How To: DIY Door Snake (Draft Stopper)

We shared earlier this week some of the updates we made around the house to try and conserve energy over the winter. One of the quicker fixes we took on was whipping up a couple door snakes for the two doors in the house with the largest drafts. Door snakes are really just draft stoppers, placed as blockers in front of the bottom of the door where the draft seeps in and out. They get their name from their long, skinny shape — some are even made to look like snakes (how cute are these?).

You can find draft stoppers in most big box stores inexpensively. I decided to make a few of our own so we could customize the length for an exact fit to our doors and pick out the fabric. I’m definitely not a skilled seamstress by any means and like projects with minimal measuring and patterning, so today I’m sharing how I went about making 2 super basic door snakes for our home. There are much fancier ones out there, like these that slip under the door and block drafts from both sides, but we just needed something to get the job done this winter:

We measured the base of the doors we needed draft stoppers for, then picked up 2 yards of this heavy weight blue & white ticking upholstery fabric from our local fabric store and got to work:

 

I measured length to fit the doors, accounted for a 6 inch circumference then added 1 1/2 inches all the way around to allow for sewing seams and troubleshooting:

Then I folded the fabric in half, lengthwise, right sides together:
I straight-stitched down the long side, sewing the sides together (this could also be serged if you have a serger). The ticking stripes in the pattern made it easier to keep everything on a straight line:

I stitched across one end, diagonally, which was just personal preference for a tapered final look, then trimmed all the way around the stitching for a closer seam:

Turn the fabric right side out. I used the wooden yardstick to help push the fabric in on itself and get those smooth corners:

We’ve now got what’s starting to look like a door snake!

I went ahead and made a decorative stitch along the diagonal edge of the short seam. This would also help match the closed end when sewing shut after filling the fabric:

Here comes the fun part — filling the snake with rice! We chose rice since it’s heavy and acts as a natural insulator. Using a funnel helped cut down on accidents and rice all over the floor. We also way overestimated how much rice we’d need to fill the 2 door snakes. Here I am laughing at the giant 20 pound rice “baby” we brought home for this project:
It’s a good thing we like to craft and cook — all the leftover rice surely won’t go to waste in our household.Before filling, I’d marked the spot on the fabric where we’d need to fill up to, allowing enough extra fabric for sewing closed. Once filled, I snipped off the excess fabric and began working to close off the end opening. To conceal the raw edges and try to match the look of the other side, I turned the ends under inside the opening before pinning and stitching closed:

Here’s the process — open edged, turned in and pinned, then stitched closed:
After removing the pins and trimming up the raw threads, here’s what the stuffed edges will look like:
That’s all it takes to make your snake! Now say that 5 times fast :)Here is the longer version at our front door:

Someone else is enjoying the cozier feel to our non-drafty doors now too:

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