I have been meaning to make a double-sided draft stopper since last winter. I even purchased the pipe insulation stuff and have had it sitting in my craft studio for MONTHS! Clearly I won’t be using these pipe insulations in my actual home pipes, but it is true that the pipes most likely need checking out. I have recently heard about pipe freezing, which temporarily isolates the pipeline. How had I never heard of this before!
Today was all about cleaning and organizing my craft studio and within those parameters, it was time to put the pipe insulation to use.
You will need:
- 3/4″ pipe insulation (one six foot tube should be more than enough) cut to the width of your door.
- durable material – approximately 18″ by 32″ (but this will depend on the length and depth of your door).
- sewing machine
- accent fabric (optional)
If you’re into reusing materials but don’t have a sewing machine then I would definitely recommend getting one to help you with the more creative projects. Take a look on Teach You To Sew as they review the best sewing machines for you. They will help you complete these projects much quicker and will come in handy a lot more than you’d think. The tutorials I’d read online said to use thick upholstery or canvas-type fabric for durability. If you have any old, ripped jeans (adult sized) that you want to repurpose, this is a great project for them.
Cut off the leg of your jeans,
Remove one seam; the thicker one is the best one to get rid of – it’s the double-stitched one shown on the interior of the leg here… the one that will inevitably break your sewing machine needle if you sew over it (learned the hard way).
Cut the remaining piece of fabric to 18″ by 32″ (the size of my standard, builder’s-grade basement door – but double check the measurements on yours before cutting). Each pipe insulation tube will need 3″ of fabric, then add the depth of your door and double. (e.g.. 3″ + (door) 1.5″ + 3″ = 7.5″ x 2 = 15″) Then add on another inch or two for seam allowances.
If you want to add an accent stripe, now is the time to do it. I ironed a half inch hem on two sides of scrap material and then straight-stitched it to the right side of the jean leg. The below photo is showing the hem on the wrong side. You want it to run perpendicular to the longest edge of your fabric/jeans. The raw edges will be hidden by the side seams in the next step.
Fold your jean leg / material in half length-wise, right sides together and sew a seam along the longest edge and along one of the short edges. Reinforce if you wish.
Turn your jean tube right sides out and iron a small 1/4″ to 1/2″ hem along the unfinished edge.
Insert your pipe insulation pieces and stitch the hemmed edge closed.
This part is optional, your draft stopper will work just as well without it, but I chose to keep my pipe insulation in place by sewing a line next to each tube. It didn’t turn out very straight (how embarrassing in a blog post) but since this section will be underneath your door, no one will notice.
This is the door to our fruit cellar – the cold room underneath our front porch. It isn’t heated or cooled, and has a vent directly to the outside – so it gets damp and muggy in the summer and lets freezing cold air in in the Winter.
I mean it — USED to let freezing cold air in:
You can open and close the door and the draft stopper will stay in place because of having one tube on either side of the door!
I’ve seen these filled with rice and others that used pool noodles instead of the pipe insulation – both seem like great ideas, but I was worried about the rice getting damp and moldy inside the tube and the pool noodle would have been a much larger draft stopper (and more noticeable).
This little guy is the perfect size (for us) and is unobtrusive, aesthetically speaking.
This draft stopper is so easy to make, I’m embarrassed to have let it go for so long. No more cold toes on the basement floor!
You can make this for $3 (Cdn) or buy one for $15 (US).
Have a great one!