Try This: Draft Stopper

Stop cold air with this homemade draft blocker.

| January/February 2005

Draft evader. Even the best insulated houses have places where cold air can sneak in. Under-the-door gaps are notorious for allowing heat to escape, yet they’re simple to fix. This colorful, hip, easy-to-make draft blocker looks nice doing its job, then it folds in half and hangs so it’s always at the ready.

1. For the front, cut a piece of black felt about 31/2 inches wide and the width of your door plus 2 inches. (For example, our 36-inch door needed fabric 38 inches long.) Cut an assortment of circles, rectangles, squares, and lozenge shapes out of contrasting colored felt. Make sure they fit on the black strip so there’s at least 1/2 inch between the top and bottom and the black felt edge. Sew the shapes either by machine or by hand onto the background felt. In a pinch, you can attach them with nontoxic fabric glue.

2. For the back, cut another strip of felt in a contrasting color (here, loden green) that’s about an inch wider and longer than the black piece. Line up the black front on top of the contrasting back, leaving about 1/2 inch of the back fabric exposed all around the edges. Machine stitch all the way around, leaving the top edge open to add the filling.

3. You can fill your draft stopper with a number of materials. Sand works, although it’s a bit heavy. We used about 2 to 3 cups of rice for ours. You can also try dried lentils or course cornmeal. Don’t overfill; the stuffing is meant to plump up the stopper and make it just heavy enough to stay put. Machine sew the end closed.

4. The handles are simply strips of felt about 7 inches by 2 inches, folded in half, then sewn. Attach them on each end using a double row of machine stitching for strength.

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