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How to Make the Kids Butterfly Mask

This mask is made of two layers of fabric and is adaptable to different head attachment options. If you are making these for a Crafters United batch, please make the size and attachment style specifically noted in the sign up. If none is noted that means we need a variety. In this case please make 12 of one size and 13 of the other, and use the attachment style your kids like best.

Material Info permalink

You can choose any tightly woven cotton fabric you like. Quilter’s cotton is best. Check the weave by holding the fabric up to a light—the shape of the light should be soft through the fabric. Pre-shrink all fabrics by washing on hot before sewing.

Do not use synthetic, fuzzy, gauzy, or stretch fabrics for masks.

What you will need permalink

For one mask:

  • 2 pieces of tight woven cotton fabric. (Smaller kids: 6.5" x 9", Larger kids: 7.5" x 10")
  • 3" piece of soft wire (This can be decorative wire, or picture wire, or pipe cleaners)
  • Choose your head attachment style
    • Stretch Earloops - elastic or stretch material (Smaller kids: 18", Larger kids: 20")
    • Stretch Headloop - 26" of elastic or stretch material

For 25 masks:

  • Tight woven cotton fabric. (Smaller kids: 2 ¼ yards, Larger kids: 2 ¾ yards)
  • 75" of soft formable wire
  • Choose your head attachment style
    • Stretch Earloops - elastic or stretch material (Smaller kids: 12 ⅕ yards, Larger kids: 14 yards)
    • Stretch Headloop – 18 ¼ yards of elastic or stretch material

How to make a mask permalink

Top and Bottom Seams permalink

  1. Cut two pattern pieces from cotton. If you are using two matching pieces inside and outside fold fabric right sides together and cut.

Quick Tip: Pressing and steaming your fabric together after cutting helps keep your pieces together during sewing without pins.

  1. Sew along the top edge, starting at the diagonal cut and stopping to pivot when you get to the corners. Start and stop your stitch with a backstitch. Repeat along the bottom edge. Turn fabric right way out through the open sides. Roll the seams between your fingers to get the seams fully open. Press.

Pivoting: To pivot while sewing a seam sew until you’ve come to the corner of the stitching line. Put your needle down and raise your presser foot, then move rotate your fabric until you’re lined up with the next part of the stitching line. Put your presser foot back down and continue sewing.

Making Wire Pocket permalink

  1. Fold you mask in half, and mark 1 ½" from the fold on both sides of the fabric (I’ve marked this with pins), creating a 3" center section.

  1. Starting at the first mark, perpendicular to the sewn edge, sew to 4 stitches, stopping about ⅜" from where you started. Backstitch this entire section. Then, pivot until the machine foot is parallel to the sewn edge. Sewn for 3" until you reach the next mark, then backstitch. Clip these threads before the next step so they don’t get into your machine.
  2. Slide wire between the layers and into the opening you just stitched.

  1. Starting perpendicular to the finished edge, stitch down to the parallel stitching you did in Step 5, closing the wire opening. Backstitch the full length.

Quick Tip Try to slightly cross the backstitching from Step 5, so there are no openings for the wire to escape through.

Adding Horizontal Folds permalink

  1. Align sewn piece on top of your printed pattern with the inside face up, lining up with the dashed inner line. Fold along dashed horizontal line and pin in the middle as shown.

  1. Stitch horizontally across the mask along the top, ⅛" or less from folded edge. Repeat on the bottom folded edge.

    Stitching doesn’t need a backstitch because the ends will be rolled into the attachment casings in the next step.

Making the Mask 3D permalink

Quick Tip: Step 9 is where the mask becomes 3D, and therefore it’s a little fiddly, but I promise it’s actually easy once you see the fold. If you can’t tell from these instructions how to fold, make sure to watch the video on our YouTube.

  1. While looking at the inside of the mask fold the top flap down. Fold the top flap at an angle, creating a cupping shape, so the point of the top finished edge meets the mark indicated on the pattern with a circle. Pin in place, going through all layers. Repeat around all four corners as indicated in the photo. Tack these points in place.

Tacking: A tack is just a short but strong piece of stitching that helps pieces stay in place. The tacks in Step 9 should be about ½–⅝” long. Backstitch this portion about so you are stitching over the same line 5 times.

Head Attachment Options and Casing permalink

  1. Place head attachment material centered along the short cut edge of the mask (a). Double turn twice to create a casing around the material (b). This casing should butt against the pleats you made in Step 10 without overlapping them, and allow your attachment material to move through freely. It may be helpful to roll your material lengthwise if it is wide.

Finishing permalink

  • Earloops only
    • for personal masks: Turn earloops so the knots are inside the casings.
    • for donated masks: Leave knots out so they can be easily adapted by the wearer.

  • Headties only: Knot your headtie in a loose slip know so he tie will remain in place until the recipient can tie it to their size.


Pattern and Instructions by Candace Frank for CraftersUnited.org. Not for commercial use.


Download PDF Instructions