Celebrate International Repair Day and share your best #FixTip this October

This month we’ll be celebrating International Repair Day (17th October) with a single mission - to share as many tips, tricks and shortcuts to help you fix the things you love with confidence.

We all have to start somewhere and nobody ever really stops learning. Whether it’s a student living alone for the first time or an octogenarian whose can do attitude means no fixing job is off limits. 

Skill sharing is part of the process! So to help kick things off we’ve taken some inspiration from four of Sugru’s very own fixing heroes.  Check out their own insider tips below...

#FixTip 1 Celebrate Your Repairs and the Beauty of Imperfection


"This is one of my best fixes of all time. I repaired a couple of holes in my favourite blue trousers, which were damaged on a great night out in Amsterdam. The night ended on a slippery tram track and although I escaped unharmed, my trousers didn’t.

It took me about 5 minutes to fix these up with a couple of iron-on gold patches and they mean more to me now than ever. I also think they look way better!"

Lotte's got two more #Fixtips for us too:

#FixTip 2 = have some fun when fixing things and try to create something unique

#FixTip 3 = involve younger people whenever you fix something - they’re always more interested than you think

We love the modern interpretation of Wabi Sabi that Lotte and Gieke have brought to life with their Humade repair kits. It's an amazing feeling when a repair is not just as good as before, but even better because it's unique and now carries a new layer to its story. 

#FixTip 2 Have Everything You Need to Hand


Sage advice from Heleen! We agree, it's a really good idea to set designated time aside to do your repairs, and to prepare in advance to have everything you need to complete the job. Repair jobs are so enjoyable when they turn out right, but can be daunting if you start without thinking through your plan first. 

Give yourself maximum chances of great results by gathering together your tools and materials in one place for a dedicated evening fixing session, or researching and ordering the right materials for the job ahead of time.

Heleen also shared an incredible ancient example of being prepared to repair! 

"A really extreme example of preparing to repair can be seen in the National Museum of Antiquities in the Netherlands, where a 4,800 year old bobbin with fine linen thread is on show. It was placed in the tomb of an Egyptian priest, so that he could have his clothes repaired in the afterlife. It’s incredible to see."

#FixTip 3 Keep Looking Out for New Repair Solutions


"There are so many specialist products out there, chances are if you do some research and ask around, you'll keep discovering new solutions when you need them."

"One of the things I've grown more and more confident with, often with the help of ifixit tutorials, is repairing electronics. And my #FixTip is a really simple and great product called Fast Drying Contact Cleaner from WD40. I learned this tip from the tech support team at Phillips :) The button on my electric toothbrush was stiff and not working so well anymore, and they helped me diagnose this as a build up of calcium or hard water residue. A generous spray of this Fast Drying Contact Cleaner and the problem was fixed! I've recently used it again to fix a similar problem with one of the buttons on my Bosch laser measuring tool."

NB This is not regular WD40 lubricant, it's a different product to that, made especially for use with electronics and electrical equipment. 

Thanks James - great tip and we love that this is almost preventative fixing - enabling us to tackle issues early when they are showing the first signs of wear - keeping things in good working order. 

#FixTip 4 Youtube Is Your Friend


Ha! It sounds so obvious but it's true!

"Youtube has made fixing genuinely accessible for all of us... A generation ago, what if someone told you that there would be a place you could access more than 5 billion videos for free? And even more amazing, that millions of these videos would be people around the world teaching each other how to do things? Often with incredible attention to detail, taking you step by step through a repair - from dishwashers to mobile phones, to jeans... and a million other things besides."

"Still today, when something breaks, many people have no idea that they could repair it - and their only thought is how to dispose of it and replace it. What if even half of those people took a few minutes to stop and ask Youtube - how many more people would have a go?"

For fun, try playing with the search bar with 'How to fix...' It's amazing the variety of things you'll find!

#FixTip 5 Use Old Clothes to Repair With


Tom van Deijnen’s passion for making clothes has long been channelled into repair. He believes that the practice of mending clothes to make them last longer is a welcome disruption to the fast fashion cycle. 

“Instead of taking old clothes to a charity shop, which has its own issues around how little is suitable for selling on, use them for cutting out patches for upcycling or other creative projects. I’m currently making a patchwork quilt out of old shirts and boxer shorts!”

This makes wonderful sense. Why buy new material when we often have so much of it lying around and going to waste? Thank you Tom!

#FixTip 6 Keep Tiny Pieces in Place with a Simple Bit of Sticky Tape


A Professor of Design and an industrial designer, Daniel has actually borrowed this tip from his 13 year old daughter Nola. Hey, everyday is a school day right?

“When Nola was fixing a phone screen, we used a rolled up piece of tape (sticky side up) to hold all the little screws and parts in place. That way they didn’t go rolling off the table.”

And if you’re wondering what the drawing is here, Nola also makes a drawing of where all the tiny parts go whilst they’re out of the phone waiting to be put back in. Makes sense. Bravo Nola! (and Daniel for sharing :)