Monday, 6 July 2009

A Doorstop Tutorial

When we were in Wells-Next-the-Sea back in May, I noticed some fabric doorstops in a giftshop, priced around £25.mankin

I decided that the design was good - but grossly overpriced!

As the weather has got hotter, it occurred to me that doorstops would be useful for Cornerstones, so that external doors could be left open, and create through draughts, without fear of internal doors slamming.

So I have been playing around with scraps from The Great Stash.

I have filled Doorstop Mark 1 with gravel. Ideas on the Internet suggest sand, wheat, dried beans or rice. Other people have warned that if sand gets wet, it can stain the carpet underneath, and apparently wheat, beans and rice can go mouldy if they get damp- and can also attract vermin.

DSCF0014 I carefully washed and dried my gravel! Lots of sand came out and the patio smelt of the seaside!

My doorstop is approximately a 20cm cube, and has 1.5kg of gravel in it.

This seems to be effective at keeping the doors here


in place. My little sack is not as full as the one in the first picture. Neither is it a perfect cuboid. But it does have a wonderfully personalised carry strap and was very quick to make. For Models 2 & 3 I have filled them up a little more, and they look better.

Here's the tutorial.

 DSCF0014-1You need a piece of fabric 16½" x 9½2 inches, 1.5 kg gravel, two sandwich bags, and a length of tape for the handle.

Fold the fabric in half RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER and stitch down the side to make a tube.

Stitch along the opposite side, just in from the edge [this defines the shape]

Now REFOLD the tube, putting those two seams to the centre, and again stitch down the edges.


Now things start to get tricky. It is easier to do this than to explain it.

Refold again but this time match up the seams in pairs. Stitch all along the bottom.

This will make the base of the doorstop.

Now you need to open out the bag and flatten those two bottom corners into



Make nice right angled triangles, and you will see your seams going across in straight lines.

Sew along those seams [they will be about 4" long]






Now your doorstop should stand up a bit like a grocery bag.








Fold those two triangles underneath and just tack the points together in the centre. Sew along the bottom edges of the doorstop, front and back, so the base is a neat square [the other two sides of the square have been defined by the triangles.

Now you have to do the same thing at the top end BUT this time you need to leave a small gap in the seam along the edge [for turning out] and also put your length of tape inside, to form the handle.

DSCF0022 Here is a picture of the top edge of the doorstop showing the gap.




Here is the first triangle pinned ready for sewing - with the length of tape going in through the gap.







Once that triangle is done, do the same thing on the other side, and then turn the bag out.

Poke the corners with a pencil to give them some shape.


Now you are ready to fill!

Put one plastic bag inside the other, and [moving the handle to one side] push the bags halfway into the gap. Fan out the top of the bags, as it makes filling much easier!

Get your 1.5kg of washed gravel, and fill the bag. It is a slow process



Here is one of the pink bags being filled up.

When full [shake it a little to let the gravel settle well into the corners] roll over the top of the bags and tuck in.

Then handstitch the gap closed. Do NOT show the doorstop to your nearest and dearest before  sewing up the gap. He may try to juggle with it and scatter gravel all over the place. [Well mine did, anyway!]


So there you have it - one doorstop. Cost - 20p worth of gravel plus fabric from The great Stash.

Time - under two hours to make three doorstops.

And now the weather has cooled right down and we have had heavy rain and hailstones! So maybe we won't need them after all this summer.

Ah well...


  1. What a good idea, I've seen them in shops at ridiculous prices.
    Imagine filling it with peas and one day finding Mrs Tittlemouse investigating!

  2. Wow! Much more attractive than an old brick nicked from whatused to be the chapel next door!

    I guess I could cover the brick in nice fabric...

  3. What a handy tutorial--now can you do one on a pain-free way to clean out closets?

    Hope you've been having a good summer so far. I'm back from vacation and will check in more regularly!



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