Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Go Green & Save Some Green Tip of the Week #7

Old man winter is trying to reach his icy claws into our lives a little early this year. We woke up this weekend to see the lawn covered in an icy white layer of frost and it's been that way every morning since. The overnight lows are in the low 20s and the daytime highs only get us up to the low 50s. So needless to say, it's a bit nippy in the house these days.

And though I would be content to freeze (I'm always cold anyway, so why bother trying), Mr. valleywriter has a thing for being comfortable... or at least having the room temperature above 60 degrees (whimp!). So we broke down this weekend and turned the heat on. All was hunky doorey until I walked by the door that leads to our basement and felt a cold draft on my feet. This simply would not do, so I quickly set up making my very own draft stopper.

So our Go Green & Save Some Green Tip for this week is a little tutorial on DIY draft stoppers. Keeping the warm air in your living space and the cold air out will obviously save on energy consumption and therefore on energy costs. What's more, I made my draft stopper out of materials I had lying around the house, so that gets a double dose of green power from recycling!
First I should note that my instructions are for people with basic sewing skills or no sewing skills (like me), so it includes the use of fabric glue for extra hold or in place of thread, if desired. If you have a sewing machine or you sew nice tight stitches, no need to glue. (I'm blaming my poor sewing job on my RA - it's hard to sew when your joints don't work right.... that's my story and I'm sticking to it!)

You will need:
-Enough fabric to make a tube the width of the door/window you want to use the draft stopper on (I used 2 old hand towels that were in the rag pile)
-Filling material (I used some styrofoam I had waiting to be recycled)
-Needle & thread and/or fabric glue

1. If needed, sew and/or glue your fabric together to make it long enough to fit the opening you're trying to cover. You'll want to leave a few inches of fabric on either end to allow for stuffing and "fudge room" (also known as "oops allowance"). If your fabric is longer than the opening, cut it to size.
(Awww look - valleykitty is trying to help! Maybe she's a better seamstress than me....)

2. Fold your fabric in half lengthwise so the outside pattern (if there is one) is facing the inside.
3. Sew and/or glue the long ends of the fabric together to make a tube. (If gluing, let dry overnight before proceeding.)
4. Turn the tube inside out so fabric pattern is facing out.
5. Sew and/or glue one end (AND ONLY 1 END!) closed.
(If gluing, let dry overnight.)
6. Fill tube with desired stuffing.
7. Sew and/or glue remaining end closed.

That's all. Simple, easy & free when you use things you already have on hand!

(Before & After)

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