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Cold Weather Hack: DIY Door Snake

So I hate the overuse of the term "hack" but I couldn't think of a better term than this for what my husband and I literally just came up with!

When we went online, 95% of the search results for "DIY Door Snake" (or DIY Door Sausage, as they're referred to in my husband's home country of Australia) were ones that involved buying fabric, using a sewing machine, and other methods that were not about simple repurposing.

With our weather suddenly dipping into the single digits - that's recordbreaking stuff here in the Skagit Valley of Western Washington - and our energy audit now postponed by the local agency another 6-12 months (WTF!), we're DIY-ing as much as we can in small ways to keep out any drafts so our lovely new multi-split heat pump doesn't have to work any harder than needed to keep us comfortable.

With that, the door to our laundry room / pantry ultimately definitely had a draft coming through it. The pantry then has a door that opens up into our sadly uninsulated garage - a BARN door, of all things (why a barn door, folks? Whose brilliant idea was that??) - which leaves the pantry very, very cold and making the sliver of air under the door that comes into the rest of the house that much more powerful. So until we get a door seal, we made a snap decision to DIY our own little door snake for the grand total of.... zero dollars.

Here's what you do:

  1. Grab a pillowcase (king or queen size is best for a doorway).

  2. Fill it with anything from sand to bags of beans to kitty litter to mulch to whatever lumpy malleable stuff you can find. Heck, I'm betting even unopened bags of flour would work in a pinch if you're super desperate. For us, we happened to have half a big bag of natural kitty litter (i.e., grass seed) in the garage that I keep on hand to help with walking on icy sidewalks and porches outside the house, so we just poured it all into the pillowcase.

  3. Seal the pillowcase with a couple of rubber bands so the 'stuffing' doesn't spill out.

  4. Use twine or string to wrap it up like a snake! My husband being a butcher is used to tying roasts and pancetta and other meats like this so had a little laugh when he came up with the idea. Brilliant, I tell ya!

Sexy? No. Crafty? Yep. Effective? Hell yeah.

Next up - finding a clever way to weatherstrip the barn door on the sides and bottom. Woo hoo!


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