We are probably all aware that there is a huge shortage of face masks right now given our current crisis. Although hospital grade face masks are ideal, some hospitals and organizations are accepting handmade face masks as the next best thing. Not only do hospitals need face masks, but other important workers like grocery store clerks, maintenance workers, custodians, childcare workers, and the list goes on. Since there is a huge shortage of elastic, this tutorial for how to sew a face mask without elastic or ties is a great one to refer to. I also posted a tutorial for how to sew a mask for KIDS using ponytail holders and another tutorial for how to sew a mask with a filter pocket!
How to sew a face mask without elastic or ties? Cut 2 rectangles the size that you need for your mask. Cut the elastic headband into two pieces to the length that you need. Put the fabric, right sides together. and sandwich the elastic along the shorter edges. Sew around the rectangle, leaving a 2 inch opening along one of the long sides. Turn the mask right side out and stitch together the opening. Make 2 pleats along the shorter ends of the mask. Now, make two very small pleats along the top and bottom of the mask. Topstitch 2 times around the sides of the mask, and you are finished.
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How To Sew A Face Mask Without Elastic Or Ties
There are a lot of conflicting articles and information out there about DIY face masks. Some hospitals and organizations don’t want the homemade kind and some do. I’m not here to make any statements or give any opinions, I just want to offer a resource on how to sew a face mask without elastic in case you find yourself in a situation where you need one or want to make some to donate.
Since people have starting making face masks over the past week or so, elastic is now currently sold out and very hard to come by. There are tutorials out there on how to make a mask with ties, but these pose a huge problem when washing the face masks. The ties can get all tangled up with each other if you are washing a load of masks. They also can fray and might not hold up as well. If you are looking for a way to make a face mask without elastic or ties, then hopefully this tutorial will save you some trouble! If you want a visual reference for how to sew a mask with ponytail holders, check out this tutorial as well!
What To Use In A DIY Face Mask Instead Of Elastic Or Ties
I’m going to show you how to make a face mask with elastic headbands. You can easily find these at the dollar store, Walmart or Target and I actually think the elastic holds up better than sewing elastic.
You can cut the elastic head bands to the size that you need and use them just as you would elastic. You can also do this method with elastic hair ties. There are so many options out there, don’t be defeated if you can’t find conventional elastic! This method is easy and might even save some money. Even when making your own mask, the elastic can hurt your ears or get stretched out. Try one of these 5 hacks to help your face mask fit properly!
Materials Needed For DIY Face Mask Without Elastic
Here is what you will need to sew a face mask without elastic or ties:
- Fabric – 2 rectangles per mask
- Elastic Headbands or Ponytail Holders
- Sewing Pins
- Rotary Cutter or Scissors
- PDF Printable of Pattern
Instructions For How To Sew A Face Mask Without Elastic
There is a PDF printable of this tutorial along with measurements at the end of this post. But, it’s helpful to see photos of the process too.
1. Cut 2 rectangles the size that you need for your mask
The PDF has all of these measurements, but for a small/medium mask, cut your rectangle to be approximately 7X9, for a large mask – it needs to be 7 X 10.5.
2. Cut the elastic headband into two pieces to the length that you need.
For a small/medium mask, the elastic needs to be about 5.5-6 inches. For a larger mask, make it about 6.5 inches.
3. Put the fabric, right sides together. Sandwich the elastic along the shorter edges.
Don’t put the elastic all the way to the corner, this makes it more difficult to sew later. Make it reach about 1/2 inch from the corner and pin. Bring the other side of the elastic up to the opposite corner and pin. So your elastic should be sandwiched in between the two pieces of fabric. Repeat this step on the other side.
4. Pin the rest of the fabric together.
The elastic is hidden in this photo because it’s in between the two pieces of fabric, on the shorter sides of the rectangle.
5. Sew around the rectangle, leaving a 2 inch opening along one of the long sides.
You can make your seam as big or small as you want. I made mine about 1/2 inch. Go over the elastic a few times with the sewing machine to ensure that the seam is strong enough to hold it.
6. Turn the mask right side out.
Use a pencil or pointed object to poke out the corners.
7. Stitch together the opening.
8. Make 2 pleats along the shorter ends of the mask.
This doesn’t have to be exact, but you want to fold of the fabric and pin to create 2 pleats.
9. Now, make two very small pleats along the top and bottom of the mask
I haven’t seen any other tutorial do this step, but creating the pleats along the top and bottom, allow the mask to fit more snugly around your nose and chin.
10. Topstitch 2 times around the sides of the mask.
You will want to topstitch at least 2 times to make sure the seams are strong.
11. Cut off any remaining threads.
And you are finished! Once you make a few of these, you can start to whip them out in no time at all.
Go grab the free PDF to make one of these masks yourself! And check out my tutorial for how to sew a face mask for kids using ponytail holders and my tutorial for how to sew a mask with a filter pocket when you can’t find elastic! I also have a post on 5 Hacks To Help Your Face Mask Fit Properly!