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Celebrate “Hot August Nights” -



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Celebrate “Hot August Nights” - Serve up some watermelon and invite a local law authority to share information and brochures about safety and crime prevention. For example, leaving windows and doors open or unlocked during hot nights is an invitation to criminals.



Make some neck coolers to use during “Hot August Nights” – and during the day as well:

Materials:

* A piece of cotton fabric, approximately 36" x 4"

* Water absorbing crystals - you can find these in the gardening dept. of home improvement stores (they're used to keep soil moist in potted plants), or in the rock/sand aisle at Michael's (Cracked Ice Crystals)

* Sewing machine and matching thread



Directions:

  1. Fold the fabric in half length-wise, with right sides together, and stitch up the open side.

  2. Turn your tube inside out so the right side is showing.

  3. Fold the tube in half to find the center – now stitch across the tube at that point.

  4. Add ¼ teaspoon of the crystals to one side of the tube – DO NOT use more – the crystals swell much larger when wet.

  5. Shake the crystals down to the bottom of the pocket you have made.

  6. Measure 4 inches from the center line you sewed and sew across the tube again to create a smaller pocket.

  7. Create another pocket in the same way, adding another quarter teaspoon of crystals and sewing across 4 inches from the second stitching line.

  8. Repeat the process on the other side of the center line to create four pockets in all, each filled with crystals.

  9. Fold the ends inside the tube and stitch across to finish your tube on both ends.

  10. To use the tube, soak it in water. Put your pockets in a bowl of luke-warm water to soak for 10 minutes (cold water will take longer to absorb). Take it out and squish the crystals around so they're evenly spaced in each pocket. Then put it back in the bowl to soak for another 10-15 minutes, no longer. Store it in the refrigerator on a plate until ready to wear. Or dunk it in a bowl of ice water just before putting on.

Important Tips: The crystals work by evaporative cooling, so water is slowly (very slowly) being released from the crystals and onto your skin. So it will work better in drier climates than super humid climates. If it stops feeling cool, turn it over, dunk it in cold water, or put it in your cooler for a few minutes (but never freeze it!).

When you're done with it for a while, hang it somewhere to dry out. It could take a week or two! If you need to wash it, NEVER put it in the washing machine. You can lather up a little dish washing soap in the sink and rinse it out.



Store your cooler uncovered in the fridge to keep it ready for your next use.



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