Critters That Keep Out the Cold

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Critters That Keep Out the Cold
Total Time 2 to 3 hours Ages school-age

Stationed in a window or up against a door this winter, these charming homemade draft blockers will help keep indoor temperatures up and fuel bills down -- provided they don't get coaxed off the job for a playdate, that is. Both are simply fashioned from a pair of tights and filled with rice, which makes them posable enough to tuck tightly into nooks and corners.

What you'll need

  • HEAT-SAVING SNAKE
  • 1 pair striped women's tights
  • Uncooked rice (ours took a full 5-pound bag)
  • Needle and thread
  • Fabric glue
  • Felt
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • DOGGY IN THE WINDOW
  • 1 pair women's tights
  • Uncooked rice
  • Needle and thread
  • Fabric glue
  • Felt
  • Googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Paper clips
  • Button
  • Old belt or bracelet

How to make it

  1. Heat-Saving Snake Step 1

    HEAT-SAVING SNAKE: Cut off one leg from a pair of striped women's tights and fill it with rice (ours took a full 5-pound bag). An easy, spillproof method is to use a plastic cup with the bottom cut out for a funnel.

  2. Heat-Saving Snake - Step 2

    Pinch the open end of the leg into itself to form a tapered snake tail and stitch it closed.

  3. Glue on googly eyes. Lastly, sew on a felt tongue, using the same technique described for attaching the dog's ears (see step 7 for Doggy in the Window, below).

  4. Doggy in the Window Step 4

    DOGGY IN THE WINDOW: Cut one leg from a pair of women's tights and fill it with rice. Leave enough room to tie the open end into a tight knot.

  5. Doggy in the Window Step 5

    For a tail, apply fabric glue across the base of a felt triangle (ours was about 2 1/2 inches wide and 7 inches tall) and sandwich it around the knot.

  6. Doggy in the Window Step 6

    Apply more glue to the sides and then fold the felt in half. Secure the tail with paper clips until the glue dries.

  7. Doggy in the Window Step 7

    Glue on googly eyes. Attach felt ears by draping each one over the head, as shown, and then sewing the base in place. This way, when you flop the ear down, the stitching won't show.

  8. For the finishing touches, sew on felt feet and a button nose (we used a triangular shank button). Then use your hands to shape the nose and body. Don't forget a collar: an old belt trimmed to fit, or even a bracelet.

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