This tutorial provides detailed instructions on how to sew a face mask for beards.
I must admit, when I read that, I think, “well how many beards can one person have?” But then I remind myself to think with a focus on English for quick communication and realize this phrasing is just a broad category.
As the pandemic continues to impact people worldwide, we are reminded that the need for face masks isn’t going away.
The initial 3-layer, pleated masks that people cranked out were okay back in March, but now people have honed in on their needs and their preferences.
At the beginning there was also a BIG focus on filtering options, especially for front line workers. All for good reason, mind you.
Today, however, preferences appear to be very different for the average person who is running errands.
The majority of masks I see are either bandanas tied behind the head or 2-layer fabric masks with elastic people likely purchased at a major chain.
Most people are still wearing them incorrectly, unfortunately. That is a different post for another time, though.
For those who are wearing them correctly, I have noticed that men with beards have a hard time getting a good mask fit.
Just like clinicians are protecting themselves by covering their hair with scrub caps, men should protect their beards too.
So another face mask pattern was born.
A Hockey-Inspired Face Mask For Beards
Whenever I look around, I am reminded how many concepts in our daily lives can provide inspiration for functional and useful everyday objects.
Thinking through how to design a face mask for beards I knew it had to provide good, comfortable coverage and was easy to secure.
Most importantly, it shouldn’t inhibit someone’s breathing any more than the standard mask already does.
As I started messing around with ideas, I landed on a mask that is a face mask with half a neck gaiter.
As a long-time hockey fan, I realized my subconscious must have helped. The beard cover was clearly inspired by the bottom half of a hockey goalie mask!
Video Tutorial: How To Make A Face Mask With A Beard Cover
Detailed Step-by-Step Tutorial For A Beard Mask
Making this face mask for beards doesn’t require complex sewing and you only need one piece of fabric! The sewing time from start to finish should be around 30 minutes, as long as you don’t have any hiccups.
As you go through the steps of the tutorial, you may note that I used a different way of marking a pattern and sewing. I don’t cut the pieces out first and then sew them together.
After doing several different projects this way, I have found I like this approach for larger-sized sewing projects that require different angles in a single fabric piece.
If you make this mask, please leave a comment and let me know if you like this approach too!
Materials & Tools For The Face Mask
The materials and equipment you need for the beard mask are:
– A 12″ x 29″ piece of fabric. You are going to be folding this in half and trimming along the way.
This sizing is for an average-sized person. If you are making this for a taller person or someone with a wider face or head, make the piece 14″ x 29″.
– Two pieces of 12″ long elastic or 40″ t-shirt yarn in a single strand. This will be used to secure the mask once you’ve finished sewing.
I’m still a huge fan of the t-shirt ties, but I know of plenty of people who swear by elastic. So, I wanted to provide details for both options.
– Fabric marker or fabric marking pencil. This is used to mark your pattern on the fabric.
Make sure that whatever color your marker or pencil is doesn’t blend too much with your fabric. Yes, I tested this pattern using a blue fabric pencil on a blue fabric. It was really hard to see the marks. Lesson learned.
– Create To Donate’s FREE Face Mask For Beards Pattern. Instead of explaining how to cut this pattern out with paper, I just created the pattern pieces for you.
I recommend cutting this out on paper like card stock or using a cereal box if you plan on doing more than one face mask.
Download the face mask with a beard cover pattern here. After opening the PDF, just save it to your computer.
– Sewing machine & clips or pins. While this can be done by hand, it will go much faster with a machine…
Steps To Make A Fabric Mask With Room For A Beard
As I mentioned above, the steps in this tutorial assume you will not be inserting a separate filter and just want a fabric mask with two layers of cotton.
Step One: Fold your fabric piece in half and clip.
Take your 12″ x 29″ piece of fabric and fold it in half.
Your fabric piece should now measure 12″ x 14.5″. Sew the folded fabric together at the top edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Step Two: Use your fabric marking pen or pencil to trace the pattern on the fabric.
This is the new-to-me construction approach I’ve been using for some projects. Instead of using the pattern to cut the pieces first, I trace the pattern and then sew.
To trace the pattern for this beard mask, put the top of the pattern at the folded edge of the fabric.
If you are working with the larger 14″ x 29″ fabric piece then do not trace the pattern as is. Add 1/2″ to whole the pattern while you’re tracing. Then follow the same steps below.
Tracing then sewing is a small cheat that allows us one less line to draw and one less seam to sew. It’s always good when we can save a little time.
Step Three: Sew along the lines of the traced design.
This is the fun and easy part. The lines are traced and ready to go.
All you have to do is sew along the marked lines.
Make sure to leave a 2″ – 3″ gap open so that you can turn the fabric mask right sides out.
Step Four: Trim the excess fabric then turn right sides out.
Trim the excess fabric 1/4″ away from the seam before turning the mask right sides out.
Make sure you press out each of the corners so that you get the angles from the edges.
If you are doing the larger size, you will still be trimming 1/4″ away from the seam.
Step Five: Top stitch 1/8″ away from the edge.
If you have used any of the other free Create To Donate patterns, you’ll already know that I’m a fan of top stitching. It helps add form and a defined shape to the face masks.
For this beard mask pattern, the top stitching definitely helps in its construction.
So, top stitch 1/8″ away from the edge.
Step Six: Form the top of the mask.
This fabric mask for beards does not have pleats, but it is folded at the top and bottom to help hold its shape.
To form the top of the mask, take the top edge and fold it 2″ down toward the center of the mask.
But don’t let go of that edge yet!
After you’ve made a 2″ fold, take the edge and fold it back on itself, toward the top again. (If you’re ever done any origami or made paper airplanes, it’s basically a fabric accordion fold.)
The double fold should now be about 1″ tall.
Once you’ve folded it, clip it to hold it together.
Step Seven: Form the mask’s chin section.
Since this face mask has a longer section to cover a beard, the official “bottom” of the mask isn’t like any other design.
The mask design does have a section that tucks a little bit below the chin, however.
The next step, therefore, is to form the chin section with folds similar to the top of the mask.
You are going to fold the bottom of the mask toward the center of the mask again, but not from the exact bottom edge.
Hold it, instead, from the curve where the bottom of the main mask decreases to the rectangular section.
The picture with the scissors to the far left showcases where you want to hold the bottom to fold it.
Fold it back on itself again to form a 1″ section like you did with the top of the mask (also see above). Use clips to hold the folds together.
Step Eight: Create the side channels and sew.
The last sewing step is to create the side channels for the elastic or your threaded ties of choice.
Take the right side edge and fold 1″ toward the center of the mask, then clip.
You want to make sure to trap the top points of the mask when you’re folding. If they aren’t ‘captured’ when you’re sewing, the top part will just be an open flap.
After clipping the right side channel, repeats the above steps to form the left side channel.
Zigzag (or straight stitch if you prefer) the edges to secure the channels.
Thread the elastic or ties through the channels and you’re done!
How To Piece Together The Pattern
When I first started making things from patterns, I would get a little turned around. I still do, actually, and sometimes even avoid projects with patterns that are too complex.
So, now that I’m creating patterns – simple as they may be – I do whatever I can to make them easy to piece together and use.
The biggest challenge is taking them from the paper cut outs I made and scanning them to size properly for other people. And I am not a fan of small outlined pieces that explain to “print this at 80%”.
Even the most experienced in patterns can get tripped up because computer and printer settings don’t always behave.
So for this pattern, I created pieces at their actual size and you have to piece three of them together.
When you open the pattern document, you’ll see that it’s just two pages.
Print the first page twice and, after cutting the pieces out, put the straight edges of P1 and P2 together (the left side mirrors the right). Attach P3 to the bottom and you’re ready to go!
You Made A Fabric Face Mask For Beards
After you’ve made one of these fabric masks for people with a beard, you will be able to sew a batch of them very quickly.
And while the free pattern was made specifically to help people who want to cover their beads, this really works for anyone who is looking to keep the area below their chin covered.
During the winter, I’ve always been a fan of fleece neck gaiters. The thought of wearing one as a face covering during the heat of summer – even if it’s just jersey knit – isn’t something I want to do.
This design can therefore be the best of both worlds for some people.
This is a comfortable fabric face mask with neck gaiter coverage in the front. There is nothing around your while neck so you will get better air flow.
Do You Want More Free Patterns?
Create To Donate already offers a variety of free patterns, SVG designs, and printables, but there is always room for more!
So, if you have things you’d like for me to offer, please contact me and let me know. I welcome your requests and will do my best to create something easy for you to use.