Introduction: Lycra Sun Mask / Hood

Picture of Lycra Sun Mask / Hood

If I'm in the sun all day long I'll get sunburned no matter how much sunscreen I put on.
If I wear SPF 50 sunscreen it helps, but it just means I get burned in 50 minutes instead of 1 minute :)

So I made myself a floral lycra sunhood. Like a ski mask, but to protect you from hot sun rather than cold wind.

I chose a colorful floral pattern so as to not scare people.
I haven't been shot as a fleeing robber yet.
In Mexico people smiled and yelled "Marcos!" at me because my mask reminded them of the Zapatista leader.

Looks like It's time to make some new ones.
This hood has been on some trips, it's no longer so elastic and the eye hole has gotten too big.
That's the effect of the UV that otherwise would have done the same damage to my skin.

Step 1: The Pattern

Picture of The Pattern

Here's the pattern. Cut two pieces like this from your cloth. Flip it over for one piece to make a left and right with the outside of the cloth facing out on both halves.
This pattern includes seam allowance of 3/8 inch all around the edge for a seam, no seam allowance around the eyehole.
The holes in the background mat are 1.25" apart for scale.

Lay the cloth flat, not stretched out, it's very elastic.
Mark it with a pencil. Cut to the outside of the paper.

The eyehole can be hemmed or not, or you can do a zigzag stitch around the edge. Lycra isn't terribly eager to unravel.

When doing the straight stitch for the seam, stretch the cloth out a lot, or your sewingmachine will bunch it all up and it'll be uncomfortable.

Plan to make a couple of these hoods, you'll change the pattern to fit your face better.

Step 2: In Action

Picture of In Action

Here I am in my sun gear in Kenya.
I'm at an island near Lamu near the Somali border.

No one complained that I looked weird.
If you're not a local you already look so bizarre it doesn't much matter what you've got on.


Bubbler (author)2011-12-30

The terrorist and Islamaphobia comments are useless. This is a good Instructable, and we should cover up our skin from the U. V rays as much and as often as we can. I'm off to see what crazy designs I can get in lycra.

aniraangel (author)2007-07-12

Frankly I think it sad that people instantly associate hoods and the like with terrorism, it's a bit like calling me Muslin simply for the fact i wear scarves over my hair on particularly cold/hot days. It's like locking up all the middle eastern people for their skin colour and background, it's wrong. They aren't all terrorists, just like not everyone with a hood is a terrorist. And to be Frank, Americans worry me more than the middle east. About the hood itself : It's probably last better if you sewed the eye holes.

AINews (author)aniraangel2011-03-06

After aniraangel's comment I don't think making one of these is a good idea any more.

Desertorca (author)aniraangel2010-07-27

im not so sure about the instant-association with terrorism, its kinda all across the board. whether your planting a bomb, stealing a car, or just plain holding someone up, the last thing you want is for someone to see your face cause a.) you then have to kill them because b.) if they get away and report it to the police, your so screwed. you would need severe plastic surgery to be able to move around freely again, and no promise the plastic surgeon wont all the cops either

Derin (author)aniraangel2009-02-06

Americans worry me too.Even though I'm in the Middle East,I don't think that everybody will be terrorist if they wear masks like that.I see terrorists on TV without masks,and I see people at school wear masks.Even my classmates say "you look like a terrorist" when I wear a snow-mask for the cold.

A good name (author)Derin2009-04-01

Actually, the assosciation is rarely to middle eastern people. Terrorists such as bank robbers often wear ski masks.

Valgarn (author)2010-11-04

It's like a happy hippie ninja!

Karletto555 (author)2009-11-23

if you'r planning to make winter mask, i suggest not to use wool because it will scratch your skin

kirnex (author)2009-07-02

"Here I am in my sun gear in Kenya....No one complained that I looked weird." I'm thinking one of two things factored into this: 1) They figured you were American. We undisputably have given the world enough doses of CRAZY for it to shock anyone else anymore. 2) They figured you were some sort of avant garde terrorist and they were afraid you had an IED under that hat. I'm betting on #2.

vestie (author)kirnex2009-08-28

Ha. I literally just laughed.

Yerboogieman (author)2009-05-13

I like that it doesn't cover up your peripheral vision.

DragonX777 (author)2009-04-26

As long it isn't racist against Middle Easterns, or anything against muslim's religion. I say its okay to share information without discouraging ideas. Nothing wrong sharing ideas.

sirajmunir (author)2009-04-21

""If you're not a local you already look so bizarre it doesn't much matter what you've got on"" lol!!!!

moesboy (author)2009-02-28

this would be good for camping

adrewmc (author)2007-07-06

I would probaby tackle and knock you out if you wore that to where i worked. (I'm a security person)

garyfau (author)adrewmc2007-11-04

Great idea. I love being outside and I have been a prisoner indoors. After 70 stitches, I am free of malignant melanoma but still a prisoner to the indoors. There are no commercial manufactures producing headwear for people in warm climates ( I live in Florida.) Thank you for the possibility of going outdoors again. As for the terrorist comments, keep your guard up. We are infidels in the eyes of ALL muslims. Please do not be politically correct, open your mind and realize what they are up to. So if you see me with my mask, I will understand your concerns.

Noodly0ne (author)garyfau2008-04-30

WTF. You automatically assume that anyone wearing a hood is a terrorist?! Not all Muslims think that all others are infidels. You are nothing more than a bigot and a fearmonger.

Derin (author)Noodly0ne2009-02-06

I think that people should just stop thinking bad things about others and enjoy the good sides of people.I am honest in this opinion. PS.I'm a Muslim and proud of it.

naruto 777 (author)garyfau2007-12-12


jpmartineau (author)adrewmc2008-01-16

You sound dangerous for a security person...

adrewmc (author)jpmartineau2008-01-17

I am a pretty angry security person...

Derin (author)adrewmc2009-02-06

Nice word.

Ima_Pirate (author)adrewmc2007-10-21

Yar. Yar no security person. Yar probily twelve. Yar.

Kaiven (author)Ima_Pirate2007-12-15

lol, and you are probably 10.

unjust (author)adrewmc2007-07-07

good call.....

all of the training i'm familiar with (and i do work in security, and security consulting) involves speaking to a person before initiating physical restraint unless there is immediate, visible threat to another. the above is a *great* way to get yourself fired, and/or charged with assault, if not sued, or charged with a number of other crimes. (unless you are working under a SOP where in you tackle and intentionally injure -everyone- who enters your area of concern....)

adrewmc (author)unjust2007-07-07

The laws in my state say that any party owning a establishment or home may go as far as to kill a trespasser/Bugler. This would be reasonable evidence for burgly by any standard.

unjust (author)adrewmc2007-07-08

yes, in many states, on property you own, or are acting under the instruction of the owner as the owners representative, you are permitted to use deadly force. given, however, that a number of muslim women wear scarves in the usa now, and that in northern states it is not unusual to wear a scarf or balaclava in the winter, you may wish to rethink that line of reasoning, in that assaulting someone who is not visibly posing a threat, while this may be permissible under local law, can expose you to (in the case of minorities) hate crime statutes, or significant civil suits fro wrongful death or injury. now, personally, if i ran into someone wearing that in the middle of the day in public i'd be leery, however if working i'd approach them, ask them to remove it, probably direct them into shade if they were uv sensitive to remove it, check id relative to face, notify the rest of my team, and send them on their way with an appology for the bother. if they came to my residence's door i'd probably not answer or answer armed, and ask them to remove it, and if they came indoors w/o removing it i'd be very wary. n.b. the disabled (in this case VERY sensitive to UV) should be treated with the same respect as the rest of us, and reasonable accomodation made for them.

jazman (author)adrewmc2007-07-08

same a would think hes a terroest

Woglinde (author)2009-01-03

Very cool (except for the flowers.) I live in a desert, and on hot days with sandstorms, I use a shemagh, which works VERY well. It also works very well in cold climates, like snowboarding on cold days, for example.

Thaikarl (author)2008-03-29

excellent. i live in thailand, work in the states. the thai's who work outside always wear something like this. they sell them in the shops, already attached to a hat, in all kinds of colors. and they wear long sleeve shirts and gloves if they are in the sun all day, like the road building workers in front of my house. Thai people don't like to get any darker than they are and it IS cooler when you're covered up- the sun heats your cloths, not your skin. see:

and they don't care about wearing flowers or not. jeez.

yellow elephant (author)2008-02-18

aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh its terrorist!!!!!!!!!!

naruto 777 (author)2007-12-12

dude this guy is right, flowers, really?

pagangod (author)2007-07-07

it may keep you from geting sunburn, but how hot is it, can you even breth with that thing on? i work out side too, so i know what it takes to try to keep cool and not get sunburn, good job through

TimAnderson (author)pagangod2007-07-08

I usually wear it with a wide brim hat. I wear it when there's hot sunshine, and it seems to be better than sun on skin. I'll dip it in water if it's really hot out, and then it's nice and cool. I wear it over my nose like in the picture when I really want to be sure not to burn, but sometimes I pull the eyehole open down to my chin and use a lot of sunscreen on my nose and the other exposed area. Then it protects my neck and sides of my face. I wear it that way if I need to talk to people, but usually people are more comortable with it than I am, it's pretty obvious that I'm working on something, I'm pale, and it's sun protection.

Chris Bilton (author)2007-07-07

I like it, though in the short term it could be more dangerous than sunburn if you are near any security sensitive areas.

Jestersage (author)2007-07-07

Very good in terms of technicality, but as adrewmc stated, it completely ignore political climates. If you are using it as part of a costume, though, seems to be good

worldzend (author)2007-07-06

Oh, that looks perfect to go with a rash suit at the beach. Maybe I could actually come away without a sunburn

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-07-06

oh nice! i would use it for fishing on hot days i get burned so bad in the face from fishing! lol but i would be far away from anyone cause these kind of look terroristic (if it was black) :-P

About This Instructable




Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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