DIY, Holidays, Home

Handmade Holiday: Ball Jar Soap Dispensers

While you’ll have to source your own Ball Jar, lid, soap pump and matching washer, from there, you just give it a little elbow grease, spray a rust protective coating, and piece it together! Follow along, we’ll show you how!

For the Antique Lovers

If you want the authentic look, get those antique jars from flea markets or thrift stores. Otherwise, you can pick up the green or blue throwbacks in craft stores, groceries, and just about anywhere now. Cleanliness is next to godliness, and you get to save the earth by upcycling, too!

I ordered these shiny metal pumps with glass balls inside because they looked sharp. But nothing works better than the good ol’ fashioned spring loaded plastic pump you can repurpose from a disposable bottle, if you can get a washer to match at the hardware store.


Ball Jar
Soap Pump
Washer (fits inside your soap pump through the lid’s hole)
Poly Finish Spray Coating
Metal Lid to match ball jar mouth opening, with pre-drilled hole
—If no pre-drilled hole exits, you’ll also need:
Drill with bit that can handle metal, or hammer and nail
Metal file
Hobby knife (optional)


Cutting your Hole

If your lid doesn’t have a pre-cut hole, get your drill or hammer and nail, pliers and metal file. It won’t be a perfect circle and it’s a lot of work, but you can make it! Place the smaller side of the washer onto the inside center of the lid, and trace around it tightly with a pencil. Make sure the hole isn’t too big or small— the washer must fit without sliding through. Trace your circle with an exacto blade, if you can. It will help the pieces come out later. Steady your lid on a workbench or scrap block of wood, and using your hammer and nails, or an electric drill with a bit that can handle metal, drill as best you can around the inside of the circle you drew.  Use pliers to rock the pieces back and forth until they come off. File around the edge until the circle’s edges are no longer sharp. Test fit the washer every now and then until it fits.

Spraying the Lid

Before you piece everything together, if you choose a metal lid, seal it with a spray poly finish on both sides so it doesn’t rust.

Piece it Together

Push the washer through the lid from the inside and screw the pump on tightly outside. Fill the jar with liquid soap, seal the lid and begin pumping! If the soap doesn’t come out, mix up to 50% water to dilute it.

That’s It!

We hope you have an easy time finding the soap pump with matching washer, pre-cut lid and vintage ball jar! If you don’t find all the pieces online, you can still make your own pump with a trip to a hobby or hardware store.

There’s three tutorials left until Christmas! Follow the rest of our 12 Happy Days of Handcrafted Gifts posts to make something special this season!

Happy Holidays!

—Catfight Craft

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