If, like me, you’re not the most organised of people, you might find that during the summer your house doors are held open with anything from piles of books to dog bowls to let that cooling breeze circulate. That works fine, of course, until you want one of the books or the dog wants a drink!
This summer, I’m getting organised with these simple doorstops. They’re great for using up scraps of material, you can coordinate them to your decor and they require little in the way of sewing skills.
Four pieces of patterned material, two measuring approx 20cm by 30cm, one measuring approx 1 metre by 15cm and one measuring 30cm by 10cm.
Three pieces of plain, lining material, two measuring approx 20cm by 30cm and one measuring approx 1 metre by 15cm
Needle and thread
Small plastic bag such as a freezer bag
Sand, gravel or stones for filling
What to do:
1. Put the 15cm by 30cm piece of fabric on one side, as this is to make a handle later on. Start by matching the pieces of material together, laying a piece of lining material on the right side of the patterned material. The lining is there to stop the stones gradually wearing through the fabric.
2. Lay one of the 20cm x 30cm pairs of material flat on a table, lining side down. Take the long 1m x 15cm strip, and match the edges to the edges of the fabric rectangle, starting in the middle of one short side. The ends should overlap a it. Pin into place.
3. Sew the seam into place. Start from one end of the long strip, and go all the way round. When you’re back at the top again, leave the last bit of the long strip unsewn where it overlaps, so you can eventually fold it in and sew it from the outside
4. Repeat the process, sewing the other rectangle to the other side of the long strip to make a fabric ‘box’. Turn it the right way round through the hole in the top, made by the unsewn short edges of the long strip. Push the corners out firmly. If the sewing’s a little tight on the corners, you can ease them by making short snips with a pair of scissors in the material – don’t cut through the sewing though!
5. Next, assemble the filling. The ideal filling is a mixture of sand and gravel, but stones will work as long as they’re not too big. Put the plastic bag inside the doorstop, working through the hole in the top, then fill it with your filling until the doorstop looks full enough and will stand up by itself. Tie or seal the bag firmly.
6. Now, turn in the raw edges of the short seams on top and pinch them together. There should be a gap underneath, where the handle will be threaded through. Sew the short seams by hand with a neat overstitch – don’t worry if your hand sewing is less than perfect as it won’t show too much when it’s finished.
7. Time to make the handle. Take the reserved small strip of fabric, and fold it in half lengthways, right sides together. Machine sew down one short side and the long side, then turn it right way round (this might involve a bit of fiddling!). Use an iron to press the strip so the seam sits down the back middle and is hidden, then hand sew the remaining short end closed, folding the raw edges in neatly.
8. Pass the handle through the top of the doorstop, and hand sew the two short ends together. Pull the handle round so the sewing is hidden. When you pick the doorstop up, the handle will gather the top the material together making the whole thing into a sturdy triangle shape.
9. And, voila…..the finished doorstop!
By Sara Walker