I always get a lot of questions when I post about making masks and I’ve gone through several variations since I started making them this spring. I thought I’d put some details here so I can refer people to this post rather than repeating myself in emails!

I’m using templates that were designed by my sister and a friend of hers and are available for sale. I ordered a set for here and at home. Face Masks templates. You can also search online for free patterns that use a similar design but I like the ease of having the templates and I adapt the size by adding or subtracting a little. For example for the kids masks, I use the smaller of the two templates and cut it 1/4 inch smaller all the way around and for Keith’s masks, I ended up making them a little larger than the template.

I started making these using ties cut from old t-shirts which work really well. Cut off the hem of the shirt and cut 1 inch strips from the bottom of the t-shirt, cut the loop and pull on the two ends and it curls up to just the right size. I feed mine through both casings and have it tie at my neck. T-shirts without side seams work best.

Even though these are very easy to wear and tie, Keith kept wanted something easier like the disposable masks so when elastic became more available again, I decided to try that for him. I buy a “cord” like, 1/8 inch elastic from Amazon which I like better than a flat elastic although it’s probably a little harder to sew the ends together. Click here to see the Elastic from Amazon. I use about 20 inches of elastic for me, 22 inches for Keith, and about 18 inches for the kids but you can make one and adjust it to the size that fits you best. Also, these ties go around your head, not loop around your ears so I find them more comfortable. You have a casing on both sides of the mask so you could always try making ear loops if you prefer that but I like them going around the head.

Using a safety pin, I thread a piece of the elastic up one side and loop it around and down the other side, overlap the edges and pin, making sure not to twist the elastic, and I sew back and forth in 2 or 3 places. .

I then move that join to the side and hide it in one of the casings so it’s not seen.

I wear the masks with both the t-shirt and elastic ties and find they fit well and are comfortable for me.


  1. Thank you! This was very helpful! Does this pattern help keep glasses from fogging up? I’m still using the basic pattern that you showed way back at the beginning of this pandemic. It’s basic and easy to make, but if this will help with the fogging concern, I might give it a try. Thanks again for your detailed instructions.

  2. Reverse the last few steps and you can eliminate having to thread the elastic through the casing. Make the band of elastic first, then sew the casing with the elastic inside.

    First, sew the ends of the elastic together, making a circle or band of the elastic.

    Next, place the band down on one end/side of the mask, and fold the end/side of the mask over, encasing the elastic inside.

    Stitch the casing down, as you normally would, except this time the elastic’s already inside.

    Repeat on the other side.

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