Hi Instructables friends! Today, I’m going to share two ways that you can use sewing to help to winterize your home and keep you warm. This is a two project Instructable that I grouped together because they were so similar in construction.
The first is a magnetic vent cover. In my home, I have metal vents. There’s one in particular that doesn’t close completely and I’d like to be able to close it off in the winter to divert heat to other parts of the house. Sometimes, I need to have it closed because I use that space to cure some candy (which can take three days) and I don’t want dust blowing on it. You may have a vent that has a broken lever or is painted in position. Either way, I’ll show how to make your very own magnetic vent cover.
The second project to help winterize your house is how to make a faucet insulator. This is super important to have when temperatures get below freezing. I made mine to assist my elderly neighbor who didn’t have a proper insulator.
These projects are fairly easy if you are a beginner sewer. If you can sew a pillowcase, you can probably make these projects without too much frustration.
They don’t take too long and aren’t expensive either.
Check them out:
Step 1: Supplies
For these projects, you will need:
At least 1/4 yard outdoor fabric
At least 1/4 yard regular fabric (like duck fabric)
20 inches of nylon paracord
Magnetic tape or other magnets
At least 1/4 yard fabric insulation ( I used Thermolam)
Step 2: Measure
Use a ruler to measure your vent. Mine was 8 x 12 inches in size.
Step 3: Cut Fabric
To cut your fabric, add an inch to both the length and width of the size of your vent. My vent was 8 x 12 inches in size so I cut two pieces of fabric that were 9 x 13 inches.
Step 4: Cut Insulating Material
I also cut a piece of insulating material that was 9 x13”.
Step 5: Iron
The insulating material that I used was fusible on one side so I followed the manufacturer’s instructions and ironed the insulating material to the wrong side (without the pattern) of one of the pieces of fabric.
Step 6: Pin and Sew
Before I sewed the fabric, I cut a 1/2 inch cut in the corners to make it easier to fold the material. I then folded the fabric over 1/2 inch and sewed around the perimeter. I did this to both the plain fabric rectangular and to the fabric rectangle that had the fusible insulation.
Step 7: Insert Magnets
Now, you will need to add the magnets. It is important that your magnets are strong enough to hold three layers of fabric to the vent. Test this before you sew them in your vent cover.
I used magnetic tape which rolled out like a piece of tape and had a sticky side. It was super helpful to have that sticky side to hold it in place as I was working with it.
I made a line of magnetic tape that went around the perimeter of the fabric rectangle that had the insulation and I was able to cut it with scissors.
Step 8: Sew It Closed
Pin the two pieces of fabric together with the wrong sides facing each other. Sew around the interior of the magnets as well as the exterior perimeter. This should keep the magnets in place and keep your fabric pieces together.
Step 9: Ta Da!
With very little effort, I stuck the vent cover in place and now my other rooms will be warmer and my candy will have a lot less dust. Woo hoo!
Yes, I also discovered a crack in my ceiling. Looks like another Instructable in the horizon...
Step 10: Now, Let’s Make That Insulator...
In order to make an insulated faucet cover, a.k.a. an insulator, you are basically sewing a sack with a layer of insulation on the inside. My insulator uses a piece of nylon paracord at the top with a cord stop to tie it off at the top. It is reusable and washable. The outdoor fabric that I used said it was water resistant and sun resistant for 500+ hours.
To get started, I cut a rectangle out of the outdoor fabric that was 9 x 20 inches.
Step 11: Cut Out the Insulating Fabric
I also cut out a pice of insulating fabric that was 9 x 20 inches in size.
Step 12: Prepare the Paracord
To make a way to secure the insulator, you will need a piece of paracord that is 20 inches in length. Burn the cut ends so that they don’t fray later. Be careful! Take caution with an open flame. Have a cup or sink of water handy in case you do more than melt the ends.
Step 13: Pin the Fabric
Lay the insulating fabric on top of the wrong side of the outdoor fabric. Add pins around the perimeter securing the insulating fabric to the outdoor fabric. Tie a knot in the middle of the length of the paracord. Pin the knot on the edge of the right side of the fabric about 3 inches from the end. Make sure the “legs” of the paracord extend towards to middle of the fabric. By doing this, it will be correct when you invert the “bag” that you at sewing.
Step 14: Time to Sew
Sew around the perimeter of the rectangle. When you get to the knot of the paracord, sew over the legs and put your machine in reverse a couple of times to reinforce this area of sewing. Do not try to sew over the knot because you will break your needle.
Step 15: Sew It the Wrong Way
I pin the “legs” of the paracord to the center of the fabric so they don’t get accidentally sewn into a seam. Fold the rectangle in half so that the wrong sides of the outdoor fabric face each other. Now that it has been folded, it should be nearly square in shape. Pin and sew around the perimeter (3 sides only) leaving the “top” open.
Step 16: Fold and Sew
It is now in the shape of a bag. Fold 1/2 inch of the fabric down at the opening of the bag. Stitch around this turned down fabric. Turn the bag inside out.
Step 17: Add the Cord Stop
Unpin the paracord “legs”. Wrap them around the bag and add a piece of tape around their ends securing them tightly to on another. This will make it easier to thread them through the cord stop. Depress the button on the cord stop and run the taped ends through the hole on the cord stop. Remove the tape and tie the cord ends into a knot together so that the cord stop won’t slid off.
Step 18: So Cool! Let’s Try It Out!
There it is! First, take a look at my neighbor’s insulation. Now, take a look at the new homemade faucet insulator. I hope she likes it. ( I tried it on my house for the picture.) That should keep her faucet a little warmer this winter.
Now that you have seen my finished insulator, It is important to note that I live in Texas, where it doesn’t get as cold as in other parts of the country. If you live up North, I might recommend adding several layers of insulating fabric to the interior of you DIY faucet insulator.
Alrighty, that’s the end of this Instructable. I hope you enjoyed it and are staying warm this winter.
Keep on creating!
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