When you walk past the windows or doors in your apartment, do you feel an icy draft? If so, you’ve got leaky windows, which make your apartment inefficient and run up your heating or cooling bill. Since you can’t replace the windows in an apartment, you might feel helpless – but you’re not! All you need is a little insulation.
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Draft stoppers – also called draft blockers, draft dodgers, or door/window snakes – are simple: They’re just tubes made of fabric and filled with an insulating material that you place at the base of your windows or doors, where most leaks happen. Making your own draft stopper is a fun, simple DIY project that took me less than an hour.
Here’s how I did it:
What you’ll need:
- Medium-weight fabric (how many yards you’ll need depends on how big your windows are, and how many you’re making)
- Tape measure
- Sewing machine, threaded
- Straight pins
- Insulating material
1. First, measure your window. For my first draft stopper, I’m starting with a skinny window that’s just 23 inches wide.
2. Cut your fabric. To know how wide to cut, add four inches to the width of your window. For me, this comes to 27 inches. No matter how wide the window is, cut the fabric 8 inches tall. Now you have a long rectangle of fabric.
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3. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise so the long edges are touching each other. Pin these edges together using a few straight pins.
4. Using your sewing machine, sew a seam along the long edge where the pins are, and then one of the short ends. Sew several backwards stitches so the ends are firmly sewn shut.
5. Turn the fabric tube inside out so the seams are hidden inside.
6. Fill your fabric tube with insulating material. There are several things you could use here, such as:
- Kitty litter
Really, anything that’s small and granular will do the trick, but stay away from powders — they’ll get messy. I used rice for mine. Enlist someone’s help when you’re filling your draft stopper, or else you might spill the rice and make a mess all over your kitchen floor. (Take it from me: I learned this lesson the hard way.) Don’t fill it too full – you want it to have a little malleability.
7. Sew the open edge of your draft stopper shut. Pin carefully so none of your insulating material falls out as you sew. You might want to enlist a helper again to hold the heavy end of your draft stopper while you sew. Remember to sew backwards stitches at both ends so everything is nice and secure.
8. Place your draft stopper in your window and admire your handiwork. And continue enjoying lower power bills as you improve your apartment’s efficiency!
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Anyone else tackled this project? Leave us a comment and let us know how it went!
Photo credits: Courtney Craig