DIY Mask with Removable Elastic for Washing

I noticed a comment in one of the mask patterns that if you used elastic you wouldn’t be able to wash your mask with bleach to disinfect it so I thought I would make one with removable elastic. That means the elastic could still be contaminated but since the mask is mainly to protect OTHER people I figure it is probably a low risk. And I just happened to have everything I needed laying around. Be warned I am no seamstress though I only sew to make repairs or costumes.

If you prefer the type of mask that fastens around the back of your head you could probably make a similar one with the pockets for the elastic running lengthwise but I didn’t try it.

I have lots of men’s cotton handkerchiefs so I decided that would be a good inner lining. Folded in quarters they are about 8 inches x 8 inches. For the outside I used fabric from an old cotton pillowcase. I cut the pillowcase in a double layer approximately 9 inches x 12 inches. And for the ear loops I used some ¼ inch elastic and paper clips.

Fold over the top and bottom hems. Pin and sew.


Make some pleats along the length. Be sure to pin from the outside then flip over to sew. The first time I pinned it on the inside and it was all crooked on the outside when I was finished and had to rip it all out.

Pin and sew a hem along the ends. There was already one on my pillowcase the way I folded it so I only had to do one.


Fold the ends over and sew leaving about a ½ inch tube for the elastic. I didn’t bother pinning because I’m sloppy.

Sew a small loop in one end of the elastic and use the old paperclip trick to feed it through the end.

Now try it on and figure out how long the elastic loop needs to be. Then sew another loop on the other end of the elastic. Repeat for the other end of the mask.

Hook the two ends of the elastic together with the paperclips and slide so that the paperclip is in pocket along the end.

This is how it came out.