Do you have items in your house that need fixing or mending but you don't know how to fix them yourself? Bring your broken items such as toasters, lamps, clothing, jewelry, bicycles, vacuum cleaners or small appliances to the Repair Café! Volunteers will evaluate and fix as many of them as they can for FREE. Volunteers will also be available to answer questions about repairs on items that are too large or not possible to bring in.
We encourage you to fill out the form to the right to let us know what you are bringing. This way we can be prepared for your item and also contact you if we need more information about the item.
- July 20, 12 - 3pm, Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City, MD
- September 7, 1 - 4pm, Elkridge Library, 6540 Washington Blvd, Elkridge, MD
- December 14, 12 - 3pm, Howard County Conservancy, 10520 Old Frederick Road, Woodstock, MD
If you would like to help out at the Repair Café either as a fixer or as a general volunteer, please fill out our Volunteer Registration form.
In conjunction with the Repair Cafés, the Columbia Community Exchange does skill shares on a variety of topics such as sock darning, lamp repair, screen repair, homemade toiletries, and patching a hole in a wall.
Our Repair Cafés have been making the news. Check out these articles:
When you bring items to the Repair Café, please note the following "House Rules":
• The work carried out in the Repair Café is performed free of charge on a voluntary basis by the repair volunteers at hand.
• The fact that the repairs are being performed by unpaid volunteers reflects the allocation of risks and limitation of liability: neither the organizers of the Repair Café nor the repair volunteers are liable for any loss that may result from advice or instructions concerning repairs, for the loss of items handed over for repair, for indirect or consequential loss or for any other kind of loss resulting from work performed in the Repair Café.
• Volunteers making repairs offer no guarantee for the repairs carried out with their help and are not liable if objects that are repaired in the Repair Café turn out not to work properly at home.
• Visitors offering broken items for repair do so at their own risk.
• Repair volunteers are entitled to refuse to repair certain objects.
• Repair volunteers are not obliged to reassemble disassembled appliances that cannot be repaired.
• Visitors to the Repair Café are solely responsible for the tidy removal of broken objects that could not be repaired.
• To cut down on waiting times during busy periods, a maximum of ONE broken item per person will be examined. The visitor will join the back of the line if there is a second item for repair.
• Visitors to the Repair Café give permission to Transition Howard County to photograph/video and/or use a photograph or video of themselves in publications, news releases, newsletters, web site, Facebook page, etc.
Note that we are not able to fix things like cell phones, tablets or laptops.
Feedback from previous visitors to the Repair Café:
"I'm very pleased. Becky hemmed my pants very quickly and now I can wear them. Thank you, thank you!!"
"For a ceramic spoon rest given me by my Mom - an excellent glue job! Careful, precise, probably permanent. I even learned some repair tricks. Thanks again, and God Bless You."
"Great that I didn't add to the landfill."
"Repair Café is a wonderful idea! I believe in sharing skills and repair rather than replace. Folks were very friendly and skilled."