DIY Cotton Face Mask

When the call to make masks for heroes began, it was time to shift focus and make protective masks for those on the front lines supporting communities and people in a time of incredible need. After researching cotton mask patterns, I found a few favorites and began to make and test each mask. I prototyped over twenty-five designs, making modifications to improve comfort and quality while maintaining Aplat’s zero waste and origami design principles.

I’m excited to share with you the final Aplat Mask design. I love its simple geometry and origami folds that adjust and fit over a wide range of face shapes and sizes. This design takes the pressure off of the ears and nose. It fits perfectly with glasses and goggles, reducing fog on the lens when breathing. The neck strap is adjustable, allowing the mask to hang around the neck when not in use. It folds nicely to keep dust particles out too. And there is space on the sides to mark your mask to avoid accidental mix-ups.

Although these are not N95 quality, there is an option to add an extra layer of protection by inserting a coffee filter under the lining. To sterilize your mask, simply machine wash or steam press with iron for 10 minutes after each use. 

Aplat Mask Features

  • Comfortable over the head adjustable strap
  • Form fitting design
  • Area to insert a disposable coffee filter 

DIY Instructions

DOWNLOAD APLAT PATTERN HERE (8.5” x11” letter size).*
Print at 90-95% scale for younger children(5-7 years old).

THE USE OF APLAT'S MASK DESIGN IS FOR INDIVIDUAL, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. You are not authorized to use the Aplat mask design for commercial purposes, including but not limited to manufacturing, distribution and sale of the Aplat mask. All intellectual property rights to the Aplat mask design are expressly reserved.  ©2020 Aplat Inc | U.S. Patent Pending 29/739,249


To make an Aplat Mask you will need:


  • A sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Pins or clips to hold fabrics in place
  • Hot iron


  • We recommend a heavy weight 100% cotton fabric 7oz-10oz at least 11” x 8”
  • Cotton cord, ribbon or shoe-lace for head strap at least  47” long and ¼” diameter

Step 1: 
Print the Aplat Mask pattern on a letter size sheet of paper. For younger children, scale the pattern 90% to 95% before printing. Cut out and lay the paper pattern on two layers of cotton fabric. If your fabric has a face side or patterned side, layer the two cut pieces with the face side/patterned side inwards. Trace the outline with a pen and cut.

Step 2: 
Stitch around the perimeter of the mask ¼” away from the edge of the seam. This is called a top stitch. Make sure to leave ½" openings on all four diagonal corners as shown above and an opening at the bottom creating a pocket.

Step 3:
Turn the sewn pocket inside out. Loop cord (47” long) through the open holes. Please do not use elastic ties that will melt in the dryer over time and are not biodegradable.

Step 4:
Top stitch the last open edge of the mask ¼” away from the edge of the seam. 

Step 5:
Fold the top and bottom flaps to the center, to become the nose and chin cover. Top stitch the sides 1¼" from the edge as shown above.


Step 5 - Kids Size:
Simply fold the top and bottom in closer, finishing the rectangle at 2.5" tall. The two side top stitch can also come in towards the center, 1.5"–2" away from each edge.

Step 6:

Open folded top and bottom at center and press near the seam to get a crisp “butterfly” wing to form, comfortably covering your nose and chin.


You can also purchase our masks here.

Please follow CDC guidelines — maintain six feet of physical distance, wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, and do not touch your face. 



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