Posts Tagged ‘diy’

My homemade pipe stool

November 13th, 2015

Pipe stool

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about design, and specifically how the environments we encounter can suggest that one take a certain course of action. By keeping my shoes near the door to my apartment for my own convenience I’d accidentally created a bad design — a situation that subtly suggested one should remove one’s shoes, but didn’t offer any place to sit while doing so.

I honestly don’t care if people remove their shoes or not but I want people to feel welcome if I’ve inadvertently suggested it. What I needed was a place to sit.

Yeah, I mean I could have just bought a chair or a stool, or even found one on Craigslist. But that’s no fun.

Loosely following the design from this blog post I bought some iron pipe fittings at the hardware store and for the seat I purchased a tree slice from Amazon. I removed loose bark from the tree slice and applied a few layers of spray-on lacquer.

The pipes were more of a challenge. After a couple hours of wrestling with heavy iron pipes (and getting a few bruises along the way) I managed to get the pipes locked tightly into place. Then it was simply a matter of adjusting the caps at the bottom until the thing was level, and the floor flanges on the top so they were all level with the seat.

A few screws later, and I had a most unusual homemade stool. But most of all I solved a small design problem I’d accidentally created in my own living space.

DIY Mason jar soap dispenser

October 12th, 2012

Mason jar soap dispenser

Here’s a DIY project that’s actually useful: a soap dispenser built into a Mason jar. It’s stupidly easy, so if you have no talent but want to jumpstart your Etsy career, this is for you.


1. Mason jar, or whatever.
Mason jar or you could use a cool looking peanut butter jar, etc. I’m told Mason jars are hip, it’s what the cool kids are using these days. The jar is your choice, but it does need to have a metal lid.

2. Kitchen sink soap dispenser.
You ever see these? Some kitchen sinks have a special hole and you can put a soap dispenser in there. Don’t buy one of the cheap-o ones, those break after a month or two (trust me on this.) Delta makes a sturdy one you can get for ~$35.


A drill, etc.
Something that makes holes in metal.

Or a knife, you need to cut plastic.


As you probably guessed, the only step is to punch a hole in the top of the jar’s lid and screw in the soap dispenser in to that hole.

You can drill one big hole if you have the proper sized drill bit, or you could just drill a bunch of small holes to perforate the lid and safely remove the middle part out with a pair of pliers. The hole doesn’t need to be perfect; the soap dispenser is much wider than the part that fits through the hole.

You’ll likely need to cut the soap dispenser’s straw/hose so that it fits in the jar.

Okay, you’re done! add soap and wash your filthy hands.