For those of us who don't want to pay for the one-time use cool strips when we get a headache, I came up with this fun idea. It's a great way to cool off a headache and save money.
Find it on Etsy! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6294421
Step 1: Supplies
For this project, you'll need some sort of sturdy but soft fabric. I used flannel, but you could also use a towel. You'll also need general sewing supplies, a tape measure, velcro, and a bag of rice. It doesn't really matter what kind of rice you use, although I don't recommend Minute rice. Whatever is left over you can make more or eat it!
Step 2: Measure and Cut the Fabric
I measured my husband's head to get the right size, adding a few inches for overlap and to adjust for the bulkiness of the rice. For this one, I measured 26 inches plus about half an inch for seam allowance.
To make this easier, I took the long edge of the material and measured up about 3 1/2 inches. I folded it up that high and ironed it flat. Then, I measured the 26 1/2 inches and cut along the rough edge of the fabric until I reached that length before cutting down straight.
This leaves you with a long rectangle, but I wanted it to be a bit prettier, so I folded it in half again and "smoothed" down the ends by starting about five inches from the middle and trimming it smoothly until I had cut off about an inch at the ends. It makes the final product look like a hill when it's spread out flat. You can leave it as a big rectangle if you don't feel like "prettying" it up like I did.
Step 3: Main Seam
Turn the fabric where the right sides are touching and sew up the longest seam, taking about a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I back-stitched at each end to make sure it was sturdy.
Turn back right side out and press the seam flat.
Step 4: Rice Pouches
This is where the tricky part comes in. Find the middle of your fabric and mark it with a pin. Then, measure five inches out on either side and mark those with a pin. This is the part that will hold the rice. Between each pin (not counting the middle), place a pin at 2 inch intervals, going on through the top layer of the fabric. You can remove the middle pin.
Sew across both layers of fabric at the first pin, from top to bottom, making sure you backstitch at each end to make your stitches strong. *HINT* Make sure you take the pin out before the sewing machine needle gets to it or you could break your needle!
This forms one side of a rice pouch. Take not quite an 1/8th of a cup of rice and pour it in the farthest end of the material from the seam you just made. I used a funnel to make sure the rice went in easier with less spilling. Make sure it's just enough rice to basically cover the area, but not be hard. You want it to have some room to move a little bit.
Shake the rice down and sew across the material where the next pin is. Try not to sew over the rice. This traps the rice into a pouch so that it can't roll around all over the place if the person wearing the band rolls over. Continue to pour rice in and stitch across where the next pin is until you have done all the pins and have five pouches of rice.
Step 5: The Ends
You're almost finished!
At each end, turn under about 1/4 inch and sew across to keep the rough edges from fraying.
Cut a couple of inches of velcro, enough that it can overlap and fit different sizes of heads, if you want. Place each piece of velcro on the fabric with the soft side towards the head and the rough side facing out. Sew in place, being sure to double stitch the corners for added strength. *HINT* To make smooth corner transitions, make sure needle is down when you stop on a side, lift foot and turn material 90 degrees, replace foot and sew next side. Repeat for each side and your corners should be neat and tidy instead of round.
Step 6: Freeze and Enjoy
Keep your band in a dry place in the freezer. You definitely don't want the rice to get wet because it will cook if you decide you want it hot instead of cold. You also might want to keep it in an airtight container to keep other smells from permeating the rice.
Whenever your head hurts, wrap band around your head and let the cool ease your pain!