DIY Draft Stopper from Flannel Shirts

DIY Draft Stopper from Flannel Shirts

You know I couldn’t get through the year without at least one flannel project, right? I’ve got oodles of repurposed clothing scraps leftover from previous flannel shirt projects. And with the temperatures dropping and that instinctual desire to make everything look cozy, I decided to create a DIY draft stopper for our front door.

Using flannel shirts as my fabric!

Craft idea for thrift store flannel shirts

Since I loved how my patchwork flannel table runner and multi-plaid holiday wreath looked, I decided apply that patchwork theme to my DIY draft stopper.

Plaid Christmas wreath from recycled flannel shirts

Ultimately, I settled on these three flannel shirts for my draft blocker!

How to make a door draft stopper with flannel shirts

It seemed fitting for the cabin decor look that I gravitate towards at this time of year. 

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How to Make a Door Draft Stopper

To create my DIY draft stopper, I first measured our front door- which was a standard 36” wide.

If I were using one solid piece of fabric, I would have cut it at 40”. But since I was using three squares of repurposed clothing (and thus needed to account for extra seams), I cut each piece 14” x 14” using my rotary cutter, self-healing mat, and acrylic ruler

Cutting out flannel fabric for a draft blocker

In retrospect, I should have cut them 14” x 12” or even 14” x 10”…but coulda, shoulda, woulda.

When all three squares were cut, I ironed them, stitched them together, and pressed the seams flat.

Stitching together panels of flannel fabric

As you may have noticed in the above photo, I also nabbed some faux weathered leather upholstery fabric. I planned to use this “pleather” to cover up the seams.

This was a totally optional step. It just seemed to be a good way to finish the DIY draft stopper and finish the seams.

Next, I cut two strips of faux leather and set them aside.

Covering the seams of a DIY draft stopper

Winterizing with a DIY Draft Stopper

For peace of mind, I decided to make a liner for the draft blocker out of scrap fabric.

I still had a lot of white bed sheet left after my Halloween candy stand, so I simply pinned my flannel to the white fabric like a pattern and cut the fabric around it.

Lining a DIY door draft stopper

Then, I folded everything over on itself (flannel sides together) and pinned along one short edge and the long edge before stitching them together.

I did, however, purposefully leave the other short end open so that I could fill it!

How to make a draft stopper from flannel shirts

Next, I turned it right-side-out, pushing out the corners and gathered a bunch of rice to stuff it with!

Filling a DIY draft stopper with rice

Now, remember when I was cutting the flannel and then retrospectfully said I should have cut the squares at 14” x 12” or 14” x 10”?

This is why…I had to use a LOT of rice to fill up the DIY draft stopper. A narrower “tube” would have required far less rice!

After my draft stopper was sufficiently filled with rice, I tucked in the edges of the open end and double-stitched it closed.

But I wasn’t quite finished- I needed to add my (optional) pleather! And I purposefully didn’t stitch it to the flannel (I figured it would have puckered).

So I just used my hot glue gun to hold the strips in place around the seams of the draft stopper. 

Faux leather fabric to cover the seams

DIY Draft Stopper from Flannel Shirts

And there it is, a DIY draft stopper that helps keep chilly air from sneaking in under the door. 

DIY door draft stopper from flannel shirts

AND it has that rustic decor or cabin decor feel that I just love at this time of year. So cozy and welcoming!

DIY draft stopper from flannel shirts

The pleather is a nice touch, yes? Flannel and lace, flannel and “leather”, they both work swimmingly together in rustic cabin decor. And I love that the draft stopper blends in with our “mountain cabin” decor this holiday season.

Talk about keeping the cold out and the cozy in!

Looking for more flannel craft ideas? My first book, “Crafting with Flannel”, has all sorts of sewing and non-sewing flannel crafts inside!

Flannel craft ideas and projects

If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for flannel shirts, then you’ll love how I dressed up this vintage canteen!

Upcycling a metal canteen into plaid decor

Craft on!


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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Love this draft stopper. I keep on eyeing up my husband’s old flannel shirts, can’t wait to get my hands on them for some projects.

  2. I walked past a stand of flannel shirts just yesterday and had to think of you! Seriously! This is another lovely flannel project, I could use one like these, there’s always a draft going through our hallway! I need to go back to that store and get some flannels now!

  3. It’s funny, I just know when I click on a link at a linky when it’s going to bring me here. You have a style to your projects that is unmistakably yours!
    There’s nothing here not to love – flannel – check, reusing/recycling – check, simple to sew – check, a touch of pleather with the plaid – check!

  4. These are great – I need several in my old house! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party!

  5. Hi Sarah: I need to make one of these for my patio doors. I have taken to keeping the curtains closed to slow down the draft but this is a much brighter solution. Thanks for posting.

  6. I can’t wait to try doing this! Thank you so much for joining the party at Dishing It & Digging It!

  7. I love this. I need one for my doors in my house.

  8. Another great use of old flannel shirts. Thank you for sharing at the Snickerdoodle Create~Bake~Make link party!

  9. Until we update our insulation this will work just fine. Our patio door is the worse offender and it’s in the family room where we spend most of our waking hours. Thanks for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story Link Party and have a great weekend.

  10. Ava's Alphabet says

    I love this project! At first glance I thought you had used recycled leather belts at the seams – I suppose that would work too? Pinned and sharing! Thank you for joining us at Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party this week.

    • Thank you, Cristina! I thought about leather belts at first, too, but decided they might be too thick…if they were, then the whole snug-against-the-door-to-keep-the-cold-out effect would be ruined. So, instead, I went with the same appearance but a thin material. Hope that makes sense!

  11. Such a clever repurpose for old shirts. Thanks for sharing with the Waste Not Wednesday link party.

  12. Another cute idea with flannel. You are so creative!

  13. Great way to recycle flannel shirts! I have made these with home dec fabric for friends n family. Several years ago, someone asked me if the rice would attract mice, so I switched to kitty litter. lol 🙂

  14. Rella Johnson says

    I have some old flannel and fleece pj pants my hubby has out grown, I think I will take the legs off and give this a shot. Thanks for the idea. This house is so drafty around the bottom of the doors.

  15. I’m going to make this great idea for old shirts. I bought crushed walnut shells at the pet store for some pin cushions I made a while back, they worked great. They were inexpensive, came in a large bag and gave my projects weight which would be nice to help keep this is place. The pet supply stores sell them for turtles and the like.

  16. This is so cute! I’m not too crafty, but I think I could figure it out 🙂

  17. I love the leather pieces dividing up the different fabrics. Great ideas!

  18. This is a great idea! Cold air comes under the doors in our sun room this would be perfect keeping the draft out.

  19. Wouldn’t it be cute to just cut the sleeve off and stuff it with fiber or rice and stitch the ends closed??

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I elected not to do that because of the innate tapering of sleeves. I wanted something even across the bottom of my door.

  20. I am making another one of these today, out of a plaid lap blanket that I got as a promotional gift, but I’m filling mine with cat litter that I already have on hand. Plus, rice isn’t cheap here! I came to this link via your winterize post – thanks for all the great tips!

  21. Connie Smith says

    What do you fill it with? Suggestions


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