How to Make a "Hot Dog" Draft Stop for Your Front Door

comments (8) February 21st, 2009     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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I love her little pom-pom nose!
Heres my hot dog...her rice stuffing lets her snuggle right next to the crack under the door!
Heres my doggie hanging out in the window—theyre drafty, too!
I love her little pom-pom nose!

I love her little pom-pom nose!

Photo: Jen Stern

Emma has been such a good sport, posing for pictures and playing with chew toys on cue, that I decided  to give her a break from all the puppy love this week. I have some drafty doors and windows in my new house to deal with, so I thought why not sew up some drafts stops that not only keep the cold out but also look pretty darn cute doing it. This project warms the cockles of my heart for several reasons. First, it's a little step toward making my home a little more "green." Second, after parking my little doggie drafter in front of the door, my toes noticed the next morning...much warmer. You can customize your little doggie to any length you need to cover the space under your door. If you have a big or higher space under your door, enlarge the head and tail pieces so you can make the whole thing bigger to cover the draft!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Download the pdf of the pattern here
  • Pattern paper
  • 1/4 yard fabric
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Polyfill for the head and tail
  • Hand needle to stitch up the holes
  • 1 to 2 pounds of rice to fill the body

Cut out the head and tail pattern pieces. Draw a rectangle on pattern paper that is as long as the base of your door is wide and as wide as the open end of the head/tail pattern piece. Attach the head and tail to the ends of the rectangle. Here's an important thing to consider before you cut out the pieces: Make sure that the whole pattern fits in front of the door the way you want. (You can easily shorten the pattern by folding out the extra somewhere along the body.) Another thing to check is the height of the space between the bottom of the door and the floor—if it's raised up a little, you may want to make the body a little wider so it can really keep the draft out!

attach head to one side of rectangle
If you're making more than one, make sure to measure each door to get a perfect fit!


and the tail...
Attach both the head and tail pieces to the rectangle.

Place the customized pattern on the fabric so that when it's finished your doggie will be facing in toward the doorknob side of the door. If you want to make it so it can face both ways, you can cut out two sets of ear pieces and attach them to both the front and back side of the head. Cut out the pieces on a double layer of fabric.

Cut out all the pieces
Cut out the pieces from the fabric.

Place the ear pieces right sides together, and sew along the sides and curved bottom (leave the top edge open to turn it to the right side). Trim the seam allowance to 1/8 inch. Use the curved end of a point turner to smooth out the edge of the ear. Press the raw edge under 1/8 inch. Position the ear on the dog head, using the placement line on the pattern as a guide.

attach the ear to the head
Pin the ear in place and topstitch it in place along the edge that you folded under. I used a three-step zigzag, but a straight stitch would work well, too. If you made a second ear, sew it on as well.

With right sides facing, pin the two main pieces together. Sew all the way around, leaving two openings along the bottom straight edge—one near the head and one near the tail. Turn to the right side through one of the openings.

sew the pieces together -- leave an opening at both ends
Having two openings will make it easier to stuff the head and tail.

Use a point turner to make sure the tail is nice and perky. I used the flat side of the point turner to smooth the edges of the head, too.

Use a point turner to make the tail pointy
A point turner is handy for smoothing the edges of the tail and head.

Working with small amounts of polyfill at a time, stuff the tail and head. If you try to stuff large puffs of polyfill in a small space, it will be harder to get a nice, smooth look.

Fill the tail with poly fill
Make sure you stuff the tip of the tail well before you start to fill the rest of it.  The lightweight polyfill will keep the tail and head from drooping!

After you stuff the head, make a quick pom-pom nose. I used a bit of the yarn that I got to make the mini-cardi project...still working on that. Simply wrap the yarn around your fingers four or five times—a little more if you are using thin yarn. Then tie it together in the middle.

make a quick pop-pop for a nose
To make a pom-pom, wrap some yarn around your fingers four or five times.

Here is my little pom-pom. It definitely needs a "haircut" to make it a cute little nose for my pup!

trim pom-pom to a good size for a nose
Keep trimming until you have a nicely shaped ball.

I used a big needle and a couple of hand stitches to attach the pom-pom nose to the front of the snout.

Sew the nose on and hand-stitch the opening near the head closed
While you've got the needle and thread out, stitch the opening near the head closed, too.

Fill a small pitcher (or use a funnel) to pour the rice into the body of the dog—I used a little more than a pound to fill mine.

Fill the body second with rice
I was surprised at how easy it was to pour the rice into the opening by using a pitcher. I was a little worried I would make a huge mess because I couldn't find my funnel.

After you've put in as much rice as you can, stick a little polyfill over the rice to keep it from escaping while you sew the opening shut.

fill the hole with poly fill to cover the rice so it doesn't fall out while you sew the opening closed
Place some polyfill over the rice, then sew up the hole.


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Comments (8)

mati66 writes: While visitng a quilting store I was told about crushed walnuts shells they lady showed me and let me feel how finely crushed they wer great for all these types of projects mymom told me she wouldnt use feed corn or rice due to the moisture up along the windows seals would make the feed corn mildew and sprout and make the rice smell possibley so I like the crushed walnut shells idea found it at a feed store here in town
Posted: 1:49 am on January 27th
Rosy10 writes: Looking forward to giving his a go. I don't have a printer, and see that you can buy a really cute Cath Kidston style pattern here

Happy sewing everyone!
Posted: 7:12 am on November 23rd
gingifer77 writes: Ijust made this thnk you sooo much. But since I don't sew I used fabric glue. Frabic glue is my best friend because it is strong and for those of us untalented sewing crafters it allows us to still do these neat projects.
I also use mine in the summer to block out heat and keep the a/c in.
Posted: 9:12 pm on January 4th
JenniferStern writes: Thanks...I just want to add another note on the filling for this project. I was interviewing an author for a book review I'm doing next month...(top secret stuff!), and we were taking about draft stoppers. She very kindly pointed out to me that if I had any "critters" sharing my home, they might think my doggie draft stopper was a buffet (because I filled it with rice.) Might I recommend you take Lucybug33's advice and use cat litter...much less tasty to the little critters that I hope I don't have! (It seems so obvious now that rice filling could be a cattle call of sorts!)
Posted: 4:52 pm on February 25th
CalPatch writes: awww! i've always wanted to make a draft snake (well, now i want to make a dog!) but never had the need... my old apartment was so hot in winter i had to keep the windows open! now i'm house-hunting and i can't wait to have some real drafts so i can make one of these!
Posted: 10:50 am on February 25th
WDesi writes: How very cute..*S*
Looking forward to making a few.
I own a mini doxie. This will be bigger than she
Thank you for sharing.
Posted: 8:51 am on February 22nd
JenniferStern writes: That's a great idea...thanks for sharing!
Posted: 7:11 am on February 22nd
lucybug33 writes: Very cute, but I would use clay (no clump) cat litter, it's less expensive and if it gets wet it doesn't rot! I made one a while back (not nearly as cute!) and used cat litter and it works great at the door
Posted: 11:18 pm on February 21st
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