Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick
When the weather becomes cold, heating your home can be expensive and you certainly do not want your warm air escaping from under your door or out a leaky window sill. Fortunately, draft stoppers are easy and inexpensive to make and can save you money on your heating bill. A draft stopper is basically a tube sewn from a durable fabric that is filled with a heavy, granular filling. The weight of the filling keeps the draft stopper in place. Granular fillings like sand or kitty litter allow the draft stopper to mold to the bottom and edges of the door.
Fabric: approximately 9” x 41” (this length will fit a standard 36” wide door, adjust as necessary for your door or window size)
Filler: Kitty litter, sand or gravel (to prevent pests, you should not use perishable fillers such as rice or corn)
Sewing machine, thread, scissors, iron
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise with right sides together and beginning at the folded edge of one of the short ends, sew a 1/2” seam along the short end, turn the corner and continue sewing along the long edge of the fabric until you are approximately 1-2 inches from the middle of the fabric. This does not have to be exact. Remember to backstitch for strength at the end of the seam. Repeat on the other end, beginning again at the folded edge. This time you will stop sewing 3 inches away from where the first seam ends, leaving an opening about 3 inches long for inserting the filler.
I like to have the opening on the long edge for two reasons. First, I find that corners can be a bit of a pain to turn and hand stitch because of the extra bulk of fabric. Second, when I pick one of these up to move it, I typically grab it in the center making the weight fall to each end and it just seems wiser to have a more secure seam on the short ends. That’s my theory, anyway.
Before turning the tube right side out, press the edges of the opening back to match the seam allowance. This makes it a bit easier to keep the seam straight when it comes time to sew the opening shut.
Trim the corners diagonally to reduce bulk and turn your tube right side out, making sure the corners are nice and sharp (I like to use a wooden chopstick, but be careful not to poke through the fabric). Using a funnel, fill the tube with your preferred filler until the tube is slightly firm (it needs to still be flexible). Pin the opening closed and stitch shut either by hand or machine.
Cut pant legs work well for these too, just be sure the length is adequate. In this case, you will have to leave one end open for filling.
If you would like to change your draft stopper to match the seasons, make some covers for it. You can either put zippers in the covers or create a flap on the end that buttons or snaps closed.
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