Skip to Content

How to Sew a Neck Cooler: Stay Cool With DIY Cooling Scarf (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

how to sew a neck coolerAccording to the National Centers for Environmental Information, last year was the second hottest summer ever recorded in America! Don’t let heatwaves keep you from enjoying your outdoor activities – try making your own neck cooler.

It’s an easy and affordable DIY project that will help you beat the heat without breaking a sweat.

In this tutorial we’ll show you how to sew together a neck cooler using our focus keyword: How To Sew A Neck Cooler.

So grab those materials and get started on creating yourself a refreshing accessory that will make hot days much more bearable!

Key Takeaways

  • The National Centers for Environmental Information recorded the second hottest summer in America.
  • Here is a DIY neck cooler project for beating the heat with fabric, thread, and crystals.
  • The materials needed are lightweight cotton fabric, durable thread, and water-absorbing polymer crystals.
  • Types of suitable fabric include: Cotton, which is breathable; Polyester, which is quick-drying; and Nylon, which is lightweight.

Gather Materials and Tools

Gather Materials and Tools
Gather lightweight cotton fabrics and durable threads before cutting any material, as these choices establish the tone. Opt for 100% cotton in cool hues like olive or navy for optimal cooling properties.

Obtain water-absorbing polymer crystals, being careful to keep them away from children and pets. Select quality, sharp fabric shears, a sewing needle and thread that won’t unravel. Mark measurements with a fabric pencil and pins. Prepare the sewing machine or get ready with your steadiest hand-stitching skills.

With premium materials gathered, you have the fundamentals to make an effective neck cooler that will provide crisp comfort on sweltering days.

Creating the Fabric Tube

Creating the Fabric Tube
First, you will need to cut your fabric into a long strip about 4-5 inches wide. Once you have the strip cut, fold it in half lengthwise, with the right sides together, and sew it into a tube shape, leaving one end open for turning and filling later.

Cutting the Fabric Strip

Cut a strip of cotton fabric into a long rectangle measuring 4.5 inches by 42 inches. Fold the strip in half lengthwise, with right sides together. Sew along the long open edge and both short ends, leaving a 2 inch opening.

Turn the tube inside out and press flat. Your fabric tube is ready to fill with polymer crystals to create an effective neck cooler in fun fabric prints.

Sewing the Tube

Next, turn the edges under and seam the strip into a tube. Use a 1/4 seam allowance and reinforce stitching at the ends for durability.

Fold it in half crosswise and measure to mark off bead compartments. Sew vertical seams at the marks to create pockets. Stagger compartments for even cooling. Choose tightly woven, pre-shrunk fabrics.

Fabric Type Pros Cons
Cotton Breathable, washable Heavy when wet
Polyester Dries quickly, durable Can be hot
Nylon Lightweight Absorbs little water

Turning and Pressing the Tube

Turning and Pressing the Tube
After crafting the tube, flip it right side out and steam press the shape.

  • Run your finger along the seam to pop out corners.
  • Avoid pulling or stretching the fabric when turning.
  • Use an iron on steam setting with a press cloth to avoid shine.
  • Press seams flat before topstitching for a crisp finish.
  • Let it cool completely before handling to retain the shape.

Proper pressing technique is crucial when sewing projects like this cooling neck wrap. Handling the fabric gently and pressing at each step will prevent wrinkles and keep the shape of the tube neat. Taking care when turning and pressing makes DIY sewing easier and ensures quality results.

With some heat resistance and the right tools, you can achieve professional-looking finishes.

Adding Crystals to the Tube

Adding Crystals to the Tube
You will want to start by stitching across the center of the tube to make two separate sections. Once you have stitched across, use a funnel to carefully pour the polymer crystals you prepared into each section.

Stitching Across the Center

Once the center’s stitched, carefully funnel those beads in so they spread evenly through the compartments for ultimate cool comfort ’round your neck.

  1. Use a sewing machine or hand-sew with decorative embroidery stitches.
  2. Stitch across the center in a straight line to create separate pockets for crystals.
  3. Distribute crystals evenly using a funnel, ensuring they fill each pocket completely.
Table: Center Stitching Techniques Crystal Placement Tips
Use sewing machine Distribute evenly
Hand-sew with embroidery Fill each pocket fully

Remember these alternative cooling methods and safety precautions when making your neck cooler:

  • Soak it in water before use for maximum cooling effect.
  • If you don’t have access to polymer crystals, try using crushed ice instead (note that this won’t last as long).
  • Always keep an eye on pets or children around the neck cooler due to small parts.

Using a Funnel to Add Crystals

Gently slide the water-absorbing polymer crystals through the funnel into the freshly stitched pockets. Use a sturdy plastic or metal funnel to evenly distribute the spherical beads. Choose high-quality beads in the optimal size range for maximum cooling duration.

Take safety measures and supervise children around expandable crystals. Store unused beads in an airtight container to prevent premature absorption. How to sew a neck cooler, using a funnel to add crystals, crystals, sew neck cooler, water absorbing crystals.

Finishing the Ends of the Neck Cooler

Finishing the Ends of the Neck Cooler
Take your fabric ends and, like a finishing boxer, cut and hem them tight to complete your cooling creation as the final bell rings.

  1. Fringe the ends for a free-flowing, bohemian vibe.
  2. Add pom pom trim for playful, beachy style.
  3. Sew on ric rac or rick rack edging for fun zig-zag detail.
  4. Finish with lace for a delicate, feminine look.
  5. For basic and clean, double-fold and topstitch a hem.

Hemming the ends keeps edges from fraying and adds personality with decorative touches. Play with different trims and finishes to make your cooling neck wrap uniquely you. Revel in this moment of creativity and self-expression as you put the final stitches on your handmade, hydro-powered reprieve from the heat.

How to Use the Neck Cooler

How to Use the Neck Cooler
After soaking the neck cooler in water for 30 minutes to activate the polymer crystals, carefully distribute the expanded beads evenly into the divided pockets. Then, tie the cooling wrap snugly but comfortably around your neck or your dog’s neck to feel the gradual cooling effect for 3-5 hours before needing to re-soak it in cool water again.

Soaking in Water

After dunking the wrap for 30 minutes, evenly spread out the crystals inside the pockets. Polymer crystals expand to 100x their original size within 10 minutes, cooling your neck for hours. Treat the wrap like a sponge, squeezing water through to moisten every bead, then shake it out for even distribution.

Here is a table comparing soaking times and cooling duration for the neck cooler:

Soaking Time Cooling Duration
30 minutes 3-4 hours
1 hour 4-5 hours
2 hours 5-6 hours
Overnight Up to 8 hours

Soak the wrap fully to activate the polymer beads for max cooling power on hot summer days.

Distributing Crystals

Gently spread the crystals evenly in the pockets with your fingers after 10-15 minutes of soaking for optimal cooling. The polymer beads fully expand after this initial period, allowing you to reshape and redistribute for the most effective neck cooler.

With proper hydration and handling, these crystals provide exceptional cooling power and utility when sewing your own neck wrap.

Tying Around the Neck

It is a blessed relief when you wrap the cooler around your sweat-soaked neck. Style it bandana-like for sun protection or loosely draped for maximum airflow.

Regenerating the Cooling Effect

You can rejuvenate the cooling power by submerging the wrap in a pool of refreshing water. After a few sweaty hours under the summer sun, take a refreshing soak to recharge those water-absorbing crystals.

Repeating this ritual extends the cooling duration and keeps your homemade neck cooler reusable all season long. Fight the summer heat again and again by simply regenerating its refreshing magic.

Caring for the Neck Cooler

Caring for the Neck Cooler
After using your handmade neck cooler, you’ll want to properly maintain it so it stays fresh and ready for your next outdoor adventure. To dry out the polymer beads and flatten the fabric, simply leave your neck wrap in direct sunlight until all moisture has evaporated and the beads have shrunk down in size.

For a thorough cleaning, use a mild soap and lukewarm water to gently hand wash the neck cooler, then lay it flat on a towel to air dry completely before storing it folded up or rolled neatly in a drawer.

Drying and Storing

Soak up the cooler overnight for drying before folding flat for storage. Allow ample sunlight to shrivel the polymer crystals, evenly redistributing beads across pouches. This prevents clumping when inactive. Rotate position if needed. Once bone-dry, neatly roll or fold into a compact bundle, stashing in a dry spot free of direct sun.

Regular drying preserves the beads, keeping your handmade neck wrap revivable for seasons ahead.

Hand Washing

Carefully clean the neck cooler by hand in lukewarm water and mild soap, keeping the crystals securely inside the pockets. Use a soft cloth or sponge to avoid abrasion. Rinse thoroughly. Reshape the neck cooler while wet and lay it flat to dry.

Once fully dry, wrap the neck cooler in cloth to prevent dust buildup. Proper care will ensure your neck cooler lasts all season.


You now have all the steps needed to make your own cooling neck wrap. Begin by gathering the required materials and tools, then create the fabric tube and add the polymer crystals. Make sure to tie the wrap around your neck or your pet’s neck for maximum cooling.

Be certain to store and care for the neck wrap properly to get the most usage out of it. With the correct fabric and water-absorbing beads, you can stay cool in the hottest temperatures and enjoy the outdoors.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.