My grandmother was a very frugal woman who often told me “if you will mind your pennies your dollars will mind themselves.” I hope to share here some of her wisdom and the wisdom of others I have learned over the years

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Baby it’s getting cold outside, but there is no reason to be cold inside when you can recycle items you already have to really make a difference in how much heat escapes your home or stop cold from seeping in.

Two simple old fashioned ideas will go a long way to helping cut down drafts in your home.  You can use either new materials to make them or recycle things you have on hand. 

Those two items are Draft Dodgers and Window Quilts. 

On one group I’m on I recently did the informational post on a simple way to make a draft dodger for little to no money. 

Basically it read that to make a Draft Dodger all you needed was a tube of fabric the length of the bottom of the door you want to stop the draft from coming through.  You want the tube to be large enough that it will go from the floor up over the gap at the bottom of the door.  An old blue jean leg will work fine, or a tube made out of an old t-shirt, new fabric whatever works best for your budget.

When you make the tube seal one end of it.  I then generally line the tube with a recycled plastic bag I can seal, this helps to keep moisture out, just in case.

You fill that bag with bulk purchased, beans, rice, peas, sand, aquarium gravel or something similar with weight and density to it. Use whatever is cheapest or you have on hand.

You then seal the other end of the tube and you have a basic Draft Dodger to place against the bottom of all doors that leak cold air. 

You can have more fun with the project decorating it to a theme.  I’ve seen them done to look like dachshund, a ballerina doing the splits, a lanky cat and many other cute ideas. 

One thing I do when I make them is to make them where the bag of beans, rice, or other materials used can be removed and then the outer shell can be thrown into the washing machine periodically. 

I’ve given these as gifts over the years to folks too, think about the holidays coming up.

Equally as easy to make is a window quilt.  All you need is a blanket, quilt or fabric big enough to cover the desired window.

Basically you measure your window, then add a little all the way around to allow the window quilt overlap the edges enough to seal the draft out.  Also allow enough space to make a rod pocket at the top to put a hanging rod through.

Then either by machine, hand or heck even a stapler if you are desperate  you connect a minimum of two layers of fabric of that size together.  Ideally you would like an outer layer, a liner and a back layer for optimal warmth. 

The easiest way is to yarn tack the layers together.  We’ve all seen the old quilts where the layers are hooked together by yarn being poked through them to be have both ends of the piece of yarn tied together on the front of the quilt top.  It’s fast and easy to do. 

Ideally you would actually make a quilt, but many people do not have the time or expertise to do this.  The simplest way is of course just throw a spare blanket over the window, but if you want a little classier look make a quilt to co-ordinate with your room décor.

The final steps require you to have a folded over area at the top of the quilt that a hanging rod can go through. It, of course, will need to be stitched or safety pinned down so that the weight of the quilt will not pull the quilt off the rod. If you have regular curtain rods on that window then you can use those to hang the quilt.  No rod?  In the past we’ve used a dowel rod supported by two J hooks that have been screwed into the wall stud to hang quilts. 

Again this project can be as plain or as elegant as you want to make it.  You can use new or recycled materials.  The choice is yours.  

Jan who is wishing you a warm and comfortable winter in OK


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