What can I reuse or recycle to make a draft excluder?

Ok, put your hand up if you’re cold.

I’m guessing everyone in the northern hemisphere is waving at their computers right now. It’s pretty brr.

On my frugal/cooking/growing blog The Really Good Life, I’ve written about the five frugal ways I’ll be keeping warm this winter – but one thing I missed off is the list is draught excluders (aka draft dodgers).

I used to have a black fun fur one – which matched our black real fur cats – but it was in the days when the cats were more territorial … and amorous. I’ll let you finish that lovely story yourself. Last year, after we’d just moved into our new house, there were so many draughts and bits of bad insulation that draft excluders seemed pointless so I didn’t bother. This year though, game on!

So what have you made them from? Recycle This regular BookstoreBabe made some from her daughter’s old heavy patterned tights and rag-bag stuffing – but warned that they stretch! I’ve also heard of people making them from old woolly jumper sleeves or trouser legs – just sew up the ends and stuff.

I imagine the duvets from the other day would do the job too without any sewing or cutting need – just tied into a roll. And don’t forget, it’s not won’t be sitting on it, so it doesn’t need to be stuffed with soft filling like a cushion or pillow – you can use newspaper, carrier bags or stuff like polystyrene foam peanuts — anything to provide a bit of bulk.

Have you made your own? What did you use? Send pics/links if you’ve got them!

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18 Responses to “What can I reuse or recycle to make a draft excluder?”


  1. Cadan says:

    My grandmother recently made a draught excluder from some scrap material she found, and stuffed it with my grandfather’s old underwear! I think she washed them first…

  2. I’ve made one from the sleeves of a jumper that shrunk in the wash. I save all felted jumpers as I use them in my crafts but this time didn’t chop up the sleeves as I normally would have done. You can see Sammy the Snake here http://swirlyarts.blogspot.com/2010/11/busy-sunday.html

  3. Petra says:

    Louisa, you can read my thoughts. I was just thinking of making a draught excluder and was wondering if you had discussed the topic before. And what do I see…. this new topic! (Not very unexpected this time of the year, but still very useful). Thanks.

  4. Stuffing from old pillows or sections from an old duvet should work (however duvets should be more suitable for loft insulation).

  5. I made a draught excluder from fabric saved from a kimono that has been work=n out after years of wear as a dressing gown. I stuffed it with scrap fabric, eg old pillow cases chewed to pieces by our rabbit, tights and socks with unrepairable holes etc. I blogged about it recently. It isn’t quite finished, it needs a bit more fabric stuffed into it, but its so cold that we’re already using it, its fastened together with part of an old curtain tie back that our rabbit shredded which will be sewn onto the draught excluder when its ready. Blog post (including photo) at this link:
    http://craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com/2010/11/upcycled-draught-excluder.html

  6. Petra says:

    And in addition to my previous comment:
    I found some silke shawls of my partner, which he doesn’t use any more. They have a good length, nice look and are already double fabric. So, they only need to be filled and sewed at the end. Few minutes work.

  7. Roger says:

    Silly question, I have tons of old jeans, laying about that don’t fit, do you think denim would work? Or do you need something more flowey, also in an old flat I used to live in I stuffed the cracks in the old sash windows with shredded newspaper, kept the cold out a wee bit.

  8. Su says:

    Being somewhat dim, I had a ‘not quite finished’ draught excluder cluttering up my living room. Despite having a bag of polystrene beads the thought had never occured to me to use them to stuff the draught excluder! Needless to say it is now completed!

  9. Alexis says:

    before we bought our new door we needed a draft excluder – one that was waterproof and easy to clean.

    I bought a segment of clear plastic from a fabric shop. Sewed a tube, and filled it with barley. It looked pretty – and worked perfectly – NOTHING got past it.

    • louisa says:

      I love this idea – a really interesting take on the usual fabric version.

      As I said on Twitter, we couldn’t do it here (animals, claws, barley everywhere) but it’s a very nice idea and I bet it looked great.

  10. Carrie Lowe says:

    You’ve got to hope, haven’t you? ;)

  11. bookstorebabe says:

    This is a bit late, but here’s yet another Craftster link. She had the bright idea of adding a tab and tacking it to the door, so the draft dodger stayed in place when the door was opened and shut.
    http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=291736.0

  12. Judy says:

    The only draft dodgers that I’ve ever seen that stayed in place and held close to the door too were some that my mother and I made and filled with rice. The rice conformed to the floor and the door and really stayed in place. At the time, rice was much cheaper than it is now, but that thing lasted for many many years. She made new covers for it a time or two. I’ve also heard of using sand (which is really cheap) but you have to have a plastic liner to keep it from escaping the fabric cover.

    Mom also made some really good draft stoppers that were made of left over foam rubber from a mattress topper. She cut it to length, rolled it tight to fight in the cover, and tied the end closed. This one she kept between the front door and the outer door. It blocked the air well and since she was homebound and in a wheelchair, people coming and going could easily put it where it belonged when they left.

    I personally have a couple of small down throws that I have dragged about for years. The animals love to lay on them so I fold them in a manner that covers the bottom of the door and gives the doggy a place to lay if she likes. One of these days I do plan on making actual draft stoppers out of them and using the spare for doggy beds.

    I love reading your blog! I’ve lived frugally forever – when my children were growing we lived so far out in the country that if you were out of something you didn’t just run to the store and get it, you learned to make do. With not a lot of money to go around with three kids, I learned to shave the grocery and clothing bills at every opportunity and to keep the utility bills as low as possible. We managed, and the kids learned alot because now, as adults, they can do the same, and their spouses/significant others are always amazed.

    Thanks for blogging!

    Judy

  13. Shubette says:

    I made one of these out of some stretchy fabric that I found at a thrift store. It was the only stuff I had lying around, and it was too far into winter to keep procrastinating on this project… anyway! I got some discount snow fluff from the dollar store (half-priced as a post-holiday deal!) to stuff inside it.

    Great for keeping out drafts, not so great at keeping out kitties.



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