Lycra Sun Mask / Hood





Introduction: Lycra Sun Mask / Hood

About: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output devices. His detailed drawings of traditional Pacific...

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

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

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.



    • Backpack Challenge

      Backpack Challenge
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest

    38 Discussions

    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.

    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.

    4 replies

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

    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

    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.

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

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

    "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.

    1 reply

    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.

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

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

    5 replies

    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.

    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.

    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.