Custom Spice Rack and DIY Spice Jars

The name of this blog is “Dinner of Herbs”.  It is only to be expected that I have a lovely spice rack full of herbs and spices, right?

spice rack1

That was my thinking, so last November when I was making my Christmas list, I included a spice rack.  Now, Christmas shopping in my house is a little unusual.  My family takes the chance out of Christmas by virtually setting a dollar limit on how much each person can spend, and then we pick out our own gifts.  Before you all get angry or turn away in disgust, don’t worry.  We all still buy each other surprise gifts!  And surprise stocking stuffers!  But really, picking out my own gifts is pretty ideal for me for 2 reasons:

1) I usually get a lot of clothes for Christmas.  I’m not a guy, therefore it is absolutely necessary that I try on the clothes to find the right fit or size before I buy it, or else it is pretty much guaranteed that I will have to return it, or it will moulder in the bottom of my dresser for approximately 5.2 years.  (I’ve collected data, analyzed it, and came up with that number.)  Also, as a young 20-something, my sense of style is sliiightly different from my young 50-something mother’s.

2) I am amazing at finding great deals.  I will search all the different options, scour Amazon and eBay and, calculate what discounts I can use or combine, and always, always, always find free shipping.  Since I am the one picking out my gifts and I am willing to spend the time finding the absolute most frugal option, I get the most out of my Christmas money.

Ok, now that you have forgotten all about spice racks, and think that I am a greedy, soulless person who does not know the true meaning of Christmas…  I promise I know the true meaning of Christmas!  Years ago Linus taught me in A Charlie Brown Christmas.  Oh yes, and the Bible helped too.  Spending evenings eating nothing but exotic cheese-and-summer-sausage-and-cracker based snacks for dinner, piecing together 1000-piece puzzles, and watching Miss Marple by the fireside with my family also helps too.

She knows what you're up to.
Miss Marple: She knows what you’re up to.

So.  Spice racks.

I found some pretty nice-looking spice racks online at Target.  Well, I waited, and the next time I was at Target, I took a look at one in person.  Blergh.  Those “chrome” lids and handle?  Pretty much a silver sticker over some plastic.  That wooden base?  Actually plastic.  No thank you.

So, I asked my dad to make me a spice rack.  You see, he is really good at making things out of wood.  He made a large bookcase for our family, made crown moulding for our living room, and virtually finished our entire basement and back porch.  (I would like to mention that he installed windows, added a tile floor, and completely re-did the ceiling in pine.)  He’s done more, but that gives you an idea.  Taking this into account, I asked him to make me a spice rack so that I could have a higher quality and custom one, and I knew that he would enjoy the project.

Ok, ignore my brother and adorable Adelaide as a kitten a few years ago, and notice the background: the tile, the hint of the pine ceiling...
Ok, ignore my brother and adorable Adelaide as a kitten a few years ago, and notice the background: the tile, the hint of the pine ceiling…

Although my dad is very talented…he is a bit slow.  He only just finished this spice rack a week ago.  Better  two and a half months late than never!

Now for the DIY part.  I ordered 18 of these adorable glass spice jars from World Market.  Another bonus of having my own custom spice rack?  I get to choose which spices I want to have!  A downside?  I had to figure out how to make my own labels and affix them to glass.

Artistic arrangement, eh?
Artistic arrangement, eh?

Over-Simplified DIY Transparent Glass Jar Labeling Tutorial

1) Create your labels.  (I created my labels in a software that is mildly similar to Photoshop, taking care to pay attention to the measurements.)

2) Print the labels in black and white on a laser jet printer.  Colour ink does not work (I don’t know why) and it MUST be a laser jet printer, not bubble jet.

3) Cut the labels.  Leave as little white paper around the ink as possible.

4) Next, cut clear packing tape into rectangles slightly larger than the labels.

5) Place the labels on the packing tape, ink side of the paper touching the sticky side of the tape.

6) Using your fingernail, coin, etc. and force, rub the back of the paper all over.   This affixes the black ink to the tape.

7) Stick the tape and label into a small bowl of lukewarm water, and leave for a minute or two.

8) Holding the tape under the water, gently start rubbing the paper back and forth until it balls up and comes off.  Keep doing this until all the paper is removed.

9) Remove the tape from the water, and set aside, sticky side up.  Allow to dry completely.  (If you skip the drying step, the label will have a smoky, hazy appearance.  At first I liked this, but overnight it changed and became a half-hazy mess that highlighted imperfections.  No good.)

10) Once the tape is dry, carefully affix to your clean, dry glass jars.

And there you have it!  It’s not perfect, but it is not difficult, and the cost is extremely low.

spice rack2
It’s obvious I like garlic…(hint: it’s the one on the far left of the middle shelf.)



9 thoughts on “Custom Spice Rack and DIY Spice Jars

  1. Beautiful rack! My husband built me a spice rack several years ago; it took up the entire wall of the kitchen in our small flat… we’ve since moved, and I’ve got spices stored in nearly every available space in my kitchen, and then some! When friends and family travel overseas and bring me souvenirs, they know to bring me local spices!!

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