Remember when you made a nice little tea cup for your mother back in school art class? She was so proud of you! Now you can relive that moment all over again when you use the modeling clay-like, DIY, fix-all rubber compound called Sugru. Mold it into any shape you’d like, leave it alone overnight and it will have turned into a rigid, yet flexible rubber-like repair thing-a-ma-bob any mother would be sure to love. We put Sugru through its paces to see just a few of the tasks Sugru can be good for.
The Future Needs Work Fixing
Yes the future does need fixing and Sugru helps to answer that age old question “How the heck can I fix that?” Sugru, the Play-Doh like product that’s self-described as “An exciting new self-setting rubber that can be formed by hand”, molds into shape by hand and feet alike, and works just like modeling clay with the exception that it sticks to any surface once it cures overnight. They even claim that it’s durable enough to last in all sorts of extreme conditions from the Antarctic to the dishwasher.
When I was asked to take a look at this product, I was intrigued. The Sugru website is filled with amazing ideas and uses for this product, as well as great testimonials, so I was happy when the sample package from Sugru arrived in the mail. The backstory of this product is almost as amazing as the product itself. It’s a story of hard work and determination that I like to see in any good DIY product. You know a little blood, sweat and tears thrown into the ingredients always makes a product that much better.
How Do You Pronounce Sugru Anyways?
I say it pretty well since I’m of Irish decent and as soon as I saw the word, I recognized it as a word of Gaelic origin. No, not really. I am part Irish, but I was better at pronouncing it wrong than anything else when I first read the word “Sugru”. I had to look up how to pronounce it on the FAQs section of the website. It says you’re supposed to imagine Shrek saying the words Sue-Groo. That’s the first time I’ve seen Shrek used in a phonetic tip.
The word Sugru is actually inspired by the Irish word for “play” – sugradh (try pronouncing that). Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh from Killkenny, Ireland developed this wacky fix-all rubber goodness way back in 2003 when she was a grad student, and has been going full steam ever since.
In 2010, Sugru was voted as one of the best fifty inventions of the year by Time Magazine. In fact, it listed the iPad at number 34 while Sugru trumped it at number 22. By June 2011, they were already over 50,000 customers strong and opened a US-based company to deal with the inflow of North American sales. Just one year later, they had doubled their sales to over 100,000 happy customers.
How Sugru Works
But enough about how it came to be, the real question is how does this stuff work. Sugru came to me in a small plastic bag with 8 mini packs inside. Each mini pack is enough to make a small, quarter-sized ball. The 8-packs come with two red, two yellow, two blue and a white and black package.
The tightly packaged foil pouches have a little date stamp on them just like milk, but with a longer shelf life. They go bad after about six months and must be used immediately once you cut open the package. It takes about four hours for the product to set up, so you have a little time to make something with it once you get started.
After cutting open the package, you put the semi-sticky rubbery stuff between your fingers and roll it into a ball for a few minutes to activate the ingredients. Once you’ve done that, it’s up to you to shape it into just about anything you want. And, since it sticks to most everything once it cures overnight, it has a million and one uses at this point. Let’s just say it’s a good idea to plan well in advance what the heck you’re going to do with it before you open the package.
What we did with Sugru
The videos and pictures found on the website and online don’t do the stuff justice, Sugru really has a million+ uses, we just haven’t found them all yet! Once I mentioned my Sugru stash, all of a sudden a bunch of people were beating down my door trying to get a sample. I felt like I was Walter White from Breaking Bad passing out my goods. People were starting to get hooked on the Sugru, so I had to start keeping my remaining test batch on the down-low.
My mom wanted some to repair her sandals. The leather strap between the toes had worn out and broke. I used a package of black Sugru for that. We rolled little clay snakes and wrapped them around both straps on both shoes and smoothed them out. It worked with success and the old battle ax is still strutting around in them to this day.
I used a package to make a holder for the chuck key that’s always flopping around inside of my circular saw case. The chuck always ends up getting stuck inside the blade fence and I was afraid somebody pull out the saw and fire it up with that big metal chuck still inside there. So, I made two little loops and fixed them to the inside of the plastic saw box. Sugru solved the problem and fixed the future.
My daughter used some to cover the edges of her cellphone. She put four little pieces on each corner of her phone to help protect it from bumps and drops, just like it shows on the Sugru website. However, she promptly removed them all after they had dried – one piece of Sugru covered up her charging port; another piece over a button. Unfortunately, she peeled it off before I could get a photo. But the good news is we now know that it does come off relatively easily once it’s dry and you apply enough pressure. A good scraping with a soft plastic knife made quick work of any remaining Sugru that was left behind. Choose your Sugru application areas carefully!
My buddy used it to help protect his electronics as well by putting red Sugru bumpers on all four corners of his camera. Alas, he ran into the same trouble as my daughter did, as they didn’t plan out their Sugru strategy as well as they should have. He covered up the corner where the battery cover opens, so he had to remove that piece of Sugru. Otherwise, the remaining three corners are stuck to the camera and still do their job of protecting it from scratches and abuse.
Overall, Sugru is a really interesting product, and it even worked well to fix my tool pouch hammer holder too. The only downside I can point to with this product is that with the many uses you’ll discover for it, just about any supply runs out way too quickly. If you’ve got broken stuff, chances are, you can get some Sugru and fix it yourself. Packages of this handy, fix-all rubber compound ship from Michigan. You can find Sugru on Amazon starting at under $10. Just make sure you buy more than you think you’ll need. Check it out for yourself and fix your future for good!