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How to Make a Surgical Face Mask

Make a Surgical Face Mask

Do you know how to make a surgical face mask? Well, this tutorial will guide you in making one for yourself. Putting on a face mask reduces the possibility of getting COVID-19 and even helps stop the spread of this virus. However, the tough economic times, buying disposal surgical masks might be on top of our shopping list.

Many are striving to make ends meet, and it’s quite a struggle. Luckily, this guide will help you protect your loved ones. You’ll learn simpler and inexpensive ways to make a surgical face mask.

Besides saving money, you’ll protect your family or household from getting this disease. Also, most of the materials you need are readily available in your home, therefore, there’s less purchase of supplies. Without further ado, let’s begin:


  • Tape measures or a ruler
  • Hair ties or rubber bands
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Clean fabric
  • Clips or pins
  • Sewing machine
  • sewing thread

Cut Measurements

Take your fabric and lay it flat on the surface. Then cut out a rectangular piece with the dimensions:

Adult Size

  • Fabric – 15.5 by 8.5 inches
  • Elastic – 7 inches (2 pieces)
  • Earloops – 27

Child Size

  • Fabric – 13.5 by 6.5 inches
  • Elastic – 6 inches (2 pieces)
  • Earloops – 26

1st Step: Sew the Top and Create a Pocket

Fold your fabric from the long side at the center. And the right sides must face each other during folding. Along the 8.5 inches width, sew the fabric. 3’8” seam allowance will do.

Meanwhile, leave a pocket with 3 inches of opening for the filter. After sewing, now you can bring out the right side.

In this image, the opening is where the pins are. Note: Even if you don’t need the filter, you’ll still have to create this pocket. It will help with turning the mask’s right side out. After attaching the elastics, you can close the pocket opening by sewing.

2nd Step: Pin Elastic

Pin the elastic at the corner of the fabrics. Also, ensure the elastic runs between the fabric layers before sewing along the side to secure it in place.

3rd Step: Creating the Folds

With the mask’s right side out, you can fold the fabric three times. Ensure the folds are evenly spaced. Now pin each pleat to secure it. And thereafter, sew across the pleats from the top of the fabric to the bottom. This should hold them in place. For reference, you can make 1/2inch pleats. Most importantly, arrange the pleats to face the same direction.

4th Step: Complete Surgical Mask

By the time you finish with the folds, your mask should be around 3.7 inches in height. And when wearing the mask, ensure the pleats are facing downward. It will prevent the collection of particles in the folds pockets.

Troubleshooting Pattern Troubles

It’s hard to find elastic

Well, one of the common challenges in making a face mask is finding the right elastic. And if you’re in a similar situation, you’re not the first. Luckily, there’s an alternative means to wear a face mask without elastic.

In this case, you should make fabric ties. Therefore instead of using the elastic loops around your ears, you can tie the fabric straps. They’re easy to make and they don’t cost you anything. From the remaining piece of fabric you used on your fabric, you can cut and make the fabric ties.

How to make the straps:

Cut a long strip of fabric. While the length is a matter of preference, the width should be about 1.75”. After cutting the strip, fold it in half. The width in this case should be half after folding. Thereafter, fold it one more time and then stitch it.

Double folding turns the rough edges smooth so that it feels comfortable around your ears. When using the fabric ties, you’ll need four pieces of the same length and width. And then stitch one stripper corner. When wearing the mask, you’ll fasten the straps at the back of your head.

Do you need a filter?

It’s worth noting that homemade surgical masks are not as effective as N95 masks. However, they offer some level of protection. While including the filters is optional, they can help with improving the effectiveness of your mask. Oftentimes, HEPA filters are recommended. However, due to their small pores, you may have difficulties breathing. If you’re making one for hospital use, you can consult with the hospital on the best filter to use.

Do you need the support metal for your nose?

Including this metal in your masks is a matter of personal choice. However, it can help you maintain the mask above your nose throughout. Luckily, you can leverage any metal for this purpose. Just make sure it’s light and flexible. To include it in your mask, fix it at the top midsection of your mask before closing the pockets.

Disclaimer: The above technique on how to make a surgical face mask is strictly educational. Therefore, whatever you decide to do with the masks you make, it’s up to you.

Getting Started

Creating surgical facemasks provides an effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19 in your household. It’s also, a means to exercise your creativity since it’s a hands-on project. And if you can pull it off, you’ll save a significant amount of cash. That means gone are the days of buying disposal surgical masks that can be very costly.

However, it takes more than just wearing face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your home. Personal hygiene and deep cleaning of the entire house are vital. But while finding time for creating masks might have been easier, house cleaning is more demanding. As such, you may need several days if you’re working on it individually.

Thus, when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting your house, let Equinox Cleaning help you. They’ll help make your New Jersey home COVID-free as focus on creating DIY surgical face masks.


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