Join us today to make your very own Bandana Face Mask. The CDC recommends that we wear cloth face coverings in public. This trend is not going away anytime soon, so we thought we’d get on board and create our very own easy and fun Bandana Face Mask. It’s both practical and fashionable!
In the following tutorial, we are going to provide all the supplies and steps to make your very own mask! This is an easy and fun project that’s also pretty darn cute, too.
The thing that I love about making a Bandana Face Mask is that it’s so accessible. Bandanas are very inexpensive and often people already have them on hand. The bandanas that I used for the masks I already had at home. I had bought them from Party City a number of years ago.
Also, as a disclaimer, this is not a medical-grade surgical or N95 mask. However, the CDC does recommend everyone to wear cloth face coverings in public settings. Go here If you want to view the CDC’s guideline on cloth masks. For additional information on how the CDC instructs to properly wear cloth face coverings go here.
The mask should fit snugly and cover your mouth and nose but should not restrict your breathing in any way. The CDC does not recommend that anyone children under 2 years of age wear masks or anyone that has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
So let’s get started with making our masks. Also, below is a video tutorial as well.
Bandana Face Mask Supplies
- Two pieces of elastic each cut to roughly 9”
- Sewing machine (not pictured) or thread and needle
- Tape measure or ruler (not pictured)
- Long pointy object like pencil or knitting needle
Note: I used a sewing machine for my project. This project can still easily be done by sewing by hand or using a needle and thread.
Also, I used a regular disposal mask as a guideline for the size of the mask. Our mask is slightly longer but similar in size to this standard-sized mask.
Steps for Bandana Face Mask
Step 1 – Lay out Bandana and Iron
The first step is to lay out the bandana and iron it. This will give you a wrinkle-free bandana to start with. When sewing ironing can be a very helpful step to make clean folds, etc.
Step 2 – Fold the Bandana in Half
Now take your bandana and fold it in half. Normally it’s a square shape so you can fold it either way in half. Now that that bandana is folded in half, iron it again to create a clean crease in the middle.
Step 3 – Unfold the Bandana and cut it down the middle
Now unfold the bandana again. There should be a clear crease created by folding and ironing it. Cut carefully along that crease to make two different pieces.
If you wanted to keep the bandana intact and not cut it, I supposed you could just keep it folded and follow the next steps accordingly. I chose not to because the folded layers of the end product would make it harder to sew with all of the layers but it is possible if you prefer that.
Plus by cutting it in half you can make two masks out of one bandana. Yippie! You can make a mask for you and a friend. 🙂
Step 4 – Create 3″ Folds on Top and Bottom
Lay Out the Half Piece of Bandana and fold the top and the bottom seam inward approximately 3 inches toward the center.
Step 5 – Fold in Half
Take the bottom part with the seam (with the in 3 “ border) and fold it upward to be even with the top side (both 3” borders should now be on the inside facing eachother). You can iron the top part of the bandana where the two sides meet to make it flat but don’t iron the bottom part.
Step 6 – Cinch Pleats on the Top Layer of Material & Iron
Now start to cinch the top layer of material into 4-5 small pleats doing one at a time. Make sure to only grab the very top layer of fabric (and not the 3″ flap that you folded inward or any other layers of fabric). As you cinch one layer keep it held down by the edge of your hands if possible to not lose the placement. You can also use clips if you have them but I just held them down with my hands/wrists as I continued to cinch the pleats. Do this until you have the desired size of the mask and front and back sides are the same length (with the pleating incorporated on the front side).
There should be a pocket that is created in the middle of the two sides of the mask. This has been purposely created so you can put extra material and/or filters inside.
I know sometimes that it’s hard to describe only in written words how to some of the instructions. If it helps, you can watch our video tutorial as well for DIY Face Mask with Bandana.
Bandana Face Mask Video Tutorial
Take your iron and press it over the bandana in order to secure the pleats.
Step 8 – Fold back the left and right ends
Now it’s time to fold back the left and right ends of the mask. They should be folded towards the back so only the pleats show in the front. About 1 ¼ to 1 inch per side is needed. You don’t want to make these flaps too small because you are going to need to sew the seam far enough out from the edge of the mask to leave room to run the elastic strip through it.
Then press again with the iron to keep the flaps and all the layers flat. This makes it much easier to sew.
Step 9 – Time to sew the Bandana Face Mask
It’s showtime! The time has come to sew the mask. Thankfully it’s just a very easy straight stitch on both sides.
Place the mask under the sewing needle flap facing up. I like to place it on this side so I can easily see where I am sewing in relation to the edge of the flap. You need to keep enough distance between the edge of the folded mask and where you sew the seam in order to give enough room to be able to pull the elastic through. I kept about a little shy of ½ an inch.
Just do an easy straight stich along each flap. You could also do a slight back stitch on the top and bottom of each side as well to secure it further if you wish.
If you don’t have a sewing machine available it’s absolutely possible to sew the mask by hand. As indicated above you would just have to carefully sew a straight stitch by hand about ½ inch (or slightly less) from the edge of the mask.
Step 10 – Pull Through the Elastic Strips
Now it’s time to pull through the two elastic strips. In order to pull them through I took the 9-inch elastic strip I taped the strip to a knitting needle (you could also use a pencil or other long, pointy object) and pushed it through to the other side. Then once the knitting needle and elastic strip appeared through the other side then I removed the tape (holding the elastic strip so it wouldn’t recoil) and take out the knitting needle (or whatever tool you are using). I then tied each end of the elastic strip together. You can adjust them accordingly to the size you need. Do this for each side of the mask.
Also, you may need to adjust the size of the elastic bands to fit your head properly. I suggest 9 in” elastic strips because you have to pull it through the edge of the seam. You may need to adjust the knot of the elastic strip more tightly so that the mask is snug to your face but you still can breathe normally.
Then if you don’t want the elastic knots to show you can turn the elastic through the looped seam and tuck it into the seam. You can use the knitting needle or pencil to help do this, too.
And voila, now your mask is complete!
If you wish you can put filters in the pocket of the mask. I have read that you can use clean coffee filters for this or additional pieces of material.
Also, the benefit of making a cloth mask is being able to wash it. It is suggested that you wash your mask often. For more CDC guidelines on how to wash your face mask go here You may also need to iron it as well to help it keep its shape.
Tell us how you like this tutorial and share pics of you wearing your DIY Bandana Face Mask.