How to Make a DIY Mask with a Pocket for Filters

pocket masks

Since resources are running low, it has become popular to make home made masks out of fabric.  The CDC recommends the use of at home face masks (like bandanas or scarves) used in combination with a face shield as a very last resort.  While these are in no way the same as N95 or PPD masks to protect against coronavirus, some health care workers have been requesting them to be used as a last resort.  Here are some links that have been shared with me about the effectiveness of home made masks:

  • This was one of the first articles to go viral asking at home sewers to make the Deaconess Mask.
  • My sister (a doctor) sent me this article that has a disclaimer that fabric face could actually be more harmful, but could also be a visual sign of our sacrifice during this time.
  • My best friend Jo sent me this article which is a study that was done to show what home made items are the best for filtering (spoiler alert, 2 layers of 100% cotton was the winner).
  • A Taiwanese doctor recommended a pocket version of a mask that can accommodate a non-woven filter like a vaccuum bag.  This is how I’m modeling these DIY masks.

As always, please educate yourselves and make your own informed decisions about masks.  I tried a few different mask designs before settling on this version that is the easiest to make with the least amount of materials.  This style features:

  • Easy, straight stitches for beginners
  • Straps that tie around the head for a custom fit
  • Pocket to fit a filter
  • Wire insertion for comfort over the nose

Materials Needed

Pocket Mask Materials

  • 10″ of fabric cut by the bolt (14″ to make 2 masks)
  • wire (twist ties or pipe cleaners work well)
  • Sewing machine and scissors

1)  Cut your fabric

1 cut fabric pieces

  • To make the mask, you will need 2 rectangles, 9″ wide and 6″ tall.
  • Cut two 2″ straps the full length of the bolt, so 44″ all spread out, or 22″ folded in half.  You can also use ribbon for this.

2)  Finish the ends of the bottom of both rectangles by folding under twice and sewing

3)  Put right sides together and sew the top of the mask.

4 sew top seam


4)  (optional) Add a wire by placing it in the middle of the top seam in between the layers.

5 insert wire

5)  Close up the mask and top stitch the top seam.  Top stitch means to sew a line right on top.

6 top stitch seam

6)  Pleat the right side of the mask by folding and sewing right on top.  You should have about 3 pleats per mask and the side should end up to be about 3″.  It doesn’t have to be precise.

7 pleat mask

7)  Pleat the other side of the mask by starting at the bottom, matching the folds of the mask on the opposite side, folding upwards, and sewing over.

8)  Now we’re going to create the strap, also called bias tape!  Taking one of your 2″ strips, fold under the very end of the strap (red line).  Fold the strap lengthwise to find the midline (blue line), and fold both edges inward to meet the middle (green line).

8 fold bias

Then fold the entire strap in half again so you essentially have the 2″ strap folded in fourths.  Top stitch the strap along the edge so it stays together.

9)  Once you get near the middle, sandwich the side of the mask in between the bias tape and sew in place.

10)  Continue on to finish sewing the edge of the strap.  When you get to the end, fold under the edge, and sew the edges together.

11)  Repeat the process for the opposite side with the second strap.

15 finished mask

That’s it!  You’ve made a mask in just 11 easy steps using only straight lines.  Told you it was easy!  If you have headband elastic, you can also use that in place of the bias straps with about 30″ lengths.  Here’s also a photo of the pocket where you can insert your filter.

If you have any questions, you can find me on instagram @littlegraythread where I have a step-by-step tutorial saved in my highlights.

Star Wars Mask on a Loth Cat

Loth Cats (or aniamls) don’t need masks, but they sure make cute models!

Easy No-Sew Cindy Lou Who DIY for Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood

littlegraytrhead cindy lou who

The Snowflake has landed in Universal Studios Hollywood and has brought back our friends from Who-ville, new and old!  “Grinchmas” is included with park admission and runs daily from November 28 through Sunday December 29.  To prepare, I made this super easy Cindy Lou Who headband.


  • Headband
  • Red and White pom poms
  • pipe cleaner for ribbons
  • White fleece or felt cut into 4 ovals
  • stuffing like cotton balls or fiberfill
  • glue gun

cindy lou who supplies

Measure a couple centimeters above the ear and mark with a pen.  Glue gun the circles together and stuff with stuffing.  Glue ovals to headband letting the bottom hang over the ears.  Glue the pom poms onto the headband.

Add as many ribbon details as you like!  I chose pipe cleaner so the bow will stand up.

cindy lou who headband

I pieced together the Cindy Lou Who costume with a red gingham dress and a red half circle cape.  You can even use a red tree skirt and attach ribbons to the collar!


The Martha May Santa costume was purchased from Target.  It’s super sparkly and over the top, just like Martha May Whovier!

littlegraythread cindy lou who martha

What’s New at Grinchmas Universal Studios Hollywood

New this year is the all-new, state-of-the-art, topsy-turvy “Grinchmas” tree that twists and turns over 55 feet in height. The custom-made tree is adorned with hundreds of ornaments and thousands of sparkling LED lights and choreographed to music to brighten the merry “Grinchmas” Who-lebration.

Dazzling “Grinchmas” tree lighting ceremonies that take place every evening, accompanied by a snowfall flurry, bring this annual favorite to life, creating a festival of fun fit for The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Who-ville Whos (Pro tip:  Line up at the main Whoville entry gate a half hour before the tree lighting to enter.  First tree lighting happens at 5:30 and occurs every half hour).  There are some new Whos visiting Hollywood for the first time!

grinchmas djs

Tips on Meeting Characters

grinch and dj

Of course, meeting the Grinch himself is a must-do if you visit Whoville.  Lines can be extremely long, especially during peak season, but there are several things to do with minimal lines or no lines at all!

  • Meet Max the Dog–he’s a real animal actor!

grinchmas max

  • Many Whos roam around and do not have lines.  Be prepared to play!  We also met Cindy Lou Who who was roaming around and did not have a line.
  • Check out the cute Grinch decor like this Grinch snowman

grinch snowman

  • Write ways how your heart grew 3 sizes

heart growing writing

  • Eat all the Who Foods!  This Grinch Donut was available in the Whoville area and was a steal at only $7.99.  The Whoville Who Hash (tator tots, corned beef, cream of mushroom soup, onions and peppers) was found at the quick service restaurant “Hollwood and Dime” for around $10 and came with the take home can.


Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will also transform for the Holiday season.

Christmas at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • Seasonal decor to each storefront and a light projection spectacular to bring the the iconic Hogwarts™ castle to life.
  • As night falls on Hogsmeade village, “The Magic of Christmas at Hogwarts™ Castle” illuminates Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with colorful imagery and impressive dimensional animations that dance across Hogwarts castle in tandem to a musical arrangement from the Harry Potter movies.
  • Holiday themed songs from the a cappella Frog Choir
  • A wide selection of custom-made Christmas ornaments created especially for “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will be available. Collectibles include a decorative Hogwarts castle snow globe, Hogwarts crest and mascot ornaments representing each of the four houses, wizard card ornaments, unique tree topper and house pennant garland.
  • Holiday-themed fare and hot Butterbeer further complement the overall experience.

With so much to see and do at Universal Studios Hollywood, the California Neighbor Pass makes the perfect holiday gift, providing guests with the opportunity to experience 175 days of fun for $149 when purchased online. Visit for more details. Blackout dates and restrictions apply.

littlegraythread grinchmas

More information is available at Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter.

Admission to Universal CityWalk is free. More information available at

Pinner’s Conference in Ontario, California: A Review


It was the girls’ first convention and naturally it was DIY crafting themed!  The Pinners Conference is a nationwide conference that almost has a cult following.  Crafters from all come together to celebrate the art of crafting.  I have never seen so many wood planks, acrylic pants, and chalk boards in one spot.


There were several different ticket options ranging from $4 (with coupon) general shopping admission to $129 VIP experience.  The conference spanned over 2 days with a variety of different classes offered (I’ll get to that later).  I was provided with a 2 day expo wristband with unlimited classes (a $49 value).  I brought both of the girls with me because children ages 8 and under were free!

The Shopping Expo

The heart of the Pinners conference is the huge shopping expo.  There were rows and rows of handmade goods, crafting supplies, and small businesses.  We even saw a couple of our favorite etsy small shops!  Most booths offered discounted expo pricing on their items.

Gems4Adira TinyHeirMoccs

Many booths offered a “make and take” craft for a nominal fee.  Some crafts were as cheap as $2 for a painted bunny block to $10 for fresh flower crowns.  My kids enjoyed the free make and take crafts such as the pom pom bunny in the pot offered by Michael’s stores.  All the materials were included and friendly staff members were there to help them every step of the way.


The Pinners Conference offered several workshop type classes throughout the day.  There were 7 classrooms in addition to a sewing room.  Class themes ranged from painting wood crafts, hair and makeup, and how to grow your DIY business.

Pinners Conference

The first class we attended was macrame with Rubyellen Bratcher from Cakies.  This class was extra special to me because I have been following her blog since she only had 3 of her 5 kids!  To fully experience the class, you had the option of purchasing a craft kit with all the supplies you need to follow along (it was $30 for this class).  The benefit of learning a new skill at a class like this is that Ruby was right there to answer any immediate questions.  At the end of the class, not only do you have a beautiful craft to take home, but you also have a new skill that you can practice over and over.

I was really looking forward to was “How to build a DIY YouTube Channel” presented by Miaira Jennings from  She taught about how to build a brand, find a niche, and different ways to promote your videos (spoiler alert:  Pinterest plays a big role in this!).  Miaira was available for individual questions after her talk, and LittleSage really wanted to meet her in person.  A huge benefit to attending these conferences is networking and getting advice from experts in the industry.  All of the presenters made it known that they are available via email with any questions which is an invaluable resource.

Miaria Jennings

Was it worth it?

If you are a Pinterest superfan, then YES!  If DIY projects and learning new skills is your jam, then definitely check out the Pinners Conference if it is in a town near you.  People traveled from all over the state to attend this conference and it was easy to see why.  I would suggest looking over the class list to see if anything peaks your interest, and invest in the kits so you can craft along.  Think of it as a 2 day crafter’s retreat where you have the industry’s experts in the same room.


More information about the Pinners Conference can be found on their website, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

DIY Crafting Pinners Expo Coming soon to Ontario, California

Promo Image #1

The Ontario Convention Center will host Pinners Conference & Expo California, Friday and Saturday, March 8 – 9, 2019. Pinners Conference is a must-attend event where lifestyle experts connect with those who love to craft, cook, and create.  For two days, guests will have the opportunity to attend more than 100 classes and presentations covering a variety of topics led by industry leaders. The Pinners marketplace includes 300 top businesses providing beautiful options in the worlds of DIY, crafts, cooking, photography, party planning, scrapbooking, holiday, beauty and fashion and more! . Want to learn Macrame or chalk painting? Enroll in Macrame Plant Hanging or Chalk Painting 101. Looking for a twist on flower arranging? Try Wood Floral Arrangements. There’s also Japanese Kokedama String Garden Workshop, Handlettering, styling, sewing and quilting classes, hair braiding – and dozens of other unique classes available!

Ticket Prices

  • General Admission: $8
    • Includes all exhibitors and shopping
    • Does not include classes
    • Can be purchased at the door
  • One day Expo and 2 classes: $19
    • One day admission
    • Two classes of your choice
  • One day Expo and all classes: $29
    • Includes admission and all classes for one day (6 hours)
  • Two day Expo and all classes: $49
    • Includes both days of admission and all classes



  • BLOG50  – applies to general admission tickets and will give 50% off.
  • PINNERS10  – receive 10% off on VIP or class pass tickets.

Tickets can be purchased in advance on the website.

Discount Codes

  • BLOG50  – applies to general admission tickets and will give 50% off.
  • PINNERS10  – receive 10% off on VIP or class pass tickets.
  • Children 8 and younger are FREE for all events

Ralph Breaks the Internet–a Review and Bonus DIY No-Sew Vanellope Costume Tutorial

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck it Ralph 2 is hitting theaters on November 21!  If you haven’t seen the sneak peek yet, here it is:


We had the extreme pleasure of previewing the movie a few days ago at El Capitan Theater.  If you’ve never seen a movie at El Capitan, you’re missing out!  I wrote about how to visit Hollywood with kids and this was at the top of my list.  This historic movie theater is right on Hollywood Blvd across the street from the Dolby Theater.  The girls love to sit in the balcony for a unique experience to view a movie.  The view is perfect and it feels like you’re the only person in the theater.  Before Ralph Breaks the Internet, guests can “step inside the world of the internet” with living internet projections inside the theater as well as enjoy immersive photo ops in the lobby.  For tickets, you can call 1-800-DISNEY6 or buy tickets online at


Do you need to see Wreck it Ralph before seeing Ralph Breaks the Internet?  No!  Even though Wreck it Ralph is one of our favorite movies, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen it.  You just need to go into the movie knowing that Ralph and Vanellope are best friends.  Ralph Breaks the Internet starts six years after the previous movie ends so it can also function as a standalone movie.

Is it age appropriate?  Ralph Breaks the Internet is rated PG for “some action and rude humor”.  LittleSage is 3 and sat through the entire movie without a problem.  The movie was highly entertaining and kept the attention of both of the girls.  There’s also the classic Disney Princess scene that had everyone in stitches!


Surprisingly, LittleGray (6) got super scared during one of the scenes towards the end and was actually crying.  This might have been because I wasn’t sitting right by her, but she was definitely scared.  I asked her what was scary, and she said it was the loud noises.  I don’t want to spoil anything, but feel free to send me a message and I’ll tell you what it was!

This movie will make you think. I was surprised how much this movie spoke to my soul.  As soon as it was over, I wanted to call my best friend and discuss everything about life with her.  Without giving too much away, this might change the way you view friendships and reevaluate what type of friend you are.

Ralph and Vanellope are currently meeting guests in Hollywoodland at Disney California Adventure!  In preparation, I made these super easy no-sew DIYs using clothing basics from  You can view a collection of my favorite pieces on my ambassador page (I will receive a small credit if you choose to shop through that link).

Supplies for Vanellope:

Directions:  Cut pieces of the pink ribbon to match the details of the hoodie.  Fold the ends under and hot glue gun down to prevent fraying.  Glue the pieces in place (you can arc the pieces slightly to give it some dimension.  For the leggings, wrap the athletic tape around your child’s leg while she is wearing the leggings.  I cut the tape in half for the thinner side.  Hot glue gun the pink ribbon around the wider pieces.  To create the hair gems, hot glue gun the candy pieces to the rough side of velcro.

If you can’t wait until November 21, you can also see an extended 3-D preview at the Starcade Theater in Tomorrowland at Disneyland.  Don’t worry, there are no spoilers!

You can find more information about Ralph Breaks the Internet on facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  For more of our adventures at Disneyland, you can find us here.  Thank you Disney Studios for invited us to a free advance screening of Ralph Break the Internet!  I received the clothing items for free to review and to transform into a costume piece.  All opinions are my own.