How to Make a Draft Dodger for Doors and Windows

Fabric, scissors, tape measure, thread, filling for draft dodger.
Materials needed to make a draft dodger.

Materials Needed

To make a draft dodger, you will need:

  • Tape measure or ruler
  • Scissors
  • Fabric: Cotton prints work great, but you can also use knits, old blue jeans, or any scraps you have on hand. Just make sure the fabric is woven tightly enough that your filling won’t escape!
  • Sewing Machine and Needle/Thread: If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can do all the sewing by hand.
  • Filling: About 10-15 cups of loose filling. I like to use uncooked rice because it molds so easily; but you can also use dried peas or beans, buckwheat, unscented kitty litter, coarse sand, shredded rags or plastic bags, or Styrofoam pellets.

Optional items include:

  • Funnel: A funnel will make the project much easier, especially if kids are helping. You can use a regular one, or improvise by cutting the bottom out of a disposable cup or plastic bottle.
  • Framing Square: A straight edge or square corner will help you cut a nice straight rectangle.
  • Newspaper Bags: If you’re worried about your draft dodger getting wet, you can place the filling inside plastic newspaper bags (the tube-shaped ones), which you then stuff inside the fabric.
  • Decorations: You don’t have to decorate your draft dodger, but here’s a chance to be creative! You can turn your draft dodger into a snake, a dog, or an abstract masterpiece by hot-gluing eyes, ears, buttons, twigs, or other decorations to the finished project.

12 COMMENTS

  1. you can also use pantyhose before inserting into the sewn tube. if you have pets that chew everything,please make sure the filler is pet friendly—rice may be the best option–instead of tiny pebbles.

  2. For interior,bedroom doors or others, I use the tube insulation that is sold for pipes. (1/2″) All you have to do is prey the tube open (where it is scored) and make sure you have the correct length to match the bottom of the door. Slide the opened tube onto bottom of the door..and your done!!Costs less than $1.00 for 2 doors.

  3. In making a few door draft dodgers I would like to know the most effective filler. Rice or beans don’t seem like they would be good insulators

  4. I have made draft dodgers and filled them with rice. The rice granules are small and assists the draft dodger to fit in all the crevices and cracks. It does the job.

  5. We made 4 draft dodgers for a 48″ sliding glass deck door and side panels. For the doors we found 15″ was the best fabric width to stand from the floor and cover all seams. For the side panels 16″ was a better size. We alternated rice and shredded foam when filling. Rice was 50# for $16 at Costco; there is 20#’ish left over. Foam was $6 per bag at the fabric store (we used two). The family room is cozier already!

  6. I’m using Martha’s instructions and she uses paper kitty litter for filler. I don’t feel like spending big bucks on it though for one draft dodger. You mentioned unscented kitty litter. I have three cats so I have standard litter. Does anyone know if they will be attracted to it and leave a little gift for me? Thanks.

  7. I live in an area where, when wet, mice seem to find a way into the basement and migrate toward the heat. I’m a bit leery of using rice or any other “food”. What other weighted suggestions do you have?

  8. I really don’t want to spend food money on this – what I do have is huge bales of pine chips for rabbit litter/bedding. Can I use those?

  9. For the effort required to make a draft dodger you could just fix the door seal. Then you dont have to worry about any of the above. Not to mention, you dont have to move the draft dodger every time you open the door. My suggested filling would be shot. Small steel balls. They are heavy and they wont attract anything. And they pass right through mammals without harm.

  10. In a pinch, I’ve used old bath towels and hand stitched (tacked) together then used clear packing tape. It works and when you are done with them for the season you can take the tape off and the stitching, wash and put away for the next season or cleaning rags or what ever you were keeping them for. I usually used in front of doors that were kept closed most of the time, but still needed to keep the cold out.

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