Draft Dodger

Here on the east coast of the U.S., temperatures dropped last week when Hurricane Sandy rolled in. They’ve rebounded a bit now, but that taste of winter has a lot of folks thinking about our energy bills! Winterizing your home can range from the simple to the complex, and sewing a draft dodger is an easy way to help keep your home warm without turning up the heat.

What’s a draft dodger?

Nope, I’m not talking about running off to Canada in the 1960s. The draft dodger that helps with your energy bill is a simple tube of fabric filled with something heavy that you wedge under the door to keep drafts from coming in. You can also use it on a leaky windowsill, if your house is super drafty.

We’ve got instructions below on how to make a draft dodger, and if you’re not crafty, check out the section below that on where you can buy one!

How to Make a Draft Dodger

To make your draft dodger, you need:

  • tape measure
  • organic or reclaimed fabric – mine came from a pair of pants that were past their prime
  • sewing machine, iron, thread, pins
  • filling – I used Swheat Scoop cat litter, but you can also use rice or sand. If you choose cat litter, opt for something natural, since most clay litter is strip mined.
  • funnel

Directions

1.The length of your draft dodger is going to depend on the length of your door or window, so measure that, then add 2″ to get the length of fabric that you’ll need. Cut your fabric to an 8″ width. So, for a 36″ door, you’ll cut a piece of fabric that’s 38″ X 8″.

2. Fold your fabric in half, right sides together and lengthwise, so now you have a piece that’s 4″ wide. Give it a press with your iron, then sew it around on three sides, leaving one of the short sides open, then turn the tube you just created right side out.

3. Fill it up! Use your funnel to fill your draft dodger with your filling of choice. You want to fill until it’s about 2″ from the top. Then, tuck the unfinished edge in by 1″, and pin. Sew that unfinished edge closed, and you’re all set!

To use your draft dodger, just slide it snugly against the doorway, so it blocks that chilly air from coming in.

Where to Buy a Draft Dodger

Sewing isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do, and if making a draft dodger seems a little daunting, don’t fret! Etsy sellers like Home Decor Amour make beautiful draft dodgers that you can buy. If you want a bigger selection, check out this Etsy search for draft dodgers – there are tons, and some are very cute!

I had a hard time finding draft dodgers made from organic fabric, but the great thing about Etsy is that sellers are often open to custom orders. Try sending a message to your favorite draft dodger-maker to see if they’ll do you up a custom one in your favorite organic fabric!

Image: Becky Striepe