First and foremost, THANK YOU. Thank you for all your wishes and condolences. It means a lot to me. (sniff sniff)

Ok. Let’s quickly move on before I start crying again. I’ve made another handmade gift for my grandmother. Well, two actually. She is in her 80s now and the hot, humid, tropical weather of Singapore is really getting to her. (Climate change I tell ya!) I got the idea of the skinny neck cooler from a visit to a pharmacy. I love snooping around pharmacies. Maybe it’s the hypochondriac in me. :P I saw the neck cooler weeks ago and thought that would be perfect for bush walking or for my grandma. Regrettably, I didn’t buy it then.

Yesterday I went to two pharmacies hunting for the neck coolers with no success. They only had overpriced large wheat bags and the medipacks. So with a quick google search, I found this crystal filled neck cooler tutorial. The crystals in the neck cooler swell with liquid to hundreds of times their weight. As liquid from the crystals evaporate , it lowers the body temperature.

Water Storage Crystals
But I didn’t know where to buy the water storing crystals. The only similar crystals I could think of which is readily available here is the water storing crystals that you use in the garden. I read up more about it and the garden variety crystal looked safe, especially since there will be no direct skin contact.

Crystals Swell with Liquid
I soaked 1tsp of dry crystals in water while I sewed up 80cm by 4cm cotton tubes, with one end open. I used this bandana design as a guide. I sewed scross the width of the tube about 20cm from the closed end. Once the crystals had swelled with liquid, I filled the tube with them and sewed the tube close and also sewed across 20cm from the end. The parts that aren’t filled with crystal become the ties to hold the neck cooler in place. I think my grandmother would like this very much.

(Unswelled) Crystal Filled Neck Cooler
I made three more of these cotton neck tubes. I filled two of them with 1tsp of dry crystals each and sewed it up like the first one. Then I soaked the middle part of the tubes in water. The crystals soaked in the water through the cotton material and swelled inside the cotton tube. It worked well both ways! It’s definitely a lot easier to fill the cotton tube with dry crystals so I’ll do it this way from now.

Soaking Crystals in Neck Cooler
When the crystals lose all their moisture or they feel dry, the crystals can be simply reactivated by soaking it in water again. These neck coolers are super cool! Literally!

Crystal Filled Neck Cooler
I’m keeping these two for when Richard and I go bush walking in Singapore. :) Aren’t I clever?

Rice Filled Neck Cooler
I decided to fill the last tube with rice. This is the back up neck cooler, just in case she doesn’t like the wet feel around her neck. It won’t keep cool as long as the crystal filled one but the rice neck cooler might work better on really humid days where the evaporative cooling method won’t be as effective.

The rice filled neck cooler is stored in the freezer in a plastic bag until she’s ready to use it. I have used my wheat bag chilled in this way and it was so handy in bed on hot summer nights. Stays cold long enough for me to fall asleep.

I’m in a mad rush to get things ready. Only one more sleep to go! Singapore here I come!

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