I made DIY face masks from my old Apple employee t-shirts

“Free t-shirts flowed like sparkling water from the tap for employees at Apple Inc.,” says former employee who saved dozens of  Apple employee t-shirts.

by Matt Berger

The first few weeks as an employee at Apple Inc. were some of the most exciting and eye-opening in my career. Each day brought new experiences with “surprise and delight” at every turn.

No object better symbolizes that feeling as much as the stack of free employee t-shirts I saved from my five years there.

The first t-shirt I received welcomed me as a new employee with a banner across the front that read: Class of 2014.

Instead of washing and wearing it, I rolled it up and stashed it away in my close as a memento of the occasion.

The second t-shirt was also a keeper, celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the first personal Macintosh computer with stylized copy that read: 3 Happy Birthday, Mac.

I joined just before the annual Worldwide Developer Conference, WWDC14, where they tossed bright-colored t-shirts No. 3 and No. 4 at me, identify me as a Volunteer and employee. They made me wash and wear them, but afterwords I stashed them in my closet, too.

A few months in, I received my fifth t-shirt, perhaps the one that broke me: A special-edition employee gift to celebrate some product launch or another. Small print on the back of the shirt displayed the address, 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA.

The front of the shirt simply read: Shirt.

As the years passed, my closet pile of rolled-up Apple employee t-shirts grew taller and wider. Employee fitness challenge prizes, new headquarters, team slogans, more WWDC events.

DIY Masks from T-Shirts: A Tutorial

I’ve been waiting for the day that this stash of clean cotton would come in handy. Who knew it would be a global pandemic and nationwide lockdown that provided my inspiration.

Running short on fabric, and long on orders from friends and family, I turned to my t-shirt stash to make a set of Apple branded DIY Face Masks.

Step One: Find or make a cardboard template for half of the mask, accounting for the folds and sew lines. I modified a design available from Cricut (which published detailed instructions on its website if mine fall short for you).

Step Two: Place the template over the t-shirt, orienting it over your favorite logo or graphic design (for those who are not former or current Apple employees). Mark with a pen and cut out the parts, two on each side for a total of four cut pieces.

Step Three: Sew two halves together along the center line to create the outside and inside faces of your mask.

Step Four: Then join those two sewn parts outside face to outside face, and pin them together to hold them in place for sewing. Then sew the top edge and the bottom edge, leaving the sides unsewn

Step Five: Turn the mask inside out and you’ve got a mask that’s almost ready to go. Just needs some elastic or ties sewn to the each side. Below is a quick TicTok video to demonstrate.

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