How to Add Nose Wire to Fabric Face Masks

Adding a flexible wire to the nose area of a fabric face mask can help you make a better fitting mask. In this article, I’ll teach you how to add nose wire to any face mask sewing pattern. And, I’ll show you how to add a nose wire pocket to existing pre-made or purchased face masks.

Face mask with a  nose wire and fabric t-shirt ties

Make Better Fitting Face Masks with Nose Wire

In order to be effective, face masks need to fit well and be comfortable. A nose wire also helps a mask stay in place better, and keep the mask from sliding down your face.

A nose wire can help the edges of a mask fit closer to the natural contours of your face. And, people who wear glasses will appreciate that a nose wire helps keep your lenses from fogging up.

What Type of Wire to Use

The material you choose for nose wires should be both flexible and durable. Remember that face masks need to be washed and sanitized, so choose a material that can withstand high heat, soap, and water.

Here are a few types of materials that you can use to make a nose wire for face masks.

  • Pipe Cleaners, also called chenille stems
  • Jewelry Wire
  • Nose Bridge Strips made specifically for masks (check Amazon for these.)

I have also seen people use folded aluminum foil and grocery store twist ties.

How Long Should the Wire Be

Adult nose bridge wires should be about 3.5″ long. Child size nose wires can be smaller, about 3″ for most kids.

If you are buying ready-made nose bridge strips, they will likely already be this size.

wire and pliers to fold a nose wire for a face mask

How to Fold Nose Wires

If you are cutting nose wires from floral or jewlery wire, start with a piece of wire that is 4″ long.

Using needlenose pliers, fold each of the sharp ends in about 1/4″ toward the middle.

Twist the ends to secure them. That way, you won’t accidentally poke yourself with sharp wire when you wear the mask.

After you fold over the sharp edges of the wire, the finished nose piece will measure about 3.5″

For kid-size masks, start with a piece of wire 3.5″ long, so the folded piece will be 3″.

Instructions to Add Wires

Some people will want to add nose wires to face mask patterns as they sew them. Other people will want to add nose wire to existing masks that they have purchased pre-made. In either case, I want to provide all the information you’ll need to add wires to your face masks.

Add Nose Wire As You Sew

If you are sewing a fabric face mask pattern, you will be able to add a nose wire at some point during the sewing process.

In most pleated mask patterns, there will be a step in the pattern when sew the front and back panels together (right sides facing) and then turn the mask right-side out.

After you turn the mask right-side out, you will be able to amend the pattern to add a to nose wire casing. In short, you’ll be sewing a rectangular channel at the top of the mask in which to insert the nose wire.

sewing a pipe cleaner into a mask to make a nose wire

Here’s how to do it:

  • Use pins to measure a 4″ space at the center of your mask.
  • Starting at the first pin, sew 1/2″ vertically down the mask. Turn the mask 90* and sew 4″ along the length of the mask, or until the needle reaches the second pin.
  • Insert the wire into the channel you’ve just created. Turn the mask 90* again, and sew up the last 1/2″ to close the channel. Be sure to keep the wire out of the way of your needle so you don’t accidentally break your needle.

(In my face mask pattern, you can add a nose wire after Step 3.)

Adding Wire to a Premade Mask

You can also add wire to an existing mask – whether that’s a homemade mask you’ve made or a pre-made mask you’ve purchased.

To do this, you’ll sew on a small piece of additional fabric to create a channel for the nose wire.

You can use a small piece of pre-made bias tape or a fold a small rectangle of quilting cotton.

supplies for making a nose wire pocket for a face mask

Supplies:

  • 4-inch piece of wire, ends folded in toward the middle
  • 5-inch piece of bias binding OR
  • 5-inch by 2-inch piece of fabric, quilting cotton preferred
  • sewing machine and thread
  • iron
  • pins

Here’s how to make it.

Step 1: Fold the long edges of the fabric rectangle to meet in the middle.

making bias binding for a nose wire sleeve

Step 2: Fold one short edge over 1/4″, twice, to encase the raw edges. Stitch down.

folding fabric into a nose wire pocket for a face mask

Step 3: Fold in the other short edge. Then, fold the rectangle in half. Press. Place the rectangle onto the top inside edge of the mask. Line up the open sides with the top edge of the mask. (The folded edge faces down.) Pin in place.

pinning a nose wire pocket onto a face mask

Step 4: Sew along the three sides, leaving the one finished short edge open. In other words, sew along the top edge, the one unfinished short edge, and the bottom edge.

inserting wire into a face mask

Now you have a pocket in which you can insert nose wires.

How to Add a Pocket for Removable Nose Wires

Some people want to be able to remove the nose wires from their masks before they wash them. In this case, follow the instructions as written above.

This pattern creates a three-side sleeve – in which you can insert and remove the wire.

How to Add a Pocket for a Permanent Nose Wire

The process is very similar to the tutorial above. In this case, you would make just a few changes.

First, don’t go through the trouble of stitching the first short edge. Just fold it under and press with your iron.

Then, instead of sewing around 3 sides, you’ll sew around all sides. Remember to insert the nose wire before you sew the 4th side closed.

What’s Next?

Pin this post: Save this tutorial to your Pinterest boards, so you can come back to it later.

Leave a comment: I love to hear your feedback. Tell me in the comments below!

Share on Instagram or Facebook: When you make this project, share it on social media and tag me @sarahmaker. I love to see what you make!

How to Add Nose Wire to Fabric Face Masks

How to Add Nose Wire to Fabric Face Masks

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Adding a flexible wire to the nose area of a fabric face mask can help you make a better fitting mask. You can add nose wire to any face mask sewing pattern OR add a nose wire pocket to existing pre-made or purchased face masks.

Materials

  • 5-inch piece of bias binding
  • OR 5-inch by 2-inch piece of fabric, quilting cotton preferred
  • jewelry wire or premade nose bridge strip

Tools

  • needlenose pliers
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • scissors
  • pins

Instructions

  1. If you are cutting nose wires from floral or jewelry wire: Start with a piece of wire that is 4″ long. Using needlenose pliers, fold each of the sharp ends in about 1/4″ toward the middle. Twist the ends to secure them.
  2. If you are using a piece of fabric: Fold the long edges of the fabric rectangle to meet in the middle. Fold one short edge over 1/4″, twice, to encase the raw edges. Stitch down. Fold in the other short edge. Then, fold the rectangle in half. Press.
  3. Place the rectangle onto the top inside edge of the mask. Line up the open sides with the top edge of the mask. (The folded edge faces down.) Pin in place. Sew along the three sides, leaving the one finished short edge open. In other words, sew along the top edge, the one unfinished short edge, and the bottom edge.

Notes

These are instructions for adding a pocket for a removable nose wire to premade fabric masks.

For additional instructions and variations, see the details in the post above.

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