Cotton Mask Instructions

Post Date : April 17, 2020

Thomas Ferguson, Network Operations Lead, Kirtland Air Force Base

Thomas leads our network operations team at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This week one of his teammates recognized his ingenuity and dedication to his fellow mission essential teammates, stating:

“Thomas and his wife have been sewing face masks for our staff! I think this is absolutely amazing and the C4 employees greatly appreciate his efforts! Go Thomas!!”

Below are Thomas’ step-by-step instructions for making cotton masks.













1. Take the pattern and trace around it on your material of choice. The CDC is recommending the use of 2 layers of 100% cotton. You will need to double up you material allowing you to cut 2 pieces at once. T-shirts work really well for this. If you are using a patterned material make sure that the finished sides are facing each other. (A cut-out for an adult mask can be found at the bottom of the post.)

2. Cut out the pieces that were traced onto your material. Make sure you leave both pieces together to avoid having to line them up again during sewing. If you are using a patterned material make sure that the finished sides are facing each other. Each mask takes a total of 4 pieces.

3. Sew the 2 pieces of material together ¼” from the front edge.

4. Cut from the outside edge up to your sew line from step 3. Be sure not to cut far enough as to cut your threads in the sew line. Repeat this process every ¼” for the length of the front edge.

5. This is the most difficult step of the process. The front edge must now be folded to one side, then sewn down to provide strength and prevent the seam from causing the mask to deform.

6. With your 2 working pieces, match them together with the finished sides facing each other. These faces are going to be the outside of the mask that is visible.

7. For best results it is recommended to pin them together in order to ensure they do not become misaligned while handling them.

8. Sew the top and bottom edges of the mask together. Take extra care when going over the middle pieces as the thicker areas of the mask can be hard for some sewing machines to sew through.

9. With the top and bottom sewn, turn the piece inside out so that the finished sides are now facing outward.

10. Sew the top and bottom of the mask again. Take care when sewing as this stitch is visible on the finished mask. It is recommended to iron the mask in order to make sewing easier.

11. On the ends of the mask, you must make an area for the tie strap to go through.  Do this by folding the end over twice.

12. Sew the folded ends down staying closer to the inside of the mask. This will allow the mask to be threaded with ties more easily.

13. This completes the mask making process. Now all you have to do is find tie material and thread it into your mask.

These directions show a mask sized for a child, but of course can be scaled for an adult.