A draft stopper, also known as a draft dodger, is usually a round tube of fabric with a granular filling placed at the bottom of a drafty door or window ledge. Fillings like clean sand or dust-free kitty litter allow the draft stopper to lie close to the bottom and edges of a door or window ledge and keep out the pesky drafts. The weight of the filling keeps the draft stopper in place.
Easy to sew using a cheerful calico print, wool plaid, corduroy or even denim for a country-look. Old jeans pants legs, knee-high socks, upholstery fabrics or no-longer used sweaters also make for charming draft stoppers.
To make the draft stopper two fabrics are needed, choose one for the outer fabric and the another for the inner lining (plain muslin or an old pillow case works well). The lining works to keep the sand or litter from migrating through the fabric. Cut each about 9” by 40” long. The fabric and lining will be stitched separately. Fold each piece in half lengthwise, right sides together and sew a ½” seam across one short end and along the long side opposite the fold. Turn the outer fabric right side out and press. Sew the inner lining fabric the same way. Insert the lining tube into the tube of fabric so it nestles all the way in. A yardstick or broom handle can help insert the lining. Use a funnel to pour clean sand or dust-free litter into the nested tubes stopping about 2” from the open end. Hand-stitch closed both the lining end and the fabric end separately.
Decorate if you wish, the now utilitarian draft stopper by attaching stitched and poly-stuffed barnyard or favorite animal shapes like sheep, geese, dog or cat. Holiday or themed shapes like snowmen, clouds, stars and moon, or simple pine tree and leaf shapes are charming as well. Large cookie cutters or shapes traced from children’s coloring books make great template shapes to use. Cut two of each shape, stitch right-sides together - leave an opening for turning - clip into corners and curves then turn right-side out and stuff firmly. Hand stitch the opening closed.
A few stitched and stuffed shapes either hand-sewn or hot-glued onto the draft stopper add whimsical drama to the practical draft ‘dodger.’
The same type fabric and filler used to make the draft stopper can also be used to make a coordinating no-sew door stop. Fill a clean small-size coffee can (keep the lid) with clean sand or litter. The plastic lid of the coffee can is taped securely to the can using study masking or duct tape. Cut a piece of fabric 22” x 18” or larger if necessary. Set the coffee can in the center of the fabric and hand fold or softly gather the fabric edges up and around it. Hot glue or tape the gathers flat on the top of the can or leave gathers and secure with twine or ribbon. Place a matching stitched, stuffed shape on top by gluing in place for a coordinating door stop to the draft stopper.
When the cool winds blow a cheery draft dodger for a door or window can keep out those chilly drafts.
Sew happy, sew inspired.