DIY Face Mask Filter Insert-Reusable and Washable

Do you want a little more protective coverage with your face masks? This DIY face mask filter insert will give you the added protection without a lot of bulk and cost. These filters are EASY TO MAKE, REUSABLE, and WASHABLE. 

I guess we’re not going to get away from the “FACE MASK WEARING SAGA” anytime soon, so we might as well embrace it and make wearing a mask the best experience as possible. Most of the masks that people are making and that are floating around these days are simple, basic two-layer masks. Which are fine for those quick trips in and out of the store. However, what if you need a little more protection and you want comfort as well?

There are so many folks out there who are required to wear a mask for 8 plus hours at a time. Wearing some of these masks with filters feel like you’re going to suffocate, is anyone with me? 

What if your face mask doesn’t have a filter pocket?

No worries! I designed these little filters to fit almost every type of mask. (Pleated MaskCinched MasKNo-Sew Mask, Contour Mask). The pleated design allows the filter to open up like a cup and be able to fit comfortably even with a contour mask. (I am working on the finishing touches of my CONTOUR FACE MASK PATTERN right now).

If your face mask does have a filter pocket, you can simply just open up the filter and slide it inside.

Play Video


You’ll want to use a high quality 100% cotton fabric. Upcycled high percale cotton sheets and pillowcases work well. Use at least a 400-600 percale. A high-quality cotton quilting fabric will work as well. I like to cut out and make several at a time. They sew up real quick.  

Materials & Items Needed

Download and print the pattern. Cut out using PAPER SCISSORS. 

Make the pleat template by tracing the dimensions onto a piece of heavy cardstock paper or an upcycled cereal box. This template will make the pleating process so much easier! MAKE SURE POINTS ARE ACCURATELY DRAWN ON TEMPLATE, to save any pleat making frustration. 


To cut out two filters at a time, fold the fabric in half twice. (You’ll need to cut out 2 of the pattern piece on the fold).

Place pattern on the fold where indicated and clip in place.

If you don’t have sewing clips, and you don’t want to use pins, simply tape the pattern in place with MASKING TAPE. Yep, I love this stuff. Masking tape comes in real handy for a lot of sewing projects.

Cut out using a rotary cutter or scissors. (If you plan on making a lot of these, I recommend making a template with heavy cardstock or oak tag paper. (recycled cereal box). If using a rotary cutter, GO SLOW AND KEEP YOUR FINGERS OUT OF THE WAY!.

Open the fabric up and take two layers and place them right sides facing out. Line up the edges.


Take the pleat template and mark the folding points using the tip of a pencil. Just make a tiny dot on the fabric. If using a dark color fabric, you can use a chalk pen

Take the template and flip it horizontally with the fold line at the top. Line the top of the template with the bottom set of folding points. Fold the fabric over the template and press in place.

Fold the fabric up until the bottom edge is aligned with the “folding line”. Press in place.

Remove the template and place the top edged of the template on the next set of folding points. Repeat the process until you’ve made all three pleats.

Accuracy is very important, or you will end up with the wrong size of the filter.


Once the pleats are made, clip in place.

Now all you have to do is finish the edges using a serger or sewing machine. If you have a serger, use it. If not, you can use a combination of a straight stitch first, and then finish the edges with a wide and short zigzag stitch. (Width 4-5 and 1.5 in length).

Serger method: watch the video and I will show you how to serge around the corners.

Sewing machine method: Using a regular straight stitch, sew all the way around with a ¼ inch seam allowance. Change the setting to a zigzag stitch and sew all the way around. Have the zigzag go all the way to the edge of the fabric. 

Clip threads and you’re finished. 

How do you care for the face mask filter insert? 

It’s easy. Just wash them the same way you do your cloth face masks. (It’s important that you’re washing the face masks frequently). I recommend washing the masks on a regular wash cycle with the rest of your clothing or towels). 

I put my face masks and filters all in a little mesh laundry bag. This keeps them all together and from getting tangled with everything else. These bags also make a nice ‘COLLECTING FACE MASK STATION’. Hang a bag by the door to collect USED MASKS.

I hope you have fun making these little filters and that they bring you a little more comfort knowing you’re getting some more protection. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns when making these.

Have fun sewing, and remember to KEEP IT SIMPLE!





1 Comment

  1. about Bridal Wear Online Shop
    I do not know whether it’s just me or if everybody
    else experiencing issues with your site. It seems like some of the written text on your
    posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback
    and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a issue with
    my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Picture of Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Recommended Posts