Where can people acquire homemade cloth face masks in Birmingham? We have answers.

“The nutcracker- because I’m one of many who sew for Birmingham Ballet Academy. The director allowed us to “raid” the sewing supplies for this project. Photo and masks by Martha Ingraham Mackay

Now that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says all Americans should wear a cloth face covering when out in public to avoid spreading the coronavirus, where can you acquire or learn how to make homemade cloth masks here Birmingham?

This week, we asked folks around the Magic City and got some answers

A Disclaimer

Since the masks are homemade, we cannot vouch for their effectiveness. We are also not recommending any particular mask maker over another. And please, when purchasing masks, as recommended by the CDC,  acquire cloth masks. Our health workers on the frontlines of this crisis need the surgical masks and N95 masks 

Now – onto our list!

Visit Etsy

Facemask and photo by Celeste Gains Ward

If you are looking for a face mask to purchase, I highly recommend visiting Etsy.  You will literally have 10s of thousands of choices nationwide – 85,000+ to be exact.

If you are looking for someone from the Birmingham area to produce your homemade cloth mask, fortunately you have a more manageable 39 Etsy shops to choose from. The list is quite impressive and custom oriented.  For example, there is one maker that will monogram your mask. Another  produces face masks for kids. And this is Alabama – so of course you can secure your own Alabama or Auburn mask. Prices range from $8.00 to $25.00.

Individuals

Photo and masks by Allison McClendon

There are 100s of people throughout Birmingham and Central Alabama working on producing masks for healthcare professionals.  As of yesterday, according to Bham Face Masks, this grassroots movement has produced and donated over 27,000 in less than 3 weeks! 

Despite that massive number, they have requests for up to 14,000 cloth masks regionwide. If you would like to support Bham Face Masks visit their Go Fund Me page HERE

I did find a couple of folks who are donating masks to healthcare workers and nursing homes, but also making masks for a small fee for individuals. 

Here are a couple of contacts (please text them or visit their website)

Catherine Stanley – 205-266-2626

Photo courtesy of Catherine Stanley

Melissa Bailey – masksbymelissa@gmail.com

Photo courtesy of Melissa Bailey

Heidi Elnora, Red Land Cotton, Bib & Tucker

“We’re like the modern day Rosie the Riveter!” Photo by Paije Royal Sieber

Numerous businesses and groups are working on providing masks and teaching folks how to make masks too.

Birmingham fashion designer Heidi Elnora has teamed up with the North Alabama fabric company Red Land Cotton to produce masks.  If you know a healthcare worker or know someone in need of a mask, they have a form you can fill out. – HERE.

Bib & Tucker is concentrating on taking orders for Healthcare workers too, but they will provide a masks to people in the community . Presently, they will make one mask per household.

Visit their Facebook page for details – HERE.  And consider supporting this fantastic group.

Do It Yourself

Want to make your own mask?  The Surgeon General provides a non-sewing option.

If you want to learn how to sew masks, visit Bham Face Masks’ DIY page

Stay Tuned

Did we miss anybody?  We probably did. Please let Bham Now know who else is making Face Masks for the general public,  healthcare workers and the elderly. Send that info to hello@bhamnow.com and we will update this story.

Also, visit Bham Now’s LOCAL Business Directory,  We have over 416 local businesses and 65 nonprofits in our directories! Feel free to add businesses and nonprofits to our ever growing list!

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.