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13 November 2014

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You are in: Derby > Credit Crunch > Make a Snake!

Snake draught excluders

Make a Snake!

As temperatures fall and the cost of heating starts to bit, here's a fun way to help cut the draughts and cut the costs. Why not Make a Difference for someone who needs to keep warm this winter by making one of our snakes?

Sometimes, it's the little things that make the difference and as we head speedily towards the winter months keeping warm is preferable, healthy and, for some people, vital.

But it doesn't always have to cost a fortune. If we feel warm, we feel better and rely less on heating.

And one way to help feel warm is to keep the cold out.

So, CSV Action at BBC Radio Derby have come up with one simple way to help Make a Difference - it can be fun, too... make a Snake draught excluder!

We asked craft expert Margaret Priestley to design an easy-to-make snake... follow her simple instructions and you'll have one knocked up in no time!

Why not make one this weekend for CSV Make a Difference day on Saturday (25th October) - or with the kids as something to do during half term!

And don't forget to check Leigh Pearson's tips for making your home more energy efficient, too!

Snake draught excluder


Snake draught excluder
  • Strong cotton fabric about 1 yard/metre by 16ins/41cms
  • Small piece red felt about 7ins/18cms by 1¾ins/4½cms
    (or red ribbon the same length and width)
  • 2 large buttons eg coat buttons
  • Matching sewing cotton


  1. Cut 2 rectangles of material 35ins/89cm by 8ins/20cm.
  2. Trim the rectangles down each long side so that they gradually narrow at one end to 5½ins/14cm to form the tail.
  3. Trim all the corners off so that you form a rounded head and tail.
  4. Trim a gradual crescent shape about ½in/I½cm deep in the sides of the fabric  to make the neck of the snake slightly slimmer than the head.  You should now have the basic snake shape.
  5. Cut the red felt down each side so that it narrows gradually to ¾in/1½cm.  Cut a shape in the wide end to form a V  [or cut a V in the ribbon].
  6. Place the narrow end of the felt tongue on the right side of one piece of material in the centre front of the head.  Place the second piece of material on top, right sides together, sandwiching the tongue between the two.
    Pin all round the edge.
  7. Sew all around about ½in/1½cms from the raw edge, leaving a 6in/15cm opening halfway along one side.
  8. Turn the snake right sides out.
  9. Fill the snake with wadding and hand sew to close the opening.
  10. Sew on two buttons to form the eyes.

Other ideas

  • There are a couple of simple ways to make draught excluders that don't need a sewing machine. The quickest is probably to cut a leg from an old pair of thick tights, stuff it with other old tights and tie the easy is that?!
  • Another way is to use an old knitted scarf.  Fold it in half and using contrasting tapestry or knitting wool sew along the edges. Blanket stitch makes an attractive finish.  We made one into a stripy caterpillar by sewing on a smiley mouth and a button for an eye.
  • Any old balls of wool can be used to knit a draught excluder.  This can be sewn up just like the scarf.
  • We like to recycle fabrics and look for oddments of old curtain material in charity shops or cheap remnants in bargain bins. Buttons are cut from worn out garments and wadding can be recycled from old duvets or cushions.
  • A little piece of embroidered silk or tapestry fabric will make a more costly looking excluder at a fraction of shop prices and flowery cotton sewn into patchwork also works well.

Margaret Priestley is a blogger whose jottings are dedicated to seasonal living. Use the link on the right of this page to find out more.

And listen out for Margaret on BBC Radio Derby with Aleena Naylor between 1000 and 1300 BST on Friday 24th October.

last updated: 23/10/2008 at 16:10
created: 23/10/2008

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