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Project

Draft Dodger

Introduction

Be sure to make a draft dodger to keep your heating bill down -- it's a great way to save money.

Resources

We used Yesterday's News cat litter, which is made from recycled newspaper, 99.7 percent dust free, and moisture absorbent. It is available at most pet-supply stores. Wood-grain fabric by Joel Dewberry, "Ginseng" collection, available at quilthome.com.

Materials

  • Measuring tape
  • Decorative cotton fabric
  • Draft dodger template
  • Rotary cutter and scissors
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Scissors
  • Hand-sewing needle and thread
  • Recycled newspaper cat litter

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Measure the width of door or window.

  2. Step 2

    Cut a piece of fabric that is 9 1/4 inches wide by the measurement that was taken. Cut two 3 1/4-inch circles (template provided) from fabric.

  3. Step 3

    Fold rectangular piece of fabric in half lengthwise, right sides facing, and pin raw edges together. Sew along the length of the open side with a 1/4-inch seam allowance, creating a long tube. Somewhere in the middle of the tube, leave about a 4-inch gap in the stitching. Backstitch at both sides of the gap, as this will be the opening for turning the draft dodger right-side out later.

  4. Step 4

    Press the long tube flat, with the seam in the center. Press seam open.

  5. Step 5

    Press circles in half, then in half again. Open. Lining up the creases in the circles with the creases in the ends of the tube, pin circles into each end of the tube, with right sides facing in.

  6. Step 6

    Baste the circles into place with a needle and thread, and remove pins. (The extra step of basting makes machine-sewing these small pieces easier.)

  7. Step 7

    Machine-sew each circle end to the tube with a 1/4-seam allowance. Remove basting.

  8. Step 8

    Turn tube right side out and fill with cat litter.

  9. Step 9

    Stitch opening closed with needle and coordinating thread.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, January 2009

Reviews (10)

  • 7 Jan, 2014

    I used Martha's basic directions, but made the draft stoppers without the circles on the ends. Instead, I sewed the length of the stopper, leaving a section open for turning somewhere near the middle. I flattened out the tube with the seam opened up on top and stitched across the ends. This is a little easier than sewing in the circles. Then I filled them with a clay cat litter, but not too full, so that they can adjust to the shape of the doorway or window sill. Last, I sewed up the opening.

  • 5 Dec, 2011

    i just made a couple of these using leftover fleece and "feline pine" kitty litter. it worked well because it is slightly less heavy for the volume needed to fill one of these. it is also dust-free, and unlike the recycled newspaper litter, you don't need to worry about this swelling up when it gets wet.

  • 5 Dec, 2011

    i just made a couple of these using leftover fleece and "feline pine" kitty litter. it worked well because it is slightly less heavy for the volume needed to fill one of these. it is also dust-free, and unlike the recycled newspaper litter, you don't need to worry about this swelling up when it gets wet.

  • 2 Dec, 2011

    Try not to use any foods, dry or not, as they could get wet and then they would expand and or ferment, or rot and go moldy, unless you first put them in a tube of plastic to keep them dry.

  • 2 Dec, 2011

    The term "Draft Dodger" is a sad use of an old phrase meaning someone who left America to avoid the Draft - as in being drafted into the armed forces and sent to Vietnam or Korea to die in a senseless series of battles in "non" wars.
    You could have used other words and phrases such as: Draft stoppers, cold air catchers, Temperature tamers, etc.
    Thanks, sorry for being so sensitive but not everyone survived the "draft" in Vietnam, about 50,000 young men didn't come home.

  • 15 Apr, 2010

    I found that rice works best to get into the little nooks and cranies. ;)

  • 8 Jan, 2010

    i used pinto beans...they're cheap and work great!

  • 7 Jan, 2010

    Oh come on ladies - she didn't say "USED" kitty litter. Grow up!

  • 7 Jan, 2010

    I like the Balsam, but kitty litter uhg>> I would like lavender my fav.

  • 2 Sep, 2009

    Martha should have used our fragrant Vermont dried balsam to stuff her draft dodger.
    SLOW DOWN AND SMELL THE BALSAM MARTHA!
    www.vtbalsam.com