Resealable (Cat Proof) Magnetic Window Insulation Tutorial

Before I got Elliot the Cat, I used to put up those plastic shrink wrap sheets over my windows (the kind that came with double sided tape).  They worked well but I had to redo them every winter and I couldn’t open the windows without ruining the plastic film.  I stopped putting up the plastic window insulations after I got Elliot because he tore them to shreds.  This year I came up with a cat proof way to seal in the heat … take a look!  (This is not a super detailed tutorial … I’m going to assume that you have general DIY/crafting skills and know how to caulk and paint)

1. Caulk your windows and prepare surface for painting.

2. Main Supplies: Magnetic Paint (I used a magnetic paint additive), Self-adhesive magnetic tape (I got them from Ebay), and Vinyl (I got mine from a Joann’s store with a 50% off coupon).  Other supplies: tools for painting, scissors, ruler, and marker.

3. Paint window trims according to the magnetic paint instructions.  Make sure you put on enough coats to ensure a good magnetic bond.  Instead of painting the entire trim, I just painted the areas where I wanted the magnetic tape to adhere to (the outer most edges of the window trim).

4. Measure to the edge of the window trims and cut vinyl to size.

5. Apply the magnetic tape to the outer edges of the vinyl you just cut.  Peel off a few inches of the magnetic tape and start sticking the tape to the vinyl.  Hold down the magnetic strip and peel the backing strip (the white paper strip) a few inches at a time so the vinyl doesn’t get wrinkled. 

6. After you’ve applied the magnetic tape to all 4 sides, you can hang the magnetic window seal from the top of your window trim and work your way down to the windowsill.  The magnetic tape should stick to the trims like this:

7. You’ll probably have little gaps between the sill and the trim but you can fill them in with peelable caulk.  Note how well the magnetic strips cling to the window trim (excuse my sloppy paint job)!

8. Here’s the finished product.


Now repeat with all the windows in your home. 

These magnetic window seals are reusable and you can put them up and take them down quickly.  They will take some time to make but all you have to do is make them once and you should be set for years to come.  These can be rolled up and stored away and the best part is that they’re CAT PROOF!

The air between the window and the vinyl is definitely a lot colder than the air an inch away from the vinyl.  I’ll get a thermometer to see what the temperature difference is but I can definitely feel the difference that these windows seals make.

Whew, so there’s the magnetic window seal tutorial … it’s my very first tutorial so please feel free to leave a comment if I’m not clear in any part. 

Stay warm and pay less for heat!

9 Responses to “Resealable (Cat Proof) Magnetic Window Insulation Tutorial”

  1. 1 heather November 27, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    good grief, woman! how in the world did you come up with this project? i didn’t know such a thing as magnetic paint even existed. i’ll have to give this one a whirl cause i have metal framed windows – hopefully the kind that magnets like.

  2. 2 Madame M November 28, 2007 at 4:56 pm

    You have a wonderful blog! I found you through decor8, and I am just loving all your projects! Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3 Lucy December 6, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Love this idea and I’m set to get it started. One thing. Why not use the magnet strips without the magnet paint? one strip on the window (with adheasive) one on the vinyl. I believe they could then be painted to match the window. Anyway this is what I plan to do. Love your website. More ideas please.

  4. 4 Aimee December 15, 2007 at 12:21 pm

    That is an awesome idea! I am bookmarking this to show hubby so we can do this before winter is over. 🙂

  5. 5 George Stergios December 19, 2007 at 11:09 am

    I love the idea, but I have several questions, if you do not mind answering them:

    I was able to find the magnetic paint on the site you mentioned, but I could not find any self-adhesive magnetic tape on Ebay, except for some British addresses that seemed too expensive even without the shipping. I did find it at something called the Advertising Store, which charged $26 (plus shipping) for a 100 ft roll of 1 inch by 60 mm. Is that similiar to what you paid? Looking at your photos afterwards, I think you may have been using 1/2″. Does that work better?

    Joanne’s is out of the 20 gauge clear vinyl, probably because too many people read your blog, and they are not listing the price while they are out of stock. How much did they charge you? Where does one acquire a 50 percent coupoun, and could one use a heavier or lighter gauge?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, and thanks for a great idea.

    George Stergios

  6. 6 michael December 27, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    I have recently moved into an older midcentury modern home built in the late 50’s wth a wall of 4 sliders across the back of my house. we are losing lots of heat through all that single pane glass. we discussed the shrink wrap stuff hate it hate it!! makes the windows look like package of meat. when i saw ur clever clever idea u are a genius!!!!!! makes me feel stupid/
    your a god among insects.
    love it love it

  7. 7 Nancela January 3, 2008 at 10:40 am

    We had to have the rubber gasket on our refrigerator replaced, so I saved the long magnetic strip contained inside the gasket. (At the time, I was thinking of crafts projects.) If you are disposing of a refrigerator, you have to remove the door anyway, so save the magnetic strip and reuse it!

    Right now, I am freezing in our poorly insulated home, AND I have a cat, so THANK YOU for this tip. Will try it.

  8. 8 Rose March 10, 2008 at 10:35 am

    I have a problem window in my basement bathroom that is difficult to insulate in the winter. I am going to try this! Great idea!

  1. 1 Lower You Heating Costs « Frugal This! Trackback on October 28, 2008 at 12:24 am

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