Cooling neck wraps are essentially cloth bandanas that contain crystals that turn into a gel-like substance that retains a cool sensation for long periods of time. These neck wraps will remain cool for several hours. In fact, the concept works so well that many people make these for military personnel stationed overseas. If cooling neck wraps work in Iraq, they are sure to work for you wherever you live.

Cut the cloth into strips that are 3 1/2 inches by 44 inches. Cut as many strips for as many neck wraps you want to make.

Fold each strip in half lengthwise so the patterned sides are on the inside facing each other. In other words, the fabric is inside out.

Sew two parallel straight lines down the open side about 1/4 inch from the edge. Then sew another straight line across one end to close the strip. You may also choose to taper this end by sewing two diagonal pointed lines that meet at the edge of the fabric.

Carefully turn the fabric right side out.

From the closed end of the fabric (or tapered), measure approximately 12 to 14 inches. At this mark, sew a straight line across the width of the fabric.

Insert 1/4 tsp. of water-absorbing crystals into the neck wrap. Then sew another straight line across the fabric 4 inches from the first stitch, but above where the crystals end.

Repeat step 6 two or three more times to create several pockets for the crystals. Stop when you have 12 to 14 inches of fabric left. Sew one more straight line across the open end of the fabric to finish it off and close in the last section of crystals. To create another tapered end, simply turn under the two sides of the open end and hand stitch them closed. You can machine stitch it as well, but it doesn't look as nice.

Soak the neck wrap in water for two to three minutes before wearing and wring or squeeze gently.

Tie the cooling neck wrap around your neck.


The water-absorbing crystals expand dramatically with water, so do not add extra crystals. You can buy water-absorbing crystals anywhere that sells gardening supplies and potting soil. You can also purchase them at

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.