Our Mendathon at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire


We were really chuffed to have Dave and Faraz from the Restart Project join us for the mendathon to help with electronic repairs – but they soon turned their hands to help with a range of other repairs too.


Dave got started by fixing a hedge trimmer.IMG_4308

The head of one of the screws was stripped so it was tricky to get into.


Once he got in a multi meter was used to check for any breaks in the circuit as the motor wasn’t working.


A loose wire connection was found and adjustedIMG_4330

which did the trick and brought it back to life! IMG_6231

As the day got busier we tallied the repairs on our chalk board.


One lady brought a well loved bag and Izzie showed her how to fix it.

First the seam was sewn up by hand…IMG_6535

and then the handle.IMG_6536

Before the shoulder strap was turned into a belt!IMG_6537

Mattia brought along a second-hand digital thermometer,IMG_4349

the LCD panel wasn’t displaying information properly.IMG_4337

Once it was opened up he found out the corner of the glass display was chipped. IMG_4312

This meant some of the contacts could not work properly as the circuit was broken.IMG_4328

Handily one of the other stalls at the Mini Maker Faire was selling liquid copper, conductive ink (a smart material)

This was painted on to the chipped corner to build it up so that the circuit could be complete again.IMG_4314

Once the ink had dried and the thermometer was re-assembled the display worked like new!IMG_4325

Ali got to work on the Edwardian cake stand his girlfriend’s Grandmother had given her.


The leg had snapped offIMG_4320

so after gluing and bracing itIMG_4324

he reinforced the join with a screwIMG_4343

and then clamped it and left the glue to set.IMG_4358

Faraz diagnosed the source of the problem with an old iBook G4 that wasn’t charging up. IMG_4282

It needed a new battery to be sourced from ebay and installed.IMG_6546

Tom demonstrated his wonderful darningIMG_4293

repairing a moth eaten jumper with contrasting thread to create a new pattern.

He also showcased his visible mending on a sample jumperIMG_6219

and darned the frayed cuff of a jumper.IMG_4291

Ali completed the mend on Victoria’s kitchen chair by fixing the arm back on and reinforcing it.


He then tested his handy work!IMG_6249

After trying to find out whether we could 3D print a new leg for a table with one missingIMG_6254

we decided to make it a design feature.IMG_6258

One young maker brought along his explorer kit with a broken strap,


Dave showed him what was wrongIMG_6244

and he and his Dad fixed it with a new fitting,IMG_6247

ready for more adventures!IMG_4374

Mattia, as busy as usual,  fixed some speakers by cleaning the connection points.IMG_4364

The Restarters took a look at Victoria’s printer power transformer that had stopped working although it was very new.IMG_6257

After cutting through the heat sealed plastic casing and prising it open the fuse was tested to see if it had blown. This was diagnosed to be the problem, unfortunately as with many electrical goods, the part that needed replacing was sealed in and not readily available to replace so it couldn’t be fixed.
IMG_6265However, over the course of the day our fantastic team managed to save twenty two items from landfill!

Next Saturday 11th October

We will be back at St George’s Church in Kemp Town for a repair café at our usual time of 11am-2pm.

Bring along your broken electrical goods, jewellery and bric-a-brac as well as any clothing or textiles that need mending. We will also have Tom our expert darner on hand to show you how to do some visible or invisible mending on knitwear with holes in.

The Seven Bees Café will be open for business (they do a mean breakfast).

We will post an update on what we got up to at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire soon but in the mean time here is a teaser…


July’s repair café

Our July repair café seems so long ago now as we had a break in August.

We are now looking forward to our next event as we are holding a MENDATHON in collaboration with The Restart Project (who fix electronic items – from iphones to laptops) this Saturday (6th September) at the Brighton Mini Maker Faire at the Corn Exchange from 10am-6pm.

We will have our tools & team of volunteers on hand to help you fix your clothing, textiles (including darning), jewellery, furniture & electrical goods. So pop along with your broken things and help us see how many items we can fix in one day.

This is what we got up to in July…

IMG_5946IMG_5953 IMG_5956

IMG_5996IMG_5967IMG_5968IMG_5982IMG_5937IMG_5949IMG_5936IMG_5939 IMG_5938IMG_5963IMG_5973IMG_5935IMG_5950IMG_5959IMG_5952IMG_5974IMG_5976IMG_5984IMG_5972IMG_5978IMG_5980IMG_5986IMG_5961IMG_5931IMG_5987IMG_5989IMG_5990IMG_5994

New volunteers join us at the June Repair Café…

IMG_5713Ali A.K.A ‘The Chair Doctor’ went to work on two loved but rickety old chairs.

IMG_5437IMG_5474He secured the top rail of a chair by reinforcing the outside spindles, gluing and pining it back in to place.IMG_5480Another chair which had somehow had its arm wrenched off,


needed the gnarly pins and screws embedded in the wood to be removed from both the stile

IMG_5483and the side seat rail.


The side seat rail which had been split, then needed to be reinforced so measurements were taken


and the wood was cut to size with a jigsaw power tool.


Then wood glue was used to hold the split seat rail together


before clamping and drilling the support into place and leaving to dry until the next session when the mend will be completed.

Meanwhile inside Nikolay our new electrical repair volunteer analysed why  Amanda Jackson‘s camera flash gun was not working.


Amanda Jackson is a brilliant photographer who has won a commission to create photographs for a 10 month One Planet Living exhibition which will be displayed at Emmaus in Portslade from October onwards.

Amanda’s theme is “Sustainable Materials” and she has been documenting our activities at the Brighton Repair Café during the last couple of sessions as we encourage reuse.

Unfortunately, when she arrived at the June Repair Café her flash gun stopped working.IMG_5700

Fortunately we had the right man on-hand to help her!


After a lot of concentration he worked out the problemIMG_0614

and showed Amanda how to fix it.

Rachel brought in the faux fur coat she had borrowed from her sister. 


She had leant against railings at the station without realising they were newly painted and had been left with a stained sleeve.


After some discussions about how to tackle the stain,IMG_5709

Rachel tried brushing it out.


This got rid of the clumps of paint but the stain was still there.


Then guest volunteer Terry stepped in with some Cif,


which he worked into the material with kitchen roll and his fingers.


After a rince the stain was gone and just needed time to dry before giving the arm another brush.

Rachel was relieved to know she could give it back to her sister without her even noticing the difference!


As usual Tom of Holland came along equipped with materials for every darning emergency.


He helped this lady work out what needed to be done to her People Tree jumper


(which comes with the thread to repair it),


before showing her how to go about the mend.


Anna (who had knitted the dress she wore that day) finished some beautiful visible mending darning on her sock


and in any spare moments Tom worked on his own wonderful darning.


A broken pair of sunglasses was given a temporary fix


until a replacement screw could be acquired,IMG_5431

with the help of Sam, some long nosed pliers and wire.


Izzie over-saw some fiddly rethreading of beaded necklaces.


Whilst Fiona & Chrissie offered advice on how to repair a bracelet.

IMG_5445Dan was as busy as ever with bike repairs and helped someone fix their child’s bike.IMG_5766Hannah fixed both her top and a china tray,IMG_0641

 the handle of which had broken off and needed gluing back on.


Alongside all of that Ali even had time to fix one of his tools…


a hammer which the handle had broken off.IMG_5466IMG_5469 IMG_5473


Thanks to all the volunteers old and new for making it such a lively and diverse repairing event
thanks to Magoo for taking some of the photos we’ve used.

February’s Repair Café


brought some new faces


who were shown how to darn


and patchIMG_3543

to make links


in order to fix jewellery


We had a visit from a lady who is knitting a map of Brighton


& Dan fashioned a nifty bike basket rack


out of coat hangers!




What a lovely evening!!!


More photos to follow!

Thanks to everyone who gave their time and effort to make it happen.

We’re now busy getting ready for this Saturday’s repair cafe at St George’s Church from 11am-2pm.

We’ll have volunteers and tools on hand to help repairs of bikes, electrical goods, clothing, textiles and anything that needs darning.

So come and join us to mend something or find out more about what we do.

Iain will be running the Seven Bees Cafe which does amazing brunches, tea, coffeeand cakes

All the fun at the Bridge Circus

We were delighted to be invited to be part of Brighton Universities Bridge Circus in December. The event launched The True Value of Materials exhibition in the Grand Parade Gallery and brought together some amazing designers, innovators, businesses and academics.


We held a two day repair cafe in the university and enlisted a group of furniture, product and architecture design students from the foundation course at University for the Creative Arts to help people to repair their stuff.


The panniers on the ladies bike kept getting caught in the back wheels and were going to rip,IMG_1815

so Sam went to work to make a frame for them to be attached to.


He cut some plywood down to the size needed, drilled holes in it then used cable ties to attach the panels.


put the panniers back on the bike


and fixed them in place using the straps.


Then Callum went to work on the basket.


replacing the broken wicker base with a piece of plywood cut down to size


and using cable ties to attach it through holes drilled into the wood.


Then Mark lent a hand


and they attached the basket back on the bike


Screwing and strapping it back into place IMG_1919


 and taking pride in their handy work.


Meanwhile Jonathan, Mark and Jack went to work replacing another bikes inner tube…


IMG_1894 IMG_1902 IMG_1898 IMG_1874 IMG_1841

Christine taught Tom, Krzysz and Mark how to crochet and they helped her repair the blanket her dog had been munching on!


 Whilst Hatice, Dilan and Claire showed off their sewing skills
Joshua and Victoria learnt to darn their gloves.
Dan fixed a DVD player
All in all it was a busy couple days with lots of people popping by for a chat and to find out more about what we were doing.

Bike Tastic!


Thanks to our lovely new volunteers Dan and Roberto we were able to offer bike repairs at the November repair café.


Several bikes were adjusted, tyres fixed, baskets and lights attached and diagnosis for further repair was conducted.


Dan demonstrated his versatility by getting stuck in with other repairs…


fixing among other things this old keyboard that needed taking apart and cleaning before reassembling


and hey presto it came back to life!


As usual Mattia was busy with electrical repairs


and Roberto was shown the ropes


Izzie helped with clothing repair teaching one lady how to set up and use the sewing machine


Sadly, through group consultation this lamp was deemed beyond repair due to how it had been manufactured.


But many other items were saved from becoming waste in just 4 hours!

Roll Up for the Bridge Circus

This Monday & Tuesday we will be holding a mendathon a Brighton University as part of the Bridge Circus Symposium  to see how many things we can fix in two days, whilst challenging people to actively occupy their objects rather than passively consume and dispose of them.


Volunteers will be on hand with a range of skills to help people to fix their things throughout the day in the space between the gallery and the Cafeteria. Bring your clothes, bikes, jewellery and other broken items and we will endeavour to help you fix them.

Find us at Brighton University’s Grand Parade Campus between the canteen and the gallery between 10am and 6pm.

We are looking forward to our new volunteer Christine from Be Crafty joining us to help out with textile & clothing repair.

Our new home…

is at the all new Seven Bees Café in St George’s Church, St George’s Road, Kemp Town, Brighton BN2 1ED. IMG_5488

Where we aim to hold a repair cafe on the last Saturday of every month (except December).

At our first event there we had a few new people join us to darn…IMG_5465

sew and staple!


Isaac helped to replace a watch battery


using Mattia’s tools.


Izzie gave sewing and jewellery repair advice


Tom brought along a great book


with an amazing cover!


and guided us with our darning repairs

IMG_5463 IMG_2664IMG_2665

Mattia, busy as ever, helped Iain the café owner to repair his toaster




and a vacuum cleaner