Tuesday, 1 May 2012


With all the stormy weather we've been having, I decided to make a linen doorstop and use it to display the decorative potential of both my embroidered borders. But first, I needed to decide what to fill it with. I did my research and came up with either SAND or RICE. After making a hell of a mess, I can give you the pros and cons on both so you can make up your own mind in a tidier fashion:

If you are thinking of making several of these doorstops (for afterall, they'd make a great Christmas present!), SAND is definitely cheaper. Buy a bag of coarse grain sand from your local builders yard (but, it'll be heavy so don't go on your bike!). And it'll also be damp so you need space to spread it out and time to let it dry. Then you need to test out whether your chosen fabric is tightly woven enough that the sand won't leak through the grain of the fabric. And if it does, you will need to line your doorstop with a plastic bag.

So, on balance, if you are only thinking of making this for yourself, RICE is definitely more convenient. Buy a big bag of the cheapest supermarket rice - no basmati or arborio required here. My doorstop took 4 kilos to fill! I reckon it'd hold open a barn door in a storm. You could cut down the size quite a bit (maybe to a 15cm x 15cm cube) and still have a workable solution.

To get started, cut the following from your chosen fabric:

4 side pieces 20 cm (8") x 15 cm (6")
2 top and bottom pieces 15 cm (6") x 15 cm (6")
1 piece of wide border 20 cm long
1 piece of narrow border 15 cm long

Now for the step by steps:
1. Stitch the wide border down the centre of one of the side pieces.

2. With the sewing machine set to a small stitch length, sew the 4 side pieces together leaving a 1 cm seam allowance.

3. To make the narrow border into a handle, hold it across the middle of the top piece of fabric and stitch securely at each end, close to the edge of the fabric (within the 1 cm seam allowance).

4. Stitch the top piece to the sides.

5. When you stitch the bottom piece on, leave an opening along one side about 7 cm long. This is so you can turn the bag right side out, using the handle to help pull all the fabric through.

6. Now you need to fill the bag with your chosen filler.

NB. If you're using SAND and you've decided you do need a plastic lining, use a carrier bag. Stuff it inside your bag making sure that the opening stays on the outside (maybe pin it so it doesn't slip inside as you fill). When its full, you need to tie the opening into a tight knot and then stuff that inside the bag.

7. Finally, close the opening with a neat hand stitch.

8. And here's the finished article:



  1. Looks great! Thank you for this - especially rice v sand discussion - exactly what I was wondering.

  2. STOP PRESS! You know that discussion about rice v sand? Well I have an urgent update which has definitely changed my mind and brought me down firmly on the side of sand. Have a look at my 4th July post.
    And thanks for your comment!

  3. I love this easy design for a door stop. I've just made a roman blind for my bathroom and have lots of material left, which I shall now use to make a door stop.

    Regarding rice & sand, I made a house door stop a year ago and I used rice (which worked out quite expensive) so may consider the sand option this time.

  4. I've read cat litter is cheap and effective ;-)