20 Top Fabric Face Masks of 2021
Check out the most popular face mask patterns featured on AllFreeSewing!
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There's no doubt that 2020 and then 2021 were strange years for the entire world. There were so many changes and adjustments to regular life in the face of COVID, that no one could go on with "business as usual." One of the biggest changes was the use of masks in everyday life.
Designers of all sorts started sharing their DIY face masks and AllFreeSewing has featured many throughout the year. This page includes the best of the best.
Take a look at our list of the 20 Top Fabric Face Masks of 2021 to see which were the most popular of the year. We're counting down to see the most popular masks our readers loved this year.
The benefit of DIYing your own fabric face mask is that you can make it as stylish you want while also adding extra protection, like layers and filters. These face mask patterns and tutorials include a variety of types, from basic pleated masks and curved styles to 3D and "breathable" styles. There's even a clear mask for lipreading and festive holiday masks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both state that social distancing and wearing a mask is one of the best things you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
"CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere they will be around other people." Learn more about masks from the CDC here.
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Table of Contents
Mask Resources and Tips
It's important to remember that putting together any sort of mask is not enough. Your DIY face mask should:
- have at least two layers
- be 100% tight-woven cotton or similar fabric
- cover your nose and mouth
- be well-fitted on your face, plus provide full coverage without gaps or holes around the nose and mouth
- Optional: an additional filter in a filter pocket is also recommended for added protection
Find more face masks to sew and download a copy of the CDC Do's and Don'ts chart here, along with more info from the CDC. Plus, read through our additional resources:
- DIY Face Mask Information - This guide will also teach you all about masks, where to donate, and what precautions are needed when wearing handmade masks.
- Best Fabrics for Face Masks - This guide will explain which fabrics are the best to use for handmade masks.
- Free Face Mask Template PDFs - This guide offers free printable templates for the best-fitting masks, along with tips for making masks.
- What Type of Filter Should I Use in a Face Mask? - This guide will explain everything you need to know about filters, including what to use in your DIY mask.
- How to Wash a Fabric Face Mask - This guide will explain the different ways to properly wash handmade masks.
1) wearing a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask (double masking) and 2) knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask where they attach to the mask’s edges and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face (knotted and tucked masks), could improve the fit of these masks and reduce the receiver’s exposure to an aerosol of simulated respiratory droplet particles of the size considered most important for transmitting SARS-CoV-2." Learn more here.
Top Face Mask Pattern Countdown #20–11
This first section includes the 20th most popular DIY mask of 2021 down to the 11th most popular mask pattern. You will find so much variety in the selections below, which is a testament to how clever and creative sewing designers can be.
From the most basic mask that anyone can make to the more complex styles, like the clear face mask for lip-reading, you can choose your next mask with ease knowing that any of these have been vetted by the sewing community.
#20: Simple Face Mask For Adults & Kids
Why it's popular: It's a fuss-free design that even beginners can handle. Plus, with the free PDF and Cricut machine templates, it could not be easier to make.
Click Here for the #20 DIY Face Mask!
#19: Face Mask With Ties
Why it's popular: If you don't like elastic, then this tie back DIY face mask is perfect. The ease of bias tape makes this face mask much easier to assemble.
Click Here for the #19 DIY Face Mask!
#18: DIY Ugly Christmas Face Masks
Why it's popular: This unique mask is a great way to combine the holiday season with the need for masks. With free printable templates and some creativity, you're set for some laughs with family and friends.
Click Here for the #18 DIY Face Mask!
#17: Face Mask Sewing Pattern W/ Neckband
Why it's popular: This DIY mask is ideal for children. The mask pattern has ear loops and a neck band so that it can’t be lost. The band has a Velcro closure so it’s easy to put on and take off or hang.
Click Here for the #17 DIY Face Mask!
#16: Reusable Do It Yourself Face Mask
Why it's popular: This mask is a larger, full-coverage mask that can be placed over the N-95 to make extend its use. There's a downloadable printable PDF pattern, instructional video, and more.
Click Here for the #16 DIY Face Mask!
#15: Fab Floral Face Mask Tutorial
Why it's popular: This fabric face mask tutorial uses the most beautiful floral print fabric that's perfect for spring and summer. Or to cheer you up during the colder months. This is one of the most stylish face masks you can make.
Click Here for the #15 DIY Face Mask!
#14: Flannel Fabric Face Mask Tutorial
Why it's popular: This warm winter mask is brilliant for many different reasons. Plus, it can be made into a festive Christmas wearable or kept "evergreen" for any colder months. It's even reversible for more options throughout winter.
Click Here for the #14 DIY Face Mask!
#13: How to Make a Clear Face Mask
Why it's popular: This mask is not for everyone because it does involve clear vinyl, which is not a breathable material, but the rest is fabric. With the front window, it's best for lip-reading. It's a popular pattern to make and donate, too.
Click Here for the #13 DIY Face Mask!
#12: Face Mask Pattern With Connector
Why it's popular: With the stylish face-fitting shape and options for connectors (like cute buttons that can hold elastic), this DIY face mask is understandably one of the most popular this year.
Click Here for the #12 DIY Face Mask!
#11: DIY Face Mask Without Elastic
Why it's popular: Elastic can be irritating on your ears, which is why this alternative earloop style is so popular. With the pleats and rectangle shape, it's simple and works for everyone.
Click Here for the #11 DIY Face Mask!
Find all the face mask patterns that fit children in this collection.
>>> 13+ DIY Face Masks for Kids
Top Face Mask Pattern Countdown #10–1
Now to the top 10! These are the best of the best according to our readers and sewing enthusiasts. Below, you will find a variety of designs, from easy masks that can be sewn up in a short time to the more complex, such as character and 3D masks.
There are so many stylish and trendy designs that readers loved this year. Whether you are making one mask or dozens for family, friends, and charity, you are sure to find everything you want in the selection. It helps that readers have tried and found success in all of these, too.
#10: DIY Black Cat Face Mask
Why it's popular: Purrrfect for Halloween, but, honestly, a cute and friendly face mask for any time! The printable templates are available in adult and child sizes. Plus, lots of ideas for customization on your own.
Click Here for the #10 DIY Face Mask!
#9: Comfiest Child Size Face Mask Tutorial
Why it's popular: Many small children struggle with wearing masks because of fabric texture and thickness, shape and size fit, breathability, and elasticity issues. For the best toddler face mask you can make, follow the tips and tutorial.
Click Here for the #9 DIY Face Mask!
#8: DIY Breathable Face Mask Tutorial
Why it's popular: This DIY mask stays further away from the nose and mouth and feels a bit more comfortable. With the extended dome shape, it's one of the best for wearers who have to be out for long periods of time.
Click Here for the #8 DIY Face Mask!
#7: Fitted Face Mask Pattern
Why it's popular: The importance of a fitted mask cannot be understated and that's why this fitted mask has been such a popular pattern this year. This one is available in multiple sizes, so you can make them for the whole family!
Click Here for the #7 DIY Face Mask!
#6: How To Sew A Face Mask
Why it's popular: The ease and speed of this mask easily put it in the top 10. It only takes 20 minutes to sew using your favorite cotton fabric. It results in a stylish and comfy mask.
Click Here for the #6 DIY Face Mask!
#5: DIY Face Mask With Filter Insert Pocket
Why it's popular: Learn how to make a DIY face mask with a pocket for filter insert, which gives it added protection. When it comes to being safe, it's important to get it right.
Click Here for the #5 DIY Face Mask!
#4: Super Simple Face Mask Pattern
Why it's popular: Have you noticed a pattern in our top fabric face masks? Simple is key! Readers were obsessed with easy or unique masks. This fits the bill of the former so you can make as many as needed - fast. This is a great style of mask to make in duplicates to donate to charity.
Click Here for the #4 DIY Face Mask!
#3: 3D Face Mask Pattern
Why it's popular: Wow, did readers love this one! Not only is it pretty but it's unique. This is one of the most challenging masks to make in this list but only because it involves a little more work to get that 3D look. It's still not difficult to achieve a unique and comfortable mask like this one.
Click Here for the #3 DIY Face Mask!
#2: Child Size Face Mask
Why it's popular: Children over the age of two should also wear masks to protect themselves from COVID-19. This was the most popular child-size mask pattern this year. Use this pattern to make masks for your friends and family using their kids favorite colors or character print. Plus, you can make this mask in about 10 minutes.
Click Here for the #2 DIY Face Mask!
#1: Stylish Face Masks Patterns
Why it's popular: Here it is - the most popular mask design of the year! It's actually a bonus because there are two masks included here. The page offers two styles of face mask with numerous variations including filter pocket or no filter pocket and different strap options. Plus, they are so pretty that few could resist making their own.
Click Here for the #1 DIY Face Mask!
Krista Childers is the Senior Content Editor for AllFreeSewing. She has a passion for creative writing and trying every craft at least once. Find more of her work here: Krista Childers
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How many masks have you made?
Let us know in the comment section!
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