*Update* Erin and some of her crafting friends suggested I soak the wooden tip of the mushroom 'stick' in water, to make it swell up. It worked a treat! It means I can't really use it to keep needles inside any more, as I guess the stick head will shrink again over time. However, it is stuck fast now, and in future I'll know how to fix the problem if it happens again. Thanks so much Erin for your prompt and very helpful reply.
While I love the idea of this darning mushroom with its needle storage, and love the feel of the timber, very quickly it started coming apart. The hole underneath the mushroom head must have become wider, so the stick no longer fits firmly, and the needles fall out every time I darn something. I tried using velcro dots to hold it in place (see photo) but that didn't work. I'm now using just the head, with a rubber band around the object that I'm darning, to keep it in place. I wouldn't buy this product again; I'd stick to a solid darning mushroom instead.
Oh no! I am so sorry your mushroom was faulty. I'm happy to replace it with a new Usethings mushroom or a different solid mushroom - let me know which you prefer. So that I can provide feedback to Usethings, I'd love to see the faulty mushroom (let me know and I can arrange return postage, or alternatively a photograph or video would be great). Thank you!
I really liked the idea of storing my needles in the mushroom, but have now discovered an additional benefit: Taking the mushroom apart allows me to use the cap when darning pants and avoid stitching the leg closed. It is a good surface and size for sashiko darning on denim.
This darning mushroom has a secret: it has a removable, hollow handle for storing your darning needles!
Vintage darning mushrooms occasionally have this feature, but this is the first modern Australian darning mushroom I’ve found with built-in storage.
This is a large darning mushroom (9cm diameter cap, 10cm handle length) best for mending items such as jumpers/sweaters and tea towels that need to lie fairly flat. For sock mending I recommend using a smaller darning mushroom:
This product is hand-turned in Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia, from timber offcuts left over from drying-rack production, and polished on a lathe.
Want to see how it’s done? Modern Mending the book includes 32 pages of detailed instructions on darning.
Need darning needles or mending yarn? Browse the darning collection.
About darning mushrooms
Darning mushrooms help hold the shape of the item you’re mending and keep fabric taut, so you get a more natural-looking result.
You don’t need a darning mushroom to start darning (I’m a big fan of using oranges and other citrus when darning socks) but it has a few benefits:
- Having nice tools can motivate you to mend more often.
- If you tend to find your mending mojo late at night, there’s no risk of panicking when you discover you’re out of oranges and it’s too late/difficult to go to the shops. Your darning mushroom is a lifelong, dependable, 24/7 friend.
- If you like to mend while travelling, your darning mushroom won’t squish in your bag and won’t be confiscated if you travel interstate or overseas (fresh fruit is often subject to quarantine restrictions).
Holiday update + shop closures
14 December 2023 (5pm AEDT):
Last orders for Christmas delivery in Australia
HOLIDAY BREAK: 14 December (5pm AEDT) to 2 January
Orders placed during this time will ship on 5 January.
10 January 2024 (5pm AEDT):
Last chance to order before the big break
BIG BREAK: 10 January (5pm AEDT) to late February / early March 2024 (tbc)
This shop will shut for at least six weeks (no purchases can be made during this time).
Read on for details...
HOLIDAY BREAK (December 2023)
2023 orders close at 5pm on 14 December, and I’m planning to be back at work on 3 January. During the holiday break you will be able to place orders as usual, but postal orders will not ship until 5 January. Gift vouchers will be available for purchase 24/7 and delivered automagically by email.
BIG BREAK (January/February 2024)
It’s time for the ELF herself to check in for repairs! I’m having major surgery and will need at least six weeks of recovery time, with lots of rest and no heavy lifting (including shop orders).
After 5pm on 10 January I will disable the shop checkout; you will be able to browse but not purchase anything (including gift vouchers) until the shop reopens in late February or early March – once I've made a full recovery. Mailing-list subscribers will be notified when the shop reopens.
This shop dispatches orders once a week so I can do alllll the things – including running this shop and running after two tiny tots – and enjoy my life. Your patience and understanding are greatly appreciated.
Place your order by 5pm Thursday Melbourne time (AEDT/AEST) for dispatch by Monday.
(NOTE: I drop off most orders at my local post office on Fridays, but I'm told they don't physically leave the post office and start making their way to you until Monday.)
I ship via Australia Post because it’s reliable, trackable and carbon-neutral.
If you select Express Post at checkout, it will speed up Australia Post's delivery timeframe but won't speed up my process.
After your order has been packed, you will receive an email notification with your Australia Post tracking number, which you can use to check on the delivery status of your order.
International customers: click here for current Australia Post international delivery timeframes.
Shipping is currently a flat rate of $12 within Australia ($17 Express Post); international shipping is calculated at checkout. Gift cards are delivered electronically and do not require shipping.
I ship worldwide with the exception of the UK, due to VAT regulations that came into effect on 1 January 2021. If you are in the UK you can order the UK edition of my book from your local bookshop.
Customers in Northcote, Thornbury and nearby suburbs (subject to capacity) can select local delivery at checkout. Local delivery is extra-slow and coincides with my pram-walking/kid-wrangling schedule, up to one week after purchase. ٩(｡•́‿•̀｡)۶
I choose to reuse
When shipping orders my first priority is to reuse packaging materials whenever possible – boxes, padded mailers, cardboard, paper, tissue paper, bubble wrap and egg cartons from neighbours, second-hand shops and recycling centres. I cannot guarantee the materials used to ship your order will be plastic-free for this reason.
My tags and labels are stamped by hand onto compostable paper tape or preloved cardboard packaging.
I buy recycled packaging
If I don’t have suitable second-hand packaging to use for your order, my next priority is packaging made from recycled materials. It's important to me to support Australian companies making good products from our recyclables, and to make sure that material gets a second life.
I use compostable, gummed kraft-paper tape to seal my parcels whenever possible. I have a second-hand tape wetter that I love, purchased from my local op shop. Gummed paper tape is available at most art-supply shops if you want to make the switch yourself!
Express Post orders will have official plastic "Express Post" tape added.
International orders with many items will have a plastic pocket taped to them, to accommodate additional paperwork required by customs.
Individual product packaging
Every item for sale on this website has its packaging components listed and in most cases photographed, so you can make an informed decision.
When I speak to my suppliers I specifically ask that my orders be supplied to me without plastic packaging, whenever possible, to avoid waste and single-use plastic. This isn’t always possible, but I’ll keep asking, forever.
Here's how one of my suppliers has my name recorded in its database: