Sunday, June 3, 2012

DIY Spice Rack 2.0

Spice jars have been my enemy for a while... but I think I have it under control! At long last!

I enjoy organization. A great deal. I love the satisfaction it gives me. Messy spice bottles and little plastic bags in the back of a cupboard does not give me satisfaction. So when I saw this photo on Pinterest months ago, I got a little excited. Mainly because it incorporated my love for mason jars in a very cool way.

So I went to the hardware store and the craft store and got my supplies. And well that attempt turned into this...

So going on a tip from a reader, I headed over to Lee Valley and got some super duper magnets. They held the jars, but unless you were very gentle at pulling them off and putting them back on the wall, you'd end up with a minimum of six jars crashing onto the counter top. Not fun. Insert a few curse words here.

I decided to abandon this great Pinterest idea. Let's face it, DIY projects don't always work out as planned.

And yes, yes, I know those little spice jars with the magnets on the back exist already. But they are expensive. And not as original and pretty as my little mason jars.

Insert this. My handy-dandy drawing of what will become the new spice holding device -- thanks to some input from my handyman-dad and a coworker.

Off to the hardware store once again (thank goodness neither project was that expensive!) to get a pine board, some 'L' hooks and some drywall wall anchors. Roughly fifteen bucks later, I'm ready to get to work!

I started with a 1 x 6 piece of pine, when milled is actually 11/16" x 5 1/2". I needed about 10ft for my project, so I got one piece 6 ft long and had it cut down the length of the board at the store (for free, I might add), so I ended up with two 6 ft boards roughly 3/4" x 2 3/4". Perfect width for my little project.

I measured out all the lengths required (two 13 3/4" sides and four 20" shelves and got to work cutting them using my mitre box saw. Handy little thing to have around (thanks Dad!). And yes, I just got to work in the middle of my dining room! Hardwood floor + deluxe vacuum = easy saw dust clean up!

Once that was done, a good sanding was in order. I like to do this with a sponge sander. I find it easier to get a smooth finish.

I marked where all the shelves would go as well as where the screws would go. I then pre-drilled all the holes and followed that with screws to secure the structure. Forgot to take a photo at this stage, but this photo shows how I attached the screws via the sides.

Once it was all together, I applied a bit of wood filler where some of the boards met. In a few cases there was just a little tiny space where the boards didn't come completely together. This was easily fixed with a putty knife and wood filler.

Then one last sanding to smooth out where I applied the wood filler and all over for good measure. A quick cleaning and then I was off to paint! Using some left over paint from my kitchen walls (read: leftover paint costs $0). I applied 2 light coats with a sponge brush. I got great coverage after only one coat, seen here:

After the second coat of paint has dried for a day or so, it's ready to be mounted to the wall! Simply attached four of the "L" brackets to the rack.

Mark the wall where all the screws will go and insert wall anchors into the wall. Then attach the the spice rack! Ta Daaaa!

When I made my first spice rack with the magnets (version 1.0 and 1.1), I had made little labels for the jars. But I took this to the next level as well... I recently came across Martha Stewart's Avery line of products available at Staples and well fell in love... Here's how I re-labeled my spices. So pretty... You won't be able to see the labels when the jars are on the shelves, but in my organizing ways, I arranged them all alphabetically, so I have a idea based on that plus their colour/texture from the clear jar of what each jar contains. The label just confirms!

Hopefully (fingers and toes crossed), there won't be a Spice Rack 3.0 in my future.


(Apologies for blurry/grainy photos, been meaning to take new ones for a month now... but haven't done so, and now it's dark again and well if I take some now they'll turn out the same. This blog is finally going to see the light of day, blurry or not!)


  1. Love this! Love that your dad gave you a miter saw even more! :)

  2. Haha. Thanks Jane! When Dad comes to visit if I don't have something he needs he usually buys it and leaves it behind. He bought me the saw 2.5 years ago and I think this was the first time I used it! Handy nevertheless. :)

  3. FANTASTIC! Great storyline, and excellent finished product! I love Mason jars too, and yours all look so adorable!

  4. Thanks Lisa. Pretty happy with how it turned out!

  5. What size are the jars?

    1. They are the littlest ones, 125ml I believe.

    2. That's exactly what I need for my 4 oz mason jars. Can you build one for me now that you are experienced !!