Have you ever tried to make something, and it seemed like an overwhelming puzzle from a bad nightmare? That’s how most perceive sewing the basic surgical pleated mask. It’s a timeless design and universal fit, but most will struggle with the construction’s pleating part.  

Many offer tape measures and cardboard templates and a long, drawn-out method for pleating when the formula is pretty simple. Pleats are a pressed fold between two places, and it’s that simple. Between point A and point B, we create a press and pin, sew, and done. But that’s the hard way – not the easy way. 

I created a formula back in March 2020 and did a video on how to hack your pleats in 30 seconds. That video went viral, and many others copied my formula until it became the ‘norm’ of how to prep your pleats. 

This formula is so simple it works for any size pleated face mask and should work for any style. But instead of going from point A to point B and pressing between – I reversed it. Let me explain. 

I took the mask laid it horizontal. Next, I folded it and pressed it in half. I was making a nice crisp press. Then I folded each half in half and pressed again – both upper half and lower half. Now I have three beautiful presses that have an accordion look. 

Starting with the newly ‘pressed fold’ the one closest to the bottom, I took it and pulled it towards the bottom of the mask, only halfway, and stopped to pin. In my mind, the pressed fold is ‘point A, and the mask’s bottom is point B.’ Now my perfect pleat is pinned in the middle of that space between Point A and Point B. I did this in reverse of how most would without marking anything and using the pleat as my indication of point A, but then moving it towards Point B and stopping and pinning halfway.  

*To be clear, Point A is the folded, pressed pleat, and Point B is the bottom of the mask. 

I continue with this process for all (3) folded presses (pleats) on both sides, making sure that I pull the fold in the same direction on both sides of the mask. Three folds, pinning each halfway between (the pleat itself) and the mask’s bottom, or for spacing the other two pleats – halfway to the next pleat below it.

If you cannot do this in less than 60 seconds, something is wrong! The best part is it is universal and will work well with any surgical pleated face mask, style, or size! I’m putting in my videos to show you how this works – scroll to timeline for ‘Pleats easy as 1-2-3’ to see it done if you are a visual learner! 

This pleated mask pattern is available in 8 sizes, including 3 for children. Follow this link to get yours: Organic Pleated Face Mask Pattern 

Both styles of this face mask have step-by-step tutorial videos on my YouTube Channel. Each made of 100% organic fabrics to ensure a face mask that is safe, luxurious, and eco-friendly! I hoped this blog helped changed pleating for you! 

Be well,