I’ve added straps that tie behind the head and go around the ears instead of hugging them. Please see end of post for tying straps instructions.
I wasn’t going to even go here. I kept hearing that homemade face masks will do nothing to stop the spread of coronavirus, that they were just to help people stop touching their faces. . .
until earlier this week when I received an urgent email from Etsy, an all-call to makers of every kind to please find a way to make masks, even it you normally sell a different craft.
It seems that the market is not able to keep up with demand for these things and if more people at home can find homemade masks to purchase for their own peace of mind and to help keep them from touching their faces or stop the spread of “droplets” -ew, I hate that word – then this will help keep more of the medical-grade masks available for the doctors, nurses and other frontliners who desperately need them every day, for every patient.
So I am jumping in the ring to offer this easy pattern I came up with in a few minutes.
I like this pattern because it works up quickly since it uses a bigger hook.
I would advise you line the inside by stitching a layer of cotton fabric inside, which I will demonstrate at the end of the pattern.
*The entire mask can be cleaned in a hot water wash to sanitize between uses.*
Tools and Materials:
- 5.5mm crochet hook (Size I)
- optional 3.5mm crochet hook (Size E) for tying straps
- I love this Cotton yarn from Hobby Lobby, or other #4 cotton
- Yarn needle and scissors
- Directions are written in U.S. terms.
- I’ve written this pattern out entirely with NO abbreviations so that even new crocheters can easily follow along.
- I advise that you line your mask with 100% cotton cloth, as dense of a fabric as you can find, as this will filter out more particles. The cotton yarn and lining make this mask machine-washable. (Acrylic yarns will get felted together and lose its shape when washed in hot water, and may shrink or expand.)
Now, time for the Pattern!
Cotton Crochet Face Mask Pattern
Row 1: Chain 27. Work a single crochet in the 2nd chain from your hook and the next 7 chains. Now you have 8 single crochets. Work a half double crochet stitch in each of the next 10 chains, then work a single crochet stitch in the last 8 chains. Turn. You have a total of 26 stitches plus your chain one from the beginning.
Row 2: Chain 1, work a regular single crochet stitch in the first 3 stitches, then work 5 stitches with a single crochet in the BACK LOOP ONLY. (see below)
Now work 10 stitches with a half double crochet in the BACK LOOP ONLY. Work the next 5 stitches with a single crochet in the BACK LOOP ONLY, and work the last 3 stitches with a REGULAR single crochet, using both loops like normal. You have a total of 26 stitches plus your chain 1.
Check out these pics to see the difference between a normal single crochet and a back loop only single crochet.
Normally you work under both top loops of a stitch, the part that makes a “V” if you look down on the top of the row of stitches. In this picture, you see my hook under both loops like a normal stitch.
In the next photo I’ve slightly raised the back loop only so you can see what it looks like.
Now back to the pattern:
Rows 3-10: Repeat Row 2.
Now we will work the next two rows a little differently so that the mask fits more snugly around the nose.
Row 11: Chain 1, then work a regular single crochet in the first 3 stitches. Now work a single crochet BACK LOOP ONLY in the next 7 stitches. Work a half double crochet BACK LOOP ONLY in the next 6 stitches. Work a single crochet BACK LOOP ONLY in the next 7 stitches, and work a regular single crochet in the last 3 stitches. Again, you have 26 total stitches and a chain 1, we just substituted single crochets for some of those half double crochets.
Row 12: Chain 1, then work a regular single crochet in the first 3 stitches. Now work a single crochet BACK LOOP ONLY in the next 8 stitches. Work a half double crochet BACK LOOP ONLY in the next 4 stitches. Work a single crochet BACK LOOP ONLY in the next 8 stitches, and work a regular single crochet in the last 3 stitches. Still 26 stitches and your chain 1.
Here is your finished mask center portion
(Can we talk about how this background is the best color in the whole wide world?)
Let's make some straps
to attach it to your darling head!
Turn the mask on its side. Chain 18 as shown.
(Chain 20 to make the ear straps a little bigger, if your face is on the larger side. You can test this by finishing one strap and trying it on to see where the mask will center.)
Now slip stitch directly into the other corner on this same side of the mask like this:
Now we are right back where you started your mask with your chains. Working along the bottom edge of the mask, slip stitch into the rest of the chains across the bottom edge of your mask. You will have a total of 26 slip stitches including the one where you attached your ear strap.
Now we will make the other ear strap by chaining 18 and slip stitching to the other corner on this side of the mask. Here is your finished mask before you cut the yarn and weave in your ends.
Try on the mask and feel free to play with the size of your ear straps by adding or subtracting chains. Just make sure you do the same number of chains for each side.
Cut the yarn and using a yarn needle or a small hook, work all of the ends of your yarn into your work to hide them well and then snip them off.
The crochet part of your face mask is finished! This is fine for kids playing doctor or just to help keep your hands off your face, but let’s add a cotton lining to make it more effective at keeping you safe.
OPTIONAL Tying Straps Instructions
Instead of straps that hug the ears, you can follow this optional pattern for a tied mask instead. This is designed to fit just right because the bottom part of the ties are shorter than the top.
You will pick up here when starting your straps, right after Row 12:
*USING AN E HOOK, Chain 71, (it helps to place a bobby pin or stitch marker in chain #20, ) then slip stitch into the 2nd chain from the hook and into the next 49 chains, or until you reach the stitch before your bobby pin. Leave the last 20 chains unworked. Chain 15 and slip stitch to the other corner of the mask on this same side. Now we will work across the bottom of the mask.
Still using your E hook, Work a single crochet in the next 17 stitches, then work a half double crochet in 10 stitches, then single crochet in the next 7 stitches, slip stitch in the last stitch of this row. Now we are at the other side of the mask and ready to make our other strap.
Chain 66, (place a marker in chain #15 if you wish,) then slip stitch into the 2nd chain from the hook and into the next 49 chains or until you reach your stitch marker, then chain 20 and slip stitch to the last corner to attach your strap. Now you can fasten off and weave in your ends and move on to the lining.
Cutting Fabric for Lining
Lay your mask on your cotton fabric - as many layers as you'd like - and trace around it about 1/2"-3/4" outside your yarn edges as shown.
Now fold over all the edges and iron them down.
They will be just outside your mask now. This is important for the fabric to stretch with the yarn.
At this point you might want to sew one side edge because it will be exposed as your pocket opening. Once you finish one edge, pin the fabric inside the edges of the mask – the fabric will be a little loose and that’s normal. Now hand sew or use a machine *with stitch length of 4mm (this helps the mask not be too tight) and sew all the way around EXCEPT the finished edge that will be your pocket opening.
Your pocket can hold extra cotton fabric or filters, or even a folded coffee filter.
Feel free to alter it to suit your needs,
and to give away/ sell masks freely if you wish.
If you are looking for already made masks, or the ad-free printable version with crochet abbreviations, check out my Etsy shop here.