Creative articles about sewing

Sewing Self-Made Face Masks for Children – With Funny Appliqués

Since so many contributions for self-made face masks have appeared, we would now like to sew a mask for children. I am going to show you a version with funny animal faces. They will absolutely love wearing these masks!


Below you will find the detailed sewing instructions for these children’s masks. I will describe the sewing process step by step using the cat mask.


We will make all three animal face patterns available for download as a PDF. Of course, you can also get creative and draw your own children’s favorite animals. How about an afternoon of painting before getting started on this project?

The best thing is, the masks can be sewn and decorated with any sewing machine. You just need 3 different stitches – the straight stitch, zigzag stitch, and the triple straight stitch. I used the bernette 35 . At the end of this article you will also find the settings for the bernette 38.

Should kids even wear masks?

Opinions differ on this matter. In Switzerland, the Federal Office of Public Health issued the following statement: “We currently are not recommending that children wear a face mask, since they are not one of the primary groups being infected. Furthermore, the correct use of masks is often difficult for children.”

Things are different in other countries.
Please always observe the requirements in your country or place of living. In some countries it is required that children wear masks.
Wearing masks is not easy for children, and parents should be note the following points:

Rules for Wearing a Mask

  • The mask cannot interfere with the child’s ability to breathe!
  • It should not be worn in situations where there is a danger that the child could get caught on something with the mask, such as on a jungle gym.
  • The mask must stretch over the chin and nose and should fit snugly.
  • Make sure that your child washes their hands before putting the mask on.
  • Once in place, the child should touch the mask as little as possible and definitely not constantly remove and replace it.
  • When taking the mask off, the child should not grab the front side of it. It is best to only touch the bands or the edge of the mask gently with their fingers.
  • After each use, wash the self-made face mask in the washing machine, ideally at a temperature of 90°C.
    We hope that our colorful and cheerful masks will help your children have fun while wearing them.

It is, however, important to remember: Wearing a protective face mask can only help contain the COVID-19 pandemic when all other rules (maintaining social distance, hand hygiene, coughing and sneezing etiquette) continue to be followed. A face mask is not protective equipment. Please make sure that your children know this.

You will need the following material for the children’s masks:

When choosing material, please also take note of the previous blog entries and, most of all, the general directions from the BERNINA Team about sewing self-made face masks: Sewing Self-Made Face Masks – What You Must Know.
• Cotton fabric for the mask
• Cotton fabric remnants in different colors for the appliqué
• Felt remnants for the rabbit teeth
• Vliesofix (double-sided fusible paper)
• Narrow elastic
• Iron
• Sewing machine, such as the bernette 35 or 38
• Sewing and embroidery thread
• Sewing pattern and design template
•Temporary Fabric marker
• Black fabric pen


Sewing pattern with design templates

Download sewing pattern for children’s masks with animal faces

The file contains a blank mask pattern so that you can draw your own creations.
The size of the mask is suitable for children approximately from ages 4 to 7. Before cutting, make sure that the sewing pattern will actually fit. To do so, measure the width and the height and see if that is appropriate for your child. If not, adjust the width by shortening or lengthening the side seam a bit. You can adjust the height by cutting across the pattern and then overlapping it or sticking it back with a little extra gap.

Sewing instructions for the children’s protective face mask

Part 1: Cut out the mask and the appliqué parts

Cut out the sewing pattern 2x along the paper pattern (the pattern already contains a seam allowance). For the inside of the mask, you can also choose a soft material such as jersey that will make it more comfortable to wear.


Transfer the appliqué parts onto the Vliesofix. Important: If you would like the completed appliqué to be identical to the template, you must mirror the sections. I have decided not to do this, because this is not relevant when working with these patterns.


Cut out the shapes somewhat larger than the pattern and iron them onto the material.


Now cut out the parts precisely and remove the protective film from the back side.

Part 2: Sewing on the appliqué

Make sure to follow the sequence of steps with the animal faces. The sequence is numbered on the pattern, which means that you will start at number 1 and work in order from there.

The cat mask, for example, starts with the lines of the mouth that you must draw on with a trick marker. Now set a single small zigzag stitch with a stitch width of 2.5 and a stitch length between 0-1 and then sew along the lines. In order to make it look nicer, I decided not to reverse sew to secure the stitch. Instead, for this I knotted the threads on the back side.


Tip: When using thin material, you can place a tear-away embroidery stabilizer underneath so that the material does not pull together when being sewn.

Now iron on the nose (the sewn zigzag stitch should be slightly covered up at the top). Sew along the edge (if the needle is on the right side, stitch barely into the mask fabric). Tip: You will have a better view of the project if you use the embroidery foot with the transparent sole or the open embroidery foot (optional).
You can see both feet here:


Next comes the circles of the cheek that you will sew on just like the nose.


The whiskers are sewn using the triple straight stitch. On the b35 this is stitch A (red), stitch length “S”.


Tips for other animals:

Rabbit: The teeth are cut out from felt and sewn on using a straight stitch. Felt does not fray and is easier to sew on in this way. If you would like, you can draw individual dots with a black fabric pen at the end.


Tiger: When sewing the corners of the tiger mask, begin continuously reducing the stitch width approximately 1.5 cm before the corners. Turn the mask and then increase the stitch width.


Part 3: Sewing the mask

We continue with the cat mask:

Now place the two mask parts (inner and outer mask) in half on top of each other; the right sides will be on the inside. Sew both darts above and below on both mask parts. Make sure that the seam ends neatly at the fold.


Cut the seam allowance down to the beginning of the dart and neatly iron apart the seam allowances of the darts.


Measure the required length of elastic, place it on both side edges of a mask part, and sew it within the seam allowance (this is only to position it).


Now place both mask parts on top of each other (right sides on the inside):

Place the mask parts on the top of each other

Tip: To sew them together, you can use the embroidery foot with the transparent sole and set the needle position at 2. Using the bernette 35, you can guide the foot along the edge of the material and sew with the proper spacing.


Begin shortly before the lower dart, sew around, and leave an opening of approx. 5 cm for turning it right side out.


Cut the corners at an angle (t will look nicer when turned) and cut the seam allowance at the top in a few places.


Turn the mask to the exterior side. Turn the mask through to the right side. Top stitch, closing the opening as you stitch round. For a better fit, place a small fold on the side edge and stitch the side seam again.


All done! It’s that easy to sew a mask for children – one that they will enjoy wearing and look great in.

Now you can let these wild animals loose! 😉


The settings are similar when using a bernette 38

  • In this case you also have the option of using different suitable presser feet. Select the embroidery foot with the transparent sole or the open embroidery foot.
  • For the appliqué, select the zigzag stitch no. 5 with a stitch width of 3 and a stitch length of 0.3.
  • For sewing the whiskers, select the triple straight stich no. 3 with the basic settings of stitch length 3 and stitch width 3.5.
  • To sew the parts together in the exact spacing of the seam allowance, mount the zigzag presser foot and select the needle position (stitch width) 6.5.

Good luck with the sewing project!

Best regards,


Herewith we explicitly advise you that all masks sewn according to instructions in the BERNINA Blog are to be considered as self-sewn face masks. They are neither medical products or protective equipment.

You will find more information here: ‘Self sewn face mask everything you need to know’

Free sewing tutorial: Self-Made Face Masks for Children – With Funny Appliqués

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