As part of Rachel's work towards earning service hours for the President's Volunteer Service Award, she has found a way to help members of our military by making Cool Ties for Operation Gratitude's Deployed Troop Care Packages. Cool Ties are like bandanas to tie around your neck but they are filled with absorbent beads that can hold water for several hours. Operation Gratitude sends these in their care packages to help keep the troops cool in the heat of summer.
Rachel loves to sew and this was a great way to put her skills to work. We found the directions for the Cool Ties on the Operation Gratitude website. We ordered the Watersorb Super Absorbent Polymer beads as they suggested. When we went to buy fabric, Rachel chose a basic brown cotton. The directions suggest a neutral color and I'm glad that they put that in writing because otherwise Rachel would have probably chosen something much more colorful and bright.
Rachel started by measuring and cutting the fabric into 1/4 yard strips. I got out my large self-healing mat, rotary cutter, and yard stick. It was her first time to use a rotary cutter. She thought it was a lot of fun and she may have sacrificed a little fabric to do a lot of "practice cuts" with it.
Next she followed the directions to sew the strips together. Each end of the strip was tapered and she sewed a pocket in the middle of the strip to hold the water beads.
She measured and poured 2 teaspoons of water beads into the pocket of the Cool Ties and then sewed up the gap.
This is a neat project but there is a lot of measuring involved so I would really recommend it for ages 9 and up. Rachel was very excited about her completed Cool Tie and she has continued to make more. Of course, she also plans to make one for herself in bright colorful fabric.
Once she is done making a lot of these we will mail them to Operation Gratitude to be added to the Troop Care Packages. I'm so proud of my girl for working on this project so diligently.