Sew For A Cause: How To Make An N95 Mask Cover

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If you are able to sew for a cause, there are still many requests for people to make an N95 mask cover.

This request isn’t new. Mask covers are something that have been requested from the start. It is a way to extend the life of the N95 mask.

As I was making masks to donate, though, a fabric face mask with pleats was an acceptable option. Since this style would work for both clinicians and other essential workers, I didn’t make any shaped specifically for N95 masks.

I recently had a request for N95 mask covers, however, so I felt that now is a good time to provide instructions for that option too.

These masks are really easy to make as long as you have 100% cotton fabric and 1/4″ elastic in your stash. If you batch together all of the cutting and then all of the sewing, it will go even faster.

After sewing a lot of face masks without pleats lately, I have enjoyed sewing something new!

How to make an N95 mask cover Create To Donate

Is A “Mask Cover” Different From Other Fabric Masks?

The only difference between an N95 mask cover and the more common face mask you’re probably seeing is its shape. The mask cover is a circle, whereas the other fabric face masks are typically some form of a rectangle.

This mask cover also doesn’t have a nose wire because the fit N95 in a healthcare environment is tight enough that a nose bridge isn’t necessary.

These are also made from 100% tightly woven cotton and can be washed and dried in a machine.

Time To Make An N95 Mask Cover

Materials & Tools

1 piece 9″ x 11″ 100% cotton patterned fabric

I like to use darker, patterned fabrics for this mask cover because it won’t show dirt or stains as easily. Using a patterned fabric will also brighten someone’s day – both the clinician and the patient. This should be 100% cotton and tightly woven.

1 piece 9″ x 11″ 100% cotton solid fabric

The solid cotton fabric is used as the mask’s inner layer.

Another reason for using two different fabrics is so that there is a clear visual cue for the outside versus the inside of the mask. Clinicians shouldn’t have to think about that while they’re caring for a patient.

2 pieces of 1/4″ elastic cut at 9.5″ long.

This is one of the few masks styles that has to have elastic.

Using t-shirt yarn would be awkward. And because clinicians needs to get the mask on and off quickly, elastic over the ears is faster to remove.

Create To Donate N95 Mask Cover pattern

Click here to download the free N95 mask pattern. This shape is very different from most of the other masks out there which is why it’s important to use the pattern.

Clips or pins

Sewing machine

Steps To Make An N95 Mask Cover

Step 1: Fold patterned fabric in half and place the N95 mask cover pattern on the folded fabric.

Cut out front of N85 Mask Cover

Folding the fabric in half saves time because you are cutting two pieces at a time.

If you plan on doing a large batch of N95 mask covers, you can do additional folds to yield more pieces per cut.

Step 2: Using the pattern guidelines, mark the elastic edge placement.

Step 3: Cut out and mark two pieces of the backing fabric using the same method as above.

Fabric pieces for N95 mask covers

You should now have a total of four pieces. Two pieces of patterned fabric and two pieces of solid fabric (I didn’t fan all of the pieces out).

Step 4: Place one piece of patterned fabric right side down on one piece of backing fabric.

Now you are going to pair the fabrics together to start constructing each side of the N95 mask cover. Clip them together as a placeholder before adding the elastics.

I have been putting the clips where the elastic will be so that it’s easy to remove it, add the elastic, and the clip it again. More on that below.

Step 5: Place the elastic in between the fabric layers and line edges up with markings.

N95 mask cover elastic placement Create To Donate

Take the elastic and place it in between the layers of fabric.

Then, line up one elastic edge with one of markings. Do the same with the remaining elastic edge. Use a clip or pin to secure both elastic edges in place.

When you’re aligning the edges of the elastic with the markings, make sure it doesn’t twist.

Step 6: Clip some more, then sew the edge using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Sew and N95 mask cover

It’s helpful to add some additional clips to the edge before sewing since you are sewing on a curve.

Sew the edge with the clips using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Now, the elastic has been trapped in the seam and is secure. As you finish the mask, the elastic will be caught in another seam so it’s well attached.

Step 7: Turn the fabric right sides out, finger press, and top stitch with 1/8″ seam allowance.

One side of N95 mask covers

Step 8: Repeat steps 1 – 7 to make the second side of the mask cover.

You now have the two sides of the mask that need to be joined together to complete it. Both halves still have a raw edge that will be sewn together in the next step.

Step 9: Sew the two sides of the mask cover together.

Sew pieces of N95 mask cover together

Place the two pieces of the N95 mask cover right sides together and clip.

Sew the two pieces together using 1/2″ seam allowance.

Step 10: Finger press the seam inside the mask to one side. Top stitch using an 1/8″ seam allowance.

Finger press the seam you just completed inside the mask to one side. Then, top stitch using 1/8″ seam allowance.

This both helps the shape of the mask and the fit when it is used to cover the N95 mask.

Make An N95 Mask Cover Video Tutorial

If it’s easier to see the steps in visual sequence, here is the N95 mask cover tutorial as moving pictures.

Prefer To Print The Tutorial?

If you like to keep a folder of all the patterns and projects you plan to make regularly, just click the “PRINT” button below for a print-friendly version of the Make An N95 Mask Cover tutorial.

Yield: 1 N95 mask cover

How To Make An N95 Mask Cover

Sew an N95 mask cover to donate

You Can Make An N95 Mask Cover!

Use this tutorial to learn how to make an N95 mask cover. Then, donate them to front line workers and clinicians serving patients in a variety of settings.

Not only does the tutorial provide detailed instructions, but also the FREE pattern on how to make an N95 mask cover.

Who Needs N95 Mask Covers?

Not only would a healthcare worker in a hospital setting need one of these mask covers, but even a dentist's or physical therapy clinic.

There are a lot of clinics supporting at-risk communities in need of these masks so please consider reaching out to local places that might benefit from your handiwork.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Materials

  • One piece of 9" x 11" patterned fabric
  • One piece of 9" x 11" solid fabric
  • 2 pieces of 1/4" elastic cut at 9.5" long

Tools

Instructions

  1. Cut materials to size and download and prepare free N95 mask cover pattern.
  2. Fold patterned fabric in half, right sides together.
  3. Using the mask cover pattern, cut two pieces from the patterned fabric.
  4. Fold the solid fabric in half.
  5. Using the mask cover pattern, cut two pieces from the solid fabric.
  6. Place one piece of the patterned fabric, right side down, on top of one piece of the solid fabric.
  7. Take a piece of elastic and place it between the layers of fabric.
  8. Line up the edges of the elastic with the placement lines on the fabric. Make sure the elastic didn't get twisted. Clip the elastic in place to prepare for sewing.
  9. Add some additional clips on the side with the elastic to make the curve easier to sew.
  10. Sew the edge of fabric where you placed the clips using a 1/4" seam allowance.
  11. Turn the mask piece right sides out.
  12. Finger press the seam and top stitch using 1/8" seam allowance.
  13. Follow steps 2 - 10 to complete the other half of the N95 mask cover.
  14. Place the two pieces of patterned fabric right sides together and clip.
  15. Sew the pieces together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
  16. Finger press the inside seam to one side and top stitch using 1/8" seam allowance.

Notes

If you want to do bigger batches of the mask you can cut a bigger piece of fabric and fold it several times to cut more pieces at once.

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