Door “anti-jammer” how-to.

door anti-jammer in use.  Snotty Dog.

I think they’re usually known as an anti-slammer, but in this instance I needed one to stop the catch from, erm, well, “catching”. Because for some unknown reason, (and I have taken the thing apart to try to find out the reason, without success), the kitchen door once closed, refuses to open. And it’s no fun being trapped in the kitchen.

And there’s only so long you can put up with makeshift anti-lock devices…..


I saw a picture of one of them on Pinterest, and it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to work out how to make one.

You will need:

Tools –

  • Sewing machine
  • Pliers, preferably two pairs or you’ll struggle

“Ingredients” –

  • Covered elastic (even hair bands would work, though you would sew it in differently)
  • Sticky tape
  • Fabric off-cut (I’m using a bit of old velvet curtain)
  • Thread to match (I just used white as this is just about making it work, not making it look pretty)
  • 1.6mm diameter Garden wire (or any strong enough to hold the elastic together)

This is the wire and elastic I had on hand. If I didn’t have this wire I’m not sure what I would have used, although I imagine it would also be possible to sew the elastic together, it just wouldn’t be as strong. Strong staples might even work, or knotting it, although that’s quite bulky.

Wire & Elastic

Before you cut the elastic to length, measure it around the handles you’re going to be putting it on, and add a good inch for overlap when you join – and probably 3x more if you’re going to knot it – the good thing about knotting it is you can test it out before you cut it.

And before you do cut it, wrap sticky tape around it so that the fabric outer doesn’t fray or unravel:

Elastic & Wire

Use your pliers to wrap a length of wire around the ends of the elastic. Wrap it as tight as you can, and pull to make sure it won’t come undone. If it’s too loose squeeze the whole thing in the jaws to clamp it down.

You can see in the second picture (above) that one end of the tape came off, but at it happened after I’d wrapped the wire round, I wasn’t so worried.

Your fabric needs to only be about two inches wider than the width of your door (once hemmed). Put the elastic loop on top of the fabric, just to check it sticks out on either end. I sewed a hem on the sides of the length of fabric so they would be enclosed and not fray. There was already a hem on one short end from when it was curtains, and the other end doesn’t need a hem as it’s going to be enclosed.

Following the steps in the diagram, fold the elastic loop into the fabric. Now sew down one side enclosing the elastic down a long end. Start with the side of elastic that is smooth with no join in it. Now slide it around so that the “knot” is in that side, and sew along the other side, making a channel for the elastic on the other long side.

Fabric steps

When I had done this I sewed on top of the “hem” stitching making the hole that the elastic (on the knot side) was only big enough to allow the elastic to slide through, but too small for the knot to come out, just so it looks neat and tidy. But you do have to take care that the join doesn’t end up in the middle, or the wire will put dents in your woodwork!

And this is what it looks like when it’s done:

Door anti-jammer

Here it is in use, jamming the door closed, but without locking someone in the kitchen:

Door anti-jammer

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