What can you do in 5 minutes?
Write an anonymous fan letter to Ryan Gosling?
Eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s?
Knit a sweater for your cat? (I wish.)
What about making a soap dispenser by turning a Mason jar into one, the DIY way?
I’d been wanting to make a soap dispenser out of a vintage blue mason jar for a long time. (I thought it would look extra snazzy in my kitchen.) So I searched antique shops for the perfect sized jar that didn’t require tons of dough. And happy day, I ended up finding the perfect jar last year during a thrift store run with my mom. The jar was in great condition including the metal lid with the ceramic insert. But there was a teensy little problem. It appeared that I liked my new vintage jar too much to drill a hole in the lid. (Yes, it’s true.) Sadly, the soap at my kitchen sink had to make do being housed in a basic, plain white container.
Fast forward a year later. Blue reproduction Mason jars are spotted in Target and Wal-Mart stores while crafters rejoice. (They are sold by the case in Target and individually in the craft section of Wal-Mart.) So I gleefully bought myself a new jar with visions of soap dispensers dancing in my head.
Okay, now on to the 5-minute transformation from blue Mason jar to rocking soap dispenser.
The metal lid on the jar wasn’t very thick, so all I did was take a screw (a nail would work too) and lightly hit it with the hammer against the top of the lid a few times. I ended up with a hole about the size of a dime.
I then took a soap pump from another container and checked the fit. It fit perfectly, nice and snug. And there it was. My new Mason jar soap dispenser in under 5 minutes. A happy new addition to my kitchen sink.
So what about you? Do you have a favorite 5-minute project? (Or is knitting fashionable kitty clothes consuming much of your time?)
If you are anything like me, you like to ensure that the deal you are getting is good. One of the things I try and make sure of is that it isn't just DIY many things that I do. I am also not excessively spending money on the individual components going into the masterpieces that I am making. Doing DIY projects shouldn't just be a lot more expensive than buying the finished product straight up.
In the spirit of making beautiful things that everyone can afford to make, I started the pursuit of finding cheap mason jars. I tried to figure out where mason jars would be the cheapest to buy in quantities. It would ensure that there would be enough of them for future projects.
As you may have imagined, my first bet was trying to go on Amazon to see what their jar selection looked like. I can tell you this much. It was great in terms of the selection. It did not cut it in terms of the price they were asking for these little glass containers.
It may be convenient to go online to get your needs for glass jars settled. You're also paying a pretty penny compared to some other options. For a 16 ounce option with 5 of them in the pack, you're probably looking at spending just shy of $18 on Amazon. It's plus shipping if you haven't given into the Amazon religion yet. You do not have a prime that will cover it.
For 32-ounce mason jars on Amazon, they will set you back roughly $7 apiece. In contrast, the equivalent we were able to find on Target's website was $2.19 for a 32oz. Quite the difference if you ask me. For the vintage 16oz options, you are looking at roughly $2.25 apiece if you go online. It depends on which type you are going for. You can get regular 16oz ones with both a lid and band for less than a dollar each if you are willing to go with the traditional one.
If you have the time, there's a lot of gold that can be found at garage sales. It includes a heck of many mason jars. Maybe you are a person who likes to go out and explore. These are typically the objects stacked among all the other glassware. They are not brought along when it is finally time to move to a new house, given how much space you have there.
I have gone to various craft stores scouring for mason jars across the country. Not exclusively, I'm not that crazy! I find they are very good at increasing their profit margins by jacking the price up. They'll make extravagant claims on exactly the jars they are selling. They'll claim how these small, inexpensive items will significantly change your DIY plans. Sometimes it quite is foolish how much they're trying to charge for a basic glass container.
For the project that I made above, you may either have a preference in which jar to use. You also may not. The reality is that there are a bunch of great glass jars out there when you buy things like tomato salsa at the grocery store. Those would fit the purpose just majestically as well.
Where I live, I know that we can get salsa for less than a dollar a jar. The containers that it comes in serve many different purposes around the house. It includes everything from storage to repurposed decorative elements. There are a couple of things to do before you start using them for anything other than storing food. Ensure you have given them the clean of a lifetime as the salsa taste and smell are persistent.
Some guides may call you to use an actual mason jar rather than a normal glass jar like the ones you find containing food at the grocery store. When it comes to doing various DIY projects, there are a lot of instances where you're better off buying multipurpose products. Then repurpose it. You suddenly end up with delicious salsa and a component for your next project.
I was looking around the internet to figure out what other soap dispensers are out there. It probably comes as no surprise that some cool ideas are being shared. You can use virtually any type of container for as long as you ensure there is a good way to get the dispenser to soak up the soap. I did come across one that used a Jack Daniel's bottle. I am sure my husband would be thrilled to have in his man-shed. It would at least make sure that he was always to remember to wash his hands, at least!
I did see some other ones, like one made out of a coca-cola bottle. I am sure anyone with a child would love it, although I am not sure how practical it is. The bottle is quite narrow at the bottom. It provides a relatively small amount of stability if someone wants to give it a squeeze that's a little too enthusiastic. Additionally, I don't necessarily see it as a good solution for kids. I don't believe they would have the gentle touch required to ensure you're not suddenly having a lot of pieces of glass everywhere. Someone who has managed to injure themselves severely - might have to pass. On that idea!
I've always believed that unscented hand soap is quite boring. I have never really managed to find the hand soap with a scent where I just thought it was beyond incredible either and that it would change the way I view hand soaps.
So I set out on a mission. It was a mission not just to have a new, very decorative soap dispenser. I also wanted to make sure that it had soap that smelled the right way.
Now, I know that you'll say that scent is a personal preference. I will still argue until the day that I die that the type of hand soap that I am using is the one that would win awards.
So if any of my readers know about any soap awards out there, you should let me know so that I can submit them for consideration. I will say this much. I am only half-joking. I think it's a great smelling final product that makes my hands smell so fresh after using it.
Some people may find this tedious, but it's a great project to make with your kids. It allows them to influence what their soap smells like is very likely to increase their use - win!
I'll also say this. You can put this newly created wonder in the container I described in the project above. You will likely want to put it in a non-colored container instead. It's just more satisfying to see the actual color of the soap if you are going to both scent and color it.
My general motto in life is usually "the fresher, the better." That is no exception when it comes to soap. There is nothing I find quite as refreshing as the smell of citrus. Am I right?
So, you will want to start with a good neutral soap. I like to find something that doesn't have anything weird added to it. Especially for the kids, make sure that it is as absolutely natural as possible to avoid exposing them to unnecessary chemicals.
The Ecos Pro liquid hand soap comes in a 1-gallon container while staying unscented. It provides a pH-balanced product that I like to use as the base.
It's biodegradable and free of phosphates, so it seems to do everything I want it to do.
The great thing about this solution is that it can be done with a soap bar. Yes, you can easily make your bar soap as well. However, I will not go over that because I like the convenience offered by simply squeezing it out of a container.
Some of my friends and family will say I have certain things that I am very lazy about.
I like to say I am particular, although they're entitled to their opinion.
When you've managed to get the unscented base, now comes the time for the next step. The great thing about this is that I like how it looks.
Next time I make it, I'll have to take a picture to show you how the small pieces of the citrus lie inside the container. It's like those Christmas balls you shake where the snow will go everywhere.
With the thickness of the liquid, this stuff will stay in place. It is great.
I generally tend to make about 16 fluid ounces at once so that I am not stuck with too large of an amount at a time.
I then grate about 1/2 cup citrus peel, which you will mix with the unscented base. If you think it needs more, add more. That is about what I use. I go into spouts of craving orange and lemon, so I will commonly have them lying around the house.
The next step is adding the citrus essential oil of your choice. I usually add about 10 drops of the one I want, which gives it about the intensity that I find enjoyable. Add to your liking and keep stirring. The last step is to put it in the dispenser. It isn't all that hard.