Posted on 01/04/2020

You’ve cleaned every cupboard in your kitchen, you’ve swept, mopped, scrubbed surfaces and done it all again. You’re approaching the first and dreaded shopping experience, and due to the shortage in face masks (they are for the medical staff, really) you’re feeling a bit exposed. Well we have a solution for you.

Clean out that ever accumulating cupboard filled with race tees and pick your favourite, or whichever really. Collect some scissors, some thread and a needle from your ‘man draw’ of goodies and get ready to get crafty for COVID-19. We are going to make your very own race tee face mask.


  • Old race tee
  • Newspaper
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Needle and Thread
  • Old shoe lace/thin rope


  1. Make pattern: Draw a 17cm x 17cm block on the newspaper and cut it out. This will be your pattern that you will use to cut out the material from your tee
  2. Cut out your material: place the pattern on your shirt. Fold the tee so that you can cut two layers of material at the same time. Line it up so that one side of the pattern has the hem.
  3. Pin your pattern block onto the two layers of material and cut out. You will be left with two pieces of 17cm x 17cm teeshirt material blocks, each with one side with the tees natural hem.
  4. Create a seam: Fold and iron/finger press the side across from the natural hem of the material down about 2 cm, and do this for both blocks. You should be left with a clear line on each block, across from the hem.
  5. Place blocks on top of one another so that the inside of the shirt faces outwards. Make sure that the hems of the blocks line up with a folded seam each (i.e. the hems should not lie on top of one another, but be opposite one another aligned rather with a folded seam)
  6. Pin the blocks together: Start from the hem and pin all the way to the folded seam (2cm from the end). Do this on both sides.
  7. SEW: sew along the pin lines you made so that you create a tube/sleeve with openings on both ends.
  8. Turn the material the right way round so the new seams you created are inside the sleeve.
  9. Fold your ironed/finger pressed seam inwards, and sew on top of the folded part. Make sure to keep under the overlocking/hem that is visible. Do this on both sides.
  10. Thread the lace/rope lace through the hem sleeve, creating a loop on the one side and threading it through the other hem sleeve as well.

You are now ready to put it on your head:

Place the loop over your head, and use the loose ends to tighten and tie the mask in place at the back of your head.


Thank you Leanda du Bruyn for your creative genius, and doing a “Face-Masks for Dummies” step by step, for us to follow.

Now go forth and shop with confidence knowing that your sniffs, coughs and heavy breathing won’t drift particles of human fluid onto things that others may touch. You’re welcome.

*DISCLAIMER: This is in no way medical grade and will not protect you, or others. If you have a serious co-morbidity such as asthma, cancer, respiratory disorders, elderly etc, please stay at home rather. This mask while fun to make is not medical grade and will have limited use in serious cases.

Leave a Reply