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…


March’s Repair Cafe

We were at St George’s Church where we met Geraldine.

IMG_3958Who needed Sam’s help to fix her handbag…

IMG_3960 After unscrewing the clasp


and feeding the material back in the clasp was screwed back together and the repair was complete!


Mattia’s skills were needed by one of our youngest fixers yet


to help fix her toy train.


Mike brought along his broken FreeSat Recorder.

IMG_3956The circuit board was taken out after a bit of persuasion IMG_3961to change one of the resistors


and although we couldn’t test it at the time Mike emailed us when he got home to say it was fixed.


Mattia went on to help another chap fix his speakers.


Tom showed us some new darning techniques


and a lovely old darning mushroom with a built-in light (with original battery)!

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!




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.

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


Super fun fixing at Super + Super

A great evening was spent at Super + Super fixing electrical goods, necklaces, sunglasses, gloves & elbows on a cardigan as well as adapting trousers and lightbulbs to make them more useable.

IMG_3726 IMG_3725 IMG_3723 IMG_3722 IMG_3717 IMG_3712

We can’t wait for the next session at Super + Super on Friday 12th July from 6.30-8.30pm.

There will be opportunities to mend textiles, electrical, jewellery as well as ceramics or anything else which needs fixing back together with Araldite or Sugru!


We can’t promise one of Izzie’s cakes (Mmm) again but there will be tea and other snacks available and we will be asking for donations towards the materials, refreshments and the cost of running the space (suggested donation £2).

If you would like to bring something electrical to fix please post a photo and description of the problem here, or on the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/brightonrepaircafe or email brightonrepaircafe@gmail.com so that our volunteers can diagnose whether it is something that can be fixed and bring the right parts to help you mend it.

Friday night fixing!


Tonight we will be holding a repair café at the fabulous Super + Super – A creative hub in the centre of Brighton which shares our mission to learn and share creatively.

Come along from 6.30-9pm.

Bring clothes, textiles, jewellery, ceramics & electrical goods to repair with help from our volunteers and other repairers.

Feel welcome to bring cake too!