Tack Jacket Lining Down

I have two zippered jackets that I love: one is black and the other red. They are both a lightweight polyester and are perfect to wear in air-conditioned rooms. Jacket lining will not stay flat. Here's how to correct that.

The only problem is the facing will not lay flat. It is always sticking out! I got fed up and decided to tack it down. I put three stitches in the inside layer of the jacket to secure it.Tacking jacket lining down.

It does not show on the outside. Jacket lining tacked down

Now the facing stays put!Jacket lining says put

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Something Special

I will never forget it…

..my 6″2,” eyes of blue, blonde headed, drummer, jock husband had a tear in his eye. It shocked me as I rocked our 3rd baby and the 7-year-old and 5-year-old crowded around him to see what was in the box.

He looked straight at me and I could see I touched his soul with this gift. Did I spend a ton of money?

No…but I did go to the jewelers.

His grandfather had given him a pocket watch with a chain. He put it in his vest pocket when he wore his suit, but it had stopped working. I took it to the jewelers and paid a small fee to have it repaired. I wrapped it up and gave it to him as a gift.

When he first opened it, he seemed confused…until he heard it ticking. It was like I gave him a piece of his grandfather back.

Sometimes the best gift is to make something old new again, to repair or refurbish something precious with a lot of memories tied to it.

There’s still time to bring a tear to your loved one’s eye.

I repaired it as a gift.

I repaired it as a gift.

2009-2015 frugalfish.org. All Rights Reserved.

Repair Wheeled Desk Leg

Of all the computer desks we bought, this was my favorite. Instead of a keyboard drawer it has a nesting extension that rolls out. Unfortunately, one leg kept bending under.

It ended up in storage for a few years and I got it out when my daughter moved out. I finally took the broken leg completely apart. The nuts, that the screws were to join, had come out of the leg into the framework of the extension. No matter how much we tightened it, the leg was just barely hanging on.

I took it all apart, glued the nuts back into the leg and put a dab of glue on the screw before I inserted them. That leg is solid now.

The wheel? Not so much.

The rubber had come off of my desk leg wheel.

The rubber had come off of my desk leg wheel.

Then I remembered how I fixed the feet that kept falling off of the keyboard bench, see here. I got out my thickest rubber band and cut it open.

I slid the rubber “tire” off of the wheel and tied the rubber band around the wheel.

Rubberband tied around wooden wheel.

Rubber band tied around wooden wheel.

Then I slipped the “tire” back on. Now it is as solid as the leg and I feel like I have a new computer desk!

Repaired Wheeled leg

Repaired Wheeled leg

No Matter Where You Go, You Are Always There

I used to think “home” was where ever my family was. First “home” was where ever Mom and Dad were. Then it was where my husband was, followed by any place our children were with us.

Then my health deteriorated and I became housebound. My life stopped, but may family’s lives did not. My husband still had to go to work and the kids still had to go to school. There were still ball games, concerts, doctor appointments, and I missed most of them.

I started planning special things to do when I was home alone in the evening after being home alone all day.

  1. I made a quilt out of my oldest son’s tee shirts.
  2. I made a quilt for the baby shower of my granddaughter.
  3. I made a shadow box filled with awards from my husband’s high school days.
  4. I made a shadow box of awards from my youngest son’s high school days.
  5. I restored 2 foot high cement penguins.
  6. I painted the embellishments on picture frames.
  7. I restored Aunt Nellie’s frog collection.
  8. I made curtains.
  9. I rearranged furniture.
  10. I rearranged the artwork on the walls.

As I worked on each project, I remembered when the kids were younger. I remembered when the room was a nursery as I sewed curtains for my new office. When my second adult child moved out, I made a quiet place for me separate from the office I share with my husband.

I have learned to enjoy those times when I am home alone.

I didn’t even realize I could paint. There are 3 penguins and at least 10 frogs that prove I can.

Penguin I restored.

Penguin I restored.
















One of Aunt Nellie's frogs.

One of Aunt Nellie’s frogs.


Embellished picture frame I painted.

Embellished picture frame I painted.


Another picture frame.

Another picture frame.


Tee shirt quilt I made for my son.

Tee shirt quilt I made for my son.

Repairing Bleach Spots

My husband and I have been losing weight. I went down a dress size and he is down to the size he was after basic training over 30 years ago!


But this post is not about the unfairness of the difference of weight loss between the sexes. (I also promise not to rant on Prednisone’s ability to pack on the pounds.)

I am in between my regular size and my “Prednisone” size. (Thank God, I have only had to use it once this year!)

I refuse to spend an arm and a leg buying a wardrobe to fit my interim size. I will only need summer clothes for a few more weeks and I plan on being back to my regular size at the beginning of next summer.

I headed to Goodwill.

I found a pair of new-looking Capri shorts, in the correct size and color, but was disappointed when I saw some tiny spots. It looked like chemical over spray on them that had bleached out the black dye.

Repaired bleach spots.

Repair bleached spots.

I have a solution…a permanent marker!

I dabbed the spots with permanent marker. The marker “dyed” the bleach spots and the Capri shorts are like new again!

Repaired Bleach Spots

Repaired Bleach Spots

The best part? When I washed them, my husband thought they were my sons and put them with his clothes. Yeah…he wears a 30-32!




“But…I Don’t Own It”

I was an administrator at a local church for years and I would get frustrated when people would not take care of things and expect a replacement to be purchased when it broke. I am a firm believer in fixing things when the repair is small.

I play in a worship band and I know items wear out, but I am determined to take care of the things I use. We set up and tear down every week, which makes us more of a traveling band than most. Our equipment can get a lot of wear and tear.

A few years ago a keyboard, keyboard case, and keyboard bench were purchased for me to play. After a year or so, I noticed the velcro was pulling away from the strap that keeps the keyboard secure in the case. I wish I had repaired it when I first noticed it, but sadly, I waited until it was almost completely torn loose.

I took my upholstery needles, see here, with me one Sunday and sat in the case to repair the strap. I couldn’t reach the entire strap from the side and that is why I climbed in the case. (Yes, I took a lot of ribbing that morning.)

The strongest thread I had was not black, but I figured no one would see it but me…well, until today. That stitching is holding firm and the strap now holds the keyboard securely.

Repaired keyboard case strap with upholstery needle.

Repaired keyboard case strap with upholstery needle.

The keyboard bench has also taken some wear and tear. Items were piled on top of it one week and there was a small tear. I repaired it with a vinyl repair kit. Last month I noticed the corners were pulling apart. I stitched them with black thread and then covered the seam with vinyl repair glue.

Stitched torn seam and covered stitching with vinyl glue.

Stitched torn seam and covered stitching with vinyl glue.

This week I decided to do something about the feet on the keyboard bench. They have slipped off before and been left in the storage area. Then I would rock during the service.

I asked Mr. Frugalfish what to use to glue them to on. He said it was difficult to glue rubber and I came up with a different solution.

I brought 4 rubber bands from home and used them like washers. I put them on the ends of the metal legs and slipped the rubber feet over them. Those feet stay firmly in place now!

I use rubber bands like washers to secure rubber feet to metal legs of the keyboard bench.

I use rubber bands like washers to secure rubber feet to metal legs of the keyboard bench.

Part of being frugal is taking care of everything you use, even the stuff you don’t own. Of course, I did ask permission before I made the repairs.

A Little Reinforcement Here

I love my waterbed.

I know you are flashing back to the 70’s, but that bed got me through several months of bed-rest when I was carrying my last two children. At one point, the nurse asked me how I managed to avoid bed sores and I shared that a waterbed does not give you any pressure points.

During my single days, I was referred to as “The Waterbed Girl,” because there was only one waterbed store in town and I moved to town to work there. (My husband sure enjoyed my nickname. He’d announce, “Yeah, I’m dating “The Waterbed Girl.”)

There is one downside to a waterbed and that is finding waterbed sheets that will stay on. I shared my frustrations in a posts, see http://wp.me/pKNzn-qu.

Waterbed sheets consist of a top sheet that is sewn to the base of a bottom sheet. It is only sewn together in the center third of the sheet for those who like to stick their feet out from under the sheet.

Unfortunately, over time, the top sheet can tear away from the bottom sheet and then it will unravel. I have used the zigzag stitch to sew the sheets back together a few times.

This time I added seam binding to the seam and used the zigzag stitch over all of the seam binding.

I added seam binding to the base of my waterbed sheets.

I added seam binding to the base of my waterbed sheets.

Best Metal Investment

I don’t have bars of gold sewn into my mattress.

My plumbing is not made of copper.

My wedding ring is not platinum.

I did not inherit my grandmothers antique silver set.

My silverware is stainless steel, not silver.

There is no coin collection that is gaining value as we speak.

My best metal investment is one that is protecting my other investments.

It is my upholstery needle kit.

My package of assorted needles by Homecraft contains 7 needles:

  1. Carpet Sharp: Large and heavier sharp for stitching carpets and rugs.
  2. Glover: Tapered point needle with sharp edges used to sew leather and leather-like fabrics.
  3. Chenille: Sharp point needle with large eyes for crewel, candlewicking, embroidery.
  4. Tapestry: Blunt point needle used for plastic canvas, needlepoint or sewing heavy yarns.
  5. Tufting: needle for tufting repairs on upholstery, heavy materials.
  6. Small Curved: Needle used for sewing upholstery, mattresses.
  7. Large Curved: Needle used for upholstery and lampshades.

(The curved upholstery needles get the most use, but I have used all of them.)

With that kit I…

  1. Repaired the seams on torn cushions.
  2. Pulled the over-stuffed cushions on the arms and the backs of my couch back up to their original location and used the needle to attach them firmly.
  3. Used the large, curved needle to do major surgery on my couch. The front piece under the cushions was torn and the actual board was displaced. I cut the fabric the length of the board. I put the board back in place and put the vinyl piece back on top of it. I used a staple gun to attach it. I pulled all of the batting back in place and using a strong thread I sewed the cut back together. Then I spent fifteen minutes a day sewing over the seam with a satin stitch. It took several months, but when I finished I had a new-looking couch. (The seam is covered by the cushions.)
  4. Sewed up the loose seams on the upholstered chairs at church.
  5. Repaired shoes, belts, and purses.
  6. Repaired the torn upholstery, and ceiling fabric, in our van.
  7. Repaired luggage and sports bags.
  8. Repaired a baseball glove and other sports equipment.
  9. Repaired a cell phone case, see http://wp.me/pKNzn-hF.
  10. Sewed allergy screening to the base of my large, window screens, see http://wp.me/pKNzn-qc.

Yes, that was the best metal investment I have made!

Needles found in a upholstery needle kit,

Needles found in a upholstery needle kit.

On the Fringes

Last weekend we went shopping for work jeans for my husband. It is like a treasure hunt because he is 6′ 2″ and over 200 pounds. The regular sizes are too small and the “Big & Tall” are too big!

We struck out.

But he started his new job on Tuesday and he had to have something to wear to work. I checked 2 pair of his work jeans and there were no holes; they just were frayed at the leg openings.

I cut the white “fringes” off and they looked presentable. They will have to do until he can find a pair somewhere.

The pair on the left still has the "fringe" on the leg openings. The pair on the right had the white "fringe" removed.

The pair on the left still has the “fringe” on the leg openings. The pair on the right had the white “fringe” removed.








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Keep Temporary Fixes Temporary

Mom stopped by and noticed the hooks holding up my invisible chair were loose, see http://wp.me/pKNzn-tj. She told me to break the end off of a match and put the broken matchstick in the hole.

When I screwed the hook back in, the matchstick made the hole smaller and gave the hook something to grip.

She said “You can fix a lot of things with match sticks and duct tape!”

Using her ingenuity, I repaired Derek’s work shoes with electrician’s tape. (The tape is black and was not as obvious as duct tape would have been.)

More importantly, I ordered a replacement pair the same day.

It is easy to forget something needs replaced when the temporary fix works just fine. But the temporary fix will fail at some point and it will not be a convenient time!

Temporary fixes are not permanent.

That reminds me…I need to put a new anchor in that hook holding up the invisible chair!

Black electrician's tape temporarily fixed work shoes until the new ones came in.

Black electrician’s tape temporarily fixed work shoes until the new ones came in.