram, leaving one end open.
  4. Insert the pipe cleaner.
  5. Sew the open end closed.
  6. The mask is finished.
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© Laurel Hoffmann, 2020.

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