How to fix a face mask

When the elastic on your face mask gets worn out, or your mask doesn’t fit well & isn’t easy to adjust, it’s easy to fix a face mask and make it fit just right!

 

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to fix a face mask.  It’s pretty easy to get that mask back in rotation!

 

And the cool thing about this tutorial on how to fix a face mask is that you’ll be able to easily swap out your elastic or ties in the future if they get worn out again.  If you’re using synthetic elastic, you can also take the elastic out of the channels before you wash your mask so that you don’t release microplastics into the water.

You can go through these same steps with any type of face mask – not just a pleated mask.

Here’s what you need:

Supplies to fix your face mask

 

1. Elastic or cording.

All natural materials are best.  About 1 yard should be enough to go around your head.  About 30” will go around the ears, depending on how stretchy your elastic is & your personal fit.  

2. Fabric scraps. 

The exact measurements depend on the mask you’re fixing.  I’ll walk you that out below :).  You might want to pick a fabric that matches your mask.  A lighter weight fabric is best – quilters weight/poplin cotton.  Organic is always easier on the earth than conventional cotton & if you need some organic cotton fabric, I’ve got some in the shop HERE.  

3. Measuring tape/quilting ruler/quilting mat

Anything to measure with :).

4. Scissors

5. Clips or pins

Clips are easier to use than pins, but use what you have!

6. Safety pin

7. Thread

8. Iron

9. Sewing machine

Image of supplies
Supplies needed to fix your face mask

Step 1: Cut off old elastic

-If it’s a synthetic elastic, you’ll need to toss it in your landfill trash or find a fabric recycler near you.  

-If its a cotton elastic, you can either recycle it with a fabric recycler or compost it.

Step 2: Measure your mask to figure out the cut of your scrap fabric

-The height of your scraps should be the height of the side edges of your mask plus 2”.  So if the side edges are 3” in height, your scraps will be 5” in height.

-Regardless of the height of your mask, the width of your scraps should be 3”.

Step 3: Turn the scraps into channels 

-Fold the top & bottom edges down ½”, iron, then fold again ½”, iron.  The final height of the scraps should be the same as the height of the mask edges.

image of fabric folded over to make hem
Top and bottom edges folded & ironed. Final height will be the same as the height of the mask.

-Stitch straight across the top & bottom edge to hold this hem in place.

image of hem
Stitch the hem down on both sides.

-Fold the side edges (the raw edges) in ½”, press at iron

image of fabric folded over
Fold sides over 1/2″ and press at the iron.

-Fold the entire scraps in half lengthwise (from top hemmed edge to bottom hemmed edge) and press at the iron. 

Image of scrap folded in half
Fold in half lengthwise so the hemmed edges are at the top & bottom.

Step 4: Clip to mask & sew on

-Using clips, connect the channels to the sides of the mask so that they overlap about ½”. 

image of fabric folded onto the edge of the mask
Overlap the channel of fabric about 1/2″ with the edge of the fabric.

-If you clip on the side, you can get the channel & mask under the presser foot without having to move the clip out of the way.

image of fabric channel clipped onto the mask edge
Clip the fabric onto the edge of the mask.

-Once you start sewing, move the side clip out of the way.

-Sew all the way down, then rotate the mask around so you can stitch a second row of stitches right next to the first row.  This makes the channels really secure.

-Backstitch when you get back to the start of your stitches so that the stitches are locked in. 

image of stitches
Stitch down the side with two rows of stitching to attach the channel to the mask.

-Repeat these steps on the other side of the mask

Step 5: Insert elastic & trim threads

-Using a safety pin, thread the elastic through the channels.   

Insert elastic into the channels using a safety pin.

-Tie a loose two strand overhand knot.

image of overhand knot

-Try your mask on & adjust your knot as needed.

-You can tuck the knot into the channel if you like.

-Trim any loose threads.

You’re done!

I hope this helps get your masks back in action.  If it does, I’d love to see it!  Tag #notracemaker on Instagram to share your fixed mask.

Thanks for reading!

Liz

 

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How to fix a stuffed animal

 

I grew up with this brown teddy bear and now my youngest daughter sleeps with it every night.  She even takes it on trips & sleepovers.  So it’s been handled a bunch over many, many years.  With all that luvin’, even the most durable stuffed animals need TLC once & awhile.  If you want that stuffie back in your little one’s arms, you need to fix those little tears & rips that happen.  Luckily, it’s super easy to fix your stuffed toy.  

 

Here’s what you need to fix your favorite stuffed animal:

supplies needed to fixed your stuffed animal
Supplies include needle, thread, scissors & seam ripper

Supplies to fix your stuffed animal

    1. Needle
    2. Thread (try to use a color that matches your toy)
    3. Scissors
    4. Optional: Seam ripper

Step 1: Thread the needle

    1. You want to work with a double strand of thread on your needle.  To get that, thread the needle, pull thread through, and fold it over so that you have 2 strands of thread.  Cut it so that the length of the folded over thread is about 12” or so.  If you cut the thread much longer than that, it’ll be tricky to work with.

      image of needle threaded
      Pull the thread through & fold it in half so you have a double strand of thread that’s about 12″ in length.
    2. To tie a knot, take the two ends of thread and wrap them around your fingers to create a little loop.  Then push the end through the loop and tighten down your knot.  You might know this as an overhand knot.  You may want to repeat this a few times to make a large enough knot so that the knot stays put on the inside of your stuffed animal. 

      image of knot in thread
      You may need an extra large knot to keep it from pulling through the fabric.

 

Step 2: Sew the opening closed with a ladder stitch (aka invisible stitch).

    1. Start with the needle on the inside of the opening of the stuffed animal and push the needle through to the outside.  Do this right along the folded edge of fabric where the old seam used to be.
      photo of needle pushing through the stuffed animal
      Needle starts on the inside of the tear & moves out to the outside.

        

    2. Next, insert the needle into the other side of the opening/tear directly opposite of where it came out – right into the folded area of fabric.  This is how you end up with an invisible stitch – you’re pulling the thread in & out straight across the tear/rip.  Pull the thread tight to close up the seam.  See the little drawing I did below to help understand the ladder stitch.
    3. Push the needle through the inside of the fold on the same side about 1/8” and then back out of the fold again.  Once the needle is out of the fold, again insert it directly into the opposite side of the opening.  Push the needle about ⅛” through the folded area (same side that you’re currently on) and back out again.

      Photo of the needle threading through the seam of the rip.
      Push the needle through the seam on the same side of the tear for about 1/8″.
    4. Repeat until you get to the end of your tear/rip.

 

Step 3: Tie a knot & cut the thread

    1. To make a knot at the end of your stitches, find one of the last stitches that you made and push your needle under that stitch.  This will create a loop of thread.

      photo of small loop with needle inserted inside
      Create a small loop with the last stitch and thread the needle back through it to create a knot.
    2. Put the needle back inside the loop of thread.  Gently tug on the end of the loop to make it small while also pulling the needle through to make a knot. 
    3. Go over this stitch a second time to create a second knot in the same place, using the same approach.
    4. Finally, push the needle into your stuffed animal and out a different side of the animal – maybe all the way through a limb, or maybe out a side of the animal a couple of inches away from the tear.  Tug tightly on the thread and trim it very close to the body/limb of the stuffie.  This way, the thread gets hidden inside the animal.

      photo of needle coming out the back of the stuffed animal.
      Push the needle through the back of the stuffed animal and pull the thread tightly.
phot of scissors cutting the thread
Pull the thread as tight as you can and cut it as close to the stuffed animal as you can.

You’re done!

 

I hope this helps get your stuffie back in action.  If you do fix your stuffed animal with this tutorial, i’d love to see a photo! Tag me on instagram with #notracemaker.  

 

Thanks for reading & for all that you do for the planet!

Liz