Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Draft stoppers


Here's a picture of some cute draft stoppers. Mine don't look like that. However, you make these with tights, which could really cut down on the sewing part. Check out the instructions here. They look fun. However, the site recommends using rice. I feel compelled to point out that rice is a food. And that certain creatures will want to eat it, even if you haven't cooked it or if it's encased in brightly colored tights to ward off the elements. These creatures will not care. So you might want to avoid using rice or beans or corn or anything that would possibly seem like food to the types of creatures that I am sure you, a conscientious housekeeper and all-around clean person, do not already have living in your house. There are lots of great instructions for lots of great draft stoppers (although you may want to steer clear of sites that tell you to use food as insulation, because they are obviously crazy frauds. Or people who suggest kitty litter. I just find them gross.) and you should check them out. I looked at a bunch and this is generally what I did. (And I am only telling you this because Kelly Bisby asked me to.)

You need:
Fabric
Pebbles
Needle
Thread
Scissors (Yes, I realize the last 3 seem pretty redundant, but some of the instructions I read were painfully detailed.)
A friend with a sewing machine.

I can't really give you a pattern because I didn't use one.
1. Measure your door or windowsill. (I guess you'll also need some kind of measuring device.)
2. Measure your fabric to be about 1-2" longer than that.
3. Make sure it's about 10" wide
4. Fold in half
5. Sew it into a tube
This is where the friend with the sewing machine comes in. A good friend will let you use the sewing machine. A great friend will sew it for you. Because I was having a slightly reclusive weekend, I just sewed everything by hand. In retrospect, I should have bought tights. Oh well. I cheated and used the quilting stitch. I must say, I make very tidy and straight lines.
6. Pour the rocks into the tube
Make sure the rocks are clean and dry. Do not buy rocks that are dirty and have been rained one, like Jen and Cody. Dirty and wet rocks are heavy, and hard to carry, and will leave dirt on your jacket. And by 'your,' I of course mean 'Cody the Very Nice Man Who Does My Heavy Lifting.' If you do buy dirty and wet rocks, spread old newspapers on your kitchen floor and place the wet and dirty rocks on there to dry off. I really regret not documenting this adventure.
7. Once you have poured the rocks into the as-yet-unfinished draft stopper, fill it up but make sure it's still bendy. Does that make sense? I doubt it.
8. Fold the unfinished pieces inward and sew it together by hand. The sewing machine is not an option here. You're just begging for trouble if you use it. Use a whip stitch......or something. Perhaps a finishing stitch. Don't know what those are? I really can't help you.
9. Lay the finished product at the bottom of your door, or in a windowsill
10. Search the Internet for better instructions before beginning the project in earnest

Someday, when I have bought fresh batteries and put them in my camera, I will take pictures of my draft stoppers.

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