Add a Pipe Cleaner to Homemade Face Masks for COVID-19

Hi everyone,

I have made about 30 masks so far for my sister, a nurse practitioner, and her colleagues.

She asked if I could modify the mask to add a pipe cleaner along the top. Pipe cleaners are easy to bend into shape so that you can adjust the mask for a better fit.

I adjusted the Deaconess face mask pattern to allow for a pipe cleaner casing. I also slightly enlarged the pattern. This larger face mask will still fit smaller faces. If you are using elastic, just add a large safety pin to attach the elastic straps to each other around the back of the head. I’m running out of elastic so I made fabric ties instead, which allow you to adapt the mask to fit different sizes of faces easily.

I made a Star Trek themed face mask for my husband with the pipe cleaner casing  and fabric ties. It fits over his larger face with a full beard and mustache nicely.

Star Trek themed homemade mask with pipe cleaner

I put the Star Trek mask on my Tula Pink cat, pattern by Funky Friends Factory.

You can sort of see the shaping along the nose, provided by the pipe cleaner.

Star Trek themed homemade mask on Tula Pink cat!

If you’d like to make this homemade face mask modification, I put my instructions into a free Word document, Adding a Pipe Cleaner to a Homemade Face Mask.¬†

These instructions are free to use. Let me know if you found them helpful!

Stay safe!

~Jen

Making Masks for COVID-19

Hello everyone,

Yesterday, I had a phone call with my sister. She is a nurse practitioner who works in a cancer clinic. They are out of face masks, and they are not expected to get any more for a while. She has to treat patients without a mask.

I offered to make her some fabric masks. While they are not as effective as medical grade masks, they are better than nothing.

She asked for 2-layer masks in light colors. The light color allows her to see easily any foreign material that may have splattered onto the mask.

I’m using the Deaconess face mask pattern. Click the link to see printed instructions as well as a video on how to make the masks.

If you want to help make face masks, check with your local hospitals and clinics first. Not all places want homemade face masks. You can also check Million Masks A Day, organized by Just Wanna Quilt, for a list of places accepting homemade mask donations.

After work yesterday, I made 8 face masks, and I will mail those mails out today. I plan to make more each day this week. Each mask takes about 15 minutes to make.

The Deaconess face mask pattern uses double-layered fabric and elastic bands. They are triple pleated. I used batik fabric because it has a denser weave than regular quilting cotton. These face masks are double-stitched so they will hold up well to multiple washings. I made 7 masks with elastic and 1 mask with ties. My sister is going to let me know which style she prefers.

Here’s a look at the masks that I made:

My Tula Kitty Modeling a Homemade Face Mask

Homemade masks with elastic bands

Homemade masks: 1 with elastic and 1 with ties

Stay safe and happy quilting!

~Jen