The simplest way to save money on a heater in the winter is to ensure cold air doesn't come to the house from outside. It could be archived by using a DIY draft catcher.
Winter came to Connecticut later this year. We were lucky to have great weather till mid-January, but then cold weather crippled us. One morning we woke up to a cold house and we couldn't understand why if the heater works properly. After inspection, we discovered that most of our windows and the patio door were letting the cold air in. I had to put my childhood skills of staying warm that I developed living in Siberia to practice.
The best way to protect your windows from the draft is to insulate them for winter. We used cotton and tape and did it every fall. That seemed like too much work and I decided to skip this part. Instead, I used DIY draft catchers to prevent cold air from coming into the house and as a result save on heating. The heater would have to work less and keep the house warm even on the coldest days.
There are plenty of options to buy draft catchers, but what if you need a custom size for a door or a long window? I'm sure you can find it too. But where is fun in that? Much more beneficial for the environment and for your wallet would be to make it yourself, using materials you already have on hand.
Like most of my projects, this one is very simple to make. The materials list is very small and it could be done in less than 30 minutes.
- Thick fabric. You need medium-weight material that doesn't let the air through.
- rice or beans and toy stuffing
- sewing machine (you can also do it by hand or using a glue gun)
1. As I mentioned before, we had multiple windows that were letting the cold air in. I had to make a bunch of DIY draft catchers
For some, I chose a leftover fabric that I used to make Christmas stockings a few years ago.
I also used my old worn-out Christmas PJ pants. They were so worn out that I was going to throw them away. I'm glad I didn't since I gave them another life by making a DIY draft catcher from it.
2. Measure the lengths of your window or door to find out the right lengths for it
3. Fold your fabric in half and measure the length of the draft catcher, adding 1 inch from 3 sides.
4. Secure it with pins and sew from 2 sides as shown below.
5. Flip over your draft catcher and get the rice and filling ready.
6. Fill it with rice and toy stuffing, one after another in layers. You can fill it up only with rice or only with stuffing. I find it works better when you use both.
You can involve your kids in this part. My daughter loved helping me pouring rice inside. There was a decent amount of mess afterward, but she had a great time.
You can staff it with any density you'd like but I think tight is the best
7. Sew the last side, making sure there no holes and the filling won't come out
9. Decorate to your liking.
TIP: when I'll make it next time, I'll use the thick fabric for the outer layer to use as a cover and make a cotton bag for the filling. This would allow washing the cover when it gets dirty.
I didn't do it this time and already wonder how I'll be able to wash it at the end of the season.
My husband loves the neutral draft catcher and not so much my invention with blue Christmas pants 😀 I guess I'll have to add another cover on top to hide it 🙂
Ideas on how to decorate a draft catcher
When you make a draft catcher yourself, you can not only customize the size of it but also make it fun. I found so many cool ideas on how to make a plain draft catcher super fun.
When you make things like this yourself, you are not only helping your wallet (since it's obviously cheaper to make it vs buying it), you also help our planet.
Being mindful of your purchases can have a great impact on the environment. I've decided to be more mindful this year and try to buy less and repurpose more. If you look around your house, you'll definitely find material for this super easy project. You can use old clothes, old sweaters, leftover fabric, old bedsheets. Things that would be generally thrown away can have a second chance to live. Isn't it beautiful?
If you are not convinced that making it yourself is better than buying, check out these options on Etsy - wool draft stopper, draft stopper with velcro on the end, fun prints with animals, and super adorable llamas print. Supporting local businesses is also a great cause and reduces the carbon footprint.
In case you are still not convinced and rather buy and get it delivered fast (sometimes you simply don't have time to make it yourself and need it ASAP to keep your house warm) check out this and these environment-friendly options from Amazon.
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Do you insulate your windows for winter? Let me know your tips and tricks in the comment below!