Monday, October 29, 2012

DIY Mason Jar Soap Pump & Various Other Pinteresting Projects

Last week, Sherry @ Young House Love and Katie @ Bower Power, announced the Pinterest Challenge: Fall Edition. Caught off guard, and not feeling super pinspired by anything at all, I posted about a few things that I was diggin' at the time. I'm still diggin' all that stuff, but my crafting took a sharp turn when I realized that I just didn't have the time to take on anything super involved.

I'm not currently in the middle of a huge room redo (although I'd like to be), so my brain wasn't on that wavelength. I'm all about not having random stuff around that I just don't need, so I was hard-pressed to find something I'd pinned that would add to the efficiency of our home while not adding to the clutter I despise. After looking for a while, I landed on a DIY soap dispenser using a mason jar and a recycled pump. I first came across the sweet little craft here and pinned it here.

To gather my supplies, I ran to Michael's and grabbed a few mason jars for $1.29 each. I didn't get to use a 50% off coupon becuase I used one on another item; but at $1.29, it certainly didn't break the bank. Plus, I have some gift card credit left over from my birthday, so realistically, it didn't cost me a penny! Then, I ran into Walmart for some liquid foaming soap. According to The Frugal Homemaker, you can create liquid foaming soap by dispensing about an inch of regular soap into the bottom of your jar, adding water the rest of the way, and shaking to mix; but I wanted to make sure this would work the first time around, so I decided that I'll experiment when I run out of the store-bought version. Since I was already there, I opted to purchase a couple bottles of the soap with the foaming pump. I knew I had one at home that I could recycle, but at $1.57 a pop, I figured I'd splurge. I decided to make one for the upstairs bathroom, one for the kitchen sink, and one for my cousin, Tara, who has been desperately seeking a pretty version of a liquid foaming soap dispenser.

From this point on, Rich pretty much took over. First, he drilled a hole in the middle of the lid.
Then, using wire strippers, he bent the metal back until the hole was large enough to fit the pump. I was pretty surprised to find out that the foaming soap pumps are pretty big.

 Then, he added the liquid foaming soap.

After adding putting the pieces back together, the new soap dispenser was ready to go!

The Frugal Homemaker painted the lid and pump in her version. I opted to leave mine silver and white. For one thing, it coordinates well enough in my bathroom. For another, I didn't want to spend the money on spray paint. Finally, after a couple days of use, her pump started to chip. I don't do chipping. When things that I've spray painted start to chip, I go all Regan MacNeil on my husband.

I may try to spray paint the lid and pump in the future with a spray paint meant for plastic. Time will tell. For now, I'm enjoying my little craft. I also like how the soap I chose coordinates with other accents in the bathroom. That was mostly an accident.

In some ways, I feel like I cheated. The craft was so dang easy, Rich completed most of it, and I've tackled much harder things in the past. It's really just meant to be fun, though. I'm happy I did it. Plus, I also tried a recipe I pinned a while ago too: crock pot pork chops!

The recipe was super easy. You need 3 (yes, 3!) ingredients: 4-6 pork chops (I used 4), 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, and 1 package of dry ranch seasoning. Add the chops to the bottom of the crock pot, sprinkle the dry ranch over the chops, cover with cream of mushroom soup. Cook on low for 6 hours. That's it! I meant to grab some egg noodles at the store, but I forgot. Instead, I served it with whole wheat rotini that I already had in my cupboard. Rice would work too. The recipe provides you with enough gravy to use it for the noodles or rice. Truth be told, I'm not much of a pork fan, and the recipe doesn't sound all that fabulous; but it was delicious and easy. Bonus: Rich loved it too! I will definitely make it again!

What do you think? Is anyone inspired enough to make their own DIY mason jar soap dispenser? How about an easy crock pot pork chop recipe? Go for it!

P.S. Each season, via Facebook, I recruit my friends to join me in the Pinterest Challenges. Many of them don't have a blog, and most of the time, no one else shows any interest. This time, though, my friend, Kim, participated in the only way she knows how: baking! Here's a little collage she whipped up to feature her spooky creations:

According to her, she was inspired by those edible knives you see in the cuipcakes. Her and my sister came across them at JoAnn Fabrics and thought they'd be perfect in a dessert Kim would make for a Halloween party they were going to. Not having a Pinterest account or a blog, Kim has dubbed this the "She's Crafty" challenge.
So that's it. The Fall edition of the Pinterest Challenge is officially over! I'd love to know what everyone else created! Let me know!
P.P.S. I just finished Sing You Home by Jodi Piccoult. It was great! If anyone is interested, I'd gladly pass it along to you. I'm looking for a couple recommendations on a new book to read. Anyone? Anyone?
P.P.P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right! If you like it, pin it!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pinterest Challenge: Fall Edition!

We interrupt the pinning in progress (because you know you are) to bring you a special announcement: the Pinterest Challenge: Fall Edition is here! Once per season, a bunch of crazy people get together over the Internet to share the projects that they've pinned and punched in the face. By punched in the face, I mean they've completed the project for themselves (maybe with a few tweaks here and there based on their own taste).

Hosting this challenge are Sherry @ Young House Love and Katie @ Bower Power. Their co-hosts this time around are Sarah @ Ugly Duckling House and Carme @ Our Fifth House. These four are among the best bloggers out there. (I just haven't been discovered yet.)

I've joined the last two Pinterest challenges with my Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Loaf and my 1940s wood file cabinet redo. Having just realized that Fall is already upon us, I'm still not 100% sure what I'll complete. Here's what's currently pinspiring me:

An upcycled dresser drawer made into an ottoman by Becky @ Beyond the Picket Fence,
A DIY sunburst mirror by Andrea @ Decorating Cents,
or something gray and yellow for my next room redo
(styleboard created by Chelsea @ Tis So Sweet).
Please consider joining me for the Pinterest Challenge: Fall Edition. Along with many most of you, I am so very busy and don't have a heck of a lot of time to pinning and projecting; but here's what's awesome about the challenge: 1) It's meant to be fun. Don't stress yourself out by biting off more than you can chew. Do something simple and manageable if you don't have time for much more. 2) It can be used as a stress reliever! If you're bogged down with stuff at work or home, use the challenge as a chance to take time for yourself!
The rules are simple:
  • Give credit where credit is due. Link your project to the original source.
  • Shut up and commit! Take one week, and only one week, to complete the project of your choice. Projects should be completed by Tuesday October 30. You have the whole weekend!
  • Come back here on October 30 (and visit YHL or BP) to share your results.
  • Have fun! :) Projects can be anything you've pinned -- a recipe (MOM), a piece of art, a furniture repurpose, a sewing or knitting project you've been dying to try. The possibilities are endless!
Please join me! It's so much more fun to do things together! :)
P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right! If you like it, pin it!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Patio Furniture Upgrade

Remember those outdated gliding patio chairs that we were gifted way back in the Spring? I told you I was going to have them updated by the time I went back to school. Well, school has been back in session for almost two months now, and I just finished the upgrade last night.

This is what the chairs looked like pre-upgrade:

I decided to go with a trendy color combo for the update: grey and yellow. After measuring the original cushions, I bought 3 yards of a yellow and white geometric indoor/outdoor print from
When the fabric came in, it sat around for quite a while. A few weeks back, I finally got around to recovering the cushions. After carefully measuring a second time and cutting the fabric, I sewed two pieces together on three sides. Then, I slipped the original cushion inside the pocket. Finally, I used my  Dritz snap fastener and some size 16 (7/16") snaps to close the top. That way, I can easily remove the covers for cleaning.
After covering the cushions, the filthy chair frames sat outside for another few weeks. I finally decided to get my butt in gear this weekend. I pulled out the spray paint and got going. After thoroughly cleaning and drying the frames, I gave them each a coat of gray spray primer by Valspar. Then, I added a coat of gloss protective enamel in gray by Rust-Oleum.
When I got home from work this evening, I went straight to the garage to add the cushions to the frames to see what the final product would look like. I have to say, I'm pretty happy! Check them out...

What do you think? If you look closely at the first picture, you can see that the dark green strips from the original cushions show through a bit. It's pretty subtle, so it doesn't really bother me a whole lot. It certainly wasn't worth the extra work to sew in a lining! I just love that snap fastener. It should make it way easier to clean the covers since they'll get filthy dirty before I know it!
It's too bad that I didn't get my butt in gear early enough to enjoy the chairs during the Summer. We may squeeze out a couple more mild days before they get put away for the Winter, but we should get much more use out of them next year.
P.S. If you enjoy reading my blog, please follow me by clicking "Join this site" and/or entering your email address over to the right of the page. If you want to see what projects I have worked on or plan on working on in the future, follow me on Pinterest by clicking the link to the right! If you like it, pin it!