Posts Tagged 'DIY'

mason jar lids – revisited

About a month ago, I posted about my mason jar lids. At the time, it was a wonderful addition to my mason jar cups.

Fast forward a few weeks… frustrated with rust accumulating on the underside of my mason jar rings, I needed to find another solution. At first, I thought that I could, perhaps, just spray them with rustoleum and they would be water tight. Yes, there were flaws in my logic, and admittedly, if I’d thought this one through completely, I would have realized that spraying the insides of my rings with paint was not the smartest solution, but I digress. That clearly wasn’t the ultimate solution.

Another option out there is the cuppow lids. I love the concept and idea, but I am not paying $12 (cost + shipping) for a single lid. Not when there are other options available, at least.

Besides, I think I’ve found the new hotness in mason jar lids… ready for this?

INTRODUCING…. (drumroll, please)…

The new mason jar lid!!

new and improved!

Want on board with the latest and greatest trend? Here’s how you can make one yourself…

1. Go to your local grocery/walmart and pick up some plastic canning lids (the ones for storage, not for canning/processing).

2. Follow one of the two methods laid out below to put holes in your lids.

Because this was (once again) a matter of trial and error, I’ll tell you what not to do first.

Method #1 (the less awesome way to do this):

drill meets lid

1. Pull out your drill. Use a board or something you don’t care about to do this on top of. Figure out where you want your hole to be on the lid. Steady the lid with one hand, the drill with the other. Be VERY careful to keep your fingers away from the moving parts.

While drilling, the lid will try to spin due to the torque of the drill bit. Once you get all the way through, the lid will get a little stuck on the bit and you’ll have to ease it out. Just go slowly and be careful. This method, as I’ve stated previously, is not the best method for adding holes to your lids.

goal accomplished, holes drilled

2. Goal accomplished, but the holes were rather messy, and the danger level of this project was about 9.5 (out of 10). Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I wouldn’t do it again this way. I was seriously concerned about bodily harm. Maybe I would have felt more comfortable if I had a vice grip to hold the lid in place, rather than my hand.

drilled lid

3. Ready for drinking, but this is one ugly hole. I tried to pull off the extra shavings the drill left behind, but that just ripped a larger chunk in the top. Not pretty.

Method #2 (this is the one I’d suggest trying):

lid meets soldering iron

1. Heat up your soldering iron. You want it to be good and hot before coming in to contact with your lid. Also, do this project on something you don’t care about that’s NOT flammable. We have a (tiny) black mark on our counter from where the soldering iron may have come in to brief contact with it. Oops.

If you don’t have a soldering iron, go to radio shack and buy one. They’re not that expensive. I found this one in my husband’s electrical repair kit in our garage. (shhhhh! don’t tell him I’m using his soldering iron for this… oh, wait… the jig might be up already.)

2. Once heated, push your soldering iron through your lid. I wanted my holes to be about the circumference of the base of the iron, so I pushed it all the way through. Be VERY careful while doing this. Do NOT come in to contact with your skin. Soldering irons are darn hot.

There will be a bit of melted plastic still on the iron when you pull it out. I keep a piece of cardboard handy nearby to scrape off any excess, rather than letting it burn off. Just don’t let it come in to contact for too long – cardboard will burn!!

Oh yeah, one other thing of note… melting plastic is a hazardous thing. Not good for your lungs, brain, eyes, whatever else you want to throw in there. Be like Bill, and DO NOT inhale. Or just don’t use this method at all. Please don’t do it just because I said I did. I’m not cool enough to have that kind of influence.

Here’s a tip… to get a perfect, clean hole, melt your hole from the bottom side of the lid. The extra “stuff” will be on the inside and not visible. See the picture above? The top lid was done from the bottom side, and the bottom lid was done from the top side.

perfection! hole was started on the inside of the lid.

Check out that amazingly perfect hole!!

3. This lid is ready for some action. Screw it on, stick a straw in it and suck. (Man, that sounds dirty. I swear it’s not meant to.)

Using the same scale as before, the danger level of this method still ranks around 8 (out of 10), but the fact that there are no moving parts gives me some relief. I have a healthy respect for power tools. Just be smart with the soldering iron and don’t let your husband know what you’re using his tools for. :)

And what of my old mason jar lids? All is not lost. A quick trim and they fit perfectly in my magic bullet cups. Ahh, the circle is complete. I love it when things work out so well.

the birdy lives to see another day!

how to: make lotion

Yup, I made my own lotion. I’ve done it before, but never followed any legit recipe or anything. Just blended together a variety of oils, aloe vera gel, vitamin e oil, etc until I got a consistency I liked. This time? I followed for real recipes. And it turned out pretty darn good!

Ben & I both struggle with severely dry hands in the winter time. Dry to the point of cracked and bleeding knuckles (eewwww…). Dry enough that it hurts to bend my fingers. Two weeks in Hawaii cleared it right up for me (speaking of, I know I still owe you posts for our last few days on vacation… they’re coming, I promise). It only took a few weeks back home in winter weather for the dry skin to return.

Tired of it, I set out to make two types of lotion – lotion bars and regular lotion.

The lotion bars turned out great… here’s an “after” shot:

lotion bar

The regular lotion set up a bit more solid than I expected:

SOLID lotion... this may as well be a lotion bar recipe as well. (sorry about the suuuuper blurry photo here... my camera decided to focus on the cabinets in the background. *sigh*)

I had a fix for the hard stuff… I’ll explain more below.

A few weeks ago, I placed an order for bulk lotion supplies from Bulk Apothecary. They took about a week to get here, then I sat on them for about a week more. Finally, two nights ago, I’d had enough of the dry, cracking skin and pulled out the supplies. Here’s what I ordered:

Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Grapeseed Oil, Beeswax, Grapefruit Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil and Vanilla Essential Oil

I started with the lotion bars first. I used the “Easy Lotion Bars” recipe from Teach Soap. I used shea butter, yellow beeswax and grapeseed oil for the base. I waited and added the essential oil at the very end, which didn’t turn out so great… it really needs to be added while the mixture is still HOT so it can blend with everything else. I poured three plain lotion bars for Ben, and three scented bars for me.

My scale was essential for this project. Then, I subsequently dropped and broke it after completing my lotions. :( It was time to upgrade to digital anyway.

Using a double boiler method, I melted the oil and beeswax in separate containers, per the instructions.

ahhhh!! i'm melllting, meeelllting...

Dropped some essential oil in to my silicone molds (these things have seen a lot of action recently).

I combined the melted beeswax with the hot oils, the poured the mixture in to molds. It started setting up surprisingly fast. It must have been cold in our house.

And after they cooled completely (about an hour)…

Here’s what the ones with essential oils looked like.

boooo! the essential oils collected at the bottom.

The plain ones were fine, though.

Recipe #2 – “Regular” Lotion

I used this recipe from the “a sonoma garden” blog. I used a combo of grapeseed and olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, vitamin e and some essential oils for my version. I call it “the kitchen sink”. It smells A.MAZ.ING. I followed the same basic instructions and ratios of butter/oil (1 1/2 cups) to beeswax (1/2 cup), but the fact that shea and cocoa butter are hard at room temperature contributed to the fact that this set up much thicker than expected. More oil fixed that easily!

a one jar recipe. i like it already!

woohoo! melted!
(love the trivet? my cousin makes them... contact me @ suzyness.com@gmail.com if you want one!)

setting up... a little thick.

I noticed the lotion was a bit thick at this point and added more grapeseed oil. Then, I scooped some out in to a container more suitable for “solid” lotion (on the right), and added a little more oil to the jar… then, a lot more. All in all, I think I added nearly a cup of additional oil. We really wanted a squirt-able consistency – one that we could put in our hand pump and get out easily. It finally got to that point.

still setting up - I added vitamin E and essential oils at this point

As the lotion was cooling, I added liquid vitamin E (to both containers) and some vanilla essential oil (to the container on the right). I used a small whisk to blend it in, which worked very well (a fork would have also worked).

The verdict? Both versions turned out pretty awesome and seem to be helping my dry skin. Yay! I sent Ben off with his lotion bar in a baggie, and I have one on my nightstand. This project was easy and fun – it made me wish I’d tried it sooner!

mason jar lids

Want to hear about something cool? Who doesn’t, right? I’ve discovered an awesome new way to drink from mason jars… with plastic lid inserts. Even better? It’s a cheap DIY project that is quick and easy.

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Remember this picture from my coffee post? It has one of my new lids on it.

Here’s another lid demonstration (please ignore the messiness on the counter… this was after making green monster smoothies). I call this the “junior” lid…

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Again, I found the idea on Pinterest. I <3 that website so much. It’s fantastic. It was a combination of two ideas I found, really. This one, that used plastic paper lids, and this one, that drilled holes directly in to the standard metal mason jar lids. Both were great ideas, but I didn’t have the materials for either. What I did have were some cheap Ikea place mats, scissors and a hole punch. And so, it begins.

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Step 1 – I traced around the standard mason jar lid with a sharpie. Then, I took out scissors and started cutting.

step 1 - trace and cut

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Step 2 – After tracking down my hole punch, we were in business. I picked a spot and punched a hole through. I wanted it far enough away from the edge that if C tipped her cup toward her, liquid wouldn’t come gushing out. I would have preferred the center, but my hole punch wasn’t large enough to accommodate that.

step 2 - punch a hole

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Step 3 – I inserted my new lid in to the standard metal ring that comes with mason jars, filled up the jar with a beverage, and put a straw in the hole. That’s it! I really don’t think it could be simpler.

step 3 - insert lid in to metal ring, screw on mason jar, add a straw and sip away!

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This was a fun project. It’s a great way to get away from using plastic all the time for C’s drinks, and she loves the birds on her cups! I’d love to find some other place mat designs to try out.



Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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