Make and Mend Workshops


Happy Christmas from the Make and Mend project

This December the project has delivered three workshops focussed on making Christmas decorations.

We all, well may be more accurately lots of us, have draws and cupboards with unwanted and not-needed bits and pieces that in the right hands can be recycled or upcycled into something unique. The worst thing possible to do with these items is to send them to landfill. Who would believe that curtain rings, pretty ribbon from last years’ birthday bouquet or sacks used for transporting coffee beans could be transformed into Christmas decorations? The only thing limiting this sort of transformation is one’s imagination.

The first two of our three workshops were held at Lorton School and there was no shortage of creative ability there. Each child is different but all gave their very best effort and the results were amazing. It was a real pleasure to play a small part in their creative endeavours. Children are the original creative up-cyclers.

The last session was for slightly older children…adults! Again there was no lack of skill or imagination. It is amazing how quiet it is around the table when everyone is concentrating!

In the photographs above the ‘socks’ are made from curtain interlining, the stars use coffee sacks, the ‘hoops’ are left over curtain rings, the rustic disc is corrugated card used primarily for the padding inside parcels, the silver is from coffee bag lining….all these items normally find their way into landfill sites. No two people create the same item from the same raw materials, everything is free and the pleasure and companionship gained during the creative process is impossible to value!

A hive of activity,

even those that were not actively involved were interested to see what was going on. 

The Make and Mend project in funded through Cumbria County Council and The Melbreak Communities.

We hope to hold more workshops early next year…only a few weeks away now. If you are interested to join in or indeed if you have an idea please do email or telephone me.

01900 85958 or

What’s been going on ….November 2018

Rag Wreaths and other proddy projects

The Make and Mend series of events saw an excellent turn-out for the Rage Wreath workshop.

Some fourteen adults of various ages and five children all under 10years of age learned the art of proddy-rug making. The aim of the workshop was to demonstrate how old clothes and odd remnants of fabric can be used to create decorative items with a contemporary twist.

The adults made the wreaths whilst the children prodded a small piece of sacking that was to be used to adorn the top of their Christmas stocking. The stocking itself was made from well-worn old blankets and the sacking from modern-day coffee-bean sacks.

Everyone was delighted with their work. All viewed the evening as learning a new skill.

It is amazing that this old craft was viewed as a new skill. I remember my grandfather, who was born in 1889, telling me about his whole family sat round the fire each winter evening prodding rugs by candlelight. The end product was probably the only type of rug in the house. In those days little was wasted simply because there was so little to be had in the first place.

During the course of the evening we all had the opportunity to enter into the landfill debate and some said they would go away thinking about changing their ways when it comes to disposing of old clothes. The evening rekindled most people’s creativity and best of all there was a warmth and feeling of mutual interest and friendship. This is something that I don’t think is achievable while watching the telly!

Lorton School is our next venue to work with children from years two and three. The children will be encouraged to create Christmas decorations from all sort of things that usually end up in the bin…from the little bells tied round the necks of those delicious chocolate rabbits…bits of ribbon originally used to make gifts look pretty, old jewellery, scraps of fabric, the list is endless…One thing is certain that each item created will be unique!

And also remember we will be making Christmas Decorations at The Melbreak Community coffee and cakes morning in December. Children and adults are equally welcome to join in. Do bring bits and bobs with you.

Many thanks to Cumbria County Council and The Melbreak Communities for supporting this project.

October 2018

Click here for Make and Mend workshops progress report.

Recent activity:

(hello Harry and Eve).