Supplies and Materials

December 10, 2010

Sugru: Putty in your hands - my column at


No, I can't seem to stop talking about Sugru, my favourite fix-it material from UK inventor Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh. Here's my article in this week's Homes-Extra.

August 17, 2010

Bamboo Sinks


I recently made my own bamboo desk but never thought of using bamboo for a sink. Kind of goofy not to think of bamboo as water-resistant though, since we use bamboo in other moisture-rich environments (i.e. cutting boards, chopsticks, boats).

June 28, 2010

A Little More Info About the New Hacking Material, Sugru

I don't want to get boring but this is honestly the coolest repairing and creating substance ever.   If you don't believe me, watch The Gadget Inspectors take on the mail-orderable Sugru (not an affiliate link). 

June 04, 2010

Non-toxic, Natural Weedkiller - Weed B Gon

This stuff seriously rocks.  Weed B Gon exposes weeds to excessive amounts of iron (absorbed through their leaves and roots when you spray it on).  Oxidation damages the interior cell walls and the weed turns black, shrivels up and expires. 

Here's my photo essay:

Day One - I came, I saw, I sprayed


Day Two - Evidence of oxidization...or is it all in my mind?


Day Three - Was I just imagining the slow death of a common enemy?  I think not.


Day Four - See yah, sucka


There's a little I missed on the edges, but the big sucker in the middle is toast. 

The beauty of Weed B Gon is that it only attacks broadleaf weeds, not grass, so you can spray it all over your lawn and only the weeds will die. 

(Nailing the weeds growing in mulch, though, was a priority for me because Daniel and I carefully spread 8-inch-thick mats of mulch all over the gardens this spring and it was wounding my pride to see them peppered with dandelions)

EcoSense Weed B Gon is available everywhere Scotts products are sold - notably Home Hardware, Home Depot, Lowes, RONA and many independents.  

And here's the final shot after 5 days:


My Latest Sugru Hacks

We were driving downtown the other day and as usual, I was doing vocal exercises.  Because you can never be too loud in life.

The iPhone accompaniment started crapping out and I discovered an exposed cable.


Fortunately I had Sugru in my purse, and what modern girl doesn't?  I cut open the package with my multi-tool (also in my purse) and started the repair.


Since I'd happened to have written a blog post earlier that morning about the fantastic phosphorescent hack featured on the Sugru blog, it occurred to me that black-on-black repairs have no drama. 

So I took some eyeshadow out of my purse and rubbed it into the Sugru surface, creating an iridescent finish. 


I had extra Sugru left over so I hacked the back of my iPhone case with a Tree of Life design to give it more grippiness, and once again iridescent-ized the finish.  

Eyeshadow is a great way to sex up a monochromatic black Sugru hack, even if my tree looks too much like a varicose vein.

June 02, 2010

Buy some | sugru | Hack Things Better


Hey lovely ToolGirls and ToolGuys, this stuff is drop dead amazing (you can see some of my hacks in the blog entries below). Owning some Sugru is like having your own personal plastic. Fix, mend, augment, patch, form and create with this silicone rubber compound that cures at room temperature to a strong, grippy, slightly flexible wonder material.

I got in on the first order last December when they sold out in 18 hours. Don't miss this opportunity to pre-order! (I'm not paid to say any of this, I just think it's a fantastic product.)

Note: The site is a bit slow today, probably because there is such high demand and people have been waiting for months to order.

Add Phosphorescent Powder to Sugru for Glow-in-the-Dark Action!


Wow. Amending Sugru with glow powder.

I'm way too excited. 

And I'm pretty sure they make glow powder non-radioactive now, unlike the stuff we had when I was little.  Which explains a few things about my personality.

If I find a source for glow powder I'll post it. Okay, here it is...$10 will get you started on the glowy path!  I could squeal.  Oh, I just did. 

May 12, 2010

Meet the Woman Behind Sugru (Wired UK)

[A short nice article via]

Jane is the coolest person I've met on the Internet this year, and her product, Sugru (Irish word meaning 'play') is so good, it's hard to describe without sounding like a zealot.

(TIP: That's a big wad of Sugru in Jane's left hand; it comes in several colours.)

Sugru is Jane's invention - a silicone rubber compound that comes out of the packet soft, mouldable and stretchy, and cures to a very tough, shape-holding stiffness (but still slightly flexible) about 24 hours later.  Sugru is like having your own plastic extrusion facility, except you form the stuff with your own fingers.

Sugru also gives you an insanely fun way to hack, fix, alter, amend, append, connect, reinforce, improve or fabricate anything you need, plus it sticks to aluminium, steel, ceramics, glass, wood, leather and many fabrics and plastics.  

Back in December I ordered a sample pack of Sugru on the first and only day it went on sale (because its entire production run sold out in the first 18 hours!).  Some of my hacks are featured in posts below.  I love this stuff.

Obviously the overwhelming response from hackers worldwide meant that Jane had to tool up to meet huge demand, and that's what she's been doing for the past 6 months.

People of earth, get ready for Sugru.  It's coming very, very soon.  (You can track Sugru updates on their Facebook page or on Twitter (@projectsugru).

May 11, 2010

Raccoons Busted My Birdfeeder


You can't blame the lady raccoons in the neighborhood; they're nursing and they're ravenous.  So they have a springtime habit of destroying bird feeders to pillage the seedy offerings within. 

Rather than replace this unit I fixed it with my new answer to everything - Sugru, a silicone rubber 'putty' that can be formed by hand and cures at room temperature in a few hours to a waterproof, heat resistant, UV resistant and even dishwasher-proof resilience.

Continue reading "Raccoons Busted My Birdfeeder " »

March 22, 2010

Hacking a USB Thumb Drive with Sugru

I had this butt ugly thumb drive. The protective case was hacked up, the metal arm had snapped off and it looked like it had been towed behind a tractor for a week. 

I used a cool new hacking substance called Sugru to create a custom case.  Took about 5 minutes.


The idea to retrofit my 8G USB drive came from Instructables where I'd read about people creating cool new casings for their USB drives, refitting them using Lego blocks or a Barbie. USB Barbie 

I wanted something a little more comely than a headless Barbie though.  And less of a tripping hazard.

Continue reading "Hacking a USB Thumb Drive with Sugru" »


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