Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Making My Watering Can Smile

I've been accumulating a list of little 'niggly' jobs to do around the house and garden lately, so last week I set out to get a few of them done.

Some of them involved using the assorted pack of sugru I've been given to try. This is a playdoh like substance which can be used to make small repairs, or added to objects to make them more usable. It can also be used to transform objects ready for another use, but that's something for another day.

Inside the pack of white
The pack I was given contains small portions of various colours - 1 each of white and black, plus two each of red, blue and yellow - hence why the colour keeps changing in the following pictures ;)

The tasks I had in mind were:

  • Repairing a small hole in my watering can
  • Making the corners of my coldframes less of a hazard to walk past
  • Repairing a saucepan lid
  • Making a new hook for our airing cupboard door to hang my swimming bag (not tried yet as I'm not sure it has the strength to take the weight)
Sugru is a rubber-like substance and has a limited shelf life at around six months. This can be extended by a further 8 months if the pack is kept in the fridge. Therefore it's probably best to keep a small supply in stock, or only buy some when there are a few small jobs lined up.

Before using the sugru, hands must be clean - particularly important when using the white or yellow colours as these can look quite mucky afterwards if not. The object(s) the sugru will be attached to must also be clean and free of dust to ensure success - for me this was mostly dusting off cobwebs.

Rolled and ready to use
Once out of the wrapper, there's the rather satisfying task of squeezing and rolling the sugru into a little ball ready for use. Tip: some of it tends to stay on the wrapper when you grab hold, so use the rest to extract the extra little bits as part of the ball rolling. It doesn't take long to get the sugru ready. 

That little ball is very pliable, so you can easily roll it into whatever shape's needed, or divide it into smaller pieces (not too many though!).

Repair one: stopping my saucepan lid becoming too hot to handle 

There's around 30 minutes 'play time' to attach and get the sugru into the shape wanted. For the repair shown above, this also involved taking the whole thing off and applying it again as I got the replacement shape too lop sided.

The coldframes I use for my 52 Week Salad Challenge are in quite a narrow space and I'm forever barging into the particularly sharp corners of the first frame I come to. It was only a matter of time before I gashed my leg, so a quick 'shot of blue' to round the corners of both the frame's lid and main body should prevent that from happening in future.

I used a small stone to wedge the frame open whilst the sugru cured - it takes around 24 hours to harden - so the two surfaces didn't stick together in the process.

Fixing a hole and making my watering can smile :)
I have to report that despite the scrupulous cleaning of my watering can and thoroughly pressing the sugru into the hole beneath the spout, it hasn't quite stopped it from leaking. However, the water's coming out more slowly and I do rather like my new-look can with its smile. It's a sufficient repair for my needs and seeing I was contemplating buying a new one, I've saved quite a few pounds in the process :)

The sugru website showcases plenty of other ideas for you to try. Think of something new and there's also the possibility of prizes! I was given a pack to try and extend the ideas for around the garden, but it has all kinds of uses around the home. Not bad for a product borne out of an MA in product design 10 years ago :)

Update: Sugru already have a guide to repairing a watering can on their website. Looks like I should have spread the sugru around a lot more to make a better seal.


  1. Looks like some versatile stuff...will keep an eye out for it for future patching jobs.

    1. Hi Tanya - the makers pride themselves on its versatility. I'm sure my husband will be looking to use some on his steam engine project over the winter too :)

  2. Very interesting!
    I wonder if you could put another bit of it inside the watering can, maybe stop the leak completely.
    Lea's Menagerie

    1. Hi Lea - I had exactly the same thought when I reviewed my post this morning :) I still have some white and yellow left to give this a try.

  3. I was really hoping the watering can fix would work. I have a Hawes jug and it leaks just below the handle. Do you know why your repair didn't work?

    1. Hi Bren - I'll let you know if adding a repair to the inside cures the problem. I think it isn't working because the whole of the join between the main body of the can and the pourer is pretty week. I may have actually repaired the hole, only for another leak to have sprung elsewhere :/

    2. Gah - that should be weak, not week!

    3. will wait and hope it works. was pretty discouraged with my Haws guarantee on this side of the pond you see. If I could repair on the inside...if it will not be affected by water..that would be wonderful.

    4. And they're pretty expensive too :(

  4. Amazing stuff! I am old enough to remember when super glue came on the marked, that was pretty amazing, this takes repairing things to a whole new level! I visited their website, if all their claims are correct, this product will serve an infinite purposes in my house, thanks for sharing :-)

    1. Hi Helene - glad you found it useful. I look forward to hearing how you get on with trying some :)

  5. Your watering can looks as if it has had a new lease of life VP so no wonder it's happy. Off to tell himself about this product.

    1. Anna - I'm sure this is the kind of thing Himself will be interested in :)

  6. PS my friend Zoe on Twitter says it's holding together her 27 year-old freezer at the moment :)


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