DIY Fabric Face Mask Supplies

Many homesewers will likely have some of the obvious materials on hand. However, if they do, it won’t be a lot. Here are some of essential supplies and non-traditional substitutes. Check your closets, desks, drawers for any substitutes possible. Or check out Amazon Sewing for the standard tools.

A sewing machine + tools/notions is really all that’s required. A travel sewing kit might do the trick if you only need makeshift tools. They usually come with needles, pins, small sharp scissors, and thread. A cheapo holly hobby sewing machine is also an option. There are many great ones for $99 and under! This cute little Brother machine is $87. (Update: The $99 and under machines sold out between the time I wrote this post to when I posted it today.)

10 Required Tools (for Fabric Masks):

  1. Sewing Machine (can get by with needle + thread)
  2. Fabric Scissors (or the sharpest scissors you have)
  3. Regular Scissors
  4. Sewing Pins (or paper clips)
  5. Tailor’s Chalk (Or any kind of fabric marking implement)
  6. Iron
  7. Ironing Board (Or makeshift heat-safe surface. e.g. A flat surface with cotton towels)
  8. Looseleaf, Printer, Tissue, or Parchment Paper (to draw your template)
  9. Pen, Pencil, or Marker
  10. Ruler, Tape Measure

Standard Supplies

  • Thread
  • Cotton Fabric (Quilting Cotton is ideal)
  • Muslin (For lining)
  • Elastic Cord or Straps (2mm or thicker)
  • Cotton Batting (For padding and filtering)

Things to Reclaim or Repurpose

  • Swimsuits, Camisoles, Bras (For stretchy material, straps)
  • Bra Inserts (For padding and filtering)
  • T-Shirts, Heavyweight (For padding and filtering)
  • Boxer Shorts (For mask linings)
  • Dust Bags for Shoes (For fabric material, filtering)
  • Bedsheets, Pillowcases (For fabric material and/or mask linings)
  • Denim Jeans (For fabric, ideally lightweight summer or stretchy)
  • Elastic Hairties (or even the elastic inside a scrunchie)
  • Anything you can reclaim elastic or fabric from

Recommended Brands and Supplies

  • Clover Sewing Notions (From seam rippers to chalk to elastic. When in doubt, go with these.)
  • Polyester Cotton Thread in Gutermann, Coats and Clark, or Mettler Brand (must be on a spool suitable for fitting onto a standard sewing machine, poly cotton blend is the most versatile and durable.)
  • Cotton or Cotton Blend Fabric (Quilting Cotton is ideal and make sure to choose fabric by the yard)
  • Other Materials, Reclaimed (the ideal ones are soft woven non-stretch like boxer short material, button down shirt, bedsheet, pillowcase material or knit materials that are stretchy like camisole, swimsuit material)
  • See also this link for other recommendations on the best materials for face masks.

Where To Buy

Get Started with Sewing
Why not take this as an opportunity to begin learning Sewing? See my below resources to get started!

*Swimsuit material and knit fabrics like t-shirt fabric (stretchy materials) can be difficult to work with without the proper machine (a serger) to seal edges from fraying and sew without pinching. However, it can be done with a standard sewing machine for simple basic projects like this. Just use the iron to keep fabric neat and flat and use sewing pins to keep the fabrics together.