Monday, June 24, 2013

DIY Mason Jar Soap Pump Tutorial

Two-ish years ago when I first unearthed the wonderful world of Pinterest, I very quickly became obsessed with the plethora of DIY ideas it laid out before me. For those who haven't heard of this website, it is an online pinboard where you are able to 'pin' pictures with links to webpages. Essentially it is a clever, more user-friendly way to bookmark sites that you don't want to forget. And not only that - in this world that is beginning to revolve around social media - it allows you to see the pictures and pages that other people have found. I have spent many a late night just randomly looking through other peoples pins. In no time at all, I had fallen in love with bunting, door wreaths, succulents, doily's, spray paint, pin cushions and mason jars. My goodness, the amount of awesome things you can do with a mason jar will totally blow your mind.
Making a mason jar liquid soap dispenser has been right at the top of my crafting to-do-list since I discovered Pinterest all those years ago. It was this Mother's Day 2013 that my intentions to make one (or five) became a reality.
It was actually my first ever Mother's Day as a real live Mum! I woke to presents and cuddles from my gorgeous little boy and darling husband. The gifts were random, but perfect. Coldplay's latest album on vinyl - we are the lucky owners of a vintage record player. A voucher for a massage - that's a true Mother's Day gift. A bunch of fantastic yellow flowers - someone please tell me what they are called because they were inexpensive, looked amazing on my table and lasted a whole month. Seriously! Zero exaggeration. And last but not least, some graph paper. Which may seem odd but I had been wanting it for another dream DIY project that's in the works. I was offered breakfast in bed, but opted to get out and have it at the dinner table.

After breakfast we headed over to my Mum's house where Adam was quickly integrated into the Nintendo 64 Mario Kart Tournament my brothers were having.
Vincent spent some quality time with his Nana and Great Nana (thats Lady Mausey to you), whilst Vin's Pop (Rossco) and I got to work on turning my mason jars into fabulous holders and squirters of liquid soap.
Ok, so moving properly on to the How-To part of this post. First off you need two things... A jar with a lid, and a soap pump. 
A couple of Christmases ago, I spoilt myself and my friend Chloe (also an avid crafting and Pinterest fan) with a big bunch of brand name Ball mason jars. They are a classic brand and have been around for 100 years. If you are looking for a cheaper, more readily available option most discount variety stores stock preserving jars, or I have even seen them at the major supermarkets. It's possible that you may even be able to pick some up from second hand stores.
I ordered my soap pumps online, as there was a certain look I wanted and I also needed quite a few. Some for me, some for Chloe, some for gifts. Spreading the bulk-buying hoarder-holic love around. Once again, there is always a thrifty option of utilising a pump from an already used bottle of lotion or hand-soap.

How-to Make It!
Common sense of course tells you that you need a hole in the lid!

Step One - Make a hole.
The hole needs to be just wide enough to fit the under-shaft of the pump snugly through.  How you do that depends on what tools you have at your disposal. The metal in the lids is really very thin.
One option is to use a hammer and a punch that is the same size as the shaft. Another alternative is to create a small hole using a hammer and a nail, and then make the hole wider using fine pliers to stretch and pull back the metal, or cut a wider hole using wire-cutters.
Rossco is a carpenter by trade, and hence we had every size of drill bit available to us. We decided to make our hole by drilling it - but not everyone would have a drill bit as large as we required to be able to fit our pump through. Use what you've got - it's up to you!

Mark the centre of your lid.
Hold your lid firmly on top of a piece of wood (one that you don't mind drilling a hole in).
Start with a small drill-bit/hole and work your way up in sizes. Be careful to hold the lid firmly as the thin metal can catch and your hole may not end up the round circle that you require.
Once you've made the hole big enough for the soap pump to fit snugly into, it's time to move on to the next step.

Step Two - Seal the hole
It's important to seal the hole so that the pump is able to get adequate suction. Once again use what is available to you. Thanks to an Aldi 'specials' buy of Rossco's -  we chose to use o rings as there were plenty at our disposal.
We put one above the lid -
...and one (or two if our hole was a little dodge) below the lid. This held the soap pump firmly in the lid and sealed the hole.
Another option to seal is to use hot glue or similar on the under side of the lid and around the shaft to hold it tight and sufficiently seal the hole. The cool thing about o rings is that there was no need to wait for the glue to dry!

Step Three - Cut the tube to length.
Cut the tube on an angle so that the tip is just touching the bottom of your jar. This is important so that length-wise you are able to use all the soap thats in the jar and the angle stops it from suctioning the glass at the bottom.
Fill it with hand soap and voila! Dream mason jar project is complete.

I made five. One for our kitchen sink, one for our bathroom and three as gifts for my Mum, Nana and Lisa. When I returned upstairs, mason jar soap pump gifts under my wings - I found Vincent coo-ing and talking beautifully to his Great Nana Mausey. It was gorgeous, we were all entranced and then he did a massive pop-off. Actually you couldn't really call it that, because it certainly wasn't as a short as the word pop describes. Truth be told, he farts like a man. Such a charming little lad ;)

Lucky his mother loves him!

You can see my original mason jar pin here, and the site that it is from is here. I purchased my mason jars from here and my soap pumps from here.