Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DIY Cooling Hair Tie

In Texas, temperatures can reach up to 120 degrees, and average during the summer is anywhere between 95 and 110. This past week was girls' camp and as the camp director, I knew one the of the things the girls would complain about the most was the heat, so I made (with help) over 50 "cooling hair ties."

You may or may not have seen those "cooling necktie/hair tie" things that you put into water for a couple minutes and they keep you cool all day? Well, generally they cost upwards of $8 each. But really, they are quite inexpensive and really easy to make.

 Just as a reference, I spent $15 on the crystals and $5 on the fabric (most of it I got for free from donations), so for 50+ neckties, we spent about $20

DIY Cooling Hair Tie

Fabric (how much will depend on how many you need to make, but for each necktie you will need 4 1/2" x 44" of fabric)
Scissors or Rotary cutter with mat
Iron & ironing board
1/8 teaspoon
Sewing Machine
Water Absorbing crystals/polymers (I bought a 3lb. bag on Amazon for $15, but you only need a 1/2 teaspoon per tie, so I definitely didn't even use close to a 1/4 of that bag. You can find it at Home Depot in the gardening section).

 1. Cut your fabric into 4 1/2" strips. Fold in half "hotdog" style (or the long way) with the right sides together (meaning the side with the more vibrant fabric you would iron together) and iron.

2. Next, sew the two sides together along the long side. You should have a long inside-out tube. Pull the fabric through to make it right-side-out. (My genius husband did this using a broom stick handle. It made things go much faster.)

 3. Now you're going to mark the middle by folding your tube in half. Sew a straight line across the middle. Once you've done that, pour 1/8 teaspoon of the water absorbing crystals into one side. Mark 4" from the middle and sew a straight line again. You've just made one pocket with the crystals inside. Now, make three more pockets so there are two on each side of the middle line. Sew the ends together and voila! You've got yourself a cooling necktie

 *Note: There are many variations on this. You can do three pockets, with one large pocket in the middle. Or you can have one big pocket. Whatever you choose. Just keep in mind that though the little crystals don't look like they take up a lot of space, they will expand 10x their size or more, so in this case, less is probably better.


  1. Very neat! This may be a dumb question, but how do they work?

    1. Totally not a dumb question!! Sorry, I should have explained it. Basically, you put it in water and the crystals inside absorb the water. Because it absorbs the water, it stays cool for hours {well, days actually}. It's kind of like a sponge, except that you can't really squeeze the water out.

      Essentially, you wear it around your neck, head, heck where you want, and it will help keep you cool. Hope that explanation helps!!