Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Spice Girl

For years my spices have been shoved in cabinets.  Wherever I lived, they were crammed in baggies, jars, and tins, and stuffed in plastic bins.  Opening a spice cabinet was always an adventure.  You were sure to either be assaulted by an avalanche of cumin and cilantro, or have to go spelunking to find an elusive bag of cassia cinnamon.  It was scary. 

I never wanted a countertop spice rack (too inflexible, bad designs, and one more thing to crowd the counters).  For lack of a better solution, my spices languished in the cabinets.

No more.

Enter: my super budget-friendly wall-mounted spice rack.

This is based on a spice rack my aunt has used in several of her houses.  She is much more domestic, culinarily accomplished, and certainly wayyyyy more organized than I am.  But we are similarly creative/stubborn and want what we want, how we want it.  I knew if her spice rack worked for her, it'd work for me.

Aunt Karen's rack takes a more refined approach, with glass shelves and tinted glass spice jars.  For Cabbage Ranch, I went more modern and I love the results.  It cost me about $30. 

Here's the basic gist of this project.
1. Decide on the wallspace you want to dedicate to your spice rack, and measure width and height.  You can also probably guesstimate how many shelves you'll be able to mount.  I fit mine between the stove and the fridge, and left an inch or two top and bottom, as well as on each side. 

2. Find spice jars you like, and buy 'em.  Their size will dictate how many jars you can fit per shelf, how deep the shelves are, and exactly how high each shelf needs to be.  I found my jars at World Market for about $1.00 each. 

3. At your local home improvement store, pick out good-quality boards and have them cut to size.  Also grab some small L-shaped shelf brackets (the kind that screw into the underside of the shelf and the wall).  Btw, if you want glass shelves, you should be able to find a local place to custom-cut the shelves and sand the edges.

4. Throw a couple coats of paint on your shelves.  This glossy red is the same color I've used on side tables, chairs, and picture frames.  Because it's glossy, I know it's durable enough to skip sealing for this use.  As an aside, I love that all those matching pieces lets me mix and match through the house.  That can of paint is my friend.  

5. Screw the L brackets to your shelves, then to the wall.  Or, in my case, whine and plead until someone else does it for you.  Thank you, Cabbage!  (I do most things myself but I know my limits... which apparently includes wall-mounted shelves)

6. Label the spice jars.  I labelled my jars by scribbling on them with a Sharpie.  I'm fancy like that.  But I wanted the look to be casual and simple, and although I considered several options (paint pens, chalkboard paint, printed labels, etc etc), this worked just fine. 
If you are like 99% of people and 60% of chimps, your writing is neater than mine and your labels will turn out better.  Thanks to my fabulous organizational skills and steel trap memory, I accidentally labelled two jars Cinnamon.  I'm lame.

7.  Drag your spices from the depths of the avalanche spice cave, fill in jars, and stand back.  

8. Admire.

The rainbow of spices looks awesome hanging out on my wall, and it's the ultimate flexible spice system.  Checkmate!

1 comment:

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