Repurpose – shopping bag to draught excluder

Our house is over 100 years old, with single brick walls (making cavity insulation impossible) and single glazing. This makes it extremely cold in the winter, as we are not using the most efficient ways of retaining heat. Over the Christmas holidays, I have made thick curtains for our front and back doors. As the back door has quite a big gap at the bottom, I also wanted to make a draught excluder. As it is tiled, and we get a lot of slugs in the back hall, I wanted it to be wipe clean, so I was looking for some oilcloth. To buy this, even from eBay, turned out to be not as cheap as I would have hoped. But I managed to find a large oilcloth shopping bag for 99p.

A fuschia flowery oilcloth bag. The seams have been removed

Oilcloth bag with seams removed

I cut all the seams of the bag and removed the handles. I then stretched out the bag lengthways and cut it in half, giving me two long, thin rectangles. For the first one, I folded the right sides inwards and sewed up the long seam and one of the side seams. I seem to be getting along well with my sewing machine at the moment and was thinking how easy this job was going to be. Of course, this hubris had to be followed by a downfall, so when I tried to turn this long, thin tube right-side out, it turned out to be surprisingly difficult. The tube was slightly too narrow for me to put in my hand and grab the bottom, so I could only pull out an inch at a time, which took forever. When I finally got it turned right-side out, I used a thick cardboard inner tube from some wrapping paper to stuff scrunched up plastic bags all the way down, and then I sewed up the second short seam.


A long, thin white tube of oilcloth

Inside-out draught excluder

For the second draught excluder, I tried a different method. I sewed up one short seam and a few inches of the long seam, then turned that part of the tube inside out and stuffed it. I continued sewing up the long seam from the outside, a few inches at a time, and stuffing when I went along. I think this version was a bit easier to do, but it didn’t look as nice since the seam was on the outside. However, I don’t think anyone will bend down close enough to see, so this method would work for non-perfectionists.


A fuchsia flowery draught excluder made from an oilcloth bag, in front of the bottom of a lime-green door

Draught excluder in situ


One thought on “Repurpose – shopping bag to draught excluder

  1. Pingback: Frugal – spend cut – w/e 29/12/13 | Declutterbug UK

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