Sticking a sock in it could save you some serious cash. Don’t believe me? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, teeny tiny air leaks around your windows and doors can account for 10% to 25% of your heating bill. In western Canuckland, BC Hydro says that 20% of all heat loss is through leaks and poor ventilation. That’s a lot of moolah getting booted from your wallet for little benefit. Darn it.

air leaks draft stopper
Cut the chill: A critter draft dodger can stop costly air leaks.

Want to kick this costly (and sneaky) money leak? Then it’s time to hop to it by recycling an old pair of pantyhose or tights. That’s right people, you can sock it to your energy bill by stuffing an old pair of stockings, and sticking them in your windowsills, doorways, and anywhere else you feel a draft. Cool, eh?

funny dog
Cold Shoulder: Dog is thrilled to help dodge some drafts.

Now, I didn’t invent these energy-saving draft dodgers, leak stoppers, and chill excluders. Nope. I first spied these ‘crazy critters that keep the cold out’ during a recent visit to Germany. Turns out Germans have a bizarre sense of humour when it comes to home decor, and the local Berlin newspaper, appropriately named Berliner Zeitung, did a huge feature on the best stocking stuffers in town. You know the Germans always make good stuff.

German Newspaper
Animals in the draft: The Berlin Newspaper headline.

I would have totally missed the money-saving magic if it weren’t for Inge Pickerodt, Carl’s awesome aunt. Luckily, Inge didn’t need to translate the sensible savings (and wacky fun) possible with an old pair of socks since Berliner Zeitung printed dozens of pictures for my English-speaking benefit.

So for Inge, and anyone else who’s interested in socking away some savings, it’s time to pull your socks up, channel your inner Pippi Longstocking, and beat the stuffing outta your energy bill, ’cause I’m gonna blow your socks off with a simple draft stopping snake. (And yes, NO ONE should ever let me near a keyboard again after writing that stinker of a sentence, seriously.)

How to make a snake draft stopper

Making a sock snake shouldn’t cost you a cent. I crafted mine by reusing the stuff lying around my house, and I bet you can too. The idea behind this simple project is to recycle your old socks and get creative with any leftover buttons, ribbon, and fabric looking for a draft to dodge. This is a fun weekend project for those with kids too.

sock craft
Recycle: Reuse old socks and fabric pieces to build a free chill-stopping critter.

What you need:

  • Drafty window or door
  • 1 pair striped women’s tights, or socks
  • Leftover ribbon, buttons, fabric
  • Stuffing: more old socks, fabric fill, beans, rice, or gravel
  • Needle and thread
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes

Step One: Stuff your socks.

Choose a sock or pair of tights long enough to fit the length of your windowsill or doorstop. Don’t be afraid to use remanent fabric scraps, old clothing, or more socks to stuff your snake. Proper fabric fill costs around $10 and can result in a smoother appearance. Buy in bulk to make your own stuffed animals, or even a softie tree.

I used a mix of fabric fill and old expired beans to form my snake. Heavy materials like rice, beans, or gravel are great for weighing down your draft dodger and keeping it lodged in tight spaces.

sock snake craft
Stocking stuffer: Use a bottomless plastic cup to funnel fill into a stocking.

Note: If your windows or doors are damp, I’d stick to inorganic fill — moisture may cause rice to rot, or old beans to grow. Jack and the Beanstalk, anyone?

Step Two: Decorate your draft dodger.

sock snake

Use ribbon, buttons, leftover fabric, and whatever else you like to create a sensational serpent face, boa constrictor body, or rattlesnake tail. Fabric glue and basic sewing skills are all you need to seam the sock top closed when everything is in place.

Step Three: Lodge your dodger.

Heads or tails? Doesn’t matter, both snakey ends neatly cut out the cold from my drafty deck doors.

snake draft dodger
Butt: Even the snake’s tail can help slash chillin’ energy costs.

snake draft stopper
Heads Up: This serpent has a taste for savings.

dog snake

Heck, use your snake as a fashionable ear muff for your big-eared mutt.

Who knew that saving money with an old pair of socks could be so much fun.

More Energy Savings: Cut the draft from your attic to save even more money. Check out DIY: 3 Attic Insulation Methods to Seal in Savings for the easy-to-follow instructions.