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DIY: Draft Dodger and Some Energy Efficiency Talk

Written by contributor Eren Hays San Pedro of Vintage Chica.

For some of you up North, the weather is already beginning to cool off.  The last few evenings here in Virginia have felt measurable cooler than the unbearably humid 90’s of last week.

And for those of you down South, autumn and cooler weather is on the way.  I promise!

Canning those last few tomatoes, dreaming about new knitting patterns… preparations for days spent inside are being made.  And we shouldn’t be forgetting preparations for our homes.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, one third of our home energy use goes to heating our homes.

And although I dream about living in an extremely energy efficient home one day with passive solar design and a green roof, we live in a very non-energy efficient house with the original builder’s grade windows.

Last year, I remember sitting in my favorite chair and feeling a distinct draft coming from the window next to me. And after doing some research online we found that we had a few options.

Our choices were:

  1. Replace our windows…it is in the long term plan, but not this year…or even next year.
  2. Cover every window in our house with plastic…uuummmm….no!
  3. We could hire a home energy auditor (our utility company does them for free, but when I called there was a 3 month wait).
  4. Or we could make some draft dodgers until we could come up with a more permanent solution.  Ding!  Ding!  A good craft project is always the solution!

We call them draft dodgers, draft blockers or draft stoppers. Others call them window snakes or door snakes (as they can also be used for under drafty doors).  But whatever it is called, it is simply a tube stuffed with insulating material that you place on the window sill (or under a door) to cut down on air leakage.

So here you go, directions for easy-peasy window draft dodgers.

DIY: Draft Dodger


beans, sand, flax seed, recycled newspaper, or cat litter (unused, of course)
sewing machine
tape measure


  1. Measure the width of  your window.
  2. Cut a piece of fabric that is 10 inches by the width you measured above.
  3. Fold  the rectangular piece of fabric in half lengthwise with right sides facing each other and sew beginning with one of the long sides, continuing along one of the short ends and finishing along the second long side.  This should leave one end open.
  4. Turn your tube right side out.  Sometimes it helps to use a crochet hook or another tool toward the end.
  5. Fill your tube with your desired filling leaving 5 inches or so.  This will allow your filling to mold itself to your windowsill.
  6. Pinch the two sides of the open end of the tube together and fold over twice.  Pin it (if needed) and sew it closed.
  7. Decorate as you wish.  And in our opinion, if you are making one for a kid’s room, it should definitely look like a snake.

For more energy efficiency inspiration:

What are you doing now to prepare for cooler temperatures on the way? Are you working on improving your home’s energy efficiency?

P.S.  This is sadly my last post here on Simple Organic.  Thank you so much for reading. You will still be able to find me posting away at Vintage Chica.  Much love!

A note from Katie: Yes, Eren, we are so sorry to see you go! We will miss your beautiful DIY-genius and all the inspiration you brought us. Best wishes for the future!

by Eren

Reading Time:

3 minutes





  1. Aimee @ Simple Bites

    Erin, where was this post when we lived as newlyweds in our drafty third floor apartment?! Winters are fierce up here and I’ll be passing this along to a few friends who’s places are a little more *breezy* than usual.

    I’m so sorry to see you go; but we have enjoyed your valuable input here. Thanks for sharing your time with us! I’ll be a regular stalker over at Vintage Chica

    • Eren

      Thank you Aimee! I has been so much fun posting here every month.

  2. Eren

    Thank you Katie!


  3. Kara

    Fun!!! I was going to make some of these last fall, but I didn’t get around to it.

    • Eren

      Kara, you aren’t late then…just nice and early for this fall 😉

  4. Sandra Lee

    These are fantastic and attractive. I’m very sensitive to cold. Even though I live in Hawai’i, I’m on the rainy side and the winters are still very cool for me and then there’s no heat either! These might really come in handy. Thanks. Sorry to see you go, Erin. Best wishes with your blog.

  5. Kara Fleck

    These are SO much cuter than the rolled up towels I used in our windows and doorways last year 🙂

    I’m going to miss seeing your face around here, Eren, but will be keeping in touch with you at Vintage Chica!

    Best Wishes!

  6. abbie

    This is a great idea! And something I meant to do for our porch doors last year. (Just like another reader!) But I think we’ll be firing up the sewing machine once again, maybe after halloween costumes.

    I’ve made Warm Windows for most of our exterior windows and these so help keep the cold out. It is like a roman shade, which is more like a quilt that magnetically seal to your window frame. It keeps out all the drafts and cold from our cheap town-home windows.

    Thanks so much for your DIY tutorial!

  7. Cara

    Your timing with this tutorial couldn’t be more perfect! We’ve got a seriously drafty door in our home, but my husband’s attempts to seal it haven’t worked. Because the door and frame aren’t properly aligned, it’s going to take a completely new door frame (and door) to get it corrected. Big bucks we don’t have! So right now we’ve got an unattractive towel rolled up near the bottom of the door to keep out the heat of our Texas summers (and eventually the cool fall nights). I’d LOVE to make one of these! Can’t wait to get started!

    • Eren

      Oh, I hope you get some time to make one or twelve Cara! Just wanted to say howdy from one TX mama to another!

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