DIY Draft Stopper

What You'll Need
Tape measure
Scissors
Pen or pencil
Fabric
Sewing machine or needle and thread
Filling (uncooked rice, dried beans, or coarse sand)
Funnel (optional)
Framing square (optional)

When it’s cold outside, a large goal for any household is to keep the cold air out of your home and to seal in the heat that you’re paying precious money for. Especially when your living space has drafty doors or windows, this can be hard to do. Luckily, you can make your own draft dodgers with minimal work and cash to keep your house toasty warm during the cold winter months.

What is a Draft Stopper?

A draft dodger is exactly what it sounds like: a mechanism that helps your home to “dodge the draft”. These clever household items snuggle up to the bottom of doors or windows to prevent heat from leaking out of your home or cold air getting in.

Making Your Own Draft Stopper

Gather Materials

First, gather your materials. You’ll need a tape measure, scissors, pen or pencil, and a sewing machine or a needle and thread. And, of course, you’ll need fabric–one of the main components of the dodger. Cotton fabric works well, but you can truly use almost any fabric you have on hand. You can even upcycle some old clothes like sweaters or jeans.

Whatever fabric suits your tastes is great, as long as it’s tightly woven enough to hold in the filling you choose. On average, your dodger will require 10 to 15 cups of stuffing—something simple and affordable, like uncooked rice, dried beans, or coarse sand.

Some optional supplies for this project include a funnel, which will make filling your dodger an easier task. You may also want to have a framing square on hand to help you cut a straight rectangle during this process.

draft stopper under wooden door

Step 1 - Measure The Space

Measure the length of the door or window your draft dodger will be protecting. Take that number and add four additional inches.

Step 2 - Determine the Diameter

Next, you’ll need to decide the width of the fabric, which determines the diameter of the finished product. If your fabric is 10 inches wide, your dodger will be about two and seven-eighth inches in diameter. 11 inches wide will give you a three and one eighth diameter dodger, 12 inches will give you three and a half inches in diameter, 13 amounts to three and seven-eighth inches in diameter, and so on (adding about 3/8ths of an inch to diameter for each inch of width). These measurements account for half-inch seams on each side of the fabric.

Step 3 - Measure and Cut Your Fabric

Now that you’ve deciphered the dimensions of the fabric, lay it out on a flat surface and mark them accordingly using your pen or pencil. Carefully cut the rectangle along the lines you marked.

Step 4 - Fold and Sew

Fold your fabric in half lengthwise so that the bottom of the fabric is facing outwards. Create a half-inch seam along one end of the fabric and across the long side. The other end should remain open. Your “tube” will be inside out at this point. Reverse the fabric through the opening so it’s correct, with the print or outside of the fabric facing outwards.

hands folding the end of a draft stopper

Step 5 - Add the Filling

Pour your selected filling into the tube, using your funnel if you have one. Your filling should come up to about eight inches from the end of the fabric. You'll want there to be a bit of room for the filling to move around once the dodger is sewed up so it can mold well to the surface it's placed against.

Step 6 - Sew Up the End

Now, fold the fabric together so the raw edges are tucked inward, and sew the end of the dodger closed. Lay it flat and use your hands to spread the filling evenly. Your dodger is now complete and ready to help keep your home warm all winter long. So settle into your cozy space, make some more crafty creations, and share your victories in our projects section to inspire others!