After starting out with a no-sew DIY makeshift emergency mask, then testing all available patterns for cloth masks and finally inventing my own – the optimized Hybrid Cloth Mask, which fits truly gapless, breathable yet reliably stays in place, even without a nose piece! –, I have now combined these two types of masks (and everything I have learned in the meantime!) to design an instant no-sew DIY mask with the same pattern and fit as the Hybrid Mask.
When would I wear such an Instant Mask?
I like my neatly sewn Hybrid Cloth Masks a whole lot, but there are times and occasions when an Instant Mask can come in really handy, and then it’s great to have instructions that are quickly made, work reliably and fit really well!
Occasions for a Instant Mask can be, f.e., if you want to combine washable and disposable materials, without wasting any washable materials, tediously unpicking seams or inserting filters. Instead, you can just turn your filters into an Instant Mask, wear it underneath your Hybrid Cloth Mask, and reuse individual parts like wire or elastics lateron!
Furthermore, Instant Masks can come in extremely handy as a neat emergency solution, f.e. when all your pretty cloth masks are in the laundry, or if you just need some quick, inexpensive mask to give it to someone in urgent need.
In addition, such a quick mask can be great for makers to test breathability of new material combinations. And if you can’t handle all mask requests by friends of friends, just pass them the link so they can make their own! For someone who can’t sew, knowing how to make a stapleable instant mask that fits well and stay in place can be very helpful.
With a pre-printed and pre-folded folding scheme and a well preheated iron (or maybe just a heavy book or a mug as weight), this well-fitting mask can actually be made in way less than a minute! And it’s so quick that it’s even fun :)
Brief Introduction to the Hybrid Cloth Mask
I have optimized pattern and process for the cloth mask, so that it fits really snug around the nose, sides and chin, but also leaves enough air to breathe, speak and laugh without slipping or fogging up glasses. Thanks to a reverse fold, my pattern doesn’t even need a nose piece! In addition, all parts such as wire, ties or filters can easily be replaced.
In my post about sewing the Hybrid Cloth Mask, you will find instructions and patterns, a test of other designs, tips and tricks from my workshop and an extended FAQ. There is also a separate, detailed steap by step Picture Tutorial!
The Variants of the Hybrid Instant Mask
I’m showing two different variants of this mask here, which differ in details. In Variant 1, the sides are simply turned back and stapled. This can be done very quickly even without an iron! Thanks to the separate drawstring on the side, Variant 2 fits a lot better, but it takes a little longer to craft and, especially without an iron, needs slightly more skill.
There are also two special variants for solving problems. When variant 1 is made of voluminous materials such as NWPP, it is difficult to staple, so with variant 1B, we cut the inner layers shorter, to reduce the the layers of the sides. Version 2B, on the other hand, is for everyone who doesn’t have a stapler on hand but wants to use adhesive tape.
All these variants are available at the end of this article for printable download in PDF format.
Preparation and handling of the hybrid instant mask
Before making the mask, clean your hands, workplace and all parts. Making the mask yourself is safer than doing it for others! Wash your hands again before putting on the mask, adjust the nose piece to your face and do not touch the mask afterwards! After wearing, you should safely dispose or recycle all parts and wash your hands again thoroughly. Don’t ever wear the mask for longer than 2-4 hours, if you have breathing problems or when it is wet or dirty!
The Quick | Variant 1 of the Hybrid Instant Mask
In Variant 1, the sides are simply turned to the back of the mask and just stapled there. This can be done extremely quick even without an iron, but the pattern does not fit as snug and it also does not look as neat as Variant 2.
Instructions for Variant 1 of the DIY Hybrid Instant Mask
(1) Cut 21 x 24 cm / 8,2” x 9,4” of fabric or non-woven filter material (e.g. Filti, non-woven polypropylen (NWPP), blue shop towels or even paper napkins) for 2 – 3 layers! That’s 2 cm / 0,8” more on each side than specified in the pattern. Prepare 18 cm / 7” of wire (alternatively binder clips or coffee ties), 2 rubber bands (or hair ties, elastics, jersey / nylon strips) as well as 10 staplers (or paper clips, safety pins, needle and thread) as well as an iron or some weight.
(2) Print the folding template or draw it, according to the given measurements, on heavy paper and cut it out. In the folding template, fold the top and bottom edge back 1.5 cm / 0,6” and fold pleat A, B and C. Place layered materials neatly behind the template, fold everything together and and iron it or brush smooth. Pull the paper off to the side.
(3) Turn your piece over. If you’d like to have a nose piece, insert a wire or unfolded paper clip in the middle of the folded top edge and fix it right and left with two staplers or paper clips. Layer the form template on your piece and fold excess material to the inside of the mask, without moving the pleats, and iron or press the folded sides flat.
(4) Place your rubber bands neatly in the folded edges on the sides of your piece and then staple these edges on the top, bottom and on two middle folds approx. 1 cm / 0,4” from the edge, from the outside. – Done! When putting on your new mask, don’t forget to fold up the reverse pleat at the top, put it on the nose and straighten your nose piece.
The Special | Variant 1B of the Hybrid Instant Mask
Instant Hybrid Masks made of more voluminous or stiffer materials such as NWPP (non-woven polypropylene) fit surprisingly gapless without a nose wire, but the sides become too thick to fold over and staple well. Therefore, I’ve made a modification where the inner layer(s) is cut slightly narrower and only the outer layer is turned over to the inside. NWPP easily melts when ironed, so the pleats should be held in place with sewing clips, paper clips or weights.
Instructions for Variant 1B of the DIY Hybrid Instant Mask
(1) Cut material to size 24 / 22 x 24 cm for the outer layer of the mask and 20 / 18 x 24 cm each for the middle and inner layers. Double layers can be cut on fold (at the bottom). Lay out stapler and staples (or safety pins, adhesive tape), sewing clips (or foldback / paper clips), rubber rings (or hair ties, jersey strips), to have them handy later.
(2) Print out the pattern or copy and cut it out. Fold the top and bottom edges of the pattern to the back and pre-fold pleats A, B and C, as indicated. Now turn the top and bottom edge over in your material, layer the piece under the pattern, fold everything altogether and smooth it down vigorously. Peel off the paper, holding the pleats in place.
(3) Turn the piece over, fix the folded pleats with sewing clips or paper clips if necessary, or weigh them down with a heavy cup. Put the paper template on the inside, insert rubber rings into the edges and fold the excess material on the side around the template, with the rubber rings inside. Be careful that the pleats do not slip out of their folding!
(4) Staples the edge around the rubber ring above, below and on the two middle folds approx. 1 cm from the edge (to work very precisely, you can mark your stapler in advance :)) firmly from the outside. – Done! When putting on your new mask, please do not forget to fold up the back pleat for the nose at the top, as shown in the pictures!
The Neat | Variant 2 of the Hybrid Instant Mask
Thanks to drawstring channels on the side, Variant 2 fits a little better and is hardly distinguishable from a cloth mask at first sight, but it takes a little longer to craft and it needs slightly more skill! I highly recommend to use an iron.
Instructions for Variant 2 of the DIY Instant Hybrid Mask
(1) Cut 21 x 20 cm / 8,2” x 7,8” of fabric or non-woven filter material (e.g. Filti, non-woven polypropylen (NWPP), blue shop towels or even paper napkins) for 2 – 3 layers and 2 strips of 7 x 11 cm / 2,8” x 4,4” each! Prepare 18 cm / 7” of wire (alt. binder clips or coffee ties) for the nose piece, 2 rubber bands (or hair ties, elastic band, jersey / nylon strips) for ear loops as well as 10 staplers (or paper clips, safety pins, needle and thread) for fastening. Get your iron ready.
(2) Print the folding template or draw it, according to given measurements, on heavy paper and cut it out. In the folding template, fold top and bottom edge back 1.5 cm / 0,6” , then fold pleat A, B and C. Place your layered materials behind the template, fold everything together and and iron or brush smooth. Pull the paper off by the side.
(3) Turn your piece over. If you’d like to have a nose piece, insert a wire or unfolded paper clip in the middle of the folded top edge and fix it right and on the left with two staplers or paper clips. Layer the form template on your piece and cut off the excess material on the sides. Be careful to keep your ironed pleats well in place while doing this!
(4) Use the final template to fold over and iron all edges of the strips 1,5 cm to the inside. Then fold the strips to half, place the rubber band in the middle edge, then fold the strips including the rubber band neatly around the sides. Staple down approx. 1 cm / 0,4” from the edge at top, bottom and center, from the outside. – Done! When donning on your mask, don’t forget to fold up the reverse pleat at the top, put it on the nose and straighten your nose piece.
The Taped | Variant 2B of the Hybrid Instant Mask
Instead of the proper material and the staple gun, version 2 can also be tinkered with strong adhesive tape (e.g. fabric adhesive or gaffer tape) in emergencies. If the adhesive tape is wide enough, strips on the sides may be sufficient; if the adhesive tape is narrower, it is essential to run an adhesive tape all around from front to back and overlapping around the sides in addition to the side strips. Before wearing it, please make sure that it all holds and lasts well!
Some tipps and tricks for both variants
If the rubber bands are too long for comfortable ear bands, you can simply knot them – or use another tying method instead, e.g. long head ties. Drawstring channels offer nearly endless possibilities! That’s, by the way, why I collected them – and drew an infographic and published a separate article on 16 different Mask Tying Techniques :)
If you want to make this mask from washable fabric, I’d recommend to sew around the edges or serger them after cutting – and with variant 2, it’s easiest to cut the fabric 2 cm / 0,8” narrower at the bottom, right from the start!
In order to reuse the materials of this mask, you can easily remove the staplers by bending them up a bit in the middle with your thumbnail, from the right side, and then pulling the open ends out of the material individually :)
Of course you can also sew a Hybrid Mask like this, with just 4 seams (stitch down top and bottom allowance, then stitch the sides according to Var 1 or 2)! Those mask don’t look as neat as the original, but they’re fast and they fit well!
A folding leg helps with the paper template, and it’s handy to have one template for cutting and another for folding.
The rubber bands that I use here as ear loops can not only be knotted slightly smaller – or even adjustable – to adjust the size, but they can also be attached behind the head with one paper clips, or a whole row of them.
I do not know exactly what material staplers are made of, but if it is nickel and if you are highly allergic to it, please fold the excess material over it (and maybe even make those parts slightly longer), to certainly avoid skin contact!
For more tips and tricks on adapting size and shape, printing, wearability, fit, pattern and a whole lot more, please read the FAQ of the Hybrid Cloth Mask and also take a look at the associated Picture Tutorial for it!
Download of Instructions and Pattern as a printable PDF
Here you can download a printable PDF with introduction, instructions and pattern for my Hybrid Instant Mask [V3 | June 8th, 2021] on 3 pages, in EU Din A4 or US letter. Before downloading, please read the conditions of use below!
* Conditions of Use, Rights and Sharing
This design, pattern and instructions are protected by German copyright laws (© Iris Luckhaus | All rights reserved). I hereby agree to a non-commercial use of my design, which means that you may make masks for yourself, your family and friends or for donating them to others for free, given that my copyright, name and website are always included!
Without my prior written permission, you may not reproduce, distribute or commercially use any of this material in any way. This means that you are not authorized to present this design (or modifications of it) as your own, and that you may not publish your own photo or video tutorials with my pattern! As long as it’s not a tutorial though, I enjoy seeing your pictures with my mask, and thank you very much for tagging @irisluckhaus and #luckhausmask! :)
For updates and further developments (which are sure to come!), please follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Xing, LinkedIn, Pinterest or YouTube. If you’d like to share my pattern with your friends, feel free to use my posts!
I’m spending a lot of unpaid time on elaborating and explaining those instructions, helping the helpers to help. If you’d like to encourage this, I’d highly appreciate if you could buy me a little time via Paypal (post@irisluckhaus)!
If you’d like to use my instructions commercially (i.e. with the intention of making a profit), f.e. by selling masks made according to my pattern, please contact me and let me know more about your business, your location and your ideas!
Great big thanks to Matthias, Angelika, Reinhard, Johanna and Diane for enthusiasm and support from near and far, for reading ahead and trying it out and – especially, because without this making the mask would not have been possible! – for the borrowed staplers! :) – Thank you also to all those who voluntarily wear a mask to protect others!
Take care of yourself and stay well! ❤