Making Mask Straps for Patients

Mask straps are used to improve the comfort level for patients required to wear masks to prevent the spread of infection or protect our patients from infection. These mask straps replace the elastic band that comes standard on the mask. Patients tell us that the flannel and fleece material feel much better against their cheek and causes far less rubbing than the original elastic band. Before making a mask strap, please read the Rules for Handmade Fabric Items.

The following is our attempt to direct you through the construction process, best of luck! On behalf of the patients of St. Jude, we appreciate your generosity and thank you in advance for making mask straps.

Supplies Needed

  • High-quality flannel
  • ¾" wide pajama elastic
  • ¾" wide Velcro (tip do not buy sticky Velcro dots. Your needle will have a hard time going through the Velcro and get gummed up)
  • Thread
  • Large safety pin
Mask straps

Steps to Make a Mask Strap

  1. Wash the chosen fabric in order to avoid irritation of the patient’s skin. Please note that when choosing fabric, make sure to keep in mind our patients range in age from infants to young adults and differ in gender. For example, teenage boys want camouflage, sports, star wars, etc. Girls however may enjoy Hello Kitty, horse prints, flowers, Dora the Explorer, etc.
  2. Fold the fabric salvage to salvage (uncut side to uncut side) and then cut straight strips of fabric that are 2½" wide.
  3. Cut your fabric and elastic according to the sizes in the table.
  4. Fold the fabric the long way with right sides together.
  5. Sew a ¼” seam, and turn inside out and press.
  6. Cut 2 pieces of Velcro about 1” long.
  7. Insert a large safety pin at the end of the elastic strap and feed the elastic all the way through the strap (be sure to remove the safety pin).
  8. Pin the elastic on the outside side of the strap to hold it in place, about 2” from the end on both sides.   
  9. Place the soft side of the Velcro about ¼” from the end of the strap and sew the Velcro in place all around the Velcro. Repeat for the other side of the strap.
  10. Place the rough side of the Velcro about 2” from the end of the strap over the elastic and sew in place all around the Velcro. This will secure the elastic in place. Repeat for other side of the strap.
  11. Zig-zag the ends of the strap.
  12. When the Velcro is folded, your strap will be about the size indicated on the chart above.
  13. Mark the size on the inside.
Size: Cut elastic to: Cut fabric to:
Small 10” 8” 15”
Medium 12” 10” 17”
Large 14” 12” 19”
X-Large 16” 14” 21”

Please Note: The medium size is the most frequently requested. The X-Large is the second most frequently requested. However, the other sizes are also needed.

Mask Straps