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Working on it

One down

I've got the first door snake finished:

The red fabric on his top half is the one I was least sure would look good on a door snake - I used it first in case I made such a mess of it that I had to throw it away. I had planned to use it for the snake's underbelly with the gold patterned fabric on top, but after sewing him together and stuffing him I thought the red fabric actually worked better on top, particularly when combined with the contrasting green eyes.

The hardest part was hand stitching his arsehole the curved opening at the bottom where it's held closed with a press-stud so that when it gets dirty you can remove the inner sandbag and bung the cover in the washing machine.

I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. One thing I might change on the next one is to mix the sand filler with something less dense, like wood shavings or polystyrene beads.


It looks fabulous! Another thing that works well as stuffing is chopped up stockings or tights! Could comment further but better not....
Wonder where I could get a large quantity of old stockings from...

We did consider filling them with fabric scraps but I'm not sure if it would be heavy/conformable enough. The online guides tend to recommend things like sand, cat litter (unused!), and corn husks.
Oh yes, he does look elegant!
Thank you! :)
I really like the idea of removable covers! I have no idea how dirty one gets in Wales, but here we have dust, dust and more dust. And I guess these things are likely to get pounced on by felines too!

I've seen them made with things like rice or barley for filling, which makes it very flexible to fit into draughty cracks...
Oh yes, and I also meant to say well done - looks great!
The filth here is unimaginable, as we are basically living in a building site, set in a farmyard, using a coal-fired Rayburn. Ha ha ha! I try not to despair more than five times a day ;)

We were a bit hesitant about using grains for filling, on the basis that if they get damp they will go mouldy... (It occasionally rains in Wales).

Oh lord I hadn't quite processed the feline-pouncing implications. I do hope they don't rip Alex's beautiful work apart :/
In that case, I think Alex's next project shall be... clockwork mice!
The dirt isn't that bad really! And I'd have thought only the snakes on the outer doors would be likely to get wet. :)

I had considered the cat problem; don't think we can do much about it - maybe they won't show any interest in them.
Fffff you just don't see the dirt *rolls eyes*
There can't be any dirt - I mopped the kitchen floor! *tuts* ;)
The other thing that bothered me about using rice etc. for stuffing is the cost - one snake required about a third of a sack of builders' sand.
Fair enough. And also it might be appealing to mice unless something repellent was added (or is Bosch repellent enough for Welsh mice?)
Bosch is the scourge of mice. The only live mice I've seen in the house are ones the cats have caught and brought into the kitchen to play with.
That looks really good! I sympathise with the arsehole curved opening issue - that sort of fiddly work seems to crop up far more often than you'd imagine.
Thanks! The next one should be a bit easier now I've got the hang of it.
Can you tell me how to do it please, because I could do with one or two. My sewing skills are negligible but I couldn't find any decent draft excluder snakes online, and as we move into winter they would be very useful.

Is there a method or pattern I could follow?
I bought some nice fabric scraps, read several online guides[1], then I took the ideas that seemed to make the most sense to me and invented my own slightly different method as I went along. I'll try to write some notes while I make the second one but it's definitely a case of there being more than one way to skin a catsnake. Do you have a sewing machine? The long seams would be pretty tedious to sew by hand (particularly as the ones on the inner need to be tight enough to stop sand leaking out).

[1] Most of which assumed prior knowledge I didn't have as a very novice seamstress, so a certain amount of Googling was required to make sense of the guides. Eg. I didn't know that 'baste' is another name for what I knew as tack.
That could lead to some confusion if you try to scoop hot fat over the snake.

Make sure you take good notes on the construction of the 'curved opening'...
That, sir, is a Fine Wyrm!
Thank you! :)
Great job! The proportions look Just Right.

There's something delightfully Wodehousian (wrong adjective I know) about the expression "the inner sandbag". How does one "refresh and restore" it, I wonder?
Release your inner sandbag with our easy five-step relaxation program?
Looks fabulous!

Is there anything you *can't* make or fix? :-)

I'd have been tempted to stick a black plastic bin bag (or one of the long white ones for tall pedal bins) inside the snake to put the sand in, so that you don't have to worry about the sand leaking through the stitching, and so that you can remove the cover easily for washing without having to dump half a ton of sharp sand into a bucket. That's what they recommend for sand-loading speaker stands (mass damping!)
Thanks! :)

The sand is sealed in a fabric bag the same shape as the outer but slightly smaller ("the inner sandbag"). The fabric is a fairly tight weave and the seams have two rows of tight stitches so it hopefully won't leak much. In theory the inner snake shouldn't need to be washed (though drying it out if it gets soggy could be interesting).