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Draftstopper Door Snakes

Colorful snake draft stoppers with ribbon tongues

Not everyone likes snakes, I know that — but here’s a little fellow who has a lot of appeal — to the eye, the ankles, and the bank account. The stuffed fabric “door snake” is a character-driven version of the traditional door draft stoppers, both energy-saving and fun.

Those of us who live in old houses know all too well that an under-door draft can make you cold and uncomfortable in even a well-heated room. And the air that seeps through the crack where window sash meets window sill? Chilly! Before you know it, you’re reaching out from under your afghan to turn up the heat…

In fact, ECOutlet says as much as 20% of heat loss in a typical home can be due to drafts. They’ve got used to have a line of dandy draft-excluding psychadelic snakes (made with vintage fabrics) that are stuffed with eco-friendly buckwheat husks, natural and biodegradable, that make energy conservation more fun than one might imagine. While these precise door snakes are off the market now, there are oodles of other options and all kinds of DIY inspiration to be had for crafting a quick-and-cute “draft-dodger” of your own.

etsy draft-stopper snakeSaltylemon‘s 36-inch-long door snake is made to lie along the bottom of a door or windowsill, stopping cold air from sneaking in and cranking up your heating bills. A practical bit of whimsy? Why, yes! And this one has a nice touch — it’s got a velcro fastener, so you can remove the stuffing for easy cleaning.

Over at Amethistle, tie-dyer Sara went DIY and recycled jeans and old socks into a draftstopper snake. She explains how she did it on her blog, if you’re interested in sewing your own. Sara does make the point (which I have learned, too) that you need to have a lot of stuffing to fill out a snake — more than you’d expect to need.

DIY Door Snake Tips

The trick to stuffing your draftstopper is to add something that will give a bit of weight to the snake, to hold it snug against your drafty door or window sill. Beans and rice are popular choices. You can certainly stuff with fibrefill or scraps of old quilt batting, etc., but the draft stopper will work best if you add in an old length of curtain rod, or last summer’s collection of beach pebbles, or something of the sort.

A door snake draftstopper is a fun, quick, inexpensive sewing project that’s all straight-line sewing, making it easy enough for kids and beginners to do yet offering all sorts of opportunities for exercising your creative vision. Big buttons for snake eyes? Tag ends of shiny ribbon for the forked tongue? Sequins for a rattler tail? Have a look around and see what materials you have that could be repurposed into a one-of-a-kind draftstopper.

Whether your decorating taste runs to the whimsical door snake, or to an elegantly simple tube of fabric, like TheMorae‘s draft dodgers or even an antique handwoven linen with dainty appliques (keep an eye on garage sales, to find the perfect fabrics to make your own) — under-door draft stoppers are one simple, doable way to be green and frugal, to save money on heating costs, and to keep your home a bit more cosy this winter.

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3 comments… add one

  • Ching Ya 2009/01/18, 10:38 pm

    This post comes in a right time! I really love my jeans, but the ‘bottom’ part was worn out and heartbreaking as it is, I HAD to give up on her. At least now there are alternatives, I just don’t have the heart to throw her away just yet!Hope to have more posts regarding used clothings/jeans, as obviously, my other pair would not live long enough to see the daylight of 2010.
    (which reminds me, I need to shop for new jeans… sigh…)

  • Adam Snider 2009/01/20, 6:14 pm

    My girlfriend’s apartment is very drafty (as is mine), and she’s always looking for new crafty things to occupy her hobby time, so I’ll have to pass this along to her. Hell, I might even try my hand at this, too.

  • Wiseman Mama 2009/01/29, 11:51 pm

    These are great, it’s too bad that if we got one it would only stay about 1 min at our door. That is how long it would take C to get to it and decide it was a toy instead.

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