If you find yourself in need of a way to fight the frost and keep the cold from entering your home through insufficiently insulated exterior doors, a decorative DIY fabric draft stopper/door sweep could be your solution.
Kids love them because they’re also known as ‘door snakes’ and you can sew on little buttons or googly eyes and include a felt ‘tongue’ to fully flesh out the image of a snake.
Parents love them because they’re inexpensive solutions to drafty doors that can improve your home’s energy efficiency, reduce your monthly utility bill and enhance your home décor in one!
To be perfectly honest, a snake of any kind in our house creeps me out (and yes, by ‘me,’ I mean my husband, who justifies his fear of snakes by dropping the name ‘Indiana Jones’ whenever the subject comes up). But I can deal with it when this ‘snake’ is made of a fabulous fabric that coordinates perfectly with my home’s furnishings.
However, to make our home a place of non-discriminatory, equal-opportunity crafting, we call it a ‘draft dodger’ which is both descriptively accurate and twistedly funny, so everybody wins.
No matter what you end up calling it in your house, this little fabric floor-dweller does the job of dressing up your interior doors (or exterior doors from the inside) while also keeping out bothersome breezes.
As an added bonus, they can also muffle sounds in between rooms so they’re ideal for dropping them in front of the door to anywhere you want to dampen noise like a nursery or home office.
Here’s how you can make your very own decorative fabric door snake/draft dodger.
Snake Sewing 101
Your basic materials and tools consist of:
- Sewing Machine or Needle and thread
- Straight pins
- Rice – I ended up using over 2 lbs. of rice for my draft dodger but your amount may vary if you make a smaller snake or you have a wider or more narrow door frame
Select a thickly woven yet stretchable fabric to serve as the outer ‘skin’ of your snake. It needs to be strong enough to hold together when stretched to the max with rice ‘filling’ and of a tight enough weave that the rice doesn’t escape. At the same time, it needs to be pliable enough to sufficiently fill in the gaps under the door.I constructed my draft dodger out of 100% cotton fabric leftover from the last baby quilt I made and cut a strip measuring 8″ wide by 28″ long.
You can make yours narrower (6″ wide would be a decent-sized snake) and in terms of length: Measure the width of the intended door and add 4″. My interior door is 24″ wide so I cut the fabric 28″.
Fold the fabric in half lengthwise ‘inside out’ so that the finished side of the fabric is on the inside (also referred to as ‘right sides touching’) and you will be sewing on the ‘wrong side’ of the fabric.
Line up the edges and use straight pins to secure the edges until you’re ready to sew.
Leave approximately 4″ unsewn and start sewing along the open edge, removing the pins as you go. For added strength, you can sew all the way to the end of the fabric and backstitch to secure the line.
Turn the fabric ‘tube’ and stitch the short end closed.
*Tip: Trim a tiny triangle edge off of each of the bottom corners to alleviate some bulk when you turn the fabric inside out.
Turn the snake right-side out and fill it with rice. You can use a funnel if you need extra help pouring.
From here, you can add the snake embellishments like a felt tongue before you fold the edges over to seal the open side and sew it shut.
If you are making a snake, I recommend hot gluing googily eyes on after it’s finished so you know exactly where to place them.
And now it’s ready to decoratively dampen your doors!
What fabric designs or snake embellishments do you want to use for your DIY draft stopper?
Huge thank you to ColoradoMoms contributor, Heather Kemp of twiddlingmythumbs.com for the amazing photos of our tutorial.