Face coverings were hard to find in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many to dust off their sewing skills to make DIY face masks. But now you can buy just about any kind of mask, in any material or style, from any brand. And now, in addition to really nice, comfortable face masks, custom face masks can be designed with whatever photo, saying, or pattern you like — it’s the best both worlds, a mask that’s personalized but not DIY. You might want a mask with a photo of your smile to lighten the dystopian mood. Maybe you want to pass cool masks around at your kid’s baseball game to encourage mask-wearing. Really, anything you would put on a custom T-shirt can now go on a mask. If nothing else, years from now, your custom face mask will serve as a souvenir from the year the world turned upside down.
All of the following masks are made of multiple layers and have adjustable ear loops and nose bridges that help them fit snugly, per the CDC recommendations. Just remember that masks only work if you wear them.
Vista Print offers three options for customizable masks. You can send them an image and they'll send you design options, you can upload the image yourself and play around with it, or you can make a print in Illustrator or Photoshop, upload it, and get a mask with your custom print. The masks have a place for a filter, start at $15 for kids masks and $20 for adult, and are cheaper the more you buy.
Snapfish offers customizable reusable masks in kids and adults sizes. They're made of one layer of cotton and one layer of polyester, with adjustable ear straps, a spot for a filter, and a starter pack of two carbon filters. You can customize it with whatever words, graphics, or photos you want — a funny saying, a picture of your mouth, or a favorite pattern. Kids masks are $20 and adult masks are $21.
If you need masks for a kid's sports team, classroom, or socially distanced birthday, or you just want to have plenty of backups, this is the place to do it, since you have to order a minimum of 12. The masks are 100 percent cotton, have adjustable earloops and a nose bridge, plus a filter pocket. Prices start at $14.
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