Ways to refresh vintage finds with Sugru
SUGRU INVENTOR, JANE, SHARES HER FAVOURITE VINTAGE PROJECTS.
The things you discover in charity shops, thrift stores and car boot sales tend to feel special because they combine two seemingly contradictory qualities - they're both junk and treasure at the same time. I invented Sugru Mouldable Glue to help people keep and love the stuff they already have instead of buying new things all the time, and rummaging in flea markets is something I love to do. So, it's no surprise that my home is full of lovingly Sugru-ed items like the ones I'm sharing here!
Sugru can be used to repurpose old-fashioned things, add brightly coloured repairs and rescue unused or unloved objects. Because it's waterproof, temperature-resistant and able to form a strong bond with almost any other material, you can have fun proudly sorting out your whole vintage collection.
Here are a few favourite projects both from my own home and from the Sugru community.
1. Chipped plates become unique designs with colourful Sugru
I have a whole collection of these pastel plates from the famous Sunday flea market in Brussels. I love the 1950s style, but they were often chipped, with sharp edges. I mixed blue and green Sugru together in different amounts to get different shades of green, and now I love the bright accents!
2. Upcycle jam jars into cute mugs
Indeed, of recycling empty jam jars, give them a new job to do - make them into cups for hot drinks by adding a non-heat transferring handle. Sugru user Ed used forks for this beautiful set of office mugs.
Be careful: Ensure your jars are safe to use with boiling liquids. Please test your mug handles with cold water before using with hot liquids.
3. Patch favourite leather items
This project was shared with us by Sugru user Mark from Amsterdam - he created a flexible colour-blended Sugru patch for a hole in this leather pouch. A few moments to restore made it ready to use for years to come!
4. Create a display for family treasures
Collect together little treasures into a display frame like this one made from old fishing equipment. Sugru is especially good for this because it forms a 3D bond with whatever shape you're sticking (it's also removable). Just select a frame, dig out your collection and start arranging.
5. Fix up vintage bags and shoes
This clutch bag was perfect except part of the metalwork attaching the wrist loop had come apart. A little Sugru patched it back together again, and the blue matches the print!
6. Sewing machines can live forever with a little TLC
Costume designer Jane told us about making a vintage sewing machine work for her: 'we found a bargain - a classic Bernina machine, serviced and ready to go for £69 ($110).' But a broken dial meant that the needle position couldn't be adjusted. She recreated the missing part with Sugru, saying 'I find it more pleasing than the original - I love a repair, not to mention it saving us about £130 ($200) in the process.'
7. Add heat-insulation* to a lovely retro milk pan
This project came from Sugru user Roxi, she says 'I cook wheat pasta in this pan, which requires constant stirring. The handle gets hot as I hold it, so I used Sugru to heatproof it.'
Be careful: Ensure the thickness of your Sugru around the surface that gets hot is approximately 3mm thick (roughly the thickness of a UK £1 coin). To be sure the barrier is adequate after you've applied Sugru, test it out.
8. Make stylish rustic hooks with twigs
Some of the best finds don't cost a penny - collect driftwood or woodland sticks and check out our guide: Make DIY hooks from twigs and Sugru. Great for hanging up kitchenware, coats, or even jewellery.
9. Heatproof the base of a teapot
Prevent hot teapots and cups from marking furniture by fashioning a built-in coaster! Sugru bonds to metals and ceramics, is fully waterproof and dishwasher-proof, and makes a very satisfying quiet sound when you set it down too :)
10. Keep a favourite chair in use - replace a missing footpad
Tom's comfy Eames-style office chair had lost a footpad. As his friend explains, 'At first it seems prosaic, boring almost. And then you realise how annoying it is to have an entire chair rendered useless by a single missing part, and how liberating it is to simply make another one. The whole chair comes back to life.'
Are you feeling inspired? Grab your own dysfunctional pre-loved pieces and give your collection a new lease of life with Sugru :)
For more fantastic fixing, making and improving ideas, head over to our Projects & Inspiration page.