When it became clear that energy prices would be extremely high this winter and that we would all need to find ways to keep our houses warm in an affordable and sustainable way Selvedge Magazine asked me to take part in a winter campaign to promote using draft excluders. I had never made or used one but it seemed like a perfect idea and now I can say from experience that they are perfect for keeping drafts out.
I've made a DIY for the draft excluders with my own hand printed fabric. The draft excluder I made is very simple to make. The steps I’ve taken are the following:
Measure the width of the door or window that you want to use the draft excluder for. You want it to fit snugly to keep out all the draft. In my case our standard door width is 80 cm (31,5 inch). So my draft excluder is 80 cm long.
Decide what width you want the draft excluder to be. I have made it with a width of 17 cm (± 7 inch).
Cut a piece of fabric that is twice the width and once the height of the draft excluder you want to make and add 1 cm seam allowance all around.
Cut an extra piece of fabric that measures 25 x 12 cm (10 x 5 inch) to make a loop. This will allow you to easily hang the draft exluder when it is not in use.
Use you serger or sewing machine to finish all the seams of the large piece of fabric that will be the body of the draft excluder.
Make the loop by folding and ironing the small piece of fabric in half along the long side of the fabric with the right side out.
Then unfold it and take each of the long edges toward the center line that you created. Fold and iron both sides.
Once you have the two outside edges ironed to the middle line, fold again on the middle line and iron.
Top stitch along both edges. Now you have finished the strap.
Sew the strap onto the body of the draft excluder. I have put mine toward the edge on top, but you could also put in the middle.
Put the strap folded in two on one of the short sides on the right side of the fabric with the loop facing inwards (toward the inside of the draft excluder) and stitch into place with a 0,5 cm (0,3 inch) seam allowance.
Now fold the fabric for the body of the draft excluder in half along the long side with right sides together and the wrong side facing out.
Stich 2 sides of the fabric: the short side with the loop (the loop should be inside the folded fabric) and the long side with a 1 cm seam allowance. Now turn inside out to have the right side facing out.
Now you are ready to stuff the draft excluder. I have stuffed mine with kapok from an old no longer used cushion. You can buy kapok new as well. I have found that people fill draft excluders with all kinds of material. I have tried fabric scraps that I had saved, with is definitely an option, but the draft excluder does become heavier and a bit bulky. I preferred it to be not too heavy so that it is easy to pick up and hang on the handle of the door when it is not in use. It does still need to be heavy enough to stay in place and I find that the kapok stuffing does that quite well. Of course if you want to make the draft excluder washable (they can get quite dirty on the floor) using an inner cushion to put the stuffing in is a good idea.
Once the draft excluder is stuffed to your liking, you can pin and hand sew (or machine sew) the remaining short side and then your draft excluder is ready for use.