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!


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