Monday, February 3, 2014

How I Made a No-Sew “Draft Dodger” in Less Than 5 Minutes

Older Home = Huge Energy Losses
I live in an older home, built in 1920.  While my husband and I love the character of our house, especially the lovely older style woodwork, it is not very energy efficient, and this definitely does not sit well with me.  Our goal is to increase the overall energy efficiency of our house, including the installation of new energy efficient windows and insulated siding, but right now our budget comes tremendously short of being able to make those kinds of improvements. 

In the mean time, we have done a number of things to try to save energy, such as replacing more inefficient incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs, purchasing a new Energy Star-rated dishwasher and refrigerator, turning off lights and electrical equipment when they are not being used and washing most of our laundry in cold water.  While these may not ultimately be as impactful as having new windows and siding, we are doing what we can, where we can until we can make those improvements, and all of those even minor efforts will add up over time. 

Not too long after moving into our house last spring, we also had an energy audit performed on our house by our energy company to determine where we were wasting energy.  I have personally learned a lot about saving energy over the past few years, but there are still a number of energy efficiency topics where my knowledge is lacking and I need some additional help.  I highly recommend getting an energy audit done on your home if you can, because even if you can’t afford to make the major changes right now, you will receive an assessment that highlights opportunities for saving energy in your home.  Knowing this information and taking action will not only help to reduce your environmental footprint, but saving energy at home also translates into saving money, and who couldn’t use some extra money right now?  Utility companies often have programs that offer incentives to their customers who get an energy audit done.

My 5-Minute “Draft Dodger” Project  
In the spirit of saving energy, I was quite excited to discover a quick and easy solution to the drafty gap beneath my front door.  After noticing that sunlight was shining through that gap, I could almost picture all of the warm air (and money spent on our energy bills) being sucked right out of our house.  This would not do any longer!  Fortunately, about a week before I noticed the gap, I came across this free, temporary solution while checking on my personal Twitter feed. 

Thanks to this blog post by Living Simply Free, I now had an easy way to block these cold, wintry drafts.  I had heard about using this technique to block door drafts in the past, but my recent discovery was very timely, as things have remained very cold lately where I live. 

However, as great as Living Simply Free’s suggestions were, I have very few skills when it comes to sewing (which I am hoping to remedy in the future, perhaps by taking an online sewing class or two).  Therefore, I went a MacGuyver-style route and rigged up a draft dodger with no sewing required that I made from an old towel, an old pair of jeans, and some twine that I already had lying around my house. 

All I did to create my awesome and free draft dodger was to stuff a rolled large towel into one of the jeans pant legs, folded the other pant leg over the stuffed one, and wrapped and tied some twine around the jean-towel “bundle” in five places along its length.  I placed my creation at the bottom of that front door in front of the gap, and voila!  No more (or at least no more greatly noticeable) cold wintry drafts entering our living room!

My no-sew “draft dodger.”  To make your own, just take an old large towel, roll the towel up, stuff the towel into the pant leg of an old pair of jeans, and tie some twine, yarn, or string, around the “bundle” in spaced increments. 

The rolled up towel inside my “draft dodger" bundle

Does it Work?
The first big test for me as to whether this was actually working is that I was no longer having a chilled behind (and a chilled rest of me to match) when I did my Downward-Facing Dog and other yoga poses in the morning.   This works out well for me, as it’s rather difficult to relax if you are chilly!  I guess that even I have my limits when it comes to being one with nature and the elements…

If you are sewing-impaired like me, this no-sew version of a door draft dodger might be a good solution for you.  I know that mine is keeping my living room a lot warmer these days!

The energy-sucking gap at the bottom of my front door!

My draft dodger, helping to keep my living room warm and snuggly!


  1. Hi Rebecca, Thanks for contacting me via Triberr. I was wondering if I could get your email to send you information about The Garden Share Collective. A group of likeminded people who share their veggie patches each month to keep on top of the weeds, know what to plant. Would love to have you on board.

  2. I am interested! I sent you an email to the address you have listed on your site. Glad to connect!