About 10 years ago I fell in love with the most darling mason jar soap pump that I saw in a catalog...and I didn't buy it. I regretted that decision for a long time, because I absolutely adore them, but now I can make my own! I'm SO happy with it--I can't wait wait to make a few more. :)
I was surprised at how quick they are to make--it really only took about 15-20 minutes to get it put together, plus the overnight drying time. I used a vintage mason jar and zinc lid that I found at a garage sale a couple of years ago, but you could use a regular mason jar. You do need to use the zinc lid though, and after a quick google search, I came up with a few buy options--for around $1 apiece. Most of the ones I saw you had to buy in a group of 10 or so, but this would be something you could go in on with a friend or two. You could also scout garage sales, habitat re-sale stores, and even craigslist.
What is a zinc lid? It's the kind of lid that came with a vintage mason jar--it's one whole lid, rather than a ring with a flat lid like they are now. They fit most mason jars (not wide mouth)--old and new.
For the pump, a $1 liquid soap that I found at our local store, and I'm happy with the neutral, clear color. I've also seen them with white pumps. I didn't want to purchase a more expensive silver or oil rubbed bronze pump, but if you like that look better (but don't want to spend the money to buy one, either), you could always spray paint it using a bronze paint-but PRIME it first! Or buy one. :)
- mason jar, with zinc lid
- liquid soap container with pump
- drill and 7/8 spade bit
- E6000 or gorilla glue
1. I started with my mason jar and lid, and a $1 container of liquid soap from my nearest store. Empty the soap into your mason jar, remove the pump, and rinse it to it's clean of any soap residue.
2. Grab a pair of sharp kitchen scissors and cut out the top part of the soap dispenser, like this:
3. Draw an x on the top of the zinc lid where you want your pump to be.
Using a spade bit, drill a hole in the top of your lid. We used a 7/8 bit, because that was the size that most closely matched the size of the opening of the top part of the container we just cut off--it will be fitting through that hole, and needs to fit as tightly as possible. Try a few different sized bits on a wood board, then try and fit that threaded top through each hole until you get the right fit.
Once you start drilling, you will hit a solid plastic-y layer first. You don't need it, and you can remove the pieces and continue drilling all the way through.
4. Once your hole is drilled, make sure that the top part of your container will fit through the hole easily, but tightly. I had to take my tin snips and make a few tiny cuts to make sure that it would fit through. It should look like this:
5. Once you know it fits, you're ready to glue it in place! I actually trimmed a little more of the plastic off--closer to where the threads were, so it wouldn't show below the lid. Using E6000 or Gorilla Glue (remember---GG foams up quite a bit, so be careful with the amount that you use), and apply it NOT to the threads (where you screw on the lid), but just below that, on it's "shoulders", where it will sit against the bottom of the zinc lid. Slide it into place firmly, and let it dry overnight.
6. Once it's completely dry, you're ready to screw in your soap pump, and then the lid onto the jar.
There you have it! A DARLING soap pump for your kitchen or guest bath--it will add the perfect touch of vintage charm. What a fun gift, too...