Masks with Photos?

Masks are now a part of daily life in much of the world. While the coronavirus pandemic continues, masks are recommended wear whenever we’re in public, especially if it’s difficult to stay 6′ apart. While this may not be our favorite fashion statement, I was pleased to find I could feed my photocrafting passion and create something timely and useful. BagsOfLove offers a set of four custom masks (with four different designs). What could be better? Four different designs gave me an opportunity to play with different kinds of photos, photocrafting at its best!

Choosing Images

One of the most important steps in photocrafting is picking the image or image(s) you want to use. I decided on photos from two free photo sites online, an image I created from the common covid-19 symbol, and a photo I’d taken myself.

I thought it would be fun to have a mouth on my mask that covers my mouth. I found one I liked from Clipart Panda. I know I like using images from Unsplash and found another fun one there as well. For a third image, I grabbed the covid-19 symbol off the internet and used Adobe Photoshop Elements to replicate it in different sizes and scatter them across a white background.

Finally, I wanted to do something with one of my own photos and tried a range of images, from a forest lane to ocean water. (Hint: take pictures of surfaces; those images are handy in photocrafting to use as backgrounds or textures.) I uploaded several so that I could see how they looked on a mask (at least on the screen.) I thought it would be nice to have an image that was just texture in contrast to the three ‘picture’ images above. The forest was out of place and the water didn’t have enough contrast to suit me. I used the tree bark, first rotating it and then cropping out the background.

Creating the Masks

Once I had my images, it was straightforward to create the masks. As usual, the first step is to upload your images. BagsOfLove offers to use images from several places on your device:

Once you have uploaded your images, there are good tools for manipulating the images as needed (e.g. to move them into the alignment you want) and even for adding additional images and/or text. When I uploaded the image of “keep quiet”, I had to move it into the center of the mask and make it slightly larger.

For the virus image, I added the same image to the mask twice. Then I rotated the second and made it smaller to have more virus symbols show. (You can see the red outline of the second copy as I’m working with it.

Wearing the Masks

The masks I chose are a quilted material so that they’re much like having multiple layers of fabric. I like the way they fit with elastic over my ears and good coverage of my mouth and nose. However, they don’t have a fitted nose piece and, like most masks that aren’t for medical personnel, they are most useful for ensuring I don’t infect anyone else and only minimally effective in preventing contagion from others to me. (If we all wear masks in public, we are all reasonably protected.)

I picked Medium for the size but suspect a Large might have been a somewhat better fit. The masks do not seem to shrink in the washing machine. Below are the suggested measurements of your face and the height of each size mask. Height: Select the height that will best cover your mouth and nose. Width: One size fits all.

Measure yourself for the size:SmallMediumLargeX-large
Bridge of nose to behind your ear.5.7-6.1″6.2-6.4″6.5-6.8″6.9-7.2″
Bridge of nose to just under chin.4.3-4.3″4.9-4.9″5.5-5.5″6.1-6.1″

Quilted Jersey
Small – 4.3″ height – 4.3″ elastic at each end, looped
Medium – 4.9″ height – 4.7″ elastic at each end, looped
Large – 5.5″ height – 5.1″ elastic at each end, looped
Extra-Large – 6.1″ height – 6.3″ elastic at each end, looped

Olympia Airflow
Small – 3.9″ height – 4.3″ elastic at each end, looped
Medium – 4.5″ height – 4.7″ elastic at each end, looped
Large – 5.1″ height – 5.1″ elastic at each end, looped
Extra-Large – 5.7″ height – 6.3″ elastic at each end, looped

Four masks are $25 but the shipping was almost $20. It’s a somewhat expensive mask but I’m already finding them easy to use. Enjoy some photocrafting creativity; this is a worthwhile excuse!

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