Evanston Repair Café

“Never take broken for an answer” Following the Ifixit motto, the Repair Café Volunteers will do their best to bring your beloved items back to life… with your help!

So, what is this all about?

Repair Café’s are free spaces where people fix things together. Besides the obvious money saving, RC’s help keep stuff out of the landfill, promote connection, collaboration, skill-sharing and community self-reliance… and they are so much fun!

The Evanston Repair Café is co-sponsored with Climate Action Evanston (former Citizens’ Greener Evanston), and we proudly support Evanston’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan.

Ready to give us a try? Find that broken item you never brought yourself to throw away (remember, there is no “away”!) and sign up for a slot that matches the type of repair you need.

Once at the Repair Café, our volunteer fixers will work with you to repair your beloved item there and then. If spare parts are needed, the volunteers will let you know so you can purchase them and either fix the item yourself at home or come to the next RC to co-repair it with us.

If you already know what spare parts your item needs, bring them with you to maximize the chances of getting it repaired on the spot.

What can I bring?

Depending if you are attending a weekend (SAT) event or a smaller weekday one (TUE), we will be able to help you with the following:

  • GENERAL REPAIR: (SAT & TUE) Small electrical appliances, toys and small furniture. Includes common household items (lamps, toasters, fans, blenders…), gluing of wood, ceramic and plastic. Picture frames, crockery..
  • BASIC SEWING/MENDING: (SAT & TUE) Clothing and other textiles. Please wash before bringing item.
    • We focus on repair, not alterations. We do not hem, take in/let out seams, add darts, lengthen or shorten clothing…
    • Zippers: We can try to repair the SLIDER, but we do not replace zippers.
    • We do sewing machine troubleshooting
  • BASIC JEWELRY REPAIR: (SAT & TUE) Restringing, replacing clasps, links… No soldering available.
  • ELECTRONICS: (SAT and 4th TUE) Electronics are often complex repairs. Bring your item so we can diagnose it, and find out what spare parts you need in order to fix it. More often than not, we will be able to co-repair it with you! Bring it fully charged and with all its cables. Sorry, no TV sets or VCRs!

At some of our events you will find these additional repair categories (check the actual sign up to see what is available. Remember, you can only sign up for ONE time slot):

  • BIKE REPAIR (SAT): We handle basic repairs such as slipped chains, loose bolts, stuck seats, handlebars…
  • PAPER AND BOOK CONSERVATION (SAT): Bring your cherished paper-based materials (books, art on paper and photographs) so our Repair Volunteer can provide guidelines and tips on care and handling and, if needed, direct you to local conservation and heritage professionals.
  • KNIFE SHARPENING (SAT): Bring a knife or a pair of scissors to have them sharpened and to learn more about blade sharpening.
  • SOCK DARNING (SAT): Bring your sock(s) and, ideally, the matching thread you want to use to learn how to darn them.

Time slots are limited. If you can’t make it, please let us know by emailing us or calling the Crown branch at 847-448-8101. Participants who miss more than 2 sign ups can only attend as walk-ins.

If you have any questions about the event, your repair or what spare parts to bring, please contact evanstonrepaircafe@gmail.com or webuildcommunityevanston@gmail.com

When and where does the Evanston Repair Café take place?
Robert Crown Community Center Lobby – 1801 Main St., Evanston, IL

  • Second Saturday of each month from 10 AM – 1PM
  • Second and Fourth Tuesday of each month 10 AM – 12PM
  • NO Repair Café on Saturday, January 13th 2024 and December 24th, 2024

Where do I sign up?

Go into the “Upcoming Repair Cafes” section below, search for the date of the event you want, and find an open time slot for the item that you wish to bring.

Please sign up for ONE time slot per event. We will delete multiple time slots for the same person on any single date.


REGISTRATION FOR UPCOMING EVENTS WILL OPEN ONE MONTH PRIOR TO THE EVENT DATE.

Would you like to volunteer?

We are always happy to have new volunteers! You don’t need to be an expert in the field or be available for all the events dates. If you’ve always been the handy person that friends and family turn for help -and you enjoy it!- you are our perfect candidate!
Contact Bea at becheverria@cityofevanston.org or webuildcommunityevanston@gmail.com.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

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