You Don’t Have to be Skilled to Fix Your Stuff

by Katy on December 22, 2011 · 25 comments

Somehow, the shaving brush that I gave my husband for his birthday snapped into two pieces. I suspect that my not exactly, ahem, *detail oriented* 16-year-old son dropped it on the tile bathroom floor. However, this was no problem, as I am always happy to bust out my trusty tubes of . . .


Epoxy glue!


Mixing the two glues together is the only good use for newspaper advertisements.


A little glue, and whattayaknow, we have an intact shaving brush again! I *love* bringing broken items back to life, whether it's mending, gluing or removing stains. None of it is all that difficult, yet it's all so very satisfying. Just because today's culture makes it so easy to buy-new instead of repair, doesn't mean we shouldn't try to keep our possessions going. When you fix your stuff, you take a stance against excessive manufacturing, and even save a buck or two. What's not to love?

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl December 22, 2011 at 12:53 pm

Oooh, I did something ALMOST like this just the other day, and I even almost posted about it today. But I decided to wait until after the holidays. 😉


Katy December 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

I figured a break from holiday related posts would be welcome.



Megyn @Minimalist Mommi December 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I love this idea, but I keep finding that will electrical items, it’s often just as expensive to buy new as it is to fix. For example, my husband just broke his Ipod Touch. It will cost the price of a new one (possibly more) to fix it, and that’s if it’s even repairable. I hate to rush out and buy something new, but the thought of spending the same amount of cash to fix something with no warranty or guarantee just doesn’t make sense. Ugh! If only items could be made as well as they were even 40 years ago!


Indigo December 22, 2011 at 1:53 pm

The problem is that making quality items that will last given proper care doesn’t bring in as much money as making cheap goods intended to break and be replaced. We pay a lot more when we focus only on purchase price due to replacements, cost to the environment, etc. (I could rant about this for hours but I’ll spare everyone that)

I think the strangest thing is when someone declares something broken, I fix it, and they stare at me as if I have done something inexplicably abnormal.


Katy December 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Really? Because my husband has fixed iPods left and right at our house. Not as hard as it sounds, and he just orders the parts off the internet.



Megyn @Minimalist Mommi December 22, 2011 at 9:04 pm

It was water damaged, and in the midst of trying to get it working The Hubs broke the screen. :/


Megg December 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm

You can replace the screen yourself (and the people at the Apple store are awesome!) but I don’t think water damage is fixable 🙁


Megyn @Minimalist Mommi December 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Yep–called Apple, and they won’t repair water damage…even for money. UGH!

Polaria December 24, 2011 at 7:08 am


My husband dropped his iPhone in the toilet some weeks ago. He put it in a plastic bag with dried rice, put it in the oven at low temperature (40°C) for a few hours and then let it sit in the bag for three days. The iPhone came back functioning perfectly. I guess it could also work for iPods?

Kelli December 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Agree– I fixed my blender….the twirly thing ( also known as a coupler) was sheared off in bits–by not having the glass base securely on before starting it up……I was sure I would have to buy a new one until I googled the problem and bought the part on amazon for .99–postage was $3 something– a good deal all the way around. My blender works like new and it felt good to give it a second life!


Margaret December 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm

We did this, too! My husband’s theory is that the 99 cent plastic part is designed to break to save the more expensive blades and glass pitcher from breaking. I can live with that. A few bucks and a few days later, we had our blender back!


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares December 22, 2011 at 3:15 pm

My husband is really good at fixing things, too. When I was in college, I made a list of things I wanted in a husband so I wouldn’t waste time dating guys who wouldn’t fit the bill. I wish I still had the list, but one of the things on it was that he should be handy. I do not regret it.

BTW–There is something else the ads are good for, and that is for packing material, when shipping a package.

@Indigo: I really care about durability, too, and could go on and on as well. When I was just starting to sell online, I made a commitment to specialize in quality vintage kitchenwares, because I was so annoyed by the junk you get at stores. It’s very much a niche market, but there ARE people like us who care more about durability than style.


Ellie December 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Just have to chime in on the kitchen durability issue. This is why most of my kitchen items are my grandparents or salvaged from the homes of other elderly relatives. Other members of the family think I’M weird for wanting unfashionable durable stuff – while I think THEY’RE weird for spending all that money on flimsy stuff. Ditto with my “unfashionable” solid wood furniture.

I cheer myself up with the thought, “oh well – more good old stuff left for us!”


amber December 22, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Stuff has been breaking left and right in our house. In last few months between my husband and I we fixed the dryer belt and the heating element in the oven. There are so many youtube videos that show you step by step how to fix things. Buying something new to replace our broken one is our last option.


emma December 24, 2011 at 6:41 pm

That works until you can no longer find parts. We just replaced our 23 year old washer and dryer because of that.


Brenna @ Almost All The Truth December 22, 2011 at 7:42 pm

My husband is much better about fixing things, especially certain things, but you never know when he will actually make the time to do it. I am trying to get better about knowing how to fix things permanently. Right now my skills consist of a hot glue gun or regular glue. 😉


Madeline December 23, 2011 at 8:29 am

Would love a “stain removal” post.Can’t seem to get ketchup out, or small oil stains that splash– spaghetti sauce stains too.. any good home remedies for stains???????


Rebecca December 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

full strength dish soap, like Dawn, right on the stain till it soaks in, then wash on HOT water, repeat if necessary. I have 3 little ones and I swear by this.

Hydrogen peroxide takes out blood very well.


Megg December 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm

A mix of shampoo and corn starch works with grease stains…might work with oil too.


HeatherS December 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

I love fixing and mending too. My only problem is that I tend to set things aside intending to get to to later and then before I know it I have a pile of clothes that need mended or things that need fixed. Before Christmas started I had a couple of Christmas decorations that needed glued. I am embarrassed to say that they sat in a decorative bowl in my dining room since last Christmas! It took all of five minutes and a little glue to fix them this year and now they are good as new. Which is kind of funny to say since I know I bought them used to begin with! LOL


Ellie December 23, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Hey, don’t feel bad – I got you beat! I had a running box of “to be glued” items for something like THREE YEARS. The “to be glued” box moved from our old place to our new house with us (I know, right?). I finally got sick of looking at it, finally bought one little tube of glue, and went on a gluing binge. It took at most half an hour, if you count the glue-acquisition time, and the time I spent re-gluing something the cat jostled that came apart. After it was done, it was like “I put that task of for 3 years? Why??”


HeatherS December 23, 2011 at 5:24 pm

That reminds me of a pair of pants my mother was going to hem for me. Several years after I gave them to her she asked me if I still wanted them hemmed. I had forgotten all about them and there was no way I could still wear that size anymore! LOL


Megg December 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm

My parents bought their washer and dryer set 30 years ago, used, for $100. Since then my dad has fixed both more times than I can count! They finally got rid of the washer and “upgraded” for another one…that someone was giving away for free!

In my house we bought a washer and dryer for $250 from craigslist, because it didn’t come with our house. The only “problem” with the dryer was a broken piece of plastic that sometimes caught clothes. A little plastic from a broken frame, a little 5 minute epoxy, and it was good as new! (I LOVE that stuff!)


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary December 26, 2011 at 10:28 am

I’m big on fixing things and mending them, too. But I am sometimes a victim of my own ideology, by taking on really more than I can do. I’m trying to find the right balance between fixing things myself and knowing when it’s beyond my abilities.


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