How to Make a Dust/Medical Face Mask | DIY Face Masks | Free Pattern

I have been making our own dust masks (try to say that 10 times fast, I couldn’t even say it once this morning) for our family and farm crew.

Between drying corn, sweeping the commodity shed or shredding bails, I realized we were going through so many dusk masks each harvest season. I wanted to figure out a way to reduce the waste.

sweeping corn dust

I use mine when I am cutting wood, around a lot of dust, spray painting, cleaning animal pens etc. Sometimes my mask even helps with my incredible grass allergy, while I’m mowing the lawn.

Fast forward

Fast forward to a time when we now have a need for medical and dusk masks. Our local hardware store approached me about making some masks for our local farmers and other folks who encounter dusk, fumes and the like. I rallied my Hearty Sol troops, and within a few hours, we had a large pile of masks.

Making masks and making it fun!

I made little stations for each of our kids and everyone was excited to help!

kids help making medical masks

We measured out the cutting lengths using painters tape and everyone had a job!

kids help make masks

Of course, no medical mask is as good as a surgical grade respiratory mask but something is much better than nothing.

The main aim of a medical fabric mask is to prevent YOUR bodily fluids from being expelled or you being the facial recipient of someone else’s bodily fluids. It is my (non-medical) understanding that air still flows through the masks.

How to donate medical face masks

These masks take 15-20 minutes to make and if you could make a few extra to donate to your local hospital or shelter, I know they would sure appreciate it!

Here is where we will be donating!

Drop off – you can drop off the items at the OMC hospital, Rochester MN at the entrance (starting March 23rd, there will be a garbage bag and signs).
You can also mail them to:

Kelly Owens

Olmsted Medical Center

210 9th Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904

The best fabric for surgical face masks is cotton that can be easily washed and a non-woven fabric such as a coffee filter as a filter that can be replaced several times during the day.

(This post may contain affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

How to make a medical or dust face mas


1. 100% cotton (Cut two 9″ x 6” adult-size or 7.5″ x 5″ child-size pieces for each mask)

2. 1/4” – 1/2″ flat elastic (Cut two pieces of elastic- 7” long for adults or 5″ for children)

3. Thread

4. Coffee Filter


Place 1 piece of fabric right-side up.

Pin the 2 elastic pieces to the first two corners

attach elastic to your mask

And then to the other 2 corners

attach elastic to 2 corners to your mask

Using a simple straight stitch and starting at the center of a 9” side. Sew around this piece leaving a 2″ opening so to turn the fabric right-side out and to have a slot to put the coffee filter in.

Optional: You could completely sew this mask fully shut if you simply wanted just a fabric mask with no space for an insert.

I like to sew a few back and forward stitches at the corners to really secure the elastic.

You are now on the original 9” side where you started.  Sew, leaving about a 2” opening. 

sew around the fabric leaving a 2" opening on your mask

Turn right side out.

turn mask right-side out

Pin 2-3 pleats or tucks on each side of the mask.  Make sure the tucks are all going the same direction.

create pleats on your mask

Repeat making the pleats, going the same way, on the other side.

pleats on both sides of your mask

Stitch over-top of the pleats or tucks.

sew over pleats on your mask

Optional: Slip a folded coffee filter between the layers of fabric and smooth out evenly, for added protection.

add a coffee filter to your mask

Wash and Repeat

When you done using your mask for the day, simply remove and dispose of the coffee filter and toss the fabric mask in with the rest of your laundry. Allow to air dry as to not heat up and reck the elastic, then simply insert a new coffee filter.

The pattern:

mask pattern

Pin it!

pin it- face mask

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Hello, I’m Emily. I’m so glad you’re here! Join me and my family as we find beauty in our everyday life on the farm, hearty recipes and a handmade home. Find more about me and our story here.



Affiliate Disclosure & Content Disclaimer

This post may contain affiliate links from a paid sponsor, Amazon or other program. When you use these links to make a purchase I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to continue creating the content that you love. The content in this article is created for information only and based on my research and/or opinion. 

Emily T.

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