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Adapting Vintage Planters

Photography: Formula z/s

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2001


Ready old ceramic planters for use by hand-washing them with soap and water. Mineral deposits and water stains along the inner rims are easily removed with a gentle cleanser, such as Bon Ami. For more stubborn stains, scrub carefully with fine steel wool, taking care not to damage the glaze.

On our vintage metal tea tray, similar shades of blue unify planters of disparate styles. The container with an abstract leaf design holds cookies neatly beside a faux wood-grained "basket" of tea bags. A scalloped planter base makes a miniature tray for cups, while the companion planter has room for lemons and napkins. Sugar lumps nestle in a handsome blue glass planter. When teatime is over, the planters can earn their keep as storage containers on a pantry shelf.

The yellow planters on this page are a playful spin on more traditional bathroom accessories. Displayed on a metaland-glass table, they hold bottles of shampoo and liquid soap, sponges, bar soap, and hand towels. Tuck a new toothbrush, soap, and a washcloth into a planter and put it in the bathroom cupboard -- you'll have the perfect guest package ready at a moment's notice.

A few planters beside the kitchen sink can bring order to your cleaning supplies. Dish and hand soap, bottle and vegetable brushes, scouring pads and sponges all fit neatly into these colorful containers. At your desk, paper and binder clips, pens and pencils, notepaper, and even the stapler and hole punch will form an efficient workforce in a series of green or white planters (you may wish to line the bases with felt to avoid scratching the surfaces they stand on). And don't forget planters for playing cards, nuts, candies, score pads, and pencils. Bridge anyone?

A sunny collection of planters, in a variety of styles and sizes, organizes bathing essentials. To make a practical soap dish, we filled a planter with white beach pebbles, which let water drain to the bottom, leaving soap dry.

Multiuse Planters


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