Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pumped Up

Those of you who have been in my home know it is definitely NOT fancy. Old, would be putting it mildly. Because of that, there are times I feel like a shinny new something looks out of place.

I wanted to get new soap dispensers (when I say "new" I mean not the plastic bottle it comes in), but they all looked to fancy for my little old house. This was my solution.

I decided to use an old canning jar and just attach a pump to the top. This was a super easy project, and as usual FREE.

canning jar and lid (whatever size you want)
old plastic soap pump container
drill and 1" spade bit
spray paint
liquid soap
a handy husband helps too :)

Here we go. First you need to cut a hole in the top of the lid. (This is where my handy husband was awesome) Kent used a 1" spade bit to cut a hole in the lid. This was the most difficult part of the project because the lid wanted to spin while being drilled. Kent clamped the lid on a scrap piece of wood. After it is drilled make sure the lid will fit over the INSIDE ring on the soap dispenser. Spray paint it any color you want.

Now you need to cut up your soap dispenser. I had an old face soap container that was easy to cut up. Carefully cut the container apart. You want to make sure you cut the inside ring out with a little around it. (See the photo below) This is how you attach the pump to the jar.

Now just assemble it together again. Put the inside ring through the hole in the lid, screw on the pump, fill the jar with soap, put the lid on the jar and screw the ring on. Ta Da! You could embellish the jar with ribbon or something cute like that, but at my house I think any extras might get pretty grimy.

Have fun.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shrinking Silhouettes

I've noticed that those cute silhouettes we made in grade school seem to be everywhere in home decor. Cute little cut out heads on walls, pillows and all kids of stuff. I love the idea and was trying to come up with a fun way to wear my favorite little silhouettes. Here is what I came up with. Cute right? Want one? They are super easy and extra cheap. Mine was made from things I had laying around the house.
plastic container with recycle #6 on it
sharpie or other permanent marker
nail file (or fine sand paper)
picture to trace
9 or so jump rings
beads and head-pins (I used broken or mismatched earrings, already done so no extra work)
necklace or cord (Oooo ribbon would be pretty too)

That's right folks, it's a pre-made pie crust. You get to eat the pie you make, just save that plastic lid. You can use any plastic contaner you find as long as it has the recycle #6 stamp on it (you know the little triangle arrows with a 6 in the middle). So, this part of the project is FREE! Just use something that was going in the garbage.
Next I took pictures of my kids profiles and printed it out a contact sheet so they were nice and small. I then cut my pie lid up into square that would fit the pictures. My squares were about 1 1/2". File the surface a bit to give it "tooth", it will help the ink stick better. Next trace the sweet little silhouettes with a permanent marker, then completely fill in the head space. Then punch a hole in the top with a standard hole punch (So make sure you leave enough room at the top). I rounded the corners on mine too, just to get rid of anything sharp that might be by Bubby's face.
Pretty easy right? I actually redid D's picture, the lips turned out funky the first time. The awesome thing is there was more plastic to use so no big deal. Now the super cool part. Put the cut plastic on a foil lined baking sheet (shinny side up) and bake it at 350 for 3-4 min. Don't panic when you peek in and the plastic is all curled up and distorted, it will flatten out. In fact, that is how you know it is done, take it out when all the pieces are nice and flat. Let it cool for a second, and you have cute little charms.
Now you can assemble the necklace. I put a jump ring through each charm. Then I used old broken earrings (Never throw out your broken or incomplete jewlery sets. I find so many uses for one old earring), and other random beads to make some pretty danglies. To construct the necklace I used 8 jump rings. One on each, charm, one on each danglie. I then connected all the charms and danglies together using the remaining jump rings. I tried to form a small chain with mine so the charms would hand down.
Now put it on a chain (you know you have some unused necklaces hanging out in your jewelry box just needing to be used). Put on a cute t-shirt and admire your handy work.

(I think it it funny that Bubby has an Alfred Hitchcock profile, and K's little pony tail is so sweet.)