Friday, January 3, 2014

Beer Cap Shadowbox and Jameson Soap Dispenser (My brother's birthday gifts)

My brother's birthday is right before Christmas, so I am always hard at work at the beginning of December.  This year, I decided to make my brother drinking-related gifts. I feel like there's only so many years before it's no longer appropriate to give him alcohol gifts, so I have to get them out there now!

The first gift I chose to make was this Beer Cap Shadowbox inspired by CraftBeerHound (on sale on their website for $60!).  This was my first time using etching cream (you can buy it at any craft store, about $10 for a small bottle but lasts awhile), but luckily I had my awesome experienced roommate walking me through the process.  For the beer glass, we tried to use the Cricut, but didn't have any beer glasses on the cartridges available, so I had to free-hand it.  I drew on contact paper then cut it out with a craft knife and stuck it on the glass.

  I then gooped the etching cream on the stencil, making sure it was nice and thick. I used a painting sponge I had laying around.

I waited 5-10 minutes, washed it off a few times, and ta-da!

Fiance helped me out with this by drilling the hole at the top. We really needed a saw (which I bought a few days later for another project), but made do with what we had.


The other gift I made for my brother was this Jameson Soap Dispenser inspired by CurlyBirds.  For this, I was mis-led in thinking I could just buy a bottle of Jameson, buy any old soap bottle, and the lid would screw right on (thanks Pinterest comments with no reliability)... but it was indeed much more difficult than that.
I chose Jameson because the only other liquor that I know my brother loves is SoCo Lime and that bottle was large and plastic. I remembered that they toured the Jameson factory when they went to Ireland on their honeymoon, so I landed on that. The only bottle of Jameson they had out in the store was way too big, but they had the perfect size behind the counter.
Next I just bought a regular plastic bottle of Suave soap from Target that had a nice looking top (even though it was plastic).
I went home and emptied out the Jameson, washed out the bottle, and put a layer of mod-podge and laquer over the label to make it more water-proof.

Next I attempted the lid transfer. Uh oh...
1. The lid didn't fit.
2. The plastic tube that reaches down into the soap didn't hit the end of the bottle.

Problem number 2 was an easy fix - I just got another soap bottle from around the house that had a longer tube and cut it to the right length, then inserted it into the soap lid I already chose.

Problem number 1 was much more difficult. I tried using corks, I thought about gluing it on (which means it would be a one-time-use bottle), and I got very frustrated. Eventually, I realized that I could just use the actual lid that came with the bottle of Jameson, poke a hole in the top, and insert the soap dispenser in that.

The problem with this was that I had to disassemble the soap dispenser to take off the large plastic ring that I was going to replace with the Jameson lid.  It was easy enough, just a few rough pulls, but when I assembled it all back together the dispenser no longer worked!

My solution was to unscrew another soap dispenser in the house and see how it all fits together. So I did, and it still didn't work. Now I have 3 broken dispensers in the house. Just so you know, this went on for hours and over a few days. I bought more dispensers. I dis-assemled and re-assembled probably 20 times. Every dispenser in the house, whether it be lotion or soap or hand sanitizer is no lid-less.

Finally, just when I was about to give up, I found the problem. There's this tiny little ball that goes in the plastic tube of the dispenser. The tiny little ball was in the wrong place. That's it!

So, at last I had a working soap dispenser!!!! The funniest part was when I gave it to my brother and my mom said, "Hey! Can you do that for one of my co-workers???"

Anyways, I put these two gifts together with a 12-pack of Sam Adams (his favorite from his time in Boston) and I had myself a birthday gift!

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