Repair workshop at Reverse Garbage round up

What an exciting start to a new year and decade!

I have been wanting to try a repair cafe for jewellery for a while and on the 11th January I leapt in and did it!

Hosted at the incredible Reverse Garbage, with sponsorship from the Brisbane City Council as part of their Low waste living program.

It sold out really quickly and they increased the number of participants to 20 people. As everyone would have different fixes and need help, I asked the beautiful Jemica from Meekz Contemporary Jewellery to come along and offer her advice on the day too. Thank you so much Jemica for your help!

The scope of what people could bring along on the day was massive so I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be able to help everyone on the day.

But of course I didn't need to worry! I think we were able to help everyone fix at least one thing on the day.


This piece just needed the safety chain attached properly to the bracelet, so simple when you know how!

There were lots of recurring themes, many pieces simply needed a new jump ring. If you have a piece that needs a new jump ring look at the video I made of how to properly open and close them on my blog here.


Broken elastic bracelets were a popular fix on the day, they just don’t make them to last!

Another popular fix was broken elastic bracelets. These are seemingly not made to last! But fortunately they are an easy fix. We used sewing elastic and beading needles to get through the narrow holes and then tied a tight overhand knot with both ends together to secure. You could use strong elastic like the thickest stretch magic you can fit through the holes. Buy from your local bead shop (such as Bead Trimming Craft in Brisbane) or Spotlight. This elastic is really slippery which is why I used sewing elastic - so you might want to secure the knot with a dot of superglue.


Gluing a new brooch back on - I recommend 2 part Arladite for gluing jewellery items.

For other items that need glued, I recommend using Arladite 2 part glue. The quick 5 min setting one will be easiest for pieces that are difficult to hold in position, but you have to work fast! For a stronger hold use the longer setting mixtures.

I am so happy with how the workshop went and have lots of ideas of how we can improve it in the future. There is another one planned for August, but given the interest in this last workshop we may open up more - keep up to date by signing up to my mailing list below or follow my Facebook page.

I definitely wish we had done a group shot of all the before items and the end results, and kept a tally of how many pieces we saved from landfill! We just dove in and got to work on repairs given the short time we had to help everyone. I look forward to hearing what everyone thought and their ideas too.

The next repair workshop Reverse Garbage are holding is for furniture - find out more here. It is so exciting to see all these opportunities to learn how to repair and look after our things are coming up!

Let me know, what pieces of jewellery do you have needing some repair?


A selection of the tools I brought along on the day.

Fabulous redesigning by these two making decorations for the garden using old beads and wire.

I love the bits and pieces these ladies brought along and the fun pieces they made with them!

Removing old findings to reuse necklace parts.

Sawing off a part on a costume piece to allow to convert it into a necklace.

This lady had a whole collection of pieces that had been sitting in her jewellery box needing some TLC, we got though a few on the day but more for next time!

Repaired costume necklace. Often most pieces needed a super simple jump ring repair.

Incorporating some finds from reverse garbage with broken necklace beads to make a fun new piece!

Fixed earrings!

Fixing the ends on a restrung Jade bead bracelet.

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