Beaded Door Stop

I love the view from the balcony of our new mountain house. It’s such a joy to stand there looking out over the central valley and breathing in the scent of pine trees and the sweet fragrance of freshly cut grass.  Until the glass door slams shut behind you and awakens you from your reverie with a jolt.  I’ve used several different items to hold that dratted door open….a rock, an old construction bucket that the workmen left behind and even an ancient Ecuadorian clay figurine. I figured it was about time to make a proper door stop for this obnoxious door. I’d seen some really cute triangular shaped ones made out of fabric, so I decided to make one of these. After checking online for instructions I discovered that most of them were actually pyramidal in shape. That is: four triangular sides and a square for the bottom. That’s not what I wanted because they seemed to be too bulky and I didn’t want something that jutted out so far into the doorway that people might trip over it. I wanted a simple three sided triangle. I ended up making my own template and playing it by ear. The results were actually better than I had anticipated. Here’s how I made it: The first thing I did was to cut out the template from a sheet of newspaper. To get the size I wanted I had to decide on a measurement. I figured that 11 inches would be just about right for a door stop,  so I measured out an equilateral triangle in that size. In other words, a triangle where all three sides were exactly the same length. To do this, I began by marking a straight horizonal 11 inch line on my newspaper. Then I marked the center of that line. (that would be exactly five and a half inches) and drew a perpendicular line upwards from that point.

Draw a horizonal line first. Then find the center of that line and draw a straight vertical line upwards from that point.

Once those two lines were marked, I set out to measure the sides. Starting at the left side of the first horizonal line that I drew, I measured exacty 11 inches upwards towards the center vertical line. That gave me the left side of the triangle.

Mark the left side of the triangle by starting at the very tip of the horizontal line and measuring upwards on a slant, exactly eleven inches. The tip of the line you are marking must end on the center line.

Then I did the same on the right side. This gave me a perfect equilateral triangle that was 11 inches long on all three sides.

Measure and mark the right side of the triangle exacly like you did the left side

I then cut out this template.

Cut out the triangular template

The next step was to cut the fabric. I wanted to have many colors on my doorstop so I pieced together several different fabrics for a pieced look and then cut out my triangles from the pieced together panels but you can make the doorstop out of just one fabric, or two….or as many as you want. I cut out FOUR triangles in total. Three for the sides, and one for the bottom.

Since this is a triangular doorstop and not four sided pyramid doorstop, you only need three pieces for the sides and one for the bottom. That’s a total of four triangular shaped pieces that you must cut out. I made the bottom of the doorstop out of a thicker brown fabric because that’s the part that will be in contact with the floor.

Then it was time to sew the pieces together. I took two of the triangular pieces and put them right sides together, then machine sewed them down one side making sure that the designs on the fabrics were facing in the direction that I wanted. I did the same with the third triangle and machine stitched it to the second triangle, right sides together. After this was done, I closed the whole thing by stitching the two remaining raw edges together, in other words I joined the unsewn edge of the first triangle to the unsewn edge of the third triangle, right sides together.

When you sew the three triangles together and close them, you will have something that looks like this

Then it was time to attach the bottom. This isn’t difficult because it too, is triangular in shape. I pinned the bottom piece to the rest of the panels first, right sides together. Then I carefully stiched the three sides of the bottom panel to the side pieces. I didn’t attempt to go around the corners. I just sewed a straight line from one end of the fabric to the other then stopped. Then I turned the fabric and sewed the next straight line and stopped. I turned the fabric yet again and sewed the third straight line…however, on the last one one I left about four inches open to later insert the stuffing as well as to turn the fabric out through.

Stich the bottom piece of the doorstop to the side pieces. Always place the right sides together and do all the stitching on the “wrong” sides of the fabric. Don’t forget to leave about 4 or 5 inches unstitched so that you can not only stuff the doorstop through this opening but also turn the entire thing right side out through it.

After the bottom was sewn on, I turned the whole thing out through the unstitched opening.  I wanted my doorstop to have a little handle for easier carrying and lifting so I cut  out a narrow rectangular piece of fabric, stitched the raw edges neatly closed, and then machine sewed it to the top of the doorstop forming a handle.

A narrow strip of fabric attatched to the top, forms a handle for easier carrying

I must admit that I am a magpie. I have a weakness for glittery things so I decided to decorate the doorstop with beads and sequins and whatever other shiny thing I thought might look good on it. I have a huge bead and sequin stash so it was difficult to choose just a few. I ended up just randomly sewing on whatever caught my fancy and using as many colors, shapes and sizes as I wanted. I also added a fancy tassel to the top.

You can embroider, bead and embellish the doorstop any way you choose

The last part was the stuffing.  Doorstops can be stuffed with a number of different things. Pretty much anything will do, as long as it’s heavy. Some people use rice to stuff them. It’s cheap and heavy. Other people use beans. Others use sand, or marbles or pebbles. I chose to use glass pebbles because 1). I had alot of them left over from another project. 2). They’re heavy. 3.) I didn’t want to use anything perishable like rice because since this doorstop was going to hold a balcony door, it might sometimes get wet, which would be tragic for the rice inside. Also, if a field mouse got wind of the free food, that would be the end of my doorstop. I used a combination of cut up pieces of sponge, and the glass pebbles. I combined the two because I wanted the doorstop to have an upright triangular shape so I stuffed the upper tip and the corners with the sponge pieces first, to shape them. Then I began to add the glass pebbles until it had the weight that I wanted.

Stuff the doorstop through the opening that you left on one of the edges. First add the sponge or soft stuffing to shape the triangle so that it will stand up right

Then add the heavy filling (in this case glass pebbles) to create weight inside the doorstop. Make sure you get enough weight into it otherwise it won’t hold the door.

Once I had the doorstop stuffed and weighted, I hand stitched the opening closed, making sure that it was tightly shut so that none of the stuffing could come back out.

Hand stitch the opening shut, using small tight stitches so that the stuffing doesn’t come back out

Voila!! All done!

Side View

The other side

This sucker is heavy. I DARE that door to slam shut again!

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