Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tutorial: Draft Stopper + Noise Muffler=Sleep Sweeter

I love this thing. It helps me keep my sanity. 

Having two young children has taught me something: two babies awake at 2 am and howling for the attention of just one person is really not fun. The scenario is that the infant cries for milk and the toddler hears him and awakens...screaming. I decided to make a little something to keep this scenario from repeating itself every three hours until the end of time... (read that again but with a slightly frantic tone of voice). 

Don't get me wrong, there are tons of GREAT things about having two very young babies (one 2 years and one 7 weeks, to be precise), but sleep deprivation is not on my list. I'm one of those people who can't remember words when I'm short on sleep. Like last night I was trying to tell a story and couldn't remember the word...wait what was it again?...oh, yeah...werewolf. 

So I made this thing and it was really easy. It has multiple purposes--it stops drafts, blocks out noise (both while looking a little more chic and a little easier to manage than a towel stuffed under the door) and helps us all sleep a little sweeter. 

You need:
heavy-weight fusible fleece
home decor weight cotton 
   -2 rectangles
   -width= 9 inches+door thickness 
   -length=width of the doorway plus one inch
sewing machine with a sharp heavy-duty needle, thread, iron, yardstick, disappearing marker
5 lbs of rice

1) Cut out your pattern pieces. Two rectangles of home decor weight cotton using the specifications above, then back each piece with fusible fleece (leave about 1/2 inch of fabric 'unfleeced' on one short end to make it easier to stitch closed at the end.). The fleece helps make the stopper feel more sturdy, reinforcing the fabric, and it also takes up some space so you don't need quite as much rice to fill it. 

2) Pin fabric right sides together, with 1/2" seam allowance,  sew along both long sides and one short side. Turn right sides out through the open end. Now you should have something that looks like the photo below (without the two lines of stitches in the middle, that's the next step). 

3) Using the yardstick and disappearing marker, measure in 4 inches from each side seam and draw a straight line (the distance between the two lines should be approximately the thickness of your door). Using matching thread, sew along each marked line-stopping about 3/4 inch from the open end. Then you should have this:

Closed end:

Open end from top:

Leave some room so you can turn the raw edges under:

4) Sorry, I didn't photograph this next step because my hands were full of thousands of grains of rice. You could use a funnel, but I took my chances and it worked out ok. Fill each side of the stopper with rice, be sure to leave enough space for folding under and for your machine foot and don't fill the "under-the-door" part.

5) Now tuck the raw edges in, pin, and stitch across the opening--forward and back stitching securely. Trim any loose threads and slide it under the door!

I love mine! The best part is that it slides with the door, no adjusting or slipping on towels (that happened more than once in my house). They really do help block noise, I tested it. This thing is for real!

Comment if you make one and love it or if you have suggestions to make it better!

(The cute red chevron fabric came from Hobby Lobby). 


  1. I could actually make use of one of these. The old house i live in has doors kind of high off the ground. I never thought of something like this!

  2. I Like the idea of making one myself! and the noise being blocked out is an added benefit. My house is so drafty! Will this work as well on the doors to the outside? Our kitchen table is right by our side door and I've got to be honest I don't even like sitting there to eat now cause its always cold - BLA! any suggestions for the outside doors or would you do it all the same?

    1. Sorry for the super long delay! You could use a draft stopper for an outside door, but you'd probably have trouble getting this to slide across the doorjamb. I would also worry about putting something like a food product (rice) that could get damp, grow mold, attract animals/rodents, etc... I would suggest just making a traditional draft blocker (one "cylinder") and putting it just inside the kitchen door.

  3. I like this! Do you think I could make it with old jeans or not? Jeans are heavy enough where you wouldn't need the fleece, I don't think.

    1. I think you could definitely use jeans. They're sturdy enough but all the rubbing across the floor takes its toll on any kind of fabric. I liked adding the fleece for reinforcement but also because it takes up some space inside--that's a lot of rice and filling some space with fabric was good for my purposes.

  4. I will try the handy noise stopper
    thank you for how too

  5. How much would you charge to make 4 of these? I could cover shipping costs as well? The house I recently moved to has doors with 2 inch gaps at the bottom of the door frame.

  6. Me diste una muy buena idea , gracias desde Argentina 👋

  7. I like this. I live in an apartment. Sometimes the hallway can be noisy and drafts come in under the door. Keeps it cooling summer and warm in winter. Thank you for sharing.