We present a new technique for the fabrication of arbitrary photolithography patterns on the cleaved facet of an optical fibre. The fibre, coated with photoresist, is aligned and brought into contact with the lithography mask, which is directly fabricated on the cleaved facet of an ultraviolet multimode fibre. To transfer the pattern, it is then sufficient to shine light from the opposite side of the ultraviolet fibre and develop the photoresist according to standard photolithography processing. Since the alignment and the movement to contact can be performed by means of image-based active fibre alignment processes used in a commercially available optical fibre splicing machine, this technique adapts well to series production. © 2009 IOP Publishing Ltd.