Life Boost

Tue, Aug 04, 2020

August Community Craft: Face Masks

Wearing a mask in public has started to feel like a normal thing. Keys. Purse. Phone. Face mask, and I'm out the door. Thanks to local and international scientists we've learned that masks can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect not only our selves but our loved ones and neighbors. Dr. Marm Kilpatrick, an infectious disease specialist at UC Santa Cruz, has used the most current scientific data about case transmission to develop four easy to follow guidelines to keep us safer and masks happen to be at the top of that list.

I am all about supporting my community and I remain motivated to keep my loved ones and neighbors safe, but I've found that mask-wearing doesn't have to be a bleak experience if we don't let it. Wearing a mask can also be used as self-expression! These pillars for transmission control can become an extension of your personality, outfit, values, and creativity. With a plethora of amazing patterns, DIY tutorials, styles, and creative folks to draw inspiration from masks have become a new canvas for creativity.

It's no surprise that our local Santa Cruz County artists and organizations have been at the forefront of mask-wearing and creative accessorizing. The Good Times wrote an article in May about artists using their skills to make creative masks and share their values. The Santa Cruz Volunteer Center has volunteers making masks for those in need in order to reach their goal of 2000 masks donated. And the Pajaro Valley Quilting Association has had a mask-making project and a downloadable pattern available free of charge.

It is inspiring to see how people are getting creative with their masks and carving out time to help others. In this month's community craft, we are highlighting a number of ways you can join the movement of combining fashion with community care.

Our Favorite DIY's

Masks 1
  1. The first thing to do if you want to make a creative mask is doing a bit of inspirational research. Check out our Pinterest board for some awesome ideas.
  2. If you want to make one from scratch you will need to find some instructions to follow.

We suggest:

3. If you don’t want to start from scratch a great alternative is to upgrade an already made one to fit better or match your personality. You can add new straps, sew on a patch, or add a protest slogan. Make it your own!

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No Sewing Machine? No Problem!

If you live nearby and you want to sew a mask, or upgrade your mask, but you don’t have a sewing machine, The Fábrica in Downtown Santa Cruz is a great local resource to check out.

Masks 2

The Fábrica is run on volunteers and donations and provides wonderful resources for our community, learn more about their mission and how you can support this work here.

The Fábrica is a community workspace where folks can come to learn and share knowledge about textiles arts. This includes sewing, knitting, quilting, embroidery, crochet, and bookbinding, among other arts. The workshop is operated by volunteers and funded by donations from participants. They have sewing machines as well as generous amounts of fabric, zippers, notions, and the other tools and supplies one needs for most sewing and yarn-based projects.

The Fábrica is open only two days a week at the moment, but you can stay up to date by checking out their website. They have two sewing stations outside in their garden and a volunteer will be available to help you get supplies or help you using the sewing machine and do your project. You can sign up to use a machine for 1 hour at a time. No previous experience required!

(August) Open Hours: Mondays & Saturdays 3 pm – 6 pm

Don't forget to take a picture! We would love to see what you made, maybe even like a virtual fashion show. Take a picture and either tag @santacruzmah on social media or send an email to

Inspiration Gallery

Elizabeth Yznaga