In an earlier post, I discussed items I had purchased but not rendered useful quite yet. Although I am frugal, it is a waste of money to buy fabric for curtains and not sew them or buy a clothesline and not install it. While I vow to finally use these items, there is a related topic to mention and one which is firmly in the camp of sustainability: to fix or mend an item.
I own a cut glass butter dish I thought I had gotten for a steal: $0.25 at a garage sale. I was thrilled to find it and it takes up a lot less room than a small dessert plate to hold my butter--and there is a cover. It took me a couple months to notice there was a crack in the butter dish cover, right through the middle. I continued to use it and it took nearly eight months before it finally broke. Since the glass broke so cleanly in half, I intend on repairing it and using it again. I do have a replacement butter dish, but I would like to use an item until it is rendered useless. As long as the cover can be repaired, I will continue to use my garage sale find.
I purchased two matching rugs from Pier One about ten years ago. They were bought to add some color to my apartment and minimize those shoe marks that indicate where I sit on the sofa. The rugs were made of thick fluffy cotton yarn and jute with jute fringe. Unfortunately, my cats really liked to play with the fringe. It took years and a few washes but the cats finally started to unravel the rugs. Other than the edges, the rugs are in good shape, but the edges needed to be repaired. Since the edges were unevenly unraveling, I decided to take fabric, of which I have a lot, and encase the ends. The cats would not unravel the rugs further and I would still be able to use the rugs.
So I cut two 8-inch-wide stripes of fabric that coordinate with the rug, ironed the edges under a half inch and after cutting off the unraveled fluff, hand sewed the fabric onto the rug. One bonus: the cotton and jute can be added to my composter! Now I have my large rug repaired and ready for use. The smaller one I will have to wash before repairing it. This way, I use what I have and do not have to buy a new rug for my entryway.
I have also fixed clothing by sewing buttons back on or mending holes in seams. I not only put off replacing the item but I am investing time in something I enjoy wearing. I have fixed sunglasses, had metal-frame glasses repaired and reglued wood chairs. While not always successful, I try my best to extend the life of items with a small investment in repair. I minimize my waste, reduce my expenses and keep something useful for a bit longer. And there is always repurposing the item, a subject for my next post.