Sausage dog draft excluder

012: Make a sausage dog to save heat

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ SAVES MONEY

Our action today is a fun way of saving money and energy around the home – and so cutting carbon emissions.

It’s surprising how effective it can be just to use this old fashioned, simple method of stopping draughts/drafts in your house. Making and stuffing a fabric sausage-dog door draft excluder will make your house feel warmer, allowing you to run the heating just a little bit less. Exterior doors in particular can hugely benefit.

Remember that drafts can make you FEEL colder, even if the air coming in isn’t colder. It is this effect which makes us reach for the heating switch when we shouldn’t.

So your challenge is a simple one … make at least one sausage dog draft excluder from old fabrics. We have posted some instructions below. Once made, use it in your home – you will be reducing carbon emissions, reducing the use of fossil fuels, saving money and making your home cosier.

If you recycle some old fabrics and stuffing you won’t have to pay a penny to do this!

Here’s a few things to think about as well….

  • why not make a few extras and give them to friends and family?
  • try putting draft excluders against your office, classroom, and other doors as well
  • they don’t even HAVE to be sausage dogs – try being creative with cats and other animals
  • to keep it very simple you could just sew and stuff fabric cylinders, which will work just as well!

Instructions for making a sausage dog draft excluder

With a little snipping and stitching, you could be the proud owner of a new pet who’ll happily lie across gaps and keep the cold out.


  • About 80cm fabric – ideally thick cotton as it’s durable, but you can recycle any old clothes
  • About 20cm contrasting fabric for the inside ears and legs (optional)
  • Large piece of newspaper to draw your sausage dog shape (or download here)
  • A tape measure
  • Sharp fabric scissors
  • Optional – old buttons for eyes and nose
  • A needle and thread
  • Sewing machine (if you have one)
  • Stuffing – from a shop (non-plastic!), or an old pillow, or an old toy, or shredded fabric)


  1. Measure the width of the door so you know how long to make your sausage dog.

2. Cut all of the patterns (download here) out of the paper, adjusting the body length if needed.

3. For each of the ear, front leg and back leg patterns:

  • cut out four pieces (i.e. two per ear or leg) of each from the 80cm of fabric; or
  • cut two from your main piece and two from your contrasting fabric
  • for each ear or leg, cut a piece with the paper pattern facing you, and one with it facing away

4. Using the 80cm fabric, cut around the main body pattern twice – once with the paper pattern facing towards you, and once with it facing away.

5. Put each pair of each pattern piece together so they line up, making sure the pattern is on the inside. Sew them together, staying neat and close to the edge, but leave an opening so you can turn it inside out when you’re done.

6. Turn each of the 7 parts of your sausage dog inside out, fill with the stuffing (so it’s nice and firm but not overstuffed) and handstitch the holes closed so no filling can escape. It should look like this:

Sausage dog in parts

7. Lightly mark out on the body where you want the ears and legs to go, try to be even so your pet won’t topple to one side.

8. Hand stitch the parts together.

9. For the final touch, stitch on your buttons to give him a nose and some eyes.

10. Now shut the door, plonk the sausage dog across the gap, and get cosy.

Sausage dog completed
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