Friday, April 9, 2010

fix-it friday #1


Good morning! It's Friday... and you know what that means! Today we officially start our celebration of  the humble act of repair. To understand why an entire day of the week is now dedicated to fixing things read this first post.  Many of you already wield a hammer with confidence, others find that a needle and thread are your repair tools of choice. Wonderful. All skill levels are welcome here. And I'm terribly sorry if you've come thinking that this would be the Maya fix-it show, filled with ME telling YOU how to to transform your home. I'm not that handy... yet! I plan on learning new tricks with and from all of you. Sometimes, I'll share my fix, other times I'll feature one of your fixes. Let's get warmed up with a project I completed over the week. If  you see how I could have done it differently, by all means jump in with a suggestion. Then we'll get to the fun part: your F.I.F's in the comment section!

 The Bottomless Drawer
I tackled the task of fixing a broken drawer under my son's captain bed. Glamorous first project. Nope, but so satisfying because it was on my list for an embarrassingly long time! Background: My grandfather built his own house and all the furniture in it. He built all of my beds growing up... and they all had built in drawers underneath. Such an efficient use of space! I certainly didn't know how to build a bed with drawers for my son, so we bought one when he turned three (didn't sleep in it for years,but that's another story). It was a good bed, but he had the habit of leaving the drawers open. Last year, we discovered that the drawer by his head was jammed shut.After careful examination (and a confession) we found that he had stepped into it one morning and cracked through the bottom board. The only way to open the drawer ever again was to rip out the base.
The drawer gathered dust against the wall and a pit of library books filled up in the hole under the bed!  (Yes, over due fines increased.)
  • The original bottom piece was so surprisingly thin and flimsy. I was shocked how long it had lasted. My grandfather would have been appalled by the shoddy use of materials. I took it to Lowe's for a replacement piece. Because of the grooves that it had to slide into, it needed to be very thin and yet still strong. Only one option available: super thin masonite, so I had it cut to size. Do you know that most places will cut your wood to your specifications? So nice to eliminate one step from a project. 
  • I slid the piece into the drawer and staple gunned the back rim to keep it in place. The original had been stapled there too, so I just followed suit. This was a first mistake, but I didn't know it yet.

  • The next day, the drawer was jammed again... the new piece had fallen out from the weight of my son's clothes.
  • The staples had pulled out, I should had used longer ones. The drawer sat empty and bottomless in his room again!
  • Undaunted, I decided to use very thin, but long nails and my favorite glue: Gorilla Glue.

  • It worked! It feels totally sturdy. My son has his drawer back. Library books can't hide any longer!

 Now, let's go see what you've all been up to! Please share your: thoughts, repairs, favorite tools, or handy fix-it tips in the comment section. If you have a blog, I encourage you to post about it and share your link. Some of you already left your links in comments throughout the week, you may want to add them to today's post to make sure you get the visitor's you deserve! 
 p.s. Don't be shy, we're doing this together.

Resources you may find interesting:
When you get past the flashy homepage, there's lots of great stuff here.

Dare to Repair: A Do-it-Herself Guide to Fixing (Almost) Anything in the Home

 Have a great weekend and be sure to stop back for a wonderful give-away!
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  1. What a great series you are doing here. I loved your quote last week, "Every time we repair something, we add to its potential, its history, its soul, and its inherent beauty."

    I agree that we are too wasteful and often when something isn't meeting our needs we just go out and buy new. What a wasteful mentality.

    Just last week I wrote about a sweater I was no longer wearing because it needed some fixing. I altered it and gave it new life. Anyway, you can read about my "Sweater Fix", here.

    "Sweater Fix", lol, that's funny.

    Thanks for the amazing post!

  2. I may have to make draw fixing my weekend project. I refinished an old sideboard a few years ago and one of the drawers in it has never worked so it sits empty. Thanx for the kick to get moving.

    Last weekend I recovered my dining room chairs which I bought a couple years ago with white cloth on them. They were grosse and not just because I have 3 kids sitting and eating on them. We recovered them with brown 'wipe clean' vinyl. I posted a few pics of the process on my blog.
    It was really easy to do. So don't throw out those chairs. Raid the workshop for a screwdriver and a staple gun instead.

  3. Fabulous first project! This is completely something that would sit around our house for ages un-fixed.

    My husband and I are trying to be a little more "grown-up" about things and start taking better care of our house. This week he fixed a light switch that was broken oh, eight months or so ago. I fixed my favorite Orla vase that was broken by the babe with Gorilla Glue. (Love that stuff!) It felt good to save things in the house without having to buy something new!

  4. love all of your projects!
    -The Artist House,great sweater fix! Love the asymmetry of it.
    -Pink Heather-any kind of chair save is an instant fave of mine.
    -Kayana- let's hear it for checking something off the list that's been nagging us for 8 months! I think my drawer project was on at least that long! Gorilla Glue IS really amazing.

  5. My 16 month old discovered a tiny hole in the back porch screen door, and then promptly enlarged it. I had saved a bit of screening from some long past project, so I snipped a patched and stitched it in place with black quilting thread. It's not permanent, but it buys time. :)

  6. Since I live in apartment I am not allowed to do anything in it that needs "fixing" in my opinions. So I have taken it upon myself to clear clutter and take care of my ever pilling up balcony. I know this sounds bad but I still have Christmas decorations up. My husband was supose to take care of them but hasn't, so I'm get to. It helps things to feel fixed and refreshed.

  7. Great idea Maya! It's just the inspiration I need to get some of my to do fix it's off the list. First up though, I finally figured out a way to tie my curtains back without buying anything new. All I needed was some ribbon and a tiny eye screw (the kind you use for picture frames). I screwed the eye screw into the walls, threaded the ribbons through and I was done. Totally satisfying! Next up I think, the broken drawer handle in my kitchen.
    Have a happy weekend!

  8. My most recent "fix" has a different sort of interpretation, but still works for your communal project I think.

    All of my creating in my blog is from what I already have - I've challenged myself to a year of stash busting, more if I can. With 3y/o twins & a twice flooded basement last month, time has not been on my side! This inspires me to get back at it.
    Thank You.

  9. Great job with that drawer, Maya! (Although I kind of liked how the library books were hiding in there ...) I was very excited about your idea last week and was almost joyous to find something that needed repair. Our kitchen scale! I wrote about it on my blog:

  10. Great idea!

    Way to go wielding that hammer!

  11. When you wrote about your grandfather and how he would have been appalled by the shoddy use of materials... it reminded me so much of my own grandfather who was a fine cabinetmaker. He too made all the furniture in his home and built his house too. It would really bother him to see less then real wood being used on a piece.
    We just did all the little fix-it things to our last house before we moved now it is all about the decorating in this new space : ) I will keep this in mind with three little ones something is bound to break right : ) Happy fixing Maya! And happy recycling - I like that about this project too!

  12. Didn't quite make it on Friday, but I did get the back-door screen replaced today.

    The idea of Fix-it Friday is really inspiring me. The screen is a project we've avoided for years (yes, that is a bag over my head). And I honestly would have kept avoiding it if not for this little nudge! So thanks! I plan on making it my goal to do one little repair a week!

  13. Hello! Frequent reader, but never felt an urge to comment until now. I love the idea of Fix-It Friday and have been having Fix-It Year at my new-to-me old house - but wasn't coming up with any recent projects that would be just the thing to share. Then, after reading your drawer story, wouldn't you know: Friday night, with a bunch of friends over for dinner, we were washing dishes and I went to open a bottom drawer. To no avail. Several others tried tugging with the same outcome. I took out the drawer above and felt inside. A friend did the same. "I think the bottom dropped out," he said. Sure enough. So I will have my own drawer fixing project to embark on soon - as soon as I figure out how to get it OUT in the first place!

  14. i love this maya*made this is such a good idea i will be attempting this every week here's my first fif project.... hope you like it!!!!
    thanx again maya*made :)

  15. Loved the drawer process - wished I'd felt brave enough to save an old yard sale piece that had multiple drawer problems...

    But here's my weekend fix: I've had problems with the simple pull-down shades pulling evenly on tall windows, which we have lots of in our 1870-built house. Most of the shades I have do okay initially but then after a few up and down maneuvers, I find that the shade is "listing" to one side or another. Not getting rolled up evenly. So the trick I recently learned about and tried out is a sort of magic! All you need to do is apply a piece of tape to the edge of the shade material, on the side that is getting exposed. If the blind is listing to the left, you pull the blind down to the level you normally have it, then put the tape on the right hand side, close to the top. You need to experiment with how much tape to put on - could be 5 inches, could be 2 inches, could be 7 inches. I used masking tape since I had some the same color as the shade. And voila! The shade now pulls down and rolls up evenly. Amazing!