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How to Make a Draft Stop for Windows and Doors

One source of air infiltration in homes is under outside doors and between window sashes. If you have old-fashioned wooden windows, the seam between the upper and lower panes and the bottom of the window and the sill can let heat out and cold air in.

You should have proper thresholds and door sweeps installed on all outside doors but sometimes these still let a little draft in. You can stop those cold drafts and help lower your heating bill with a draft stop.

You simply place these long stuffed fabric containers over or against the seam or crack and they block the cold air from entering the home. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes; anything from fabric animals all connected to simple straight tubes of fabric, sewn and stuffed with a variety of fillings to give them weight and hold them in place.

You can make them easily and save money.

Measure the width of the window seam or crack under the door where you intend to use the draft stop. Cut a fabric of your choice in a minimum 8” wide rectangle an inch or two longer than the width measurement. Use a strong fabric such as upholstery fabric that matches, contrasts with, or complements your decor, not a soft or fuzzy material, or a lightweight one. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise so the backside of the fabric is facing out. Now simply sew the long side and one of the short sides shut with a strong, matching thread.

Turn the bag you have sewn inside out. You can work it out with a broom or mop handle by inserting the handle in the bag and pushing it as you work the fabric down the handle.

Choose the filling you want to use. In choosing the filling think about filling materials that will bear up under moisture because the draft stop may collect condensate from the window sash. You can use dried beans, rice, clean dry sand, clean dry pea gravel, or fabric fillings you can buy at a local fabric store or sewing center. Just make sure that the fabric fillings are heavy enough to hold the draft stop firmly in place.

A draft stop installed above a window sashBear in mind any allergies you, or members of your household, might have in choosing the type of filling material.

Simply place the filling material inside the tube making sure to leave enough material at the end of the tube to sew it shut. The tube should be a nice round shape, not flattened out or oblong.

Sew the end of the tube shut and place it at the bottom of the door or over the seam in the window sash.

You have just made a cheap, efficient, practical, and good-looking draft stop and saved money on your utility bill in the process.

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