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How to Make a Face Mask by Hand

Stories – April 2020

We know at a precarious time like this, not everyone has the ability to purchase protective ware. We wanted to share our pattern and make the ability to protect yourself and others accessible. KhuyΓͺn, our studio director, shows you how to make a non-medical mask using commonly found fabric in your home, without the need of a sewing machine.

This tutorial uses Kaarem techniques, but feel free to improvise. Also, use what you have and most importantly have fun.

Happy making!

Project Time

Project time: ~ 1 hour

What you'll need


1. Paper + printer
2. Ruler
3. Pencil
4. Scissors
5. Iron
6. Ironing Board
7. Thread
8. Needle
9. Pins
10. Two types of fabric (preferably a stretchy & a non-stretchy)

Download and print out the pattern on A4 or US letter size at 100% scale.

A4 Paper
US Letter Paper

Here's the tutorial:


Open the pattern file and print it out on the corresponding A4 or US Letter paper size at full scale and then cut the pattern out.


Fold your stretchy fabric in half and place the outer pattern on top, cut along the edges- once complete you'll have two pieces.

Helpful tip, use pins to keep the pieces together!


Repeat the previous step using the non-stretch fabric and the inner pattern.

Some non-stretch fabric suggestions: an old bed sheet or pillow case, a dress shirt that is meant to go to donation, anything really!


Pencil the darts.

Make two small cuts at the top of the darts through the two layers of fabric.

Fold back the pattern to reveal the fabric, using pencil lightly mark the bottom of the dart on both pieces.


Let's stitch!

One piece at a time, fold the fabric over so that the little incisions you made are aligned. Now begin to stitch along the dart, working your way up from the bottom mark.

Finish the stitch line. Once you've reached the end, flip the fabric over to do a few back stitches to ensure everything stays in place. Repeat on all four pieces.


Along the curved edges on both the inner and outer pieces, mark the center stitching lines (1cm) using pencil.


Stitch the two inner and two outer pieces.

Taking the two inner pieces (the non-stretch fabric), place them outside facing in, secure into place with a pin and begin to stitch along the center seam.

Repeat with the two outer pieces (the stretchy fabric).


Make the marks.

Following the pattern, on the outer layer using pencil mark from the straight edge in 3cm.

Repeat the previous step with the inner layer, this instead is 0.5cm in from the straight edge.

On the inside of your inner piece, now mark the top and bottom stitching line, 1cm in from the edge.

On the outer layer, horizontally across the darts mark 1cm in from the edge, from there trim away the excess material.


Pin, sew and trim.

PIN IT. Place your outer and inner layer together, line up the pencil guide lines you made in Step 8 and pin the pieces together.

SEW IT. With your pieces pinned together, stitch along the top and bottom edges.

Continue sewing.

TRIM IT. On the top and bottom of the mask, make two inward guide cuts, then trim along the the edges, leaving about 0.25cm outward from the stich line.


Flip inside out and iron.

Now that everything is sewn together, flip it inside out!

With the outer layer, fold the top and bottom edges inwards, mark at 1cm and stitch along those lines.

Iron everything : )


Time to create space for the ear loops to sit in. Fold the outer edges inwards; you'll be folding it over twice, once to create a clean edge and once more to create the space. The first fold is at 1cm in and the second fold is at 2cm in. Iron the folds flat with paper to create clean edge.

Stitch along the inward edge to secure it into place.


Using the same stretchy fabric as the outer layer, cut 2: 1cm wide x 21cm long strips. These will be your ear loops

Or if you have some sort of string lying around the house, such as shoelaces, even better! Now thread it through those spaces you've created.

Hold the ends of the ear loop together and stitch together.

Once secure you can shift those ends and conceal them in the ear loop spaces.


Stay safe everyone! 😷

Donate a bundle of masks

If you would like to help us donate even more to healthcare workers, you can purchase a bundle of masks. It would directly support our efforts to donate non-medical masks that will be sent to healthcare workers through the Masks for Heroes program.

Buy a mask

Your purchase will help us to continue to run our production studio in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.