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Project

Soap-Dish Shelf

Introduction

Remove a soap dish from its natural environment, and you'll discover it's the perfect size and shape to hold all sorts of odds and ends. Two vintage porcelain soap dishes mounted on an entryway wall organize keys, stamps, and loose change -- small necessities that might otherwise get lost or misplaced. A soap dish above a bureau in a bedroom can keep rings and earrings; beside a fireplace, one might hold matches. These soap dishes date from the early to mid-twentieth century and range from about $5 to $35; they can be found at flea markets and antiques shops; vintage chrome and brass examples are more expensive than those made from porcelain. Don't forgo a metal soap dish because it looks too dirty or corroded to salvage: If you really like its shape or design, you can clean it up with metal polish or have it replated. Metal soap dishes can be spray painted, but don't paint porcelain.

 

Source
Martha Stewart Living, October 1999

Reviews (22)

  • MagentaSeaglass 15 Jun, 2010

    You must keep in mind that new subscribers are joining and may not have gotten the other tips. I'm happy to have it!

  • jmpag 14 Jun, 2010

    Ditto again!!!!!!!!!!

  • whitebear59 14 Jun, 2010

    I so agree-maybe they should have an idea for the month--maybe then they wouldn't repeat so much-just my opoion

  • rjordan 14 Jun, 2010

    sorry to be negative BUT. this tip was shown in sept 08, june 09, may 10 and now again! and i thought it was not that good to begin with. time for new, good tips, martha.

  • opheliaslove 14 Jun, 2010

    this is actually the second time in 2 months i have received this tip via email.

  • DeborahDel 14 Jun, 2010

    Seems like these tips are just little catchalls scattered around the house...who wants to live like that.
    Martha, maybe you need some new people to come up with ideas.

  • abiebaby47 28 May, 2010

    A good idea, BUT - have seen this tip at least twice before in the past two years or so. In fact, have seen most, if not all, of the recent tips at least once or twice before. Isn't it time to offer some NEW tips and not recycle the old ones - not that there's anything wrong with recycling, but mixing in some new tips with the old would be a nice change!
    Thank you!

  • abiebaby47 28 May, 2010

    A good idea, BUT - have seen this tip at least twice before in the past two years or so. In fact, have seen most, if not all, of the recent tips at least once or twice before. Isn't it time to offer some NEW tips and not recycle the old ones - not that there's anything wrong with recycling, but mixing in some new tips with the old would be a nice change!
    Thank you!

  • american-a-broad 10 Jun, 2009

    How ridiculous and unsafe these ideas are?. In an entryway? Stamps? If near a door they will get blown off or stuck with rain or snow. Keys knocked off. Or, better still...come in the door drop something....and when you go to get up.....you hit your head on them. Matches by a fireplace? Not if kids are around or could come to visit. Cannot imagine Martha approved this idea?

  • marilyn623 3 Jun, 2009

    If you mount it near a wall socket it would nicely hold a charging cell phone!

  • MarthaV 15 Sep, 2008

    I remember that my grandmother had a soap dish...a porcelain one like those displayed above above her dresser. It was a boon because it was very difficult for all of the grandchildren that were constantly running around to reach. She had a small jewelry box inside it and kept her frequently worn jewelry in it so the grandkids would not play with and lose it. I think that was a great idea now that I have children of my own. It's a beautiful look under the right circumstances.

  • DavidRush 12 Sep, 2008

    absolutely laughable. I saw a commode used as a planter once in Austin Texas in the hippy days, is that the next vintage idea?

  • maryjbond 12 Sep, 2008

    I have a collection of unusual soap dishes. And if you did not know, you would never think that's what they are. None have the typical ridges. They are in so many colors and styles and designs. And a few are antique. I just love them for many reasons.

  • rhasey 12 Sep, 2008

    I think this is a great idea - it's unique and I don't think it would just look like a "soapdish" on the wall. I love walking around HomeGoods for unusual pieces and now I am going to have my eye out for something like this. A soapdish doesn't always look like a soapdish - get it out of the bathroom and into the bedroom and I think it would look contemporary and modern.

  • CreativeJoAnne 12 Sep, 2008

    Ironically, we have a porcelin soap dish and toothbrush holder in one of our bathrooms.. I have wanted to replace them however, my Husband claims that bathroom is his and he likes it the way it is, much to my disdain..
    .Perhaps, I will have to reconsider..and give them their due..

  • deedea 12 Sep, 2008

    This isn't the best idea I've seen. It does look esactly like a saop dish and nothing else

  • deedea 12 Sep, 2008

    Sorry, but that is just ugly!!

  • ladyhenry 12 Sep, 2008

    Unless it is a really exceptional soap dish, I doubt I would do this. They still look like soap dishes. I usually get a lot of ideas from here but not this one. :)

  • tamarind 12 Sep, 2008

    Does not pass the usual design review. Martha, I'm surprised this made it to the website....looks out of place..lacks form and function... better a real tray, table, shelf or cachepot

  • PurpleUnicorn 12 Sep, 2008

    I've discovered that the ones with the [filtered word] for a cup are great for holding a hairdryer. You can even take the plastic part with the toothbrush holes out and just use the outside rectangle, if it's a separate piece. I did that in my bathroom. It's nice because it still matches the rest of the cabinet hardware and towel racks.

  • dougy 12 Sep, 2008

    This a great idea. Since I have registered with Martha, I have received so many helpful ideas. Thanks all
    Dougy

  • rtcwoman 12 Sep, 2008

    Wonderful 'green' idea. I love repurposing things like that. Imagine a whole vertical line of these in the dressing area to hold multiple jewels, watches, wallets, etc. I'm off to the 'decorator's shop', formerly known as Goodwill!