These little things really do help cool you off on hot days. I made them on a couple of 100+ degree days to see how well they may work. I was pleasantly surprised by how fast it helped cool you off. It does take a bit of time to activate the beads. Okay, so let's get you cool.
What you need:
- Aqua-Gems (liquid marbles) or Water Beads for Plants
- fabric (about 4 inches wide and from selvage to selvage).
First, a bit about those aqua beads. These little beads, that are probably about 1/16th of an inch in diameter, grows to be 1/2" when activated with water. It takes a couple of hours for the bead to take in the water to grow to it's largest size. If I remember correctly, it took a couple of days for the bead to go from 1/2 " to it's original tiny size. This little package sold for about $4 at Joann's and a gallon of full size beads. Here are some pictures of the beads from when I first put them in the water, somewhere halfway through, and full size.
Here's how to make the neck cooler:
1. Start by adding some aqua gems into a bowl of water. Over-estimate a bit because it does take some time to fully activate.
2. While the beads are activating, cut a piece of fabric from selvage to selvage in a 4 inch strip.
3. Fold the fabric in half with right sides together, so you have a long thin 2 inch strip.
4. With fabric folded, sew along the long side where the edges meet, about 1/4" from the edge. (Tip: do a reverse - forward sew on the ends to help secure the ends for the next step)
5. Turn the strip inside out (or right-side out). This will take a bit of time.
6. Fold and mark the strip in half and sew a line right through. I suggest you fold that the first long sew line is in the middle of the strip, not on either edge.
7. Dry the aqua gems so it doesn't wet the fabric. Put about 20 -25 beads in the tube. Sew another line to close those beads in. Do this 2 more times on this side of the tube. Do this 3 times on the other side of the tube. You should have something like this now (red line is the middle).
8. Now all you have to do is clean up the ends. I cut the ends in a diagonal, folded it in, and sewn. If it's easier, you can make this a straight fold. Or even easier yet, and especially if it's just for use around the house, just leave the ends undone.
Stay Cool! :)