What are Fix-it & Repair Fairs?

Fix-it Fairs (sometimes known as Repair Fairs or Repair Cafés) are free community gatherings in which people with repair skills share their time and talents to fix their neighbors’ belongings. These gatherings can be organized by friends, a neighborhood group, a nonprofit organization, even a city or county entity. They range in size from a handful of people to a few hundred! Organizers designate a time and place for people to gather and community members brings items that are broken, torn, or otherwise non-functional. Then, volunteer fixers do their utmost to get the items back in working order (at no cost to the community member) while sharing information about the repair process with the item’s owner. When feasible, a fixer may invite the owner of an item to participate in the repair in order to boost knowledge and confidence that anyone can fix things! This not only creates an opportunity to spark meaningful connections with others and help community members get new life out of beloved possessions, it saves items from going to the landfill!

Some of the services include:

    • Bike repair
    • Sewing and mending
    • Small appliance and electronic tinkering
    • Woodworking
    • Knife and tool sharpening
    • Jewelry repair

Other Services:

  • Groups may choose to add other “stations” that draw on unique talents, interests, or needs in their community. These may include things like:
    • Plant and Seed Swap
    • Gardening advice  and soil analysis
    • Computer Repair
    • Paper and Fabric Crafting
    • Free Table (where you can bring things you no longer need and pick up items you do)
    • Haircuts
    • Instrument repair
    • Word-Smithing (advice on resumes, creative writing, and more)

Pictures & videos from some of the awesome repair events around Washington!

Get to know washington's fixer and repair groups

Transition Fidalgo & Friends hosts a Fix-It Day booth at the Anacortes Farmers Market!

Guests are encouraged to bring any item that needs repair (like lamps or small appliances -whatever a handy person can fix) and our talented tinkerers will see if they can get it working again! Most items brought in during Fix-It Days are repaired on the spot. However, some items may require locating replacement parts and take a week or longer. Transition Fidalgo charges for the cost of repair supplies, (e.g.- watch battery) and gratefully accepts donations to further support the work of Transition Fidalgo & Friends. 

About Transition Fidalgo & Friends: Transition Fidalgo is part of a network of nonprofits that aims to raise awareness of and develop solutions to the challenges of climate change. We promote a move away from fossil fuels through decreasing demand, increasing efficiency, supporting renewable energy, and fostering the local production of food, energy, and goods. Locally, TF&F encourages community members to reduce consumption of goods, reuse and repair them as much as possible, and then recycle items that are no longer salvageable.

Co-sponsored by Kitsap Co. Public Works and Zero Waste Washington, During these three-hour events held in at various locations around Kitsap County, skilled fixers provide repairs for common household items. All people are welcome to attend, including kids. Snacks and coffee on us. And yes, it’s completely free!

What can be fixed? Almost everything, including mendable clothing, lamps, small appliances, small electronics, furniture, jewelry, toys, bikes, and outdoor equipment.  We only ask attendees not to bring anything leaking, dangerous, that contains gasoline, or has a strong odor.

Learn more about Fix-it Fairs Kitsap Co.

A program of King Co.’s Solid Waste Division, these repair events have been taking place regularly since 2016. 

At these free community repair events, our skilled repair people, or “fixers,” will work on your items, repairing or mending them if they can, and often giving you useful advice as well! We work on lamps, vacuums, fans, chairs, tables, tools, computers, music players, TVs, blenders, toasters, toys, pants, dresses, bags, and much more! Although you are encouraged to call or write in advance to discuss your repair, all these King County repair events are first-come, first-served (one item at a time), with no appointments or reservations. We offer these repair events throughout King County, excluding Seattle.

Learn More about King Co. Repair Events

Hosted at The ReMakery, these events helps get all those old, beloved items out of the corners of your houses and closets and back into use! Participants can bring in items that need simple repairs in three main categories: appliances, furniture, and textiles/clothes. If your item needs a replacement part, please get that part and bring it with you. Simple fixes are what we do, not major rebuilds.

Repair Cafés will generally occur the 2nd Saturday of the month from May-October.

Contact Nikyta for more information nikytap@lopezsolidwaste.org

Like all Repair Programs, ours is based on volunteer Fixers in our community. Our Cafés consistently serve two to three dozen people, and twice that in items. We offer sewing, darning, mechanical, electrical, and woodworking fixes. Our repair program offers a practical, hands-on solution for our customers to continue to be owners of their belongings. We now offer Repair Cafés in conjunction with Our Tool Library, Recycling, and Material Reuse Programs. Providing these services together, at the same location, makes it easy to for our customers to use resources wisely and change the cycle of consumption.

Learn more about Methow Recycles Repair Café

An extension of the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Tool Library, the PNA Fixers Collective is an informal group of folks who meet simply for the fun of taking stuff apart, putting it back together again, and maybe even fixing some things in the process. The idea is to take a moment before throwing something away to figure out if you can save it and prevent buying a new one. It’s also an excellent way to learn how things work and enjoy some good company!

You can bring something broken along with you or just bring yourself. The Fixer Collective meets monthly in the back of the Greenwood True Value Hardware store.

Story: “Fixer collectives try to change a ‘throw away society’ habit”

A project of Sustainable Capitol Hill and run out of their Tool Library, you’ll also find workshops on everything from sewing basics to fixing your cell phone screen. Learn more!

The Repairocene (noun):  A time when common goals of healing, repairing, and restoring of our lands, our things, and our relationships are shared.

Port Townsend held its first Repair Café on Feb. 29th, 2020 in partnership with Local 20/20 and its Beyond Waste Action Group. 

Port Townsend’s volunteer specialists include sewers/knitting (hand and machine), a luthier for stringed instruments, fixers for small household appliances and electrical stuff, bicycle repair, jewelry repair and tool sharpening. Although some generic supplies are on hand during events, a fixer may suggest you purchase a part at a hardware store or order the part for a future repair. If you know the repair requires a part, please bring it with you. You might even be able to learn how to fix it! Repairs are free though donations are welcome.

Learn more about Repair Café Port Townsend

Learn more about the lively Olympia Repair Café!

Reduce Waste. Conserve resources. Save money. Share skills with the community.

Help keep stuff out of the landfill, conserve resources and save money. Repair Clark County events are your opportunity to have your broken items fixed for free by skilled volunteers. 

Repair Clark County events are intended for items that need minor repairs. Items that can be repaired at the event include small appliances, lamps or fans, jewelry, kitchen knives, yard and garden tools that need sharpening and clean clothing or textiles to be mended.  There are no guarantees an item can be fixed, or that attempting to fix it won’t break it even more. Only bring an item that’s small enough to be easily carried by one person. Multiple items are welcome, depending on wait times, only one item may be addressed at a time. Do not bring any items that are leaking, dangerous, contain gasoline, or have a strong odor. No microwaves or gas engines, please.

Repair Clark County is a waste reduction program of Columbia Springs.

From its start in June 2018, Rodeo City Repair Café‘s community of volunteers have been donating their time to help with the repair of household appliances, lamps, tools, furniture, bicycles and clothing, to keep these items in service and reduce landfill waste. Our repair staff offer a wide range of repair skills and knowledge and we have a good selection of tools on hand. Events are held at the IOOF Cemetery Shop on Radio HIll, 1900 N. Brick Rd. in Ellensburg. Our repair services are offered free to community members. We gladly accept donations of money, tools or repair materials.

Owning what you purchase means owning the right to repair it!

Sponsored by Zero Waste Washington, Fix-it Fairs are community gatherings bringing neighbors together to provide free repair services to the public while reducing landfill waste and passing on vital skills. These hands-on events are open to everyone and provide an opportunity for individuals learn how to repair items – like small appliances and electronics – for themselves and others. The 3-hour events are held at revolving sites around town, with the goal of making them accessible to more people in more communities.

What gets fixed? We invite people to bring items in need of repairing or mending that might otherwise be thrown away, such as bikes, jewelry, clothing, small appliances, furniture, toys and electronics. Meanwhile, you can chat with your neighbors, get advice on home projects, and grab some coffee and snacks (on us!) – all in a welcoming, family-friendly environment.

We ask that participants do not bring anything leaking, dangerous, that contains gasoline, or has a strong odor.

Co-sponsored by the Tacoma Tool Library and Zero Waste Washington, during these three-hour events held in at the Tacoma Main Library, skilled fixers provide repairs for common household items. All people are welcome to attend, including kids. Snacks and coffee on us. And yes, it’s completely free!

What can be fixed? Almost everything, including mendable clothing, lamps, small appliances, small electronics, furniture, jewelry, toys, bikes, and outdoor equipment.  We only ask attendees not to bring anything leaking, dangerous, that contains gasoline, or has a strong odor.

Learn more about Tacoma’s Fix-it Fairs!

We are members of the Vashon community who love to tinker and have a fervent desire to keep as many useable items out of the waste stream as possible. Funded by the King County Eco-Consumer Program the repair café is a collaboration of the Vashon Tool Library, Zero Waste Vashon and committed members of the community at large. Learn more about Vashon Fix-it!

Want to start your own fix-it or repair fair?

There’s no “right way” to run a fix-it event. They’re a constantly evolving process and should reflect the communities where they happen. However, there are some general principles that can make them more successful. Plus, everyone can use a little help! Complete the short form below and we’ll send you either the Quick Start Guide, the Comprehensive Fix-it Fair Handbook, or both if you like! It’s FREE!

Want to connect with other fixers, tool libraries, and makers around Washington? Join the Repair Economy listserv and stay in the loop!