SewUseful Tree Branch Draft Dodger




This Instructable will show you how to make a draft dodger (the thing that you put in front of your door to fill the gap and block the draft). This particular draft dodger looks like a tree branch with twigs and leaves and is sure to keep your drafts at bay.

Note: This could also be used as a soft indoor retrieving stick for your dog or a roll pillow if you change the dimensions.

If you find yourself without the time to make your own SewUseful Tree Branch Draft Dodger or you really want this one, you can purchase it here via Etsy.

Step 1: Preparation

Gather Materials:
- Fabric for "wood" - 1/4 yard
- Fabric for "leaves" - scraps (1/16 yard if you are buying new)
- Fiberfill or some sort of stuffing medium
- Sewing Thread
- Embroidery Thread - 2 colors to coordinate with your "wood" and "leaf" fabric.

Note: Amount of fabric needed may be more or less depending on the size of your finished piece.

Other Equipment Needed:
Ruler, pencil for marking, scissors, pins, needle, iron, sewing machine or be prepared to hand sew, and a clean work area.

Prep Your Fabric:
Fabric should be washed and dried to preshrink it then ironed to smooth out wrinkles.

Step 2: Cut Your Fabric

Measure your door or other drafty area (window).
Take this measurement and add 1 1/2". This is the length you cut your "wood" fabric. Measure and mark the fabric, then cut and set aside.

Measure and mark the remaining "wood" fabric at 2 3/4" and 5 1/2", then cut and set aside.

Make a leaf pattern on paper. Approximately 2 1/2-3" long and 1-1 1/2" wide or however large or small you want. Cut out multiples of this leaf pattern.

Using the "leaf" fabric fold wrong sides together and pin leaf pattern pieces to the right side. Cut out the leaves; keeping pins and pattern pieces attached (so the leaves stay aligned).

Step 3: Making Leaves

Thread a needle with 3 strands of embroidery thread. Fold the pattern piece towards the center /out of the way and blanket stitch around the outer edge of the leaf. Conceal the ends of the thread inside the leaf.

Don't know how to do a blanket stitch? Learn here with this helpful tutorial from Sublime Stitching. (See #2)

Remove the pin and paper then press leaf (starch if desired).

Repeat on all additional leaves.

Step 4: Making Twigs

Fold twig piece lengthwise with right sides together and pin.

Using a 1/2" seam allowance sew along one of the short ends continuing down the long side. Leave the last 1/2" of the long side and the other short end open.

Turn twig right side out and stuff with Fiberfill or other stuffing medium.

Fold in the cut edge to hide the fray. Close the open end of the twig using a whip stitch with 3 strands of embroidery thread; continue to whip stitch along the seams of the twig.

Repeat on all additional twigs.

Attach leaves to the twigs by sewing with a whip stitch.

Step 5: Making the Branch

Fold branch piece lengthwise with right sides together and pin.
Using a 1/2" seam allowance sew around the edges. Leave a 2 1/2" opening along the long side.

Turn branch right side out and stuff with Fiberfill or other stuffing medium.

Hand sew closed the opening of the branch.

Using 3 strands of embroidery thread blanket stitch around the seams of the branch.

Attach twigs to branch by sewing with a whip stitch.

Your Tree Branch Draft Dodger is complete and ready to place in front of any door (or window) to stop the draft.



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    15 Discussions


    5 years ago

    This is the coolest

    so cute!
    I'm going to make one of these for my fireplace doors, which are always drafty. they'll fit right in!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like it. Great project for the kids. It will look much better than the rolled up towel we use now by the garage door in the foyer.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Too cute. The fabrics are perfect! When I finally get my sewing machine set up something like this would make a satisfying first project.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I LOVE this.So organic looking,and useful.I am deffinatly making these for the babies room door and windowsil.Finly a pretty,non-cheesy solution.And looks fun to make too!


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This is so nice. A natural look. One could build a whole tree if one wanted. Like the fabric choices.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Nice Instructable, BTW. I think everybody ought to be forced to sew at least one useful thing in their lives. At school, sewing was part of a compulsory "D&T" course: I made a draught excluder (English for "draft dodger") and a pair of oven gloves that my mother used for years. I also made a wooden rabbit with no ears for her to hang jewellery on and soldered a circuit that switched a light on when the room got bright (the battery went flat rather quickly...).

    3 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    It seems to me that turning a light ON in a bright room is somewhat counterproductive or unnecessary, but such is life I suppose. On the subject of the draft dodger, I was envisioning some tongue-in-cheek escape-(insert country with military draft here)-using-tree-branches or somesuch thing. I think growing up we just called this a door guard or something like that.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    "counterproductive or unnecessary"

    The word you're looking for is incompetant - it was supposed to switch on in the dark.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This looks great. But a 'Draft Dodger' is a person who avoids military service, this is a 'Draught Dodger' L

    3 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    No kidding. In Canada (or Vancouver anyway) a draft dodger is someone who came up here to avoid military service. A draft is when you leave a window open in the winter. Draught generally refers to alcohol.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    To further confuse matters, "draught" (UK) is also how deep in the water a ship floats ("She was too deep in the draught to enter the shallow harbour").