Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Make do and mend

This is something I haven't always been very good at, I have to say. I would throw things away and buy new before trying repairs - partly from laziness, partly from lack of time, but also from a modern day malaise that encourages us into a throw-away culture.
When I started really looking in to living a simpler life, one of the key aspects was repairing and recycling or upcycling items we already owned. One of the first things I did was to dye a very sad looking dressing gown. I had bought it many years before as a white cotton robe, but over time, it was greying and sad looking. My first thought was to put it in the recycling and treat myself to a new one, but I realised that I would want to buy pretty much a carbon copy! So I bought a box of dye, added a ribbon detail (which I already had) and hey Presto! I had a refreshed robe that would no doubt last me another 5 years.

Unfortunately I didn't think to take a 'before' photo! 

Since that point, I have glued soles back on to three pairs of shoes, sewn up tears, taken up a new hem on a pair of frayed jeans, fixed small electrical items, upcycled chairs and generally thrown myself in to saving us money by fixing up the things we already own.

I have a set of fairy lights in my conservatory, but they were seriously faded and looking a bit tired, so I carefully eased off the wicker covers and sprayed them silver (I already had the can of spray paint left over from Christmas). Once they were reunited with the string of lights, I'm very pleased with the results!

You can see just how faded they were - once upon a time they were teal!

Halfway though the process of spraying!

The finished result back up.

Far from being tiresome and time consuming, there is real pleasure and pride to be had in making do and mending!


  1. Lovely job with the gown and the fairy light, I too love rescuing things and giving them a new life.

  2. Well done you, you are doing a fantastic job, all these things do make a difference and save pennies in the long run, I am so pleased for you deciding to go down this different lifestyle path, it is so rewarding x