Tuesday, October 9, 2012

DIY Spice Rack

I hate my kitchen.  It's small.  It's ugly.  It's poorly designed.  It has practically no storage space whatsoever.  When we decided to rent our duplex, it (and the equally small and ugly bathroom) were the two things that really made us debate whether or not we could live here.  Fortunately, I was born with a "make it work" personality and, once we moved in, decided on three projects I could do to make the kitchen more functional and less crappy.

#1 Paint the cabinets.
#2 Put up a spice rack.
#3 Build a pantry on wheels to go between the fridge and the wall.

So, we've been here 1 1/2 years, and I finally got around to crossing something off the list.  A spice rack!

Whoo hoo!  A little disclaimer - I know the rest of the kitchen sucks, it's a wood-tone nightmare right now.  But I'm working on it.  Glacial speed, but working on it.  Picture red cabinets and some art above - now doesn't that look better?

Anyway, back to the spice rack and how I made it myself.  It was super easy and I really liked the way it turned out.

First off, I bought 32 spice jars at World Market.  I bought the cylinder style (the one in the back of the picture), not the round style.  They are $3.99 for a set of 4, and I coupled that with a $10 off coupon they e-mailed me.  What I like most about this style is the lid, which rotates so you can shake the spices, and it's nice and big so my measuring spoons fit inside the jar.  Plus, out of the $1/jar category, they looked more expensive than the other options I found.

They're not officially labeled yet, although I did put ugly labels on the bottom as a makeshift answer.  I'm still looking for a label I like enough to commit to.  So let's file that under the "still in progress" part of my kitchen.

Then the spice jars sat on my counter for a month (or two...) while I figured out what kind of shelves I wanted to build.  As you can see, I have a galley kitchen, and the best place for us was this unused back wall by the dishwasher.  It's close enough to the stove that I can reach it easily, and it obviously needed something.  I did not want deep shelves that stuck out a lot because I do have two upper cabinets that need to open into that space.

At Ikea this weekend (where my fabric was sold out - boo) I saw the Ribba picture ledges and thought - they'd work well.  Only, I knew Ana White had a similar plan that would be cheaper to build. 

Ana White - $10 Ledges

We stopped by Home Depot and I picked up $23 in lumber (2 1x4s and 1 1x2 in "select pine" because I knew I was going to stain them).  That was the perfect amount to make 4 24-inch wide shelves.  I had stain and screws on hand (although I did have to buy finishing nails for the front).  If I did it again, I would also pick up some wood conditioner - pine doesn't take stain as evenly as you would like it to.

I made my cuts first, then stained all the boards (Minwax Jacobean) and left them to dry overnight.  The next day, I put them together assembly-line style in all of 40 minutes.  It took me longer to hang them on the wall than to build, honestly!

In person they look pretty awesome.  You might have to take my word on it, since my photos kills at 7 am  (or any time, really) are a little lacking.

Now, maybe they'll inspire me to cross something else off my kitchen to-do list.

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