Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Design Your Personal Cloak

Design your own cloak that reflects your identity, influences, and ideals. What might your cloak reveal? What might still be “hidden” by it? How might it feel to wear it?


Cloaks offer the wearer protection from the weather and can also be used to hide or cover up one’s identity (some are even “invisibility cloaks!”). But when worn as a form of self-expression, how might a cloak reveal something about the wearer?

During the 1970s, artist Carlos Villa created a series of cloaks and coats that reflect his exploration of his identity as a Filipino American. These artworks evoke non-Western ceremonial garments, such as Hawai’ian royal capelets and Samoan tapa cloths, as well as the Catholic robes he wore as an altar boy. The repeating spiral pattern holds personal significance for Villa, as it suggested circular movement and action, connecting to his work as a community organizer. 

Follow the directions below to shape, color, and decorate your own mini-cloak as you wish! 


  1. Giant coffee filter
  2. Scissors
  3. Pens, paints, crayons
  4. Optional: Glue for adding bits of colored paper, cut-out shapes, or other decorations
  5. Optional: hole-punch to punch out patterns on your cloak


  1. Flatten the coffee filter so it looks like a semi-circle, then cut out the center of the filter.
  2. Experiment with the ways you might transform the paper: cut, tear, curl, twist, crimp, crumple, fold, fringe, hole-punch, collage, etc.
  3. Decorate your cloak with your pens, paints, and other art supplies.
  4. Decide whether you want to decorate the other side of your cloak or keep it one-sided.  
  5. Try your cloak on–what does it reveal about you?  What might still be “hidden” by it? How does it feel to wear it?


“A Circular Kind of Movement: A Conversation About the Works of Carlos Villa”: Mary Valledor & Sherwin Rio. Friends Indeed. February 5, 2021.