DIY Something-or-Other dispenser.



Yeah, yeah, it’s beautiful I know.  But that’s not what I want to talk about right now.  I, at this very moment am so tired I could fall over.   You know that kind of tired where everything looks comfortable?  The couch, a chair, the floor, a wet toilet paper covered bathroom floor at a rest stop? I could easily sleep there.

Yes.  I’m toilet paper tired.

And it’s all because of a big glass of milk I drank last night.  I poured it, I lifted it, I downed it.  Gulp, gulp, gasp.  That tasted weird.  And why did I have to chew it? I never have to chew my milk.

My name’s Karen and I drank a glass of chunky milk last night.

I drank it so fast it was gone before I realized anything was wrong, but yes dear readers, there was something horribly wrong with my milk with globs in it.

Of course I covered my mouth and started dry gagging/running back and forth in the kitchen all by myself.  I didn’t think I was actually going to be sick that moment but I wanted to be prepared the second my stomach realized I just drank curdled milk.  I gag-ran myself into the bathroom and immediately took an anti-nausea pill, ate a couple of Pepto Bismols and prayed to the vomit Gods I’d fall asleep before my stomach started churning.

I was fine.  The Gravol (anti-nauseant) knocked me out for a good 9 hours and it was the kind of sleep where you wake up in the exact same position you laid down in, the only difference being a crust of drool covering the lower half of your face.

I got up feeling perfectly fine other than the fact that my limbs suddenly weighed 100 lbs each.  That’s a side effect of the anti-nauseants. Drowsiness and 100 pound limbs.  So that is why I’m so tired today.

Why are we here again?

Right. The beautiful DIY water dispenser.

So I wrote a post the other day about replacing the tap in your water dispenser from the ugly plastic one to a nicer brass one.  You just pull the old one out and shove the new one in.  Easy.

But it’s still an ugly plastic water dispenser.  So I took it one step further and drilled a hole in a ceramic (food safe Dolomite) vase, cut a cork lid to fit and threw on a brass tap.

Here’s a quick (like 28 seconds) video of the whole process from beginning to end.

Now that you can see it only takes 28 seconds, I’ve got you hooked and we’ll continue.
Supercool tap in my kitchen by Brizo.


Dolomite is food safe.  I checked and I checked and I checked.  Then I checked some more.  Food. Safe.  Glass is food safe so if you want to be extra sure you aren’t getting any leaching from glazes, use a glass container.  A glass cylinder vase would be perfect.




To drill into glass or ceramic you need a 3/4″ diamond drill bit.




Diamond drill bits are literally drill bits that are coated with diamond dust.  To use them they have to be kept WET while the bit is spinning.  Trying to use a diamond bit to drill a  hole into anything while it’s dry will only ruin the drill bit and cause you to swear because the stupid thing doesn’t work.




Most people/sites suggest using a spray bottle to spray down your surface while you’re drilling but that’s kindda inconvenient. I’ve found the easiest way to use a diamond drill bit is to put whatever you’re drilling into the sink with the tap running.

For this dolomite vase I nestled it in some towels then rammed a few other glass bottles in there to add support.  I wanted the vase to stay exactly where I put it until I was finished drilling.  The wet towels kept it exactly in place.




To drill your hole start your drill BEFORE putting it on your vase.  If you try to put your drill bit on the vase and THEN start the drilling you’ll be all kinds of upset when your vase goes flying and your drill bit skids along the whole surface of the vase.

Start your drill going, then gently but firmly place it on the vase. You need to be firm to stop the bit from skipping around on the surface and scratching it up.  I find putting just the edge of the drill bit where I want it works well.  Once you get a good bit of the surface drilled out at the edge, your bit will have something to grip into.  That’s when you can drill straight up and down like normal.




Do NOT add pressure to the drill.  Just let the drill do the work and don’t push down at all.  It will take a couple of minutes to get through your vase.  Just be patient and keep washing out and checking your hole.  You need to know where you are so you’re somewhat prepared for when the drill goes whoomp all the way through.  If you aren’t paying attention you’ll let your drill drop down and you might smash right through the other side.




Wash your vase and then insert your tap fitting.  Only finger tighten it.  If you have to, use a rubber pad to get a grip on the washer inside to finger tighten it.




For a lid you can either cut a piece of wood, but I’ve found wood lids really impart a wood taste into the water.  Or buy a cork hot pad and cut it to size.




Cork is crumbly.  To stop it from crumbling a bit steam the cork over hot water then cut it with scissors.  It won’t look perfect, trust me.  Don’t worry about it.  Just do the best you can, taking small cuts and once it fits, sand the sides to smooth the cork out.




Stick it in your fridge beside your “I watch cooking shows” food  and you’re done.  Or are you?




This, by the way is my “suspicious” face.  I know dolomite is safe.  I know it is.  I’ve checked and checked.  And what do I care?  I heat up things in plastic in the microwave.  I eat Cheesies off the carpet.   Basically I’m one teardrop tattoo shy of getting my colours.  I. Am. An. Outlaw.



But no matter how many times I drank out of the container this past week I had that worry.  That … mystery milk worry.  That it was going to make me sick. That the dolomite is leaching some kind of rare deadly mineral that would make me walk backwards and constantly pretend to be twirling a baton.




Then I started to think the water out of it tasted funny.

This whole DIY was going straight to hell in a well.  Then I remembered a tip I got from a potter once.  She said if you fill the container in question with hot water and leave it for a few hours if you can see any crazing in the glaze that means it might leach out the clay material inside.  If there is no crazing or lines in the glaze, then you’re good to go.

I checked.

I was good to go.

Funny how your brain can play tricks on you.


Large glass vase

3/4″ diamond drill bit (Your drill bit should be one size larger than your spigot.The spigot I’m featuring here is 5/8ths” wide, so I used a 3/4″ bit) Just as long as your hole is a bit bigger than the spigot pipe)

Brass spigot



1.  Nestle your vase in towels in the sink. Make sure it’s stable. Add more towels or bottles if you need to.

2.  Turn the water on.  More than a trickle, less than a torrent.

3.  Start your drill then, start drilling your hole by using just one edge of the drill bit.  Once the edge has drilled enough to give you some grip, straighten your drill out and continue drilling your hole.

4.  Once you’ve drilled through remove the piece of glass from the base and wash the vase.

5.  Insert your spigot.

6.  Chill dispenser in the refrigerator. Show your vase off to anyone who you can grab off the street.


Celebrate with a glass of milk and cookies.  Or maybe just cookies.

p.s. I totally expect you to suggest other uses for this dispenser too.

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  1. jaymo says:

    You can also build a circular dam around the drill site using modeling clay, fill that dam with water to create a pool, and then drill per your instructions. Just an alternative to setting up in the sink, or as an option for glass or ceramics that are too large for the sink. Very clever idea, thanks for sharing.

  2. Kari says:

    Lol glad you’re ok! This IS beautiful! I want to do this. It’s true, almost every cute water dispenser has an ugly plastic tap.

    • Karen says:

      I completely love my water dispenser. I use it every day! (but if I don’t use it for several days straight I drain the tap a bit because it can taste like metal! ~ karen

  3. Donna Holm says:

    Karen, I enjoy your writing! I think you might be a bit obsessed on the milk, however. Curdled milk is just, well, curdled. What do you think yogurt is? I have known some people on the edge of poverty who seemed to end up with bad milk as a matter of course, and they survived okay… and Ethiopians have a national food that relies on curdled milk, as do the Masai people… I wonder if you suffered more from your preventative measures than if you had just said “Eww, gross!” And brushed your teeth and went to bed…

  4. April says:

    You all are funny! The dispenser turned out beautifully too. Glad I found this blog!

    • Karen says:

      Yes the readers are usually funnier than I am April. I’m thinking of retiring and handing the reins over to them. ~ karen!

  5. lol, very funny blog. I hope the sickness has passed by now. This looks extremely practical and useful. My wife and I are both hands on, so this sort of craft is right up our alley. Great vid to go along with the post.

  6. So awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

  7. Michiel says:

    Wine. Lots of wine.

    Who drinks water anyway?

  8. Stefanie Barrett says:

    It looks so elegant, no one will suspect I’ve filled it with vodka and lemonade. It’s going to be a fabulous summer!

  9. marcia says:

    This is a really a good use for a vase at my house that is often flower deprived. I want to try doing this, but I wonder how easy the cork lid is to take off? Will I break my nails and end up with pieces of same in my beverage? Or, is the cork lid easy to remove? Thanks for your answer (I am hoping you reply…).

  10. Korrine Johnson says:

    So friggin’ pretty.

  11. Mindy says:

    Wow, you ARE fancy.
    I totally suggest sangria.

    • Karen says:

      Super fancy. This isn’t the thing I made that I think you’ll be interested in though. That’s coming up next week. heh. ~ karen!

  12. Jan in Waterdown says:

    I have a question spigot-wise. Have never purchased/shopped for/desired/or even thought about a spigot. Are they readily available? Think I may have spigot envy . . . maybe.

    • Karen says:

      Hi jan. NO they are NOT readily available lol. That’s why I put the link to where I got mine. I tried all the usual suspects like Canadian Tire, Home Depot, Home Hardware etc. etc. and no one carries this type of spigot. You may get lucky somewhere else, but if you want to save time, just order the one I got. ~ karen!

      • Jan in Waterdown says:

        Oh crap, sorry I missed the link . . . I hate it when someone asks a question that’s already been answered . . . and now that someone is me. Hate that too. Thanx for the info. Now go to bed.

  13. Hey, just a head’s-up, in case you ever have another chewy-milk incident (or any other type of possible food poisoning!): do not ever, EVER take an anti-nausea medication when you suspect that you’ve got food poisoning. A healthcare provider once told me that this is really dangerous, especially for children, but it applies to adults, too. The body starts trying to get the poisons out, but if you take stuff to keep it in…well, the result’s much worse than if you got sick a few times. Same for anti-diarrhea meds- you’re basically trapping the toxins inside, where they can do the most harm.

    Love the dispenser! :) Thanks for the great tutorial!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heather! Trust me, I’ve had food poisoning and an anti-nauseant wouldn’t do a thing to keep anything inside, lol. Anti-nauseants generally as far as I know really only help stop you from feeling nauseous. But they’d never be strong enough to stop you from being sick from the stomach flu or food poisoning. I understand your point though … If it’s bad, bet it out. ~ karen!

    • Janmarie Ogle says:

      It was nearly drank minus flavouring….how many of us have made hot drinks and drunk half wondering..’is that milk ok and gone and tasted it from bottle to find it has turned’?…funny….love your posts

  14. Christie says:

    Love the dispenser – very chic! But this post led me down the rabbit hole to your post and video of the hiccups… One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen – they look violent… Of course, my judgement could be questionable – I’ve had a glass of wine… Eureka!!!! That’s what I’m going to put in my dispenser!!!! A cheeky Pinot Grigio!!!

  15. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    What’s a Pimm’s Cup???…..Nice dispenser…

  16. Linda says:

    Love it! Your post was hilarious and helpful at the same time! I love the idea of the diy dispenser but I do something so much easier..I bought three clear glass jugs with clasp-tops from IKEA ($3.99) and fill them up for the day…I love drinking water out of glass and not plastic! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    • Karen says:

      I have one of those too linda, which I fill up before bed every few nights … from my dispenser. ;) I like just having to drag a glass over and turn the knob. Seems weirdly more convenience to me than pulling out a bottle and pouring. Yes. I am exactly that lazy. ~ karen!

  17. A Guy says:

    Karen, regarding the picture of you at the fridge…

    a) You could make an old dog get of the porch

    b) Nice job on the beverage dispenser


    c) Looks like you’re out of beer.

  18. Nancy says:

    I usually place a strip of masking tape where I want to drill. It helps to prevent the skipping.
    Love your refrigerator.

  19. Please move that clever water dispenser and show us more of those succulents in the background covered with what looks like open metal cloches. Yeah. Those.

  20. Stephanie says:

    I am very visual when I read things, so when I am done dry heaving from your milk story, I will come back to tell you how wonderful your water jug turned out!

    • cheryl seals says:

      STEPHANIE, Dry heaving was on my comment list too ! YUCCKKO…Karen maybe you should have smelled the milk first, gag gag ! Also thanks for the peek into your fridge, mine never looks quite as organized “there’s hope in them there hill’s yet ” !! I have done this drill thing before to make a lamp outta a jug , an believe me she isn’t kidding about the thing doing the skidd’s all over the bottom like it was in a tap dancing contest ! See Karen isn’t the only one who is funnie….Have a good day all..

  21. Ev Wilcox says:

    Once again, great photos! Have a question though. How do you get the cork lid off to refill without gouging it whilst digging it out? Inquiring minds want to know!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ev! I don’t have it pushed right in, so enough of it sticks out the top that I can easily just grab it. ~ karen!

  22. Jamieson says:

    It would be fun to do this with those giant party-sized bottles of Rum, Gin, Vodka, etc behind a bar and just refill them.

  23. Kelly says:

    Oh! Good info. I want to turn ceramic containers into pots for plants.

  24. Karin says:

    Pimm’s Cups! Pimm’s Cups! Pimm’s Cups!

  25. Sandy says:

    Cool container but will always be a fan of your counter and fridge. So perfect.

  26. Jebber Jay says:

    Curled milk? Pshaw … I once read about a girl who drank motor oil. :O

  27. Jody says:

    My favourite part of the video was the lemon. And the frig…………..

  28. IRS says:

    Lovely vodka, er, water dispenser. As for the stomache full of sour milk, please refer to your previous post about coffee, and let that be a lesson to you. Anyone past childhood should only keep milk in the house to put in their coffee. Drinking a whole glassful? Hell no! Of course ice cream is always OK.

  29. Alice says:

    Just in time! I have a new flower pot from Thailand that doesn’t have a drain hole. I knew I could drill one, but I couldn’t remember exactly how. Now I remember and don’t have to spend time checking all over the internet for bad videos. I have your good video and great instructions. Thank you.

  30. Beth W says:

    This is an AMAZINGLY useful tutorial… fantastic. Now, if I can only find an awesome container like you did… and a way to digest all of the dairy you get to enjoy in your life (damn lactose), then I’ll be golden!

  31. Mary W says:

    It’s beautiful, Karen! I could see making large glass ones for parties with the beverage name etched on the outside or as a gift with peoples initials or favorite wine quote etched. Or even the Kool-Aid face. That would be a cute one for a kids party and no pouring required. Kids would love the spigot idea. Homemade ice cream – YUM. But my favorite is cream, sugar, ice. No eggs and other custardy stuff. Just iced cream. and bananas or strawberries or peaches or COFFEE! Just had a brilliant idea for kids party – put a smaller glass jar inside with water and a goldfish so that it looks like the fish is swimming in the Kool-Aid then serve Goldfish crackers -cheap and fun and colorful.

  32. Charlotte says:

    Hi karen, i came across your site while i was looking for a recipe on how to make greek yogurt from scratch at pinterest…and WOW…you are amazing …your beautiful, your smart, you kick ass and you are funny too…i found myself smiling and right away laughing while i was reading … Just wanna say thank you for sharing not just all of these…but thank you for sharing YOU… now at least i have someone to look forward to everyday that will make me smile just by reading what she writes and at the same time learn..and by the way,yes, dolomite is safe, you are really good. I am working here in UAE for a lime company and one of our products is dolomite and it is safe…Thanks again and God bless!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the note Charlotte! I’m happy you found my site. Now I feel doubly safe with my dolomite dispenser! ~ karen

  33. calliek says:

    I found a jar of milk in similar condition in my fridge last week,( luckily it’s much easier to notice chunky milk in glass jars), and used it to make a simple cheese! Heat it to a low simmer, until the chunks separate from the whey. Let it cool undisturbed for a bit then strain through a few layers of cheese cloth. To get most of the moisture out, hang the cheesecloth or leave it in a non reactive strainer for a couple hours. Don’t squeeze! Once the liquid runs off you are let with a ball of creamy curd, I added a touch of salt and some minced green onion and ate it all! And then like you worried for hours that eating ‘spoiled’ milk was somehow going to sicken me but I’m pleased to say it did not!

    Love the water dispenser too!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Calliek. I love making cheese but don’t do it enough. I’m sure I don’t have the mental fortitude to make cheese out of curdled milk (which is stupid because the first step in a lot of cheeses is to curdle the milk). ~ karen!

  34. Kim says:

    Very nice love it!

  35. nancy says:

    When you showed up with that second beautiful spigot, I knew you weren’t going to be satisfied with that plastic thing. I suspected there would be improvements, but this is simply beautiful.

  36. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Um, you might want to caution that using an electric drill is NOT recommended while running water in the sink. Battery powered drill only unless you’re up for a really shocking experience. It’s a great dispenser but not one to really die for….?

    • Ann says:

      A battery powered drill still has electric current. Just supplied by the battery instead of a power cord. All in all, you do need to be careful as I am sure Karen always is.

      I use a lot of full fat dairy products and they often don’t last as long as I would like. Come to find out, the frig temp really needs to be a bit colder than most of us keep our frig. I think I need a special frig just for my cream!!

      • Karen says:

        Yes that’s true Ann. Common sense can prevent most of us from dying, but as I’m sure Sherry knows … not everyone has it, lol. ~ karen!

    • Karen says:

      I’d actually go ahead and use the electric drill in this case Sherry. As long as the cord isn’t sitting in the water you’re fine. The drill itself isn’t getting wet, just the bit. ~ karen!

  37. Carol says:

    So…. Where on earth did you buy your fabulous dolomite vase? Also, thank you for the tip re. glaze showing water saturation lines and leaching. Great to know that my newly acquired antique ironstone dish can only be used for plants etc.

  38. Louise says:

    The ending of your video, where the asparagus fall down and send the lemon rolling to your water dispenser, is just TOO PERFECT! It almost looked staged, kind of like a Rube Goldberg invention! COOOOOOOL!!!

  39. Grammy says:

    Okay, the celery triggering the lemon rolling is just so cool. Seriously. Genius production value.

    Besides the terrific DIY, I love the way your butcher block countertops are coming along. I was delighted when you said you intended to use them and allow them to develop character properly, and it has turned out beautifully.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Grammy. It makes for a far more stress free life when you WANT your counter to get stained and marked up. ~ karen!

  40. Laurinda says:

    Thank you! Twenty some-odd years ago I tried drilling into a piece of china, & couldn’t get the bit to bite. NOW I know why, & can totally revisit that craft project, if I want.
    So also, as a heads up, un-homogenized milk can be consumed when it’s so soured that the whole thing is chunky, & it won’t hurt you at all! Of course, you may not like it, & the flavor might make you vomit. ..
    I like Alison’s idea of a sangria/cocktail dispenser. Way more fun than a laundry soap dispenser!

  41. peg says:

    very cool! thanks for sharing :D

  42. Alison says:

    I suggest using it either as a sangria dispenser or making large batch cocktails (like a Pimm’s Cup) and dispensing directly over ice.

    • Su says:

      I am with Alison… SANGRIA :)

    • Darlene Cox says:


    • Cred says:

      You had me at Pimm’s cup. Alison deserves comment of the day (if there was one), upon mention of sangria I thought ‘of course’ and then she said Pimm’s.
      I love this idea and could kick myself for not thinking of it myself. I have drilled glass and ceramic for little diys like turning a cute thrift find into a plant pot and I made a pair of pendant lights from glass IKEA vases (getting a pair of matching lights to replace the boob light in our old bedroom was pricey- I’m too cheap).
      I wanted a water dispenser and coveted the modern one sold by indigo. Even the uglier ones seems pricey but I finally got the one I wanted on clearance from chapters. Now I now how to upgrade the ugly chemplastic spigots they have.
      Now to find a cute brass spigot- I’m off to the hardware store…. and liquor store.

    • Laura worsham says:

      Ever had a Pimm’s cup at the Napoleon Bar in New Orleans? Had never heard of Pimm’s ’till had one there. Now I love them. Question: Can you drill glass? You probably mentioned and I missed — if so blame it on all the Pimm’s cups I had on the porch last night

  43. SusanR says:

    Karen, may I stick my nose where it does not belong? I’m fine with a fridge full of dairy, in case you wanted my opinion. But do you not worry about the kitties getting tangled in your blind cords? I put cleats on all my windows to tie up cords. Yes, worrier. Sorry.

    • Karen says:

      No need to worry Susan. The cats have never, not once, jumped up on the counter. Ernie would be too afraid of getting in trouble and Cleo is 15. She couldn’t be bothered. ~ karen!

  44. Noelle says:

    Clearly you don’t know about late night pepto use and the dreaded black hairy tongue. Google it, no really….or ask Tim. Nice chatting with you this fine evening, clearly I also need therapy or less coffee. I kept wanting to run my hands through your pink lavender but then I forgot when the conversation went onto yet another (self led) tangent. Don’t shoo me off the property if you find me lying in the yard mindlessly caressing your lovely lav ok?

  45. Darcy says:

    You, my dear, are a genius!! I simply love your dispenser. Will try it once I find the perfect container!!! Thank you!!!

    • Karen says:

      I know. LOL. It’s ridiculously beautiful. It really is. I mean thank you. That’s the proper response, right? Make sure your container is food safe other than that go nuts! You’ll love it. ~ karen!

  46. Karen too says:

    So beautiful – totally, undeniably beautiful – and not just you, the water dispenser too!

  47. pat barford says:

    What are you going to do with an an entire litre of whipping cream?

    • Karen says:

      Ice CREAM! (made strawberry and vanilla last week … hope to make chocolate and cherry this week) ~ karen!

    • Robert says:

      More importantly; why do you have whipping cream, crème de table and sour cream, plus the greek yogurt, butter, goat cheese, burrata and the bad milk in the fridge at the same time? you should consider keeping a mini bar only for your dairy

      • Karen says:

        I also have a dedicated cheese drawer. Don’t worry I’m not completely nuts, it isn’t a desk drawer, it’s refrigerated. ~ karen!

        • Cred says:

          I have a dedicated cheese drawer, loo. It’s crazy how I can have 5-6 different types of cheese at one time yet the rest of the fridge is empty.
          Oh and a tip prompted by your advice to use a rubber pad to finger tighten, I use rubber gloves. It works well to get a good grip while opening a tight lid of a jar, too.

        • Markus says:

          Damn, you are so funny!

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