Mend it Monday: On the phone(s)

Mend it Monday is an occasional post inspired by thesnailofhappiness


Headphones – comfortable but broken

I have had these headphones for about 15 years now – they were quite expensive in their day and I have used them in what I lovingly (and slightly inaccurately) called my “recording studio”. They are great headphones and, when the rubber earpiece things disintegrated, the Snail made me new coverings that are largely acoustically transparent (that is, sound goes through them like they aren’t there).

Like all these things with moulded plugs on the ends of their wires, something starts to break/come loose in the plug. I have spent the better part of the last three years carefully bending the wire near the plug just enough to get the headphones to work properly.

Well, even that stopped working yesterday, so I was forced to mend them. The wires on headphones are always thin and pretty difficult to work with, and these were no exception. Fortunately, I had an old working plug (from a broken something-or-other) to use, and it all seems to have worked!

Mended and back in action – now back to doing important things such as watching this (which just makes me laugh and cheers me up every time I see it):



Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

ScrapHappy May 2020: I can’t believe it’s not a battery holder!


What on earth could you make with these bits of scrap (not the coaster, I need that to put my coffee on)?

I said I would do an electronics-based ScrapHappy because, you know, why not? This is a very simple thing but will be handy to, well, me because I build things from time to time that use these little coin batteries. They need a holder since soldering direct to them is pretty dangerous and makes replacement, well, pretty dangerous too.

So, all you need is a piece of insulating material (like cardboard, thin wood, or an offcut of plain stripboard like I have used here), a piece of stiff, uninsulated wire (an offcut from a component lead is what I used, about 2cms long) and a small bulldog clip (colour optional).

Put the ends of the wire through holes 0.5cm or so apart (long enough to provide a good base for the battery to sit on) and join the ends on the other side. These form your negative connection unless you put the battery in the other way up.


Then put the clip over as shown and remove the bottom handle (? Opening oojamaflip? Thing you press to open the clip). The top flippy-opener thing is the positive connection). Easy, huh?

Eh, voila! One battery clip for any number of coin cells from one to, oh I don’t know, let’s say three (actually, as many as will fit under the clip without pinging out at an inconvenient time).


Powering two-thirds of another thing built from scraps


Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at):

KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon (me!), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline, Sue L,
Sunny and Kjerstin


Categories: ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 16 Comments

ScrapHappy April 2020: Face Time


Optimistically, it says “Man” on the pattern…

Ah, another “soft” ScrapHappy – I promise I’ll be all power tools and hammers next time*! The Snail found an “easy” pattern for face masks on t’interweb and, like the fool I am, I said I would have a go at making my own. AND there were scraps of material left from my first sewing exploit (see here for, frankly, way too many details), making it a perfect subject for a ScrapHappy post…

Hover over the pictures for the captions, by the way (like you didn’t already know that). I cut things out, only one of them incorrectly. There are three layers – an outer, an inner (both regular material) and a middle bit made of vilene, which is ironed onto one of the other layers and acts as a filter. Now for the sewing bit… I fired up the trusty Singer and, with huge amounts of guidance from The Snail, managed to make a face mask (well two in fact)!

It wasn’t easy easy, but it wasn’t too bad either. The top stitching was difficult as it was really hard to see the seam and therefore the path of the stitches, but I managed that with minimal swearing. I found using the Singer much easier than before, so I guess I am becoming used to it!

You can read The Snail’s take on this project here.


A distinct improvement to my face!


* Depends, but next month’s might be a bit electronicky…

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: ScrapHappy, Sewing | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

Mr Snail’s “Mend it Monday”… on a Tuesday

Downscaled RIMG0138

Could this be the dullest picture ever? Maybe… a broken salt grinder

I thought I would get in on “Mend it Monday” with a swift mend of my own, albeit on something the Snail has had for nearly as long as salt has been in existence. I did actually do the mend yesterday (Monday) but was so exhausted afterwards that I needed a lie down with a glass (or three) of wine to recover.

The Snail bought this salt grinder about 30 years ago and it cost £12 which was a lot for such an item (£12 in today’s money is about £560.72 I think).

Time and salt have slowly eroded the screws securing the plastic doobrie* which presumably holds the grinder mechanism to account. Indeed, there is the end of one of the screws still embedded in the wood – fortunately, this didn’t pose a problem.

Downscaled RIMG0139

Two shiny new screws to the rescue

Two new, bigger self-tap screws later et voila! We’re back in business, provided that business is grinding salt.

RIMG0141 - Copy

As good as almost new

Happy Mend it Monday on a Tuesday everyone!


* Technical term.

Categories: repair, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Make it Sew… again


Here I go again…

After the unqualified success of my first attempt at sewing (“unqualified” being an apposite word here), I decided to make another pair of boxers, to prove that the first time wasn’t a complete fluke.

The Snail had some fabric (see? I know these technical terms now) that would be perfect so I set about cutting that out with the pattern pieces I made last time. This was much quicker than before, of course. However, the Snail thought it would be good to modify the recipe, I mean pattern, a little. As these boxers are for sleeping in*, they don’t need the complication of the fly but could benefit from slightly longer legs (there has to be a Tom Cruise joke in there somewhere).


I’ve been overlocked

The Snail overlocked the edges (the overlocker is a way too scary machine for me to use) and then I sewed all the bits together, using the family Singer. It all went really quickly, despite a little jiggery-pokery required for fitting the elastic waistband. There was almost no swearing.

Eh, voila! Another sewing success. At this rate, I’ll have new set of sleepy-in clothes by 2042!


* I don’t mean as a substitute for a bed, they’re not that big.


Categories: Sewing | Tags: , | 8 Comments

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