This is a quick project using off the shelf supplies to make your own unique soap dish for the kitchen counter or bathroom vanity.
The dish for the soap is created using a plastic soap dish from Home Depot. You might be able to find something nicer, like a ceramic dish, and base the project around that.
The form walls are made with adhesive backed weather stripping. The walls are built around the soap dish, and then the mix is packed and formed around it. The dish has holes in the bottom, so water will still drain out, and because it's plastic, it'll be easy to clean. A solid concrete soap dish can get dingy unless you clean it often.
Materials + Supplies:
- Plastic Soap Dish
- Blue Tape
- Clear Plastic Sheet like an Overhead Transparency
- Spray Adhesive
- ShapeCrete Mix
- Chianti SmartColor Pigment
- Mixing Container
- Trowel / Putty Knife
Step 1: Forming
It might help to make a paper template so you can place the weather stripping evenly around the soap dish. Turn the dish upside down and trace around it. Then mark out where the form walls will be. Ideally the walls will be at least 1/2-3/4" thick, so it will be durable and less likely to crack.
Tape the paper template to a flat surface, like a scrap piece of plywood. Put a layer of plastic over top, something like a transparency sheet is perfect. The concrete will mimic whatever it's cast against, so the top will be very glossy if you use smooth plastic. The plastic layer is also important because it will make removing the piece a lot easier since you can just peel the plastic off.
Weather Stripping Form Walls:
Peel off the adhesive backing and stick the form walls down in place, following the template. Tape up the seam where the edges of the weather stripping meet. The adhesive isn't very sticky, so you might need to tape it down in a few places if your shape has tight bends.
Step 2: Prepare Soap Dish
Depending on the soap dish you use, you might not need to tape anything. In this case we have to tape over two holes on the side of the dish, or concrete will leak through them. Tape over them from the inside.
To keep the holes in the bottom of the soap dish, we can't pack concrete over the whole top. It helps to tape over the holes, with the tape on the bottom of the dish, not on the inside. This will also be a guide to follow when packing the concrete on top.
Glue it in place:
Spray the spray adhesive on a scrap piece of paper, then use something like a wooden popsicle stick to spread it on the rim of the container. This way you're not spraying adhesive all over the dish and having to clean it up later. You don't need much, but if you don't glue it down at all it might slide around.
Step 3: Mix ShapeCrete to a Clay-Like Consistency
Mix ShapeCrete to a Clay-Like Consistency.
Add the dry pigment to the dry mix and blend. Then add half the required water to the mixing bucket and add the dry mix. Mix it together with a trowel or with your hands and gradually add more water until the mix has a sticky consistency.
Always wear a rubber gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask when mixing.
Step 4: Pack and Shape
Fill the form:
Fill the perimeter first, patting the mix down, making sure there are no voids. Shaking the board side to side will help consolidate the mix and drive out air bubbles.
Build up the sides:
Pack the mix up the sides of the soap dish, then up over the top. Make sure not to go over the tape, otherwise the tape will be trapped and you can't get it out later.
Use a trowel to smooth the sides at an angle. Take your time and smooth them out. It will be a lot harder to smooth the piece after it has cured.
Cover and Cure:
When you're finished, cover the piece with plastic and allow it to cure for 24-48 hours.
Step 5: Demold
Strip the form:
Remove the weather stripping and flip the piece over.
Peel off the plastic and remove the tape from the inside and outside of the dish.
Sand the edges with diamond hand pads or coarse sandpaper. The longer you wait, the harder the piece will be to sand.