It’s February, it’s cold!

We LOVE ourselves some old-timey Victorian downtown apartments. Tall ceilings, wood floors, classic trim, wavy glass… and oh yes, lots of breezy windows and doors. We have one window that literally collects dirt on the window sill from anything that makes it through on the dry gusty days. Therefor, I set out to test out those draft stoppers. You’ve likely seen them around, here is how I did mine:

What you need:

  • Fabric – amount dependent on your project.
  • Matching thread.
  • Sewing machine, or hand sewing with significant patience.
  • Rice – I quickly used up my 1lb bag and dug into our stash. If making one for a window instead of a door base, 1 lb should be enough.
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Clips (to hold the rice in if you need to test it out before sewing it shut)
  • Funnel. This can be a piece of paper rolled up if you want.
  • Vacuum to clean up the giant mess of rice you spilled all over. Or a good friend to help poor the rice.

(For all you Meyers Briggs lovers, can you guess if I am a J or P?)

Measure the amount of fabric you need. Our door goes to an unheated general space shared with the downstairs tenants. Emphasis on unheated. To help keep it in place I decided to have 2 connected “tubes” filled with rice with space in the middle to slide under the door. That way it would stay right under the door when we came and went.

Start pinning to the necessary shape. If doing a single tube of rice remember to turn the fabric inside out for sewing 3 of the 4 sides. For the double tube it isn’t necessary since the bottom will be facing the floor always.

The amount of space in between will be dependent on the width of your door. I made the space slightly smaller that the width of the door so that when filled with rice it would stay nice and snug against the door.

Sew 3 of the 4 sides of the tubes.

I was feelin’ fancy and used a zig-zag stitch. Totally unnecessary, just make sure the stitching is tight enough that you don’t have rice sneaking out every time you use the door/window.

Fill with rice. Don’t overfill, having it loose helps it fit into the cracks a little better. I was alone when making this, but having an extra hand would have been immensely helpful. One person to hold the fabric/funnel, another to pour. To do it yourself ends up with little rice surprises for the next week…

Before sewing the ends shut, use some good clips to test it out. I am glad I did this step, because I overfilled my rice and there was no chance of it fitting under the door. Once it is the desired fill, sew your ends shut…

…and put it to good use saving energy!


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