Make do and mend challenge: Looking back

I’ve come to the end of my make do and mend challenge now, so I’ve been busy looking back at all my activities and thinking about what I’ve learned along the way.

Over the past month I’ve experienced lots of new things – some old fashioned, some educational, some offbeat, some just plain nuts, really. It’s good to know that if you’re ever caught short on the hair shampoo front that you can just grab a couple of eggs from the fridge and crack them over your head, but I’m not sure I’d bother putting myself through that again. It’s a waste of good food, I think. I’m also not convinced after the disastrous experience of trying to make my own dress from an old duvet cover – my own daft idea, of course, which I can’t blame on anybody else – that I have what it takes yet to make my own clothes. Perhaps I will some day once I’ve attended a few sewing classes. But there are a lot of other make do and mend activities from my challenge that I would repeat.

Going back to the first week of the challenge – my task to eat only food from my kitchen cupboards – I would definitely like to repeat that task regularly in the future to use up food items that can easily end up being forgotten about, despite our attempts to buy only what we need. I also found that it sparked ideas for new and refreshing recipes. We all have our favourite dishes but sometimes it’s nice to shake things up a little and do something different. Having to work around an unusual ingredient can help.

Some of the homemade toiletries I made during the third week of the challenge really impressed me, too. Ok, perhaps not the Eau de Oeuf shampoo and conditioner combo, but the sage and salt tooth powder I would definitely use again. It’s so cheap, easy to make and surprisingly more effective than conventional toothpaste (if a bit of an, er, acquired taste). Plus I probably would use the ‘Cereal Killer’ exfoliant again. I felt a bit daft sticking it on my face as all the porridge oats fell off everywhere, but it was very gentle and what woman doesn’t feel sheepish with an expensive mud mask smeared all over her face anyhow?

My final task, the make do and mend entertainment challenge, was also a bit of a wakeup call for me, I think. I probably spend too much time on the internet or watching TV when I could be doing or learning something new, which would be a lot more refreshing than just watching another repeat of CSI. Above all, I think the whole idea of making do and mending has reminded me how important it is to think out of the box and be innovative. Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions during the challenge. They’ve been great to read and very useful.

Do you think it’s still important to make do and mend? How do you do so in your own life?

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