Masks with customized fabric: Getting creative

Masks with customized fabric August 2020

Did you know you can order customized fabrics from JOANN Fabric & Craft stores and other sources? Neither did I. This week I made face masks with customized fabric that I ordered online.

Customized fabric August 2020

I was getting tired of wearing the Scooby Doo masks I made months ago.

Scooby Doo masks August 2020

I was online looking for interesting prints when I stumbled upon the customized fabric options at JOANN. The site currently lists 9,029 choices.

Ordering customized fabric

When you click on a fabric, it gives you a couple size options. The 13″ x 7″ sample is enough to make a mask and it only cost $5.00 (plus shipping). Then you select which fabric you want. There are 27 different kinds of fabric available! I chose cotton sheeting.

If you click on the 13″ x 7″ sample size and you don’t like how the pattern fits, you can click the customize design button. This screen grab shows what comes up. You can change how the pattern repeats or make it larger or smaller. I made the pattern smaller on the crane fabric I chose.

Customizing fabrics on JOANN August 2020

Many of the fabrics also allow you to choose colors. See the options with this fabric?

Options for customization on JOANN August 2020

This isn’t exactly designing your own fabric from scratch, like on Project Runway, but you get some creative control.

Things to keep in mind when creating masks

It took about three weeks for my fabric samples to be shipped to me. When they arrived, I had a problem. The pattern I use has casing for the elastic to go through. You need two 1 1/2″ x 4″ pieces for each mask.

I didn’t want to buy a whole package of bias tape or seam binding so I made my own. I cut off the white fabric at the bottom of each sample and used fabric paint to color it to match. If you choose this option, follow the fabric paint directions carefully.

Masks with customized fabric  bias tape August 2020

The masks I make have a pocket so additional layers can be inserted. They also include a place to insert wire on the top edge so you can shape the mask to fit your face.

Mask with pocket for inserts August 2020

Be careful when you are laying out your fabric or you may accidentally sew the fabric pattern upside down like I did on some of my Scooby masks. Ruh-roh!

Upside down print August 2020

You should also think about how the pattern will look when it’s broken up by the pleats on the mask. For example, look at how this fabric turned out in the finished mask.

I finished all the edges with zigzag stitching so I used a lot of thread on these masks. When I finished the last mask, I looked up to see how much thread was left on the spool. I think this must be where the saying, “Hanging on by a thread” came from. 😀

Hanging on by a thread August 2020

If you’re looking for new ideas for creating masks, consider making face masks with customized fabric.