Homemade Weather Sealing – from cereal boxes!

Ok, I have no idea if this has been thought of before but I promise, I thought of this today ;).

The Problem:

PICT0064We are currently in an older home that we can’t do much to ourselves (renting) and we have some big old doors going out to a sun porch that we won’t be heating for the winter. The house is quite bent out of shape and therefore all the gaps in the door are uneven (see image), and in spots are quite wide and other places very tight.

Commercial solutions that I’ve seen won’t work. I do have some foam backing road inserted in places but you need to purchase multiple sizes to deal with all the different size gaps πŸ™ I don’t want to spend that much, plus the foam stuff is hard to squeeze it, and its really meant for more permanent solutions. Most other commercial stuff has a sticky size or double sided tap which we don’t want to use since its only seasonal, it has to come off in the summer without leaving any marks.

So, the solution is simple and free. We constantly throw out cereal boxes, and the cardboard in them is nice and thin and easy to work with. So, here are the steps below for creating your own seasonal weather stripping for rarely used doors (and some options further below for doors you do intend to use occasionally)

1) Find some old cereal or cracker boxes


2) Cut it length-wise into 1.5 to 2 inch strips (Bigger gap? Cut wider strips, 3 or 4 inches as needed, and they will flex to fill the gaps)


3) Fold in half length-wise with a ruler or table edge


4) Insert into any gap that you have. As you can see below, the first image shows the form road I had in the bottom section of the door, and the second shows the cardboard squeezed in. It will fill any size game there assuming you’ve cut it wide enough, and friction will hold it in place!


5) Keep stacking them one on top of the other all the way around the door – remember to hold your hand over the joints and sections to find any drafts and adjust as necessary!

Some improvements on this idea are:

  • Want to create long strips and be sure there are no gaps between sections? use masking tape to join all the sections you created to make a big long strip.
  • Use double sided tape on one side (the long side if you have a long side) and stick it to either the door or the door way, this allows you to open and close the door without the cardboard falling out and since the board is springy, it will always fill the gap.

Some cons here:

  • If you’re using this on a door you use often, it may fall out (without double sided tape) or wear out (its just cardboard that you were going to recycle anyways πŸ˜‰ )
  • May not look as nice – Β but hey, its free
  • If drafts are strong or there is moisture prevalent, you may want to think about a commercial product. I suppose you could do a similar thing with an old ‘crazy carpet’. It would be wanter resistant and provide nice long strips though it might not fit into small spaces as well, oh and its usually a ‘crazy’ colour.. but again, its free πŸ™‚

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12 thoughts on “Homemade Weather Sealing – from cereal boxes!

  1. AMAZING!!! i have been stuffing paper towels in the spaces between the door and door frame on our deck for years…the boxes make way more sense. not only am not wasting paper towels, i am repurposing a recyclable item. THANK YOU!!!

  2. For doors not frequently used, take plastic grocery bags and stuff them into the cracks with a butter knife. Works GREAT and repels moisture too!

  3. For door bottoms you can take an old jeans you were going to throw away, cut off the legs and sow them into tubes, then stuff them with anything that is a bit heavy (other old clothes or pinto beans for example) and lay them by the door bottoms. They move out of the way easily and back before you go to bed for the night. Works good in window sills too if you use old long sleeved shirts.

  4. God’s good day Sir. I realize this is an older post but nobody else addresses this concept. These are called V seal/tension seal/draft insulator, etc. The commercial ones are pretty inexpensive [$3-$5] though hardware big box stores hide it! We used pizza box pieces & were able to make longer and varying thickness strips. Which way d’u face the V? We called companies that sell it with varying replies. Most popular co. said it doesn’t matter! Duh! This is about insulation. We needed something else nobody sells! Ergo we created “deco[ra]” or “deco” sized [3-4×5 inch] outlet & light insulation. We made foam and plastic egg carton outlet and light switch insulators that were thicker and larger than the expensive cheaply made commercial ones. Just use the plate cover as a template. D’u have any suggestions for weatherizing a floor to ceiling balcony door that has a vertical gap of approx. 1/2 inch in the middle but narrower the rest of the way up &down? The doors can’t be taken out of the track for adjustment. God speed in all of your endeavors. Dieu tu benisse=GOD bless you.

  5. thanks for the comment. you can buy the plastic v strips, i have them installed in our door, they work for small gaps, less than 1 CM. I imagine they might make wider stuff as well, you’d need to check out the weather stripping in your local stores and see what options they have. I put the V with the point facing in, so any pressure from outside would in theory tend to push the strips wider and against the walls..

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