After starting out with a no-sew DIY makeshift emergency mask, then tried out all available patterns for cloth masks and finally making my own – the optimized hybrid cloth mask, which fits so very snug that the nose piece is not even necessary –, it seemed to make sense to combine 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 optimized hybrid mask.
When would I wear such an instant mask?
I prefer to avoid unnecessary trash and I like my neatly sewn cloth masks a lot, but sometimes there are good reasons for instant masks, and then it’s handy to have instructions that are quickly made, work reliably and fit really well!
Opportunities for a instant mask can be, for example, if you just need a quick mask and / or all cloth masks are in the laundry. For someone who can’t sew (or who doesn’t someone who knows someone, etc.), a handmade instant mask can be a practical, inexpensive interim solution. And if you’re travelling and can’t wash / dry things, I assume it’s better to wear disposable masks than to carry around a mountain of (possibly) contaminated fabric masks!
In addition, such a quick mask can be practical to try out a newly recommended material combination, and also to combine washable and non-washable materials without tearing seams open or throwing away washable fabric. Plus, if you have neat cloth masks that lack a filter opening, you can turn your filter into a mask and wear it underneath.
And if you can’t handle all the mask requests by friends of friends, just pass them the link so they can make their own!
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 Presentation of the Hybrid Cloth Mask
I have optimized cut and processing of 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, this cut doesn’t even need a nose piece! In addition, all parts such as wire, ties or filters can easily be replaced quickly.
In my post about sewing the hybrid cloth mask, you will find instructions and patterns, a test of known models, tips and tricks from my workshop and a very extended FAQ. There is also a separate and highly detailed picture tutorial!
Two 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, but it doesn’t look quite as neat as version 2. Thanks to the separate drawstring on the side, version 2 fits much better and is hardly distinguishable from a cloth mask at first sight, but it takes a little longer to craft and, especially without an iron, needs slightly more skill.
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!
Variant 1 of the DIY instant hybrid 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 instant hybrid mask
(1) Cut 21 x 24 cm / 8,2” x 9,4” of fabric or non-woven filter material (e.g. paper napkin, paper towel or paper handkerchief) for 2 – 3 layers! That’s 2 cm / 0,8” more on each side than specified in the pattern! Prepare 18 cm / 7” of garden wire (or alternatively paper clip, booklet strips, bag clip), 2 rubber bands (or hair ties, elastic band, 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, insert the garden wire or unfolded paper clip in the middle of the folded top edge and fix it on the right and left with two staplers or paper clips. Layer the form template on your piece and fold the excess material to the inside of the mask, without moving the pleats around, 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.
Variant 2 of the DIY instant hybrid mask
Thanks to the drawstring 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 here.
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. paper napkin, towel or handkerchief) for 2 – 3 layers and 2 strips of 7 x 11 cm / 2,8” x 4,4” each! Prepare 18 cm / 7” of garden wire (or alternatively paper clip, booklet strips, bag clip) for the nose piece, 2 rubber bands (or hair ties, elastic band, jersey / nylon strips) for the ear bands 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 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 your layered materials 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, insert the garden wire or an unfolded paper clip in the middle of the folded top edge and fix that wire on the 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 that you 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 putting 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.
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 binding method instead, e.g. long head ties. Drawstring tunnels make the possibilities nearly endless! That’s, by the way, why I drew an infographic and published a separate article on 9 different mask binding techniques :)
If you want to make the mask out of fabric, wash it and use it again, you should 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 recycle 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 good to have a template for cutting and another for folding.
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 fabric 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 [V2 | June 22nd, 2020] 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!