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 want to Thank you for the printable mask I want to made the mask for my granddaughter

  2. I was able to print them out. I just printed this page – selecting what sections to print.

  3. Thank you for such an easy tutorial to making a mask. However, mine has gaps under the chin and from my understanding it is suppose to fit snug in order for it to work. Any suggestions, please? For a child (older child), what size would you cut the material? Thank you so mcuh.

  4. Finally I find something simple with filter pocket. Thank you so much!! I am a bit confused though. Is the pocket in the middle or at the top? I am asking as one of the steps towards the end is to sew all way around the mask – does this close up the filter pocket if its at the top or bottom? If so, how do you remove the filter to wash the mask and or change the filter out? Thank you

  5. Is there a printable version of the pocket mask? My computer and sewing machine are in different rooms. Thanks.

  6. Do you have printable instructions for the filtered mask? I was able to print the directions for the mask without a filter.

  7. Alexis, I am not sure.I think it is just a small piece and it is covered with ends folded back that I think it would be okay. So interested to hear if anyone knows.

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