At the library: Learning to sew a mask

Going back to school is exciting but scary at the same time. Everyone has their own opinion on what has been happening to our world recently, and even high schoolers are taking sides. At our school, we have to wear a mask at all times, unless our teachers give us a “mask break” or we are eating lunch. Since we have to wear masks at school, I have been taking up a new hobby and now make masks for everyone in my family and for some of my friends.

The process to make a mask is actually not very complicated. You can buy “fat quarters” of patterned fabric or plain fabric at Walmart, or you can buy the same amount at our quilting shop located on the square in Washington. I personally use a sewing machine because it is a lot faster, but if you don’t have one, you can do it by hand and it will work just as well! The only other things that you would need would be extra pieces of fabric for strings, or you can use quarter-inch knitted elastic that you can sew into loops. Elastic has been hard to come by recently, so if you can get your hands on it, that is great. You can also use crafting wire to make a nose wire. I just use hot glue on the ends of the wire so the sharp ends don’t poke out.

First, I use a mask template that I found online and then printed out. You can find one similar to mine by searching, “mask template” on Google. The one I use has 3 sizes on one template, which helps you if you are making masks for kids or adults. This is the template that I use for the patterned fabric. For the fabric inside of the mask, I cut it about ¼ inch smaller than the patterned fabric. My masks are 3 layers, so I make two layers of the inside fabric. After I have everything cut, I start sewing. I sew the patterned fabric with the pattern-side in and then fold it right-side out. Then I sew together the inside fabric. After this, I pin the patterned fabric to the inside fabric and place my nose wire inside. I then sew around the nose wire so it doesn’t fall out. Now that the wire is inside, I sew around the edges of the mask, leaving about 1 inch unsewn so I can have room for the elastic. I then place my elastic loops inside of the mask and fold over the 1 inch left over. After sewing in the elastic, the mask is done!

If you would be interested in learning how to sew, we have many books about sewing at the library! Give us a call or search on our online catalog at