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In light of the current shortage of face masks, health care facilities all across the country have been asking volunteers to sew face masks for their staff to use.

According to Dartmouth, these masks are being held onto for use in crisis response situations when other supplies have been exhausted.

How to make face masks, sewing face masks pattern.

Contact your local health care facility to see if they are in need of masks, and get busy!

The directions for how to make face masks come from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH. This will outline the sewing face mask pattern for you to follow per their specifications.


  • Front: 100% unused cotton fabric – no metallic fabrics
  • Back: 100% unused cotton or cotton flannel
  • Attachment: 1/8”, 1/4”, or 3/8” flat elastic (white is preferred, black is OK) OR Four 15” x 1/4” inch bias-tape style ties (no raw edges, white/light preferred, black/dark OK)

How to Make a Face Mask

Here are video instructions for visualization of making the face masks.

We strongly recommend watching this very helpful video. Find the written instructions below.


Note: The instructions list three sizes: Small, Medium, and Large.

Dartmouth recommends making primarily Small and Medium sized masks.

If possible, a few Large masks would be helpful as well.

See instructions for cutting sizes.

Watch the video here.

Cutting Fabric

Cut two rectangles of fabric, one for the inside, one for the outside.

  • Small: 7.5 x 5 inches
  • Medium: 9 x 6 inches
  • Large: 10 x 7 inches

Cut Elastic or Ties

  • All ties can be ¼” x 15”. You will need 4 for each mask (one for each corner).
  • Elastic should be cut as follows. You will need 2 pieces for each mask.
    • Small: 6.5 inches
    • Medium: 7 inches
    • Large: 7.5 inches

Sewing Face Masks

  • Put right sides of cotton mask fabric together.
  • Starting at the center of bottom (long) edge, sew to the first corner, stop. Sew a piece of elastic or a fabric tie into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this.
  • Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of that same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back. If you are using fabric ties, add a new tie.
  • Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again put a 7” length of elastic in the corner (or a new tie)
  • Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic (or a new tie).
  • Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread.
  • Turn mask right-side out.
  • Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are in the same direction. There must be 3 tucks to ensure a tight fit on the face.
  • Sew around the edge of the mask twice.

That is how you make face masks from this sewing face masks pattern.

Feel free to leave a comment if you’re sewing masks for your local providers!

Please reference the Dartmouth-Hitchcock website for detailed information and FAQs.

Other Sewing Projects

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