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DIY Fabric Mask with Any Silhouette CAMEO: Everything You Need In One Place

Crafters are coming together to make homemade fabric masks during the CoronaVirus pandemic especially now that the CDC is teetering on officially recommending everyone wear masks while out in public.

silhouette 101, silhouette america blog, cameo 2, cameo 3, cameo 4

Using a Silhouette machine can really speed up the cutting process for DIY fabric masks.  I have not only a free pattern for you, but the step by step directions - no matter which Silhouette machine you have! Plus I have a shopping supply list.

This is literally where you can find everything in one place on how to make your own fabric masks.

Oh, and don't check out if you're not a sewer or don't have a sewing machine. You can still help by cutting the fabric pieces for a sewer which will help crank out more masks faster!
The easiest and fastest way to cut fabric is with the Silhouette CAMEO 4 and the rotary blade. You can, however, cut fabric on the other Silhouette machines as well, you just need a stabilizer.  More on that in a minute.

Supply List for Fabric Masks 

I put together an Amazon Shopping List for you so everything is one place to make shopping easy - but some shipping delays are significant. Please, please, please I know you want to support businesses (YAY!) so if you are going to shop there (that's great) - but please DO NOT GO TO THE STORE!! Use online ordering, drive by pickup, and or delivery services.  Swing Design is still shipping and has blades, mats, cutting machines, and sewing machines.

Supplies Needed for All Fabric Masks 

  • Fabric 
  • Elastic or Bias Tape or Ribbon
  • Silhouette cutting machine
  • Sewing machine
  • Free Mask Pattern

Supplies Needed to Use CAMEO 4 with Rotary Blade List

  • CAMEO 4
  • Rotary Blade

Supplies Needed with All Other Silhouette Machines


How to Cut Fabric for DIY Masks with Any Silhouette Machine

Start by downloading the free mask pattern.  This one is one of the best patterns and it's from the Silhouette Design Store so it should automatically go into your Silhouette Library.

From the Send panel, select the machine you are using - which must be powered on and connected either by USB or Bluetooth.

Move to the Design area and open the Page Setup.  Make sure the machine matches the machine you are using.  Select the mat size. I am using a 12x24" mat but all pieces will fit on a 12x12 mat too.   Then adjust the material size to match the size of your fabric.

Open the face mask template into the work area and scale the design to make the mask size you need.

Arrange the pieces so they fit in your material area.

cameo 2, cameo 3, cameo 4, fabric, fabric mask

My recommendation is to delete the text and the sewing line by ungrouping. You only need the outer cut line.
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Keep in mind: It's best to cut the liner pieces and the front pieces on contrasting fabrics so anyone wearing the mask knows which side should always be facing out. This will help prevent the mask from accidentally being worn both ways and the outer fabric, exposed to germs, later being worn towards the face.

Nest the pieces as best you can to use as little fabric as possible.

rotary blade, Nest, sewing, fabric, fabric mask

Prepare your fabric and cutting mat. This step depends on which machine and blade you are using.

How to Cut Fabric on Silhouette CAMEO 4 with Rotary Blade

If you're using a Silhouette CAMEO 4 with a Rotary Blade you can place the fabric directly on the cutting mat.  Make sure it's taunt and smooth.  Place the Rotary Blade in Tool 2 and select the Fabric, Thin (Cotton) from tool 2. Make sure your design has blue cut lines.

rotary blade, cameo 4, sewing, fabric, fabric mask

If you need a refresher on the basics of cutting fabric with a CAMEO 4 Rotary blade, check out this tutorial.

How to Cut Fabric on Any Silhouette Without a Rotary Blade

For all other Silhouette users including those using other Silhouette machines and CAMEO 4 users without a Rotary Blade, you'll need to stabilize the material with either Heat N Bond or Freezer Paper to cut it.

A new ratchet or autoblade (so it's as sharp as possible) will work.  Place it in the tool 1 carriage.  From the Send panel change the material type to Fabric Thin, Cotton.

If you need a fresher on how to cut fabric on any Silhouette machine without a Rotary Blade, check out this Silhouette School tutorial. 

ratchet blade, heat n bond, freezer paper, fabric, fabric mask

How to Assemble Homemade Fabric Masks

Once all the pieces are cut, it's time to assemble the mask.

Put the two front pieces together with the right sides together and sew along the outer curve. This is the seam that will go down the nose.

sewing, coronavirus, cameo 4, fabric, fabric mask

Clip in using scissors along the curve towards the seam being careful not to clip the seam line.

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Open up the mask up and fold in each end. Press and then sew to finish the edge.

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sewing, coronavirus, cameo 4, fabric, fabric mask

Repeat the above steps for the inner liner pieces.

Place the outer fabric and liner together with the right sides together.

sewing, coronavirus, cameo 3, fabric, fabric mask

sewing, coronavirus, cameo 3, fabric, fabric mask

Sew across the bottom and along the two curves at the top.

sewing, coronavirus, cameo 3, fabric, fabric mask

Flip the mask right-side out.

sewing, coronavirus, cameo 3, fabric, fabric mask

Fold in the longer edge and press so it's even with the shorter side.  I modified a bit from the original directions here which calls for the edges to form a pocket and the ribbon or elastic to be pulled through.

You can use a piece of ribbon for ties or elastic - whichever you use stick the end of the ribbon/elastic into each side of the end of the mask and sew closed catching the elastic/ribbon as you sew it closed.

sewing, coronavirus, cameo 3, fabric, fabric mask

Repeat on the other side.

That's it! You've made a homemade fabric mask.

sewing, coronavirus, cameo 3, fabric, fabric mask

Video instructions on assembling DIY Fabric Masks


Also if you are looking to save the ears from chaffing caused by long periods of wearing the elastic, I created a 3D print file for a face mask hook that can be printed on an Silhouette Alta 3D Printer or any other 3D printer. You do need slightly longer pieces of elastic for this option.  Grab the free 3D face mask hook file download here.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!


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17 comments

  1. Hi Melissa, I looked and couldn't find if there was a place you could leave open or insert a filter. Any ideas? Thanks! I will be making these as well.
    Karon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is a link from the pattern that shows how to make it with the pocket for the filter.
      https://www.silhouette101.com/archives/diy-fabric-face-mask

      Delete
  2. watch the shipping time on that elastic! you could replace the elastic with four 16-18 inch ties off the four corners of the mask to tie behind the head

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anyone understand how to use the sizing guide that is included on the file & can explain it? I want to make these for different family members that will need different sizes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was wondering the same thing and did a search on mask sizing. This seemed the most relevant and appropriate: https://cambridgemask.com/fitting-your-mask/

      Delete
    2. From the pattern directions: Reference the chart in the design file and note which size you’d like to create. To scale the mask accordingly, open the Transform panel and then the Scale tab. Adjust the percentage to suit your needs and select Apply.

      Delete
    3. I found the written instructions (Silhouette 101) that gives a detailed explanation of sizing!!

      Delete
    4. And thanks Corrine & Stacy for the info!! :)

      Delete
  4. Will this pattern work with Cameo 3?

    ReplyDelete
  5. What size did you make for yourself?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you for these instructions, very detailed. Obviously these are not to be used for healthcare workers. But to make them even more safe for personal use don't use pins as they make holes in the fabric. Use the little clips instead. Also I would sew something in the nose area so it can be pinched.

    ReplyDelete
  7. To stabilize the nose for a better fit a 1/3 of a pipe cleaner, jumbo paper clip or the coffee ties on 1lb bags help.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am having trouble getting my cameo 4 to recognize my rotary blade in tool 2 it also won't let me say no cut or no material on tool 1

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi. What is the seam allowance for this? Is it 1/2"

    ReplyDelete
  10. Be nice if you said what size to cut the elastic...

    ReplyDelete
  11. The product can N95 Mask be applied with proper equipment and traditional material. Once treated, the surfaces are safe to touch with no known risks of toxicity. The active ingredients are safe and are not known to cause irritation or sensitization.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I found cutting the fabric on the silhouette way more time consuming, and too much fabric waste

    ReplyDelete

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