The need for face masks in the Champaign-Urbana area is continuing for the foreseeable future due to state and local guidance
When your family’s back-to-school shopping includes face masks, here’s some guidance from area parents about what has worked for their students
Face coverings or masks are simply part of public life at the moment, and school is no exception. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance from the end of July — supported by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District — is for “universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.” Health officials and parents alike are hoping that mask-wearing and other community-minded behavior will help keep schools open for in-person learning this fall.
We asked our readers to share what they have learned over the past 18 months when it comes to successful mask wearing for their kids, and we’ve summarized those answers here. As in our previous posts about cloth masks, we list handmade versions only if their makers are local. We list commercially made cloth masks when they are easily available locally or online. (And we do not include disposable masks.)
What cloth masks are most popular with kids? As with any product, families have their own priorities. In their comments, our readers keep circling back to the following qualities:
- fun fabric/theme
- adjustable fit (especially beads on the ear elastics)
- special design (particularly “3D” designs that don’t press on the mouth) or nosewires
- and of course … price
We include a special icon 👶 if a mask option has been specifically recommended by a reader for ages 2-4.
The recommendations below come from information shared by our readers on social media and do not constitute endorsements by Chambanamoms. Please note that Chambanamoms does not have masks for sale.
Reader recommended: Local makers selling cloth masks
Cheryl Harnsberger 👶
“She makes kids and adult sizes alike” “She has tons of fabric to choose from and only $5 for the pleated style” “She made some for my pre-K class, they fit perfectly”
Dianne Husby-Gordon 👶
“Masks are $4” “Her masks are awesome!! They stay away from your mouth [3D design], which is great for a front desk job like mine!” “Makes a 2-4 size”
LaFoon Face Covers 👶
“We like LaFoon face mask for our littlest one who is two. They have small medium and large sizes as well as different ways to wear them” “Have an adjustable strap for the littles, referred to on the site as the bead closure” “back-to-school prices through August 21”
Mama’s Little Shop 👶
“$5 masks” “They fit well and wash great!” “Great quality masks and we even got a matching bow when needed” “She has made masks for my daughter (now 3) through the entire pandemic and they always fit her petite face perfectly!”
Reader recommended: Area stores or online stores selling cloth masks
Our readers are big fans of the kids’ masks at both Target and Old Navy. That said, here are more details.
- Harper & Elliott: “They have adjustable ears and seem to fit my daughter the best. We had a lot of problems with masks pulling on her ears the first few months of school, but these fit her great.”
- Cat & Jack: “They are the best and most economical. You get 2 masks in a pack for $4, and the designs are adorable! The only downside is that they’re cotton masks and I iron them after each wash, because otherwise they kind of get all wrinkled on my toddler’s chin (and don’t maintain shape). But the fabric is breathable, durable and doesn’t fade even after repeated washes. Have been using them since last year and highly satisfied.”
- Paw Patrol: “My son likes these. We started buying them when he was 3 and use them still, now that he’s 4.” “For the price they last a long time, and are so easy to wash.”
Old Navy (and Gap) 👶
“Adult and kids sizes and are adjustable and wash well (particularly Old Navy Active)” “Watch out because some Old Navy Masks do not have a metal nose strip though these could be more challenging for those w glasses” “Gap currently has certain 3 packs of kids and adult masks on sale for $1-$4″ “Old navy were the best fit for my smallish 3 year old last year. They have adjustable straps so they fit her throughout the year” “Old Navy and the Gap masks fit my 4-year-old’s face perfectly.”
“I actually got some 3 pack fabric mask at Aldi today. Fit my almost 4 yo perfectly! They had the bead on it to adjust the ear loops”
“Bargain Bins has tons of masks every week. Go on Wednesday for $1.”
Kohl’s, in store and online
“Bespoke brand has masks including youth sizes on clearance sale for .99 per mask. They are several layers of material and have a nose piece and adjustable straps”
“Masks on clearance for .50 each! They fit my 6 year old well”
“many masks in seasonal aisle for kids and adults, a quarter discounted”
“Mine loves the Baggu kids fabric mask sets. Adjustable nose piece, ear loops are soft, thin, and adjustable, and the design is a bit unique where it feels like you have a “pocket” to talk easier [3D design]”
“Adult and kids sizes, have a filter pocket”
5-pk 100% cotton 2-ply for ages 5-12: “These are great for small heads! They say 5-12, but they are actually almost too tight on my 4.5 year old”
“Our son has had good luck with these. They have a 10 pack of kids sized masks with a different color for each day of the week. (He has the adult sized masks.) They have held up quite well. He uses a disposable surgical mask if he has to wear one at cross country or track”
schoolmaskpack.com (Crayola) 👶
“The crayola school mask pack is great. They are adjustable with a nose clip to help stay up” “Look for sales!” “They’re adjustable at the ears, flexible at the nose, and they have optional adjustable mask straps to protect the ears which helps my almost 2 year old wear them longer”
Local makers selling custom cloth masks in the Champaign-Urbana area
Since 2020 our readers have been telling us where to get cloth masks locally and who is making them, because we live in an area of amazing creativity and talent. Now that masks are easier to find, some of these crafty people may have moved on to other projects.
- Mahnaz Azari
Mahnaz is making face masks for sale in a variety of sizes from cotton fabric with different patterns. Please reach out to her by calling this number and she will send you the pictures of masks available and other details.
- Body ‘n Sole Sports
A three-layer polyester mask by Augusta and a sublimated mask or gator can be customized. Prices range from $5 to $15.95; small logos can be heat-pressed on masks or full customization is available (three-week turnaround time, 100-piece minimum).
- Cy Creatives
Colorful cloth masks of non-medical grade materials for $5 each, with options for porch pickup in Champaign or shipping (for an additional charge). Place an order with this online form.
Face mask with nose wire, filter pocket, adjustable elastic or ties, 100% cotton, multiple fabrics! $6 and up.
Offers washable and reusable cloth face masks in 3 different sizes, with ties or cord locks. Choose from a gallery of available fabrics.
- Mary Franny’s Custom Creations
Masks are $3 each and have a filter pocket, in adult and children’s sizes. Porch pickup in Seymour or shipping (additional cost) for the masks.
- Tamara Johnson
$5 masks with 1/8 inch elastic. Profits will go toward supplies. Email here or call 217-637-1422.
- Sara Jones
Contact Sara by clicking here for a cloth mask with ties, not elastic. She is giving them away until her fabric stash is gone and will deliver.
A business by University of Illinois students. $12-16 per mask, they donate a portion of proceeds to charity.
2 layers of high quality quilter’s fabric, with pocket for additional filter (not included), and nose wire (included). Washable and comfortable. $14.99. Ships USPS or can arrange local pickup in Tuscola.
This Champaign Etsy shop has masks in all kinds of fabrics available for $9 and up.
This Urbana-based German design studio has shifted their efforts into making and selling face masks. Masks cost $18.50 and use two layers of cotton fabric. These can be worn over an N95 mask, too. It may take a few days to fulfill your order.
- Jennifer Orchard
Jennifer is making adult and child size masks. Elastic and tie back. $5. FB message her for available colors or text 815-715-0052.
- Megan Pinto
Cloth masks with nose wire and filter pocket in four different adult/child sizes. $7 each. For every 4 sold, 1 will be donated. Click here to order.
- Quirky Craftopia
Get adult and child masks through this Etsy shop and you will help local mask maker Lorena Rios Acosta buy more fabric to donate masks to Hospice Hearts and Carle. Local customers can message for a discount.
Making cloth face masks since the beginning of the pandemic. Offers a variety of sizes ranging from child size 3-adult for $15. Several fabric patterns available, as well as elastic ear bands with adjusters. Three layers of cotton fabric, machine washable. Based out of Mahomet and can offer porch pick up.
4 layer reusable mask. Washable cotton unisex adult and children mask with or without valve with PM 2.5 filter. $5 if you can pick up in Champaign, or extra $3 for shipping for other areas.
- Sew Unique Kidz
This Mahomet maker is selling masks; stock includes Illini masks – in orange and blue and in pink, as well as Bears and other sports. Kids and adult masks are $10. Ships out in a couple of days.
- S2R Crafts
Get adult and child masks through this Etsy shop and you will help local mask maker Melissa Pasco buy more fabric to donate masks to Hospice Hearts and Carle. Local customers can message for a discount.
- Suits by Soouljah
Masks are available for purchase for $8 at Suits by Soouljah in Champaign. The address of the shop is 1708 W. Bradley. People can place an order by calling or texting Herbert Burnett at 915-276-0045 or contacting him via Facebook here.
- Melissa Vessell
Melissa is making face masks for sale at $5/each. Please reach out to her by calling this number or email and she will send you details.
Want to be added to (or removed from) this list? Email us by clicking here. In your email, please include your location (must be in the C-U area) and exactly how potential customers can get in touch with you (email, website, phone, etc.). This list of makers with face masks for sale or donation was originally compiled in 2020.