Stay Safe and Sew a Face Mask

During stressful times, we often turn to crafts to fulfill our need to do *something* instead of doing nothing (or watching yet another episode of The Big Family Cooking Showdown on Netflix). Since we know that disposable face masks are on back-order everywhere, a washable fabric mask is a good choice for those of us on the #socialdistancing and #selfisolation trains.

In fact, Michael Garron Hospital (in the east end of Toronto) has issued a challenge to all east end sewists to collectively make 1,000 masks a week. They want to see all east-enders wearing a fabric mask when they need to be within six feet of other people, especially vulnerable populations and the elderly.

So… let’s all stay safe, and sew a face mask!


What you need:

  • Cotton fabric, an eye-catching print is good, but whatever you have works
  • 2 pieces of 1/8” flat elastic, 7” long
  • thread in complementing or contrasting colour
  • a sewing machine, unless you have the most outstanding hand sewing skills and a lot of time on your hands

How to:

  1. Put the right sides of the cotton fabric together and cut two rectangles. Cut two 9”x6” for an adult-sized mask or 7.5” x 5” for a child-sized mask.
  2. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner and then stop. Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner. A few stitches forward and back will hold this.
  3. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back.
  4. Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner. Again put an elastic with the edge out.
  5. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic.
  6. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open. Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.
  7. Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask. Make sure the tucks are the same direction
  8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice.
  9. Put it on your favourite human and smile – you’ve done something to help them stay safe!

Remember : change your mask often, refrain from touching it or manipulating it when you’re out and about and wash it between uses. A mask is only as clean as the person wearing it – no matter how stylish it might be!

From our home-workspace to yours, in this time when we’re all trying to figure out what to do with ourselves and our families to stay occupied and engaged, we hope you’ll find creativity and value in this Face Mask activity. Post your finished products on Instagram and tag us (@exploreitallinc) so we can enjoy with you!

Stay safe and stay healthy — we hope to see you all again in programs very, very soon.