The Crafting Community Has United to Make Millions of Face Masks for Essential Workers
The more masks the merrier.
When the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the nation to go into lockdown, protective equipment became very difficult to find. With the CDC’s recommendation to wear a face mask out in public and more places across the country starting to reopen, the need for face masks has become more urgent than ever.
To ease the demand, smart cutting machine brand Cricut has mobilized the crafting community to make face masks as part of its Millions of Masks challenge.
The response has been tremendous. So far, 130,000+ community members have participated in the challenge, making over one million homemade masks for friends, family members, the healthcare frontline, and essential workers in the community. With Cricut’s goal of making 2 million masks for those in need, the company is more than halfway towards its goal.
“From one generation to the next, crafting has always been a form of artistic and emotional expression, but when COVID-19 officially became a global pandemic, we realized that crafters were taking the responsibility upon themselves to offset the shortage of protective equipment,” says Cricut CEO Ashish Arora. “We were so moved by their selflessness, kindness, and generosity that we knew, as one of the leading crafting companies, we had to create face masks patterns that anyone could use, for free. We spent a lot of time reviewing CDC guidelines, listening to experts in the community when designing these patterns, and ensuring different needs and concerns were met. As we donate more than 150 Cricut Maker machines and thousands of fabric bundles to members making a big impact in their communities, we are confident that this number will only continue to grow.”
The inspiring examples include 8-year-old Kaylee Pineda, who used money she had saved for a summer vacation that was canceled because of the pandemic to buy the material to make face masks. When she heard that her father’s 3rd Cavalry Regiment unit was in need of masks for day-to-day use, she teamed up with her mom to make between 40 and 50 masks a day, and has donated nearly 1,000 masks for military personnel at Fort Hood.
Jessica O'Brien, who is creating masks for FedEx stations in the New Jersey area, made over 100 masks for local FedEx workers. Christina Del Monte, another member in the Cricut community, spends her time in quarantine making hundreds of face masks for local hospitals and shelters, and collaborating with companies to coordinate pickups and drop-offs.
In addition to masks, members are also making a difference by creating ear savers, scrub caps, thank you cards, supportive window displays, and more. According to Arora, members have made nearly 220,000 ear savers and scrub caps and mailed them to essential workers in 40 states.
“COVID-19 has presented challenges for the world like we’ve never seen before in our lifetime. A movement like what we’ve seen with making face masks is giving us all hope and a sense of purpose beyond our daily routines,” says Arora. “Whether it’s thousands of masks for essential workers or one mask for a friend in need, every mask makes a difference.”
If you want to contribute to the cause (and keep busy during this stressful quarantined period), visit the Cricut site for more info. If you have a sewing machine, you can sew your own face mask (you’ll find several free face mask projects in Design Space for every skill level). If you’re not a sewing aficionado, you can also design a no-sew design using materials you probably already have at home, like a T-shirt. No matter what face mask you go for, submit what you’ve made through this form and share your creations on social media with the hashtag #togetherwemake. You can also follow along on Facebook and Instagram to see more from the crafting community.
“We feel lucky to play even a small role in this worldwide movement. Having this close-knit community who uses creativity to stay positive, motivated, or as a form of therapy, has helped all of us in so many ways,” says Arora. “There is something about the act of making that brings such joy to people’s lives. When it’s combined with a shared motivation to make the world better, it has an impact that is remarkable.”