RBG-Inspired Dissent Lace Face Mask Tutorial

Like so many others, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the loss of the Notorious RBG, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg two days ago on September 18, 2020.

Ironically, I had the idea for this DIY face mask tutorial last week -- a full week before her passing. I had the black reusable face masks in my Amazon cart and then early this week decided that I already have masks and should probably spend my time doing something else.

But in light of the recent loss of dear Justice Bader Ginsburg and everything this means for America, it suddenly felt really important.

I want to wear this mask in her memory, as a reminder of everything that is on the line with the upcoming election and with the senate's decision to appoint a new justice now or after the election.

Looking for more easy sewing projects?

If you love easy sewing projects, you might like these other Creative Green Living tutorials:

DIY Lace Face Mask Tutorial
a feminist dissent collar inspired project to honor the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dissent Face Mask Supplies:

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Pro Tip: If you are a beginner at hand stitching, this project will be easier if you choose a lace that is flat across the top.

DIY Dissent Collar Face Covering Directions:

RBG-Inspired Face Mask Step 1: 

Before you get started crafting with your face mask, be sure to give it a quick wash and toss it in the washer to dry.

This will rinse out any sizing or chemicals that may be in the fabric from the manufacturing process and will make sure that your mask won't shrink or change sizes after the lace is attached.

RBG-Inspired Face Mask Step 2: 

The the lace along the top edge of the mask to see how much you'll need. Add a little extra (I added two pattern repeats) and cut.

RBG-Inspired Face Mask Step 3: 

Get your needle and thread ready to go. Cut an arms length of thread and thread it through the eye of the needle.

Hold the two ends of the thread together and tie a knot. This will let you work with the thread doubled for a strong attachment.

RBG-Inspired Face Mask Step  4: 

Start stitching the lace to the mask from the center out.

To do this, find the center of the lace and line it up with the center seam of the mask (if your mask has one).

Poke the needle through from the back of the mask through the lace. Draw the thread through until stopped by the knot. 

Continue stitching in a whip stitch pattern (don't know what that means? See a video explanation of whip stitch here).

If the lace you are using is flat across the top, keep whipstitching along the top edge and jump ahead to Step 6!

RBG-Inspired Face Mask Step 5: 

If your lace is flat across the top, all you need to do is keep going to stitch it down across the top edge.

If your lace has a scalloped top like mine, you will need to fold the wavy edge to the back and tack it down as you are stitching.

To do this, stitch up to the base of the scallop.

Once you get to the wavy part, fold the peak of the wave toward the back (to the inside of the mask).

Use your needle to catch the fabric on the inside of the mask and the peak of the wave and tack them down. 

Then come back to the top edge and keep whip stitching the edge of the lace to the mask until you get to the next peak.

RBG-Inspired Face Mask Step 6: 

Continue whipstitching in the same way you have until you get to the corner of the mask.

Trim off the edge with scissors, leaving a little bit of a margin.

To make sure your lace doesn't unravel, you need to do something to seal the edge. If you want to be responsible and avoid fire, use Fray Check.

Don't have Fray Check? Don't want to buy Fray Check? Want to do something fun while also releasing me of liability?

Seriously, if you try this, whatever happens next is on you. I told you to use Fray Check already. If you catch something on fire "but this blogger told me to!" is a lame excuse.

Ahem. Having said that, if your lace is polyester or another synthetic, you can seal the edges with heat. 

To do this, I use a long-handled lighter to warm up the fibers to help them melt and seal. Do not hold the fibers in the flame! You just need to get the flame close to the edge of the lace (see video below).

If you have ever had to seal the end of a synthetic fiber rope, you may be familiar with this technique. 

Don't feel comfortable using fire? Don't want to risk it? Use Fray Check.

Watch me do it here. See how I get close to the lace but I'm not actually holding it in the flame?

Once the edge is sealed whether by fire or Fray Check, stitch down the edge, being sure to leave any filter pocket the mask might have open. 

To do this, make sure you are only sewing through the top layer and not both layers of the mask.

Once you are done sewing the sides, tie a knot close to the fabric and snip away the tail with scissors.

RBG-Inspired Face Mask Step 7: 

Congrats! You have half the mask done!

To finish, repeat steps 3-6 on the other side of the mask.

That's it!
Join me in wearing your RBG-inspired dissent mask in memory of one of the greatest human rights warriors we have known this century.

If you love this project, be sure to pin it to save it for later!


Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inspired Dissent Mask

Yield: 1 mask
Author: Carissa Bonham
Estimated cost: $8
prep time: 1 Mperform time: 20 Mtotal time: 21 M
Honor the legacy of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with this dissent collar-inspired face mask. This project is easy even for beginning stitchers.


  • Black cotton face mask
  • Lace
  • Thread


  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Lighter or Fray Check


  1. Before adding lace, wash and dry your mask in the same manner that you plan to wash and dry the finished mask.
  2. Run lace along the top edge of the mask to measure how much you will need. Leaving some extra, cut the lace from the roll.
  3. Double thread your needle with white thread and tie a knot.
  4. Starting in the middle of the mask, use a whip stitch to secure the lace to the top edge of the mask.
  5. If your lace has a top scallop, fold down the waves and tack them to the backside of the mask.
  6. When you reach the corner of the mask, leave an allowance and trim away any extra lace.
  7. Treat the edge of the lace to keep it from unraveling with either Fray Check or heat.
  8. Stitch down the sides of the lace, being sure to not sew any filter pockets closed.
  9. Repeat on the other side of the mask.


For detailed step-by-step photos and a useful video, visit the full-length tutorial on the Creative Green Living website.
Did you make this project?
Tag @CreativeGreenLiving on instagram and hashtag it #notoriousRBG
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Created using Craft Card Maker

Carissa Bonham

About the Author:

Carissa Berg Bonham is a feminist crafter and mom of two creative boys. She is grateful for the tireless work of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg winning important civil rights for women such as the ability for women to hold their own mortgages, bank accounts and make their own medical decisions without the oversight of a man.

The owner and lead writer at Creative Green Living, she is an award-winning blogger and most recently won the ShiftCon Media "Best Green Lifestyle Blogger" award in 2019.

She is also the author of several books including Beautiful Smoothie Bowls (Skyhorse, 2017), Proven Techniques for Keeping Healthy Chickens (Skyhorse, 2018) and The Little Green Book of Mothers' Wisdom (Skyhorse, 2020).

Her projects have been featured in magazines like Kids Crafts 1-2-3, Capper's Farmer and Urban Farm Magazine. Follow her on PinterestInstagramTwitter or join the Creative Green Living Tribe.
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