13 Sugru Designs That Make Things Easier for People to Use
Over a billion of us have some form of different or limited physical ability. Yet so many everyday items are not designed with this in mind. Simple things like door handles that are hard to grip, car doors that are difficult to get into, even the markings on ovens that fade and become tough to read. These seemingly insignificant, everyday quirks soon add up.
Easy little improvements here and there can make a massive difference. Luckily, the Sugru community shares tons of inventive designs that solve such problems to make people’s lives more comfortable.
Like the incredible story of Stella who has SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) which attacks the nerves that control voluntary movement. Her father Myles discovered Sugru and used it to customise Stella’s things to give her more independence. He says:
"Because Stella is profoundly weak and her condition is always changing, her equipment needs to be customised. Sugru has proven to be an amazing tool for us, from general repairs and cable management on her medical equipment to fully customised solutions."
We’ve always believed that great ideas belong to everyone – especially ones that make a real difference to people’s lives.
So join us in celebrating stories that embody the inventive, caring and uniquely can-do spirit of the fixing movement. Who knows, you might discover an idea that’s perfect for you!
Make things grippy
Mass-produced items are not designed for everyone – especially things with grips and handles. Millions of people with limited motor skills, impaired dexterity or arthritis find some things too difficult to hold or too painful to use. Sugru is perfect for making custom moulds to modify and shape things to fit you, and ultimately easier and more comfortable to hold and use.
Make walking sticks easier to hold
When your favourite walking stick starts to wear you don’t have to replace it, you can repair it with Sugru. Maya from the U.S.A. used Sugru to improve the grip, add a design feature and make her walking stick more shock resistant. This fix is so easy to copy.
“The handle was varnished, but some of it had worn off. It was slippery and less than attractive, so I made it better with Sugru. Sugru has just the right amount of resistance, now the handle isn't slippery, and the slight resilience absorbs some of the shock connected with constantly using the cane on concrete.”
Improve dials so they’re easier to use
Ovens, microwaves, washing machines and other appliances regularly come with small buttons or slanted dials. They may look nice, but they can often be hard to use. This fix from Janet is a great example of how you can keep a lovely design aesthetic and make things easier to use.
“This dial was very badly designed with sloping sides, barely discernible ridges and a slippery surface, so my poor arthritic fingers often failed to make any purchase on it at all. They needed something meatier to grab hold of.
I rolled out a strip of White Sugru and wound it around the dial, pressed it into the ridge shapes to create higher peaks, and then added some extra knobs around the edge for really bad days. No-one notices my mod until I point it out to them, but it makes such a difference to me!”
Adapt puzzles for everyone.
This touching fix from Eliose allowed her to adapt her son's puzzles so that he could play with them just like the other children.
“We used Sugru to enlarge and change the size of the pegs on this and other puzzles to encourage our disabled child to grip and enable him to play like his peers. It has been a great success.”
Add markings to make things easier to see
The numbers and dials on washing machines, microwaves, ovens and other appliances can be small and hard to read. And over time they usually fade completely. Throughout the years our community has used Sugru to make things more visible and even added tactile markers to help people with impaired vision.
Use colour to make markings stand out
This example from Simona perfectly demonstrates how Sugru can look fantastic and make things stand out, so you don’t need to strain your eyes.
Turn a regular microwave into a tactile microwave
Belinda from Australia came up with this idea to enable her blind husband to use the microwave.
"My husband is blind, and a lot of microwaves these days have flat number pads that give him no indication of where to push to enter the time or make it start cooking! I Sugru-ed a solution and now he's really happy about to be able to cook himself a cake in a mug, or microwave some popcorn – (you know, all those health foods blokes love :-) – while I'm off at work."
Improve and repair your prescription glasses
If we wear glasses, we want them to be comfortable and look great. But finding the right pair can be a tough and costly task. Luckily, the Sugru community has found so many fantastic ways to improve and repair their favourite glasses.
Make glasses fit more comfortably.
Sometimes it can be impossible to find glasses that fit. Use a little bit of Sugru to mould the glasses perfectly for your face. Here’s a great example from Raymond in Sydney.
“I have a small nose and most prescription frames do not fit properly. But Sugru has SOLVED that problem.”
Mend worn hinges
Over the years the hinges on glasses start to wear, and the arms get wider and wider. Sugru is great for creating little stoppers to keep your glasses sitting snug. Just like this lovely example from Vicky.
“I fixed my favourite glasses the other day. The arms have been getting wider for about a year or more, and I’ve been putting bits of paper in the hinge to stop it. This worked, but they would fall out and I would be left wearing crooked glasses. A bit of Sugru and the problem is solved. Just like new!”
Fix broken glasses
No matter how hard we try to protect them, glasses are fragile and prone to heartbreaking breaks. Sugru bonds perfectly to most plastics and metals making it great for repairs. And if you want to be sure your repaired glasses still look great, why not use the opportunity to add a dazzling design feature like this story from Carmit:
“My grandma is 90. Her old pair of prescription glasses broke. She went and got a new pair, but at 90, I guess, changes are not easy to adjust to. The old pair’s plastic frame broke right before the hinge, but it remained intact, so I managed to Sugru it perfectly and even add two Swarovski stones and a #WonderWoman touch to it. My grandma was thrilled!”
Make things more accessible
We’ve seen some great examples from the Sugru community where they’ve made walking sticks and white canes even more useful. By simply adding magnets, these essential items can easily be stuck to surfaces just where people need to use their hands. They can be put down with full confidence that they won’t fall over and become hard to pick up or find.
Add magnets to make canes easier to find
Outi from Finland works with partially sighted and blind kids who felt their canes were more of a hindrance than an aid. So Outi came up with a brilliant solution.
“I’ve noticed some kids don’t use their canes. Instead, they hang on to guides because they cannot find their white canes on the coat racks. The canes fall and get lost on the floor. Canes can be too long to store on coatracks, or there’s no hook for them. The kids think their cane is more like a hindrance than an aid. I bought some Sugru and glued a tiny but strong neodymium magnet on the handle of the white cane. Now they can stick it on any ferrous surface. Not only at home but on buses and at stores. The pupils have attached small metal plates in important non-magnetic places, so they can keep their white cane easily within reach.”
Make walking sticks easier to put down
Robert’s walking cane kept falling over when he had to use his hands. Adding magnets made it easy for him to complete his daily tasks without having to worry about retrieving his cane all the time.
“I had a hook for my walking cane. I fixed a magnet on it so that I can stick it to any metal surface, especially to my car, when taking the key in my pocket. Now my cane won't slip and fall down.”
Improve and customise wheelchairs
Add bumpers to protect furniture
This lovely fix was the solution to a common frustration. These fixers found that their wheelchairs were scratching many surfaces around the home. Some strategic Sugru bumpers did the trick.
“My husband and I happen to be wheelchair users. As you might imagine, we have identified a few uses that may be unique to people such as ourselves. One use, in particular, involves the front casters of our chairs, which are constantly coming into contact with the cabinetry in our home. Our kitchen cabinets and bedroom furniture are always getting scratched up. This has always been a problem and, no matter how vigilant one is, ultimately, you become a little too focused on a task and then you’re up against the woodwork. Problem no more! I fashioned Sugru bumpers around the parts of the casters that make contact with horizontal surfaces. We are still careful. But on the off-chance we get a little too close, the woodwork is protected. The attached picture shows the Black sugru bumpers - look where the red arrow points.”
Pimp your wheelchair
Sugru sticks to most surfaces and comes in a range of colours, so it’s brilliant for adding cool designs to your wheelchair. This awesome example comes from Colin in the UK who used Sugru to stick his favourite pins to his.
If you have a fantastic fix that improves designs and makes things easier to use, why not share it with our community. You can post it on Instagram using or Twitter using #MySugruFix, share it with us on Facebook, or email it to us. Who knows, you may even win heaps of free Sugru.