Turn your hot dog into a cool canine with hand-made polymer-filled neck bandannas. Polymer crystals absorb water and expand, much like the material inside disposable diapers. You can machine- or hand-stitch cotton fabric into a collar-type band, and add polymer to hold cool water to help cool your pet.
Measure around your dog's neck, allowing about 2 extra inches for the cooling band to fit loosely. Add 1 foot to the measurement to allow 6 inches on each end of the filled part of the bandanna for the seam and extra length to tie the bandanna around the dog's neck.
Use a pencil and the yard stick to mark a cutting pattern onto the fabric. Draw a rectangle 5 inches wide and the length of the measurements from Step 1. Cut the fabric on the marked lines.
Fold the fabric in half to become 2 1/2 inches wide, placing the brightest side of the fabric toward the inside. Pin the edges together. Space the pins to leave a 4-inch opening in the center of the fabric to allow a space to pour the polymer inside. Press the fabric with a warm iron.
Use a sewing machine or needle and thread to sew along all edges, except the space left open for filling, allowing a 1/2-inch seam. Sew over the thread line a second time to make the seam more sturdy.
Remove the pins, and turn the fabric right-side-out. Push the yardstick inside the fabric band, pushing the seams at the four corners to make the corners square on the outside. Remove the yardstick. Press the fabric with the iron.
Place pins through both layers of the bandanna about 6 inches from each end. Sew a seam across the band at each pinned area to form the two tie ends.
Pour 3 teaspoons of the polymer crystals into the center of the band through the open seam. Hand stitch the seam securely.
Place the band in cold water just before using it as a cooling band for your dog. Allow the polymer crystals to absorb the water and expand. Tie the band around your dog's neck.
- Make the cooling band wider for larger dogs, if you want.
- Keep an extra moistened cooling band in the refrigerator, and switch to a cool bandanna for your dog every few hours.
- Store unused polymer crystals in an airtight container. Keep them away from the reach of pets or children, even though the crystals are non-toxic, because they will expand if ingested.
Since 1992, Mary Davis has sold numerous articles and stories, greeting cards, calendars and novelty items. She also has sold Christian education reproducible books and Christian children's journals. She writes Sunday school curricula and teacher ideas and tips for both Christian and secular markets. Her topics include everything from children's stories to OSHA/safety topics.