Make this face mask with a filter pocket pattern with a tiny bit of fabric, elastic and blue shop towels.  The pattern is quick and easy ideal for beginner sewers!

If you don’t need a filter pocket and would like to use a lining fabric try my face mask pattern. Want to gift a mask? These face mask gift tags make it easy.

woman wearing sewn face mask

If you feel adding a filter inside your mask gives added benefit this is the simplest way to do it.  There is a lot of information on what type of filter to add inside.  I decided to use blue shop towels. The beauty of this pattern is you can slip in any filter material you like.

face mask with filter pocket tool box blue shop towels in background

Face Mask with Filter Pocket Supplies

For each adult mask you will need the following,  (affiliate links to my favorite supplies)

  • 9″ x 13″ piece of tightly woven cotton fabric
  • 2 – 7″ pieces of 1/8″ flat elastic for men (6 1/2″ length for women)
  • filter material of your choice (optional)
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • scissors
  • pins
  • wonder clips
  • ruler
  • (optional) rotary cutter and mat (I have the bigger size)
  • iron
rectangle piece of fabric and two pieces of elastic

How to Make a Face Mask with Filter Pocket

It is actually super easy to make a filter mask with this step by step guide.

finished face mask with filter pocket

Fold the fabric in half right sides together. Stitch across the top edge with 1/2 inch seam leaving a 3 inch opening in the middle.

material folded in half stitched at top with three inch opening

Bring seam to center to make it easy to press the seam open. Press seam open.

seam in middle pressed open

Bring the seam to the top. Line the edge of the seam allowance with the top fold. The opening in the seam creates the pocket. Press.

seam along top of fold

Place elastic inside the tube of fabric.

elastic inside fabric before sewing

It is very important that the elastic lay straight (perpendicular) along the fold on each side. I find it easiest to tuck it in there and clip with a wonder clip and remove clip just before sewing.

elastic detail on corner of mask

If you don’t get it lined up it will cause the elastic to catch at a funny angle when turned right side out. You can see my mistake below and it caused the mask to not fit properly.

detail of right and wrong elastic placement

Stitch along both ends with a 1/4 inch seam.

stitching along each edge right sides together

Turn right side out. Press.

mask right side out before pleats

It is not necessary, but you can topstitch along the bottom fold of the pocket opening.  This helps to keep the flap down when placing and removing the filter.  It is a bit tricky to make sure you only stitch the fold, not through any other part of the mask. It doesn’t have to go the whole length of the opening. The top of the fold will be held in place with the final topstitching all the way around the mask.

top stitch detail on filter pocket

Make three pleats on each end. Pin. Just eyeball the placement. Make sure the pleats are facing down on the front side. My ends measure about 3 – 3 1/2 inches after pleating.

pleats on face mask

Stich all the way around the mask 1/4 inch from the edge.

finished face mask with filter pocket

Stitch again along each end over the pleats 1/8th inch from the edge.

detail of top stitching

Filter Mask

Of course, this mask works great without placing a filter inside, but here is how you add a filter.

Cut one sheet of blue shop towels into four pieces. Slip two pieces of towel inside the mask through the pocket opening.

back of face mask with filter pocket blue shop towels in background

Blue Shop Towels

Suay Sew Shop found the ideal material turned out to be stretchy blue shop towels made from a polyester hydro knit.

Inserting two of these towels into an ordinary cotton mask brought filtration up to 93% of particles as small as 0.3 microns, the smallest their machine could test. Meanwhile, the cotton masks filtered 60% of particles at best in their tests, Schempf said.

Polyester hydro knit towels are readily available at hardware and automotive stores. The two brands they tested were ToolBox’s shop towel and ZEP’s industrial blue towel. Interestingly, Scott’s pro shop towels, which are also made with a hydro knit fabric, didn’t work as well, Schempf said —– Business Insider

DIY Face Mask (No Filter)

If you are looking for more information on sewn face masks my first pattern has a few more details about making masks. I also share measurements for a child’s mask.

DIY Face Mask made of cotton floral fabric and elastic
DIY Surgical Mask
three fabric face masks
Soft and Comfortable DIY Face Mask

My Favorite Sewing Tools

I would love to keep you fully stocked with creative ideas, yummy recipes, fun crafts, and loads of free printables. Subscribe to Skip to my Lou to get new ideas delivered to your inbox. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for all my latest updates.

I would love to keep you fully stocked with creative ideas, yummy recipes, fun crafts, and loads of free printables. Subscribe to Skip to my Lou to get new ideas delivered to your inbox. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for all my latest updates.

About Cindy Hopper

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  1. I wore this face mask more comfortable than ever before other masks, maybe it’s the best decision.

  2. Cut it 9 X 13 that will allow for the seams. Let me know if you have any questions.

  3. Do you cut fabric at exactly at 9 and 13 or a bit more to allow for seam allowance.

  4. I cut a pipe cleaner in half, then use my jewelry tools to cut the pipe cleaner, fold the piece and fold back the sharp edges. I make a pocket with scrap fabric and I use pinking shears to make sure it doesn’t unravel. This has worked well for 30+ masks.

  5. Nickster, the blue shop towels causes the pleats to expand as the shop towels lay flat inside. The picture of me wearing the mask is with the shop towels inserted. You don’t have to add the towels, the mask can be worn without them.

  6. Yes, Liz, take a piece of pipe cleaner (bend the ends in so there isn’t a sharp edge) Please it inside at the top folded edge. when you stitch around the mask keep it pressed in that top fold careful not to hit it with your needle. The stitching will hold it into place.

  7. Thank you for sharing this easy pattern. However is there a way you can add
    the nose guard? Thank you!

  8. Such a great tutorial! The instructions were super easy to follow and it turned out great. Thanks!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern. It is so needed right now by everyone. I’m going to share this with a friend who was asking me the other day for it.

  10. As the pocket mask has pleats, how does paper filter fit when the pleats “expand” when the mask is worn?

  11. Annette, that is where the opening is in the middle of the seam that was pressed open at the top. Let me know if that helps explain it better.

  12. Does the mask with the filter pocket, have the pocket at the top of the mask? Some masks I believe, leave the opening for the pocket, in the back, in the middle, after you’ve pressed the seam down as you’ve shown in the beginning.

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