Cricut member turns creativity to good during lockdown

Like so many Cricut members, Carol West combined the cutting expertise of her Cricut Maker with the power of her sewing machine to whip up some face coverings during lockdown. We spoke to Carol to find out how she combined her creativity with her love of motorbikes to make over 5,000 face coverings for schools, care homes, GP surgeries and the local community.

Q. Hi Carol, could you tell us a little bit about how you first got started with your Cricut machine?

I’ve always loved arts and crafts. I actually used to be a classroom assistant at a Junior School and “cutting and sticking” was my speciality! So I’ve always had a bit of a creative side. As luck would have it, I came across the Cricut Maker at my local arts and crafts shop and snapped it up – it turned out to be the week of lockdown, so it was perfect timing to keep me occupied! As a passionate biker with my own Harley-Davidson motorcycle I was excited to use my Cricut machine to make vinyl stickers for my bike, iron-on patches for my jacket, and a mask to wear riding.                                                        

Q. That’s great timing. How did you get involved with making masks for others – what was your first project?

Well, it’s funny because making masks actually turned out to be my first project. Once lockdown started, the news started to come out about how to keep safe and wearing masks. I saw the mask template on Cricut Design Space, and thought it would make a good face covering to help with my other passion in life – my motorbike. So I made a pink sparkly one for myself as my first project.

Soon after this, it was being reported that there was a shortage of masks for those who needed them most. Cricut had an initiative called ‘millions of masks’ where the creative community was encouraged to use their skills to make masks where possible. I made about 100 to begin with and put a post in a local Facebook group to say I had some masks if anyone wanted any. 

The local school were making face shields, and had asked about masks, so they took my first batch and I carried on to supply them as they needed them. 

From there I just kept producing them! I joined a group on Facebook called Volunteer Riders UK who are bikers who were delivering PPE across the UK free of charge.  I joined with a view to being able to go out on my bike to do deliveries.  But someone on there said they needed masks and I said I could make them. From there it became a full time thing for nearly 4 weeks – I was able to make around 200 masks a day, one day I managed 370!

For eight hours a day, I’d sit in my designated craft corner, making masks. I ordered material online, used old bed sheets and relied on donations, too, including two bags of fabric samples from a woman who used to make curtains.

I’ve made over 5,000 now!

Q. That’s really amazing. Who did these masks go to, was it just schools?

The amazing thing about making masks is being able to help so many different people. The masks have gone to care homes, respite care, GP surgeries, community midwives, social workers.

I sent some to a cake baker who was making around 6 deliveries a day and was worried about her baby at home so she wanted masks.  I made a large batch for a group of ladies who make wigs for cancer patients, and when they received their masks they asked for more for their customers to be able to have some.  A family of a little girl with cystic fibrosis had some. 

Some of my masks have gone as far as the Outer Hebrides for carers on the island who were struggling with getting masks and the ones they had were making their faces sore.           

For doctors and nurses, I made superhero masks, adorned with comic-book characters like Wonder Woman and Batman, which they wore over their medical- grade masks. If the masks were going to GP clinics, I made them with floral patterns or geometric designs.

The feedback I have had has been very positive, people like the masks as they are comfortable and washable.  The ladies in the Hebrides were very very happy with theirs!

Q. Wow. What gave you the drive to help in such a powerful way?

I am the daughter of a retired nurse and my daughter is a paramedic – so for me making masks was doing what I can for those that needed help.  My mum taught me to always give what I can for those in need.

When I discovered I could use my creativity and Cricut machine to do so much good for people, it was really an easy decision to make.

I’m not the real hero this year though, it’s the NHS staff of carers, doctors, nurses and more who deserve endless praise for the work they’ve done for the whole nation throughout the pandemic.

Q. What’s next for you, are you still making masks?

Now I am just producing for local families or individuals who ask for masks. I’m still making them, but on a smaller scale than before. I’m really proud to have contributed to both Cricut’s Millions of Masks campaign and the national effort more widely.

I’m looking forward to continuing my creative journey and making more creations.

Since March, Cricut has seen that over 1.9 million masks have been made using patterns on the company’s Cricut Design Space software. Various patterns are available including a cardboard template and a no-sew face covering and even designs with embroidered patterns. Follow the links below to make your own face covering using Cricut patterns in Design Space:

Face covering with window

Cricut Maker (fabric) face covering

No sew face covering

If you don’t have a Cricut machine, you can download the face mask patterns here:


Make and mend, not spend: Britain is now a nation of crafters

We heard from a lot of Cricut members telling us how they were turning to their hobbies even more during lockdown. Some used their crafty skills for good, making face coverings for themselves, their families and their communities and some saw the benefits of spending some time crafting to help stay mindful, aid mental health and spend time crafting together as a family.

We decided to look into this a bit deeper and carried out some research into the nation’s crafty habits and we have to say we weren’t too surprised at the results!

  • Three quarters (79%) of Brits said they now craft more than they did pre-lockdown
  • The majority (96%) said they now plan to continue making their own products, rather than buying them from their usual shop
  • 78% plan to create more activities from scratch or holiday from home
  • Nearly half (46%) cancelled plans, instead preferring (or ‘in order to’) to spend more time crafting
  • Hosting a garden party (73%) was the most popular activity to recreate from home

We also discovered that the nation is proving selfless and generous, with 82% creating in order to gift presents to family and friends.

Half (49%) of Brits are also using their newfound skill to create cancelled experiences at home. Hosting a traditional garden party tops the list (73%), followed by a recreating a baby shower or pre-wedding celebration (39%). The cancellation of this year’s Glastonbury may also be influencing our choices as a fifth (22%) are also hosting their own music festival.

It’s not just crafting we’ve been trying – three quarters of us (73%) have learnt a new skill. The top skills being practised after crafting include DIY and Baking (34%), followed by a new language (6%) and learning a musical instrument (3%).

84% of Brits also revealed that social media has inspired them to become more creative. With celebrities like Stacey Solomon leading the way with her tap to tidy trend, showcasing how easy it is to recreate these craft skills at home.

This research shines an interesting light on our attitudes to getting creative during lockdown. A positive legacy from the lockdown is that people have used their unexpected time at home to develop a new hobby or skill, something which they can hopefully continue to love and progress with once things return to the new normal.

With more people developing craft as a hobby than ever before, those looking for inspiration for new ideas and projects can look to Cricut to find them in abundance. Our range of Cricut machines cater for every person, whatever stage of the crafting journey they are at, whether this be beginners’ level such as home organisation and personalisation or crafting connoisseur dreaming up grand projects.

The research survey was carried out by Cricut to a total of 6,145 people across the UK.