Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fabric Draft Blocker!

I know that much of the USA is freezing cold right now.  I'm in Southern California and we are expecting 40 degree temperatures tonight!  I know to my friends in the East, that's down right balmy, but our thin blood isn't really built for those temperatures.  Baby, it's cold outside! 

I don't know about your house, but mine is a little drafty.  Over the years, as the house has settled, the front door seems to have developed a large gap at the bottom and the cold air just pours in under it.  Yesterday, with pouring rain and winds outside, I turned up my heater, trouped upstairs and sewed a draft blocker for the spot. It looks very nice, but even better-it works! (I know it works because I keep standing by the door in my bare feet and then tell anyone who walks by how I don't feel any cold drafts.  Some people are getting tired of hearing it too!  Sniff!)  It was a snap to make too.  Here are the basics:


Fabric (You need a 8" x about 40" piece for an average door.  We'll talk size again in a minute.)
Coordinating thread
Sewing machine
Batting or dry beans or rice to fill the draft blocker with
Ribbon (Optional)


1.  Measure the base of your door.  Add a 1/2" seam allowance.  Cut a piece of fabric to the length you just figured, and a width of 8 inches.  Note:  I added a few extra inches onto my length because I wanted to have it extend a bit on either side of my door.

2.  Fold the fabric in half, with the long sides together.  The right side of the fabric facing each other.

3.  Sew along one short side and the long side.

4.  Turn the fabric tube right side out and stuff with beans, rice, or batting.  (I stuffed mine with batting because that's what I had in the house and it was cold and rainy and I didn't want to go out.  It works fine, but as I mentioned, I live in Southern California.  You may need something thicker for protection from the elements.)  The tube is long, so use a broom handle or something to really push the batting down into the tube.  Pack it tight!

5.  Make a loop from extra fabric or use a ribbon.  Insert into the unsewn end of the tube, pin, and then top stitch the end closed.  This an optional step.  You don't need a loop on your draft blocker.  We use our front door a lot and I wanted to have a way to keep my draft blocker out of the way when we weren't using it.  I knew that, if it didn't have a loop and hanger, my husband would just throw it aside where I would trip on it, or stuff it in a closet and a fight would ensue.  (After being married for 14.5 years, I know which battles I want to fight and try to work around foreseen obstacles. You know your family, so decide on this step accordingly.)  In the picture above, you can see how nicely mine hangs out of the way when not in use, but is easily accessible once everyone is home and ready to get warm.

I hope this tutorial helps warm your house, your heart and lower your heating bills a bit!  Is it cold where you are?  What are you doing to stay warm?