And kitchen organization
This little DIY project came about because over the past couple of years, we’ve had really bad luck with kitchen soap dispensers. We had a nice white ceramic one, but the pump broke. Then we got two matching wood ones, but the wood started warping and peeling from getting wet all the time. And you know, we just mustn’t have plastic bottles of dish soap and hand soap cluttering up the sink. I know it’s a silly preference, but I’d much rather have nice-looking reusable containers set out for use, and buy liquid soap in bulk and keep extra under the sink to refill when necessary. So anyway, when our store-bought soap dispensers kept falling apart, I decided to try to make some myself using two glass canning jars that we had on hand.
For this project, you’ll need two glass canning jars, two soap pumps (I reused the two that we had in our old crummy soap dispensers) and spray paint. Make sure to use outdoor spray paint so that your dispensers will hold up well to getting wet. I used Rustoleum spray paint in “oil rubbed bronze” from Home Depot. I really like this color–it is a fairly matte, metallic black. You will also need small wire cutters, needle nose pliers, glue, a hammer, and a large nail.
First, remove the lids from your jars and use a hammer and nail to punch a hole in the center of each lid. Then insert your wire cutters into the hole and cut an X in the center of the lid as shown below.
Flip the lid over and use your needle nose pliers to fold back each corner of the X.
Now you’ll insert your pump into the hole you’ve created in the lid. Glue in place–I used a hot glue gun, but any type of glue should work.
The last step is spray painting your pumps, lids, and lid rings. After they dry they are ready to be put onto the jars. I like to label my kitchen soap dispensers so that guests know which is hand soap and which is dish soap. (This is another great use for those cute chalkboard labels I talked about in my spice jar post).
I think the soap dispensers look great in our kitchen, and hopefully they will last a lot longer than those cheap store-bought ones! Plus, my only cost for this project was the $6 can of spray paint, which I will definitely be using for other projects as well. In fact, I already used it to update our builder’s grade sink faucet. I was somewhat nervous about spray painting a faucet, but so far it looks great and seems to be holding up well.
Another change we’ve made at home recently was switching from paper towels and paper napkins to cloth towels, which you can see in the seagrass basket to the right of the sink. They are easy to launder and function well as napkins and also for cleaning counters and appliances. Of course, we have a few rolls of paper towels on hand for really serious messes. Like when the cat had an accident all over the living room carpet. I’m sorry, but I am not going to deal with laundering that. But I do highly recommend getting some white cotton dish rags of your own to cut down on your family’s paper towel use. It will save you money in the long run, and you’ll feel more eco-conscious.
I also recently installed these wire storage baskets on the sides of our cabinets. They address one of my biggest pet peeves– clutter on the counter. Plus, they totally match the rustic metallic color of the soap dispensers and faucet, and I like the farmhouse vibe. I think our kitchen is looking pretty cute these days! When we were building our house we had to stick to a budget, so I didn’t have a very wide range of options for our cabinets or laminate countertops. But if you’re willing to work with what you’ve got, I think it’s always possible to create a space that you’ll want to spend time in.
Disclaimer: I did not come up with this letter board quote! I’m sure you’ve seen it all over Pinterest. Whoever originally wrote it has my gratitude though, because it makes me smile. And that’s exactly what I want people to do when they walk into our kitchen.
As always, thanks for reading!