Friday, June 15, 2012

Living the Dream

It hit me the other day that I'm living my dream:  to graduate college and to be a design engineer.  It's incredible.  Somebody pinch me!  I'm pretty sure that just yesterday I turned 16 and this morning I graduated high school... when did college happen?  And getting married?  And getting hired full-time?  (And passing Heat Transfer?)  There were so many hard days, sometimes I wasn't sure I would make it through.

Honestly, it's not as perfect as when it was on the horizon, but that's just life.  Nothing is ever perfect, but it can still be lovely.  There are at least a million things I don't know, but I have great coworkers and a great supervisor who have been a big help (and very patient).

I'm standing here at this milestone, and I have many more dreams that I hope to see realized, but I am so thankful and all I can think to say is:

Here I raise my ebeneezer
Hither by Thy help I've come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home

(From Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

DIY: Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

I made this!

Handsome and I's conversation a few weeks ago, while I was supposed to be helping him unpack our office.

Me:  I need you to help me make a crafty-craft.  (Blank stare from Handsome.)  I need you to drill something for me...
Handsome:  What kind of "crafty-craft" are you making that you need me to drill something?  And weren't you going to help me unpack?
Me:  I will.  I promise.  I just don't feel like it.  So... will ya help me? (Insert cheezy grin and puss-in-boots pleading eyes.)

Thus, the mason jar soap dispenser project, herein known as MJSD project, commenced.

I first saw this project on, but found that it was a little more involved than the post made it sound.  I share below how it went for me and things I learned along the way; my edits are in italics.

  • Mason jar (pint size) and lid
  • Old soap bottle (with pump)
  • Ruler
  • 2 Part Epoxy (plastic & metal kind)
  • Toothpick (or something else to mix and spread the epoxy with)
  • Cardboard/Paper plate to mix epoxy on
  • Drill with hole attachment (with largest drill bit you have)
  • Scissors or Boxcutter
  • Marking pen
  • Leather Work Gloves (please don't cut yourself!)
  • Tin Snips
Choose a jar about the same height as your soap dispenser
(I really like that mine says "Mason Jar" on it)

1. Cut off top of old soap bottle just below the thread.  I marked with a permanent marker, and then tried to cut with box cutters.  WEAR GLOVES!!!  I found that the plastic is really thick at the top, so just cut part of it off as best as you can, and then you can trim it later with your tin snips (or other heavy-duty scissors).  You will probably have to use a lot of pressure to cut, so BE CAREFUL!

I, obviously, didn't cut on my original line, but I cleaned it up later with tin snips.

2. Use pen to measure and mark a circle in the lid of the mason jar.  You may not know this, but it's pretty hard to measure with a pen, so I used a ruler to get a rough estimate.  Draw a tiny X where the middle is and then measure the circle width with your X in the center (see below).

Mark where to drill with an X and a circle

3. Drill hole in lid of mason jar.   Drill a hole in the center with your largest bit, or use a hole attachment if you have it (mine was a 3/4" hole).

Get someone with a steady hand to drill for you

3a. Use tin snips to widen hole until the threaded plastic part fits through.  WEAR GLOVES and BE CAREFUL!  I had no success when I tried to file the hole smooth, so I wouldn't bother, unless you're a very patient person.

These are tin snips.  You can get them at a hardware store.

Not enough yet!

Don't worry too much about sharp edges, the top part will cover it.

It probably won't be quite flush with the bottom, but that's okay,
epoxy is strong stuff and will hold it together.

4. Mix epoxy and apply to the lower rim of the bottle top.  This stuff is hard-core, so try not to make a mess.  Read and follow the package instructions.  Mine had to sit for 20 minutes, undisturbed, and then had a full-cure in 24 hours.

Here's what I used.

Use a toothpick to apply the epoxy.  Let it sit according to package directions.

5. Insert the pump dispenser through the bottle top and screw tightly to secure.

6. Let the epoxy dry according to the instructions.  I did this earlier, it makes more sense to me to let it cure separately so you don't accidentally fuze it all together... unless that's what you want.

7. Fill with your favorite liquid soap.  Or with the soap that was in the bottle you just destroyed to make your pretty, new mason jar soap dispenser!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Here's a recap of the last three weeks!

So, first it was this:

Then, it was moving...

Next, it was this:

And now, we're back home and getting ready to start our jobs on Monday!