Have you heard of sugru? It’s a little bit like polymer clay – you mold it like play dough, but it air cures to a flexible, durable, waterproof rubber that can be used to fix, modify or make things.
A couple of years ago we bought a package with 4 black and 4 white mini packs. I used a package of the white sugru to create a bumper on an over-door hanging ironing board rack. A few months later my hubby tackled the fixing that really needed doing – using black sugru to mend the knobs on the crockpot and the toaster oven. The crockpot knob had broken in the back – the delicate piece of plastic that turns the cooker switch between off, warm and hot. (Why do they make this crucial piece out of thin plastic?!) The toaster oven knob had cracked in half, but still worked. It just had a habit of falling off when guests tried to use it. Hubby made both knobs a lot stronger than they ever had been new.
The sugru was a little bit past its use by date by now, but I had a couple of things I really needed to fix, so I used one more mini pack of white and mended some things around the house. I had way more than I needed for my tiny repairs, which is one of the reasons I put off making the fixes right away – if you have extra sugru it will start to cure once it’s exposed to air, so you really need to have a few extra project ideas in mind if you don’t want to waste it.
I started with a tear in my pink PVC raincoat under one of the buttons, and moved on to some cracks in the plastic in the fridge door, and a big crack in the plastic handle of the oven. I made a new zipper pull for my old sports bra, covered over an ugly fiberglass patch in our tub, and then used the last of the package to reinforce the ends of my computer power cord (just to use it up, but knowing that cord ends are very vulnerable to deterioration).
The raincoat repair isn’t the prettiest, but will be mostly hidden under the button and placket of the coat, besides that no one is really looking closely at such things in heavy rain. The coat pulls a lot at that point, so I’m not sure if it will hold up over time, but I’m crossing my fingers.
The sports bra zipper pull was the other priority. Unfortunately the pressure on the zipper was a bit too much and the pull I made cracked when I tried to use it. If the pull had been on a regular garment I’m sure it would have worked.
The fridge repairs are not too pretty, but neither was the previous epoxy repair that we did on another big crack. I covered up that epoxy repair for aesthetic reasons, and I think I could probably smooth down the edges a bit. The sugru cures slower in the fridge. The shower repair wasn’t so pretty either, but again, I covered up another repair that was even uglier. When we have our glasses off in the shower, we can’t see the details!
The oven door repair doesn’t quite match color-wise, but I haven’t heard the terrible cracking sound when I use the door since I did the fix. (Please excuse the dirty stove – I guess I should have cleaned before taking a close-up!)
The shower, oven and fridge are all things we will probably upgrade at some point. The shower enclosure was terrible quality and poorly installed, the oven was a scratch and dent model that came with the house and is an ugly cream color (which looked horrible in the all-white kitchen they had it in – it was a crappy cheap reno). The fridge was a secondhand replacement for a horrible cream fridge that came with the house, and it is probably nearing the end of it’s (efficient) life. My rough fixes are good enough to keep everything together for a while longer.
I bet most people could find a few things around their houses that could use fixing. sugru‘s website is packed with ideas for things that can be improved or repaired.
I think we’ve repaired pretty much everything we can with sugru for now, but if anything else breaks I’ll definitely buy some more.