/ / 2 simple CDC face mask patterns with pleats

2 simple CDC face mask patterns with pleats

Here is the face mask pattern you can use to make CDC face mask with pleats. It is well fitting and simple to construct.

The face mask pattern offers a single layer face mask with head ties and nose wires. If you intend to use elastic add the modification to the loops, ie. tying a knot on the loops where they meet the mask as suggested by the CDC to have it snuggle around your mouth properly. 


Alluding to the recent CDC guidelines face masks are optional in the setting of vaccinated people. But we still need to wear face mask otherwise. Since there is no obligation so you are free to decide on your own. But where there is doubt, make sure to wear a CDC face mask.

According to the CDC, double masking is far more effective than wearing a single mask. Particularly in crowds and gatherings. You can wear a homemade fabric mask over a surgical or even KN95 mask to get the best protection. In this way you can effectively save yourself and others in the areas where you find social distancing rather impossible. 

In any case Do not put a face mask on kids under 2 years old, or anyone who has difficulty breathing or might be unable to remove the mask themselves.

CDC approved face mask 

To make a CDC face mask for disease protection you need to follow the guidelines offered. Here are some instructions announced by CDC for mask pattern and stitching:

  • The face mask has to be made from breathable fabric. Double layers masks are preferred viz-a-viz single layered face masks.
  • The structure of the mask has to be such that it protects the face and nose completely. 
  • The face mask has to be well fitted. 
  • A nose piece is always preferred. It does not only furnish a better fit but can efficaciously obstruct any air loss during breathing. 
  • Tight woven and breathable fabrics are best for sewing face masks.
  • Masks which carries filter pocket is better
  • Double or triple layer face masks are efficient, then single layer face covering.

CDC approved face mask pattern

Pattern 1: No sew face mask

This is a simple DIY face mask shared by the CDC for the general public. Anyone can make it at home even if they know nothing about sewing. But as mentioned earlier, the mask requires another layer to be effective. For that purpose disposable medical face masks are suggested.

In other words these masks are not recommended to be used as the only cover layer.

  • 100% cotton T-shirt
  • Two rubber bands, elastic loops or hair ties
  • Scissors   
  1. You need to cut a strip of fabric out of the T-shirt. So cut 7-8 inch around the belly area horizontally.
  2. Place it atop a flat surface. Now set it in such a way that the previously lower end hemming will either be on the right or left.
  3. Double first from from lower side to the middle then from upper end to the middle. Redo the folding to get the layerings and thickness.
  4. Twist rubber bands or whatever thing you are using around the corners a few inches away from the borders. It will look like wrapped candy at this step.
  5. Now turn the additional fabric over the bands in such a way that the sides are towards the middles. This will add another layer to the face mask.
  6. To make the mask well fitting wear bands on both ears. 


You can also use a scarf as the fabric, but it has to be sizable since you need to fold it several times before using it on your face.

Pattern 2: Stitched face mask

The pattern is highly inspired by the CDC guidelines. Here is the guide to stitch a CDC face mask with the pattern. You can simply follow the guide and design a face mask for yourself.

Although the pattern is provided as a guideline yet it does not need to be copied exactly. For instance the pattern folds or sewing lines can differ. But you need to be sure that the pleats are made properly, the hair ties are in place and the metal nose piece provides a good fit. 

The main purpose of a face mask is to ensure protection, i.e, to protect and hold.

  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Marking chalk
  • Scissors 
  • Fabric 7×8 inch
  • Hair ties 2 stripes of 36×1/2 inch
Face mask pattern
  1. Take the fabric you have selected to work with and cut a rectangular piece having the dimensions.
  2. Set the fabric with the 7 inches side placed widthwise.
  3. Now double the top side almost half an inch and fold in the tying strip as well. Whilst folding in the strip keep in mind that it carries the length on both sides to tie the mask around the face. Hem the raw edges. 
  4. This will automatically create the space to insert the nose wire.
  5. Insert the metal wire, set it inplace and then stitch around to close the edges.
  6. Now make the pleats on the mask following the pattern and stitch the side borders.
  7. After sewing you will be able to see that the three pleats are folding down right above each other from the top.
  8. Follow the step 2 to attach the other strip as well.

The pattern is highly inspired by the CDC guidelines on DIY no sew T- shirt face mask. We are making single layer face masks. Since the masks are to be worn with double masking, i.e, you will be wearing the mask over a one-use surgical face mask.

However, you can simply add up double or triple layers if you desire.

CDC face mask pattern pdf

What more CDC has advised?

CDC is continuously keeping the public up to date with the improved guidelines during the pandemic. Besides advising on using face coverings, it has issued cautions as well.

For instance, do not grab the face mask to remove it from the outside. But rather hold it with the straps. And get your hands washed right away.

Wearing a bandana or scarf as the only protection is not a good idea. Look for carefully stitched face masks with multiple layers. And lastly wearing a face mask has to be maintained even after getting vaccinated. You need to be patient till each and everyone of us gets the jab.

How to enhance mask efficiency?

Although you are wearing face coverings when leaving home, that is not enough. There are still some moves you can do to keep tracking CDC. Such as;

  • The foremost step is to get vaccination.
  • Try to stay at home. Unless you need to do grocery or anything of the like.
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds at least. Apply soap and wash with water. Hand sanitizer is also a recommended option if you can not find water.
  • Use tissue or the interior elbow to cover your face whenever sneezing or coughing.
  • Do not touch your face when outside. There might be a chance of virus transmission from your hands into the mouth.
  • Maintain the 6 feet distance from people around you. 

Final thoughts

According to the CDC guidelines a face mask has to be super fit. In this way you can effectively keep yourself from the disease. In case your mask is not of a proper size or if it’s loose, you can always consider a brace. Wearing a brace over the face mask will make the mask a better fit. 

If you are buying a face mask here is the key to know if it is effective or not. Hold the mask in front of a bright source of light. If it has blocked the light then okay. You can buy the one. If not, do not get it since it is not effective.

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