Eco-Saturday: Draft stopper

Last week’s Eco-Saturday project was a great investment, but it was also a pretty big investment, in terms of both time and cash, and it was the type of project you’re not likely to do unless you actually own your home. This week’s project is cheaper, takes just a few minutes and can be done in just about any sort of dwelling, from apartments to mansions, with good results.

You will need:

Half a yard of fabric (I used twill)
Sewing machine (or a plain old needle if you don’t have a machine)
Tape measure if you want to be precise
Yardstick if you have one
Thin cardboard (grab a box from the recycling bin)


Choose a door you want to seal up. Cut a strip of fabric about six inches wide and one inch longer than the door. Fold it in half so that the printed side is to the inside and pin it in place so it doesn’t squirm while you’re sewing.

Using a sewing machine or a needle and thread, stitch down the side and one end, leaving a half-inch seam allowance.

Turn right-side out. (If you have a yardstick handy, you can use it to help with this process.)


Make a cone out of a thin piece of cardboard, tape the edge securely to keep it together, and snip off the pointy end to make a funnel. Slip the funnel into your fabric tube and use it to fill the tube with rice, leaving the top two to three inches empty.


Turn in the raw edges, tuck them under, and sew the end shut, making sure to reinforce your seams so they don’t come loose and spill rice all over when you use your new draft stopper.


Lay your draft stopper on the floor against the door. I made several at once, using a yard of twill I found on sale at the fabric store. Instead of custom-measuring each door, I made all of them the same length and just left a little empty space at the end so I could distribute the rice as needed to get a good fit.

You can make four or five of these in an hour if you have a good sewing machine.


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