Neck Brace--Home made collar

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Active member
Jan 14, 2007
Western Provinces
For anyone who wants to construct a home made collar.

Cervical collar
(There should be 5 photos with these instructions)

What you need for a medium to small collar:

24” by 4” of 1 ½ ” or 1 ¾ “ thick foam

4” by 4” piece of dense (firm) foam (Density of 'M70')

About 6” of 2” wide webbing

About 4” of 2” wide velcro (hook and loop)

Very fine rib stretchy fabric (I have bought it as a tubular knit) to cover the collar. Thus it should be close to skin tone. I don’t like the hospital type of cotton stockinette as it is rough on the skin.

Sharp electric carving knife to sculpt foam

A sturdy sewing machine and some ‘Denim’ size needles (i.e. needles that will sew jeans)

Household ‘Goop’ to bond foam. Caution: This material leaves a hard edge where you bond the layers together. The type of glue they use in the mattress factory does not leave a hard edge but it does not hold the layers together as well as ‘Goop’ does. I just don’t take it right to the edge.


1. Measure the neck. Decide where you want the closure of the collar to be. It does not have to be at the back of the neck, it can be at the side. Which hand is strongest? The closure can be on that side. Is there a tilt to the head? Adjust the pattern to your needs.
The foam should not overlap at the closure, the webbing will form the overlap.

2. Draw a pattern on paper, using the plan photo of the collar as a general guide. You can make the cut out for the ears later. Let the lower line of the collar dip down in the front.

3. Cut out paper and fit on the neck. Decide whether you have the proportions right. Is the chin well cupped, are the ears free (especially for those who wear hearing aids!), do the two ends meet but not overlap? You will have to guess a good deal as the paper will not fit as the foam does.

4. Cut out the shape from the regular foam. Trim the edges that will be next to the wearer so that it curves gently to the body.

5. With a box cutter or similar cut out some ¼ inch V-shaped sections (in a vertical direction) on the INSIDE of the collar. This is to encourage the collar to take on a curved shape rather than be just a flat piece of foam. It’s like making darts in a skirt or pair of pants to make them fit around the waist.
Thin down the ends of the collar where you will sew the velcro onto both cover and foam. This makes it easier to sew.

6. If you don’t want to insert a firm piece of foam under the collar you are now ready to cover the collar. If you want to make the portion under the chin firmer follow the directions below.

6a To insert a firm piece of foam under the chin first outline the portion that you wish to replace with a felt pen. Shape it like a keystone in an arch, wider at the top and narrow at the bottom. Angle the sides so that the outer portion is wider than the inner as this helps to form the curve of the collar.

6b Cut the same shape from firmer foam. Apply ‘Goop’ as directed but don’t go right to the edges. Allow to dry in the shape of the collar by tying something around the foam.
You can cut some V-shaped slits in this section too in order to encourage it to curve

Covering the collar

7. Cut out washable knit fabric (polyester works well) about 6 inches longer than the foam and also narrower. You want to fabric to stretch around the collar (I’m talking about the chin to chest direction) in a smooth fashion, no wrinkles. Leave yourself enough to make a seam so that you have a long tube.

8. Stuff the collar into the fabric tube.

9. Decide where you will put the hook velcro and where you will put the loop. It depends on hand dexterity, preference etc.

10. Tuck the ends of the cover in and sew the velcro onto cover and foam. This is the hard part. You may find covering the velcro with some tissue (which you can rip off afterwards) makes the sewing easier.

11. Form the other end of the cover into a neat triangle and attach a piece of webbing.

12. Sew velcro to webbing.


Washing collar: sponge it off and dry it with a hair dryer.


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Thanks landscape- I printed this out and will keep these directions! Cindy
Can't see the pics! What's the problem? It says I don't have privileges, but I'm registered.
We members that haven't been registered for a period of time with a certain number of posts don't have access to certain features. They did this a while ago because of porn and pill pushers joining and dumping links. Usually only legitimate people with ALS or other MND's stay around now. Inconvenient for new members for a bit but the advertisers were really bad a few months ago.
I can't access the pictures either. Could some one help me to see the pictures? My Dad has ALS with extreme neck weakness. He has tried four collars already. None of them really worked for him. I would like to make one like this one for him. Thank you!
I'll email the directions to you, but can you give me some time? I'm a little backed up at the moment with family responsibilities but I'll take care of it later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for understanding. Cindy
Thank you, Cindy! I can wait.
Thank you so much Cindy! I got your e-mail. Somehow, I only got two photos.
Hi there. I only sent 2 photos. I'm visiting my daughter and her family and the internet connection is slow. It went faster with just the 2 photos. I'll try to send the rest, but the weatherman out here is predicting a snowstorm and for some reason my computer is already not happy with its connection up here in the Rocky Mountains!:-D
Thanks for these instructions - but I too can't see the pictures. Can someone please email them to me? My mother is reaching the stage where our occupational therapist says we need to start trying neck supports.

Can you also give me some idea where to find appropriate foam online? I've looked around for "M70" (Durometer?) foam and come up with nothing.

Any and all help appreciated.
Hi. Look for an email later today! My daughter and I are on the way to her favorite fabric store so while we are out I will ask her about where to buy the foam. She's a great internet shopper and the request for this type of product is right up her alley!:-D Cindy
Hi Cindy - I haven't gotten an email, can you send again? Thanks.
Hi Cindy - still no email. Is there something I need to do?
Sorry- got a little backed up. It is on the way!
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