DIY: Monogram Soap Bottles

April 22, 2014

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

By Gabrielle. Photos and styling by Amy Christie.  //  This post is brought to you by Office Depot’s #TeachersChangeLives program. Register your child’s classroom, so the students have the school supplies they need to succeed.

The end of the school year is approaching fast and I know you’re  thinking about something nice you can do for your child’s teacher. As you may remember, a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about teachers having to buy supplies for their classrooms out of their own pockets (you guys left the best comments!), so it won’t surprise you to hear that I think the best gift would be a donation for classroom supplies using Adopt A Classroom + Office Depot!

Final Infographic (new colors)

Teachers buy so many things for their students — from basic food, to warm coats, to field trips — and there are so many good, straight out of the box, practical items that would make great gifts. But I know sometimes it feels special to give a handmade gift, so I thought it would be fun to come up with something that would work at school or at home, and that could be personalized too.

Etched soap pumps fit the bill wonderfully! They’re easy to make, they look great, and you can pair them with a classroom donation, or give them as a stand alone gift.

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

This is a smart, usable gift for teachers, but really, it will work for anyone on your list at any time of the year — a housewarming gift, a hostess gift, a neighbor gift at the holidays — or make some for your own house.

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

The etching is so fun to do, you’ll want to etch every piece of glassware you have. Gather friends and have an etching party!

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

Come and check out this simple project.

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives


- sticker-back vinyl
- cutting blade
- etching cream
- brush
- letters in your chosen font (Archer is the font pictured here)
- glass bottle*

*Test the etch cream on the glass you intend to etch. Glass that is coated in plastic (to make it more shatter resistant) or glass that contains lead will not etch. If you find the glass won’t etch with cream, try an “etching paint“.

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

First, cut the letters out of vinyl.

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

Remove the adhesive cover on the backside and place the vinyl on the bottles. I found it easiest to tear off the bottom 1/5 of the adhesive cover and place it where I wanted it to be. When I peeled the rest of the backing off and stuck the rest of it down. Make sure all the edges are firmly pressed down.

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

Apply the etching cream over the exposed glass. Follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding length of time and rinsing.

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

Add in a colorful soap and it’s set!

Easy & Pretty! Make an Etched Soap Pump for Child's Teacher   |   #teacherschangelives

Can you believe how easy? The only time consuming part is cutting out the initials — keep that in mind when you choose a font (straight lines are easier to cut!).

I hope you have fun making these, and I hope you think of a happy way to honor the teachers in your life this year.

P.S. — As part of the #TeachersChangeLives program, Office Depot teamed up with Adopt A Classroom to highlight the stories of educators throughout the U.S. that go above and beyond in the classroom. These stories range from teachers in underprivileged and underfunded schools, to teachers that take innovation in the classroom to the next level, and everything in between. With teachers already doing so much with so little, think how much more they could do with support from the community. Go here and scroll down to see all the videos — they’re really well done, they had me in tears! Here’s one of my favorites:

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jen April 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm

These are gorgeous! Do you have a source for the bottles?


2 Design Mom April 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Hi Jen! I found these at Target — but some two of the commentors below mentioned they don’t work well after awhile. (Such a bummer!) I obviously haven’t owned or used these for very long — the project was created over the weekend, so I can’t tell you personally how well these work, which is why I didn’t link to them as a source — I wasn’t sure how well they functioned.

I’ll do some searches and see if another good one pops up that has a good price.


3 Marilyn April 22, 2014 at 12:51 pm

@Jen, they look like some that Target usually has in stock. Unfortunately, I have experienced some problems with them clogging and decaying in the nozzle, just using the standard non-scented Method soap refills. Does anyone have any better rec, or a way to keep these looking nice? Or a source for just the nozzle to replace?


4 Design Mom April 22, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Thanks for the info! The bottles are new to me, but now I’m curious to see how quickly they clog up for me. So far so good!


5 Linda March 2, 2016 at 10:29 pm

Go to Hobby Lobby or Michales they have the pumps it would be best to use a clear Mason Jar at Wal Mart


6 Susan April 22, 2014 at 2:22 pm

What a fun idea. I will add that I’ve purchased that soap dispenser twice (thinking the first was a dud, silly me) from Target, the they have both stopped pumping properly after a months or so. They’re pretty, but I wouldn’t recommend them.


7 Design Mom April 22, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Thanks for the tip, Susan. Mine are working well and I’m bummed to think they won’t after awhile.

Now I’m wondering if I could find inexpensive mason jar lids with pumps and buy a box full as an alternative…


8 monique April 22, 2014 at 4:35 pm

There is a similar one at Crate & Barrel which seems a little pricey until you look at what else is available elsewhere on the web.


9 Design Mom April 22, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Thanks for sleuthing, Monique!


10 Kim April 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm

I adore this project — Beautiful in its simplicity, and I loved the colored soaps you selected. I plan to make some for my friends this summer :) Thank you for posting!


11 Katie Harding April 23, 2014 at 7:29 am

These are great and I would totally give one of these to a girlfriend for a birthday gift as well and my kids teachers! Totally going to be making a few of these before the end of the school year!


12 susan April 23, 2014 at 8:56 am

Cute idea and so many possibilities!

Not to pile on but rather to confirm that the Target bottle issues aren’t uncommon… my young son gave me one for Christmas a couple years ago and within several months it was clogging and before a year was up the opening of the spout actually begin crumbling away. So disappointing, as I loved the look.


13 Alicia Long April 23, 2014 at 9:26 am

What a darling project. I just bought some awesome glass spray bottles from the source below, and they are amazing. The store also carries soap dispensers (which I haven’t tried). I’m planning to buy a few for my home, so maybe I’ll circle back and let you know how they work!


14 jet April 24, 2014 at 8:20 am

awesome idea. Like this
thank you for the sharing;-D


15 Barchbo April 24, 2014 at 11:55 am

I would add that if you are making for a teacher who has an underserved population, adding anti-bacterial hand gel and/or lotion might be a nice thought, too. A lot of my students used antibacterial gel/lotion in lieu of a shower. I also had a lot of students whose skni dried more easily or were prone to ashiness. They would cover themselves in lotion from top to bottom!

Just thought I would share!


16 jenn April 27, 2014 at 4:26 am

As a person who works with glass, and has done a ton of etching-I thought I would mention that, you will get a much better result on your glass if you leave the etching creme on overnight.


17 amy knowles May 2, 2014 at 5:52 am

I really like this idea and was wondering where you got the bottles for the soap?


18 Tiffany October 26, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Where do you get the soap?


19 ruth November 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

what vinyl did you use? did you use the “removable” or the “permanent” to do this? I love this craft…


20 Diane December 22, 2014 at 6:22 am

Way past teachers, but maybe you could help as I would like to do this for neighbor gifts. What kind of soap is in there, it looks likes salt and the colors are like none I have seen. Please email me.


21 Ashley Rauch March 25, 2015 at 12:28 pm


I just came across this post on pinterest and love it. I have a question for you though. Could you do this to your glass drink-ware? Specifically wondering if washing the glasses after etching them would end up wearing it off in some way?

Thanks in advance!


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