The Mega Spice Rack!

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on November 20, 2012

I’ve dreamed of an organized space to store my many spices, grains, nuts and seeds for many, many years. After months of weekend spice labeling (that I began in the old house before we moved), drilling, assembling and measuring, I have the epitome of kitchen organization… the mega spice rack!

It was quite the project from beginning to end.

I built the top shelf using 2 IKEA EKBY VALTER Brackets and a cheap piece of pine that I purchased at Home Depot. Kevin helped me to cut the pine shelf to the perfect length and then I painted everything white using Behr Premium Plus Ultra Paint.

I chose really heavy duty anchors for the top shelf so that it could hold multiple large mason jars of items like quinoa, amaranth, teff, buckwheat, quinoa flakes, rice, rice flakes, palm sugar, almonds, and pine nuts. Everything’s easy to spot and can be in my hand in seconds. No more rifling around looking for things!

The smaller shelves are IKEA BEKVÄM Spice Racks that I also painted white. Each rack holds five 250mL mason jars or four 500mL jars. These racks were incredibly difficult to get my hands on. They didn’t have them in the Montreal IKEA and weren’t offered for online ordering. I ended up buying all of the racks they had at the Calgary store when I went to visit a couple of months ago and came home with an entire large suitcase with them.

What can I say, I was a lady on a mission.

I drew little pictures of the spices on the tops with colored Sharpie Markers but am finding that they’re wearing off with time so I think I’ll have to come up with a better solution in the coming months. Perhaps modge podge a funky label to the top?

The original plan was to do two large shelves but we ran out of space so I cleared out the glass paneled cabinet beside my new mega spice rack and converted it in a cookbook/pulses cabinet. You can find the chickpeas, black beans, lentils and wild rice in between The Vegan Table and my handy Superfoods book.

Definitely worth all of the work that went into this thing. I can see when I’m running low on things, finding what I need is a breeze, and it really adds character to an otherwise boring kitchen wall!

What DIY projects do you have on the go right now?

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica { EricaDHouse.com }

I have some serious culinary envy right now! My spice area is a disaster – I LOVE how you have organized yours!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Well, you’re only a can of paint and a bunch of weekends away from having your own! lol. Naw, it wasn’t that bad.

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Lea

I agree-sooo much envy! Very very nice, Leanne. =}

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Amanda Browning

I’m doing a DIY Christmas this year. I have made a really nice wreath with pretty little felt roses for grandma, silver wire ornaments spelling out my boyfriends little brothers names, and glittered bottles!

This spice rack is awesome! I have always dreamed of a lovely area to hold all of my pantry needs, I hate having them somewhere where I have to take each one out to get to the back!

Super work!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow Amanda, sounds like you’re on top of it this year. All of your gifts are already done? I’m impressed!

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Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

I love this and will be showing my husband later (he is the DIY person in this relationship!). :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

I hope you enjoyed this project, because next time you come to visit, I want one!! ;) Ooh, and for the labeling – make chalkboard paint labels! Check out this tutorial – http://www.instructables.com/id/chalkboard-paint-jars/. The paint is dishwasher safe and I bet they’d look so cute on your spices!

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

That’s such a smart idea! Heck ya, I’d be down to helping you make this… but I may have to stay longer than a weekend. Heh

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Shel@PeachyPalate

So beautifully organised, love it and hella jealous!

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chinmayie @ love food eat

WOW! that looks incredible! I need a spice rack like that :)

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Michelle R

I have a sort of technical question: Do you have any concerns about light degrading the quality of your spices or is the natural light exposure not as direct as it appears in the pictures… Or do you just use your spices up quickly enough that it’s a non-issue?

Though it’s not beyond the dreaming stage yet, I have a plan to convert half of our sizable laundry room into a dedicated crafting space with the main feature being enclosed, see-through bins for my (ridiculously large) yarn stash. I love that you dreamed, planned AND accomplished creating your wonderful spice rack!! If Modge Podge or the chalkboard paint don’t work to your liking, you could also order custom waterproof canning labels like these: http://www.myownlabels.com/canning_labels/ (I just found these through a Google search to use as an example; I’ve never purchased anything from them).

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Michelle! I go through each spice jar in about 2 months so I replenish often. Also, the lighting in our kitchen is practically non-existent. The images I took were lit up with 2 photography lights behind me. My kitchen is a dark cave. But thanks for mentioning that because yes, if all of these items were in direct sunlight daily they would turn rancid quite quickly.

I’ve seen some amazing crafting closet ideas on Pinterest. You should definitely get this project underway! Also, those custom labels are amazing! I could design each and every single one! Okay, that’ll be my next project!

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Anita

This looks amazing – when we moved into our new house we were blessed enough to get a sliding pantry………..I felt organized until I saw your beauty! Thanks for the inspiration Leanne.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

A sliding pantry, you lucky lady! I’ve always wanted one of those :D

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Chef Amber Shea

I. Am. So. Jealous! (Of the spice rack, though not of the work involved!) You did an amazing job.

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cat

Love, love, love it! Love that you can see everything at a glance. What a lot of work! Sure will pay off, though. Good job.

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Tamikko

I love it! It looks great, so simple, although a lot of work to paint and put together, I appreciate that the contents of the jars shine through. I also love that you can see immediately what you need to buy. So easy to grab and go. Great job! It must be so satisfying to look at every day :)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

It’s really, really satisfying to look at!

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Kara

Hey, Leanne, Amazon sells Ball Jar labels that are supposedly easy to remove by soaking in water for a bit. I haven’t tried them yet, but they’re on my list….

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks Kara, I’ll have to check them out!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks

okay can you come build me one, too!? I was *just* in my kitchen wrestling with tippy glass jars, unorganized and crammed in and was thinking I HAVE to fix this…but I am literally out of space and 100% maxed out of my kitchen! (condo, urban, small!) I love your rack!

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janet @ the taste space

Hey Leanne, Looks great! I have something similar for my beans, grains, nuts and seeds nut prefer to keep my spices out of the light. I have a whole drawer dedicated to them!

It is a bit more hodge podge, but my spices are here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/bengali-toasted-moong-dal-with-spinach-bhaja-moong-palak/

And my beans are here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/skillet-toasted-corn-tomato-and-anasazi-bean-salad/

I love being able to see what I have and what is running low. :)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow, I’m impressed… this is amazing! Way to go, Janet!

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Suzanne @Roll With It

THIS. IS. AMAZING! Great job, totally worth all the leg work because it will make your life so much easier!

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Danielle

Looks great! I was watching Marilyn Denis show a few weeks back and they had this amazing DIY herb wall! Something I would love to try. I don’t know if I will get enough sun to keep it alive though!

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Donna Evans

I am envious of your spice rack, I have been trying to figure out how to make a spice rack in a small area of my kitchen, where I can have everything at my finger tips. If you have ever watched the 2012 episodes of Spice Goddess her spice area made my mouth water, (as does yours). I will have to look for a space to create a place for my spices. You are now my inspiration.

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Sheri

I would love a nicely organized area for my spices, beans, lentils and flours. That looks amazing, when we finally renovate the kitchen I have a whole wall dedicated to my supplies and a pretty jar always helps….;-)

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Sonnet

Beautiful! My kitchen still isn’t as organized as I’d like it to be after my recent move, but you have inspired me to get in there today and organize! :)

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hope the organization went well this weekend, Sonnet! That’s my favorite thing to do in a new home – organize and get everything flowing better!

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Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family

Oh I am completely in love with this spice rack. I have a ton of spices, nuts, seeds, etc that could use a home just like this.

I might recommend chalkboard paint for the sides of the jars. It could still rub off, but would be super easy for you to redo, and then the jar could be repurposed if necessary.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks Rachel! I really need to get to labeling them. All of the labels have since worn off. I don’t really need them because I know what each one looks like, but still great to have.

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