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No-Cost Spice Shelf

2009 April 10
by Katie

Like many folks, I have a spice rack. But apparently I use spices that aren’t included in said spice rack…like garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. I am Italian…we put garlic & onion powder in our cereal. And for every family event I get assigned deviled egg duty…hence the need for paprika. But somehow I have also acquired many other little bottles of flavor that have been jammed into the cabinet. But I can’t see them.

My solution? Well, something like this -

Seems pretty simple right? Well for the low low price of $11 it can be mine. Is a dozen dollars too much? In this economy, you can betcha Beyonce’s booty it is. So I decided to make my own. Crafty McSpiceshelf…that’s your new name after you follow these simple instructions.

First, clean. That’s right. Everytime you use pepper or garlic or tarragon (what’s that for?!?!) a wee bit gets on the bottom of your cabinet…go ahead and wipe it up. Next, measure the width of your uber-clean space.

Next, cut three pieces outta a 2×4 to the exact width you measured. I had some wood laying around in the basement so this was no-cost to me. If you aren’t the type to have studs hanging around ya, well I am sorry. Maybe a workout will help. jk. They cost under $3 at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Self explanatory. Stack em in the back em.

Create the ‘step’ by putting the first in front of the back two. Easy peasy booty squeezy. Now that they all fit, you could spice up your new spice shelves by yankin em out, givin them a nice new paint job or stain them to match your cabinets and reassembling. I didn’t because I am too lazy right now…it’s not on the goal list peeps.

Next, organize your spices on your new shelves. I put the bigger stuff in the back. It works on my body…thought it could work here too. I also put the most used spices up front so the next time I cook all I have to do is grab and shake it…like…a…salt…shaker…like…a…polaroid…picture.

So there you have it – my no-cost spice shelf. Uber-useful, right? So what about you guys? What’s your spicy situation? Do you rack it, shelve it, or drawer it? C’mon, spill the salt.
Then make sure you throw a pinch over your shoulder, then brush your shoulders off. (any excuse for a dance move, right?!)

25 Responses leave one →
  1. Freckles Chick permalink
    April 10, 2009

    Niiiice (spice) rack!! I mean, shelf. =)

    I have ours in one of those small white, multi-purpose organizer trays. But I might have to figure out a prettier option for when we remove the cabinet & put open shelving there.

    Happy Easter =)

  2. High-Heeled Foot in the door permalink
    April 10, 2009

    Fab idea! I like you keep questioning buying lots of things even if it’s not that much $$$. Trying to save where I can. Perfect solution! I love what you did.

    Happy Easter as well!

  3. Taryn permalink
    April 10, 2009

    Nice moves! So simple and yet so perfect!

  4. Marge permalink
    April 10, 2009

    Love it! So simple! We have pretty deep cabinets so I bought a round spinning thing (technical term) and all of our spices are alphabetically arranged around there. Works like a charm but I am really digging the 2×4, especially painted… Hmm…

  5. Amanda permalink
    April 10, 2009

    Crafty-McCraft-er-son over there! So creative you are. Thanks for the great idea!

  6. Molly permalink
    April 10, 2009

    We don’t have the space to keep our spices in a cabinet, so I bought a cheapie stainless steal lazy susan and threw my most favorite spices on it. The rest of them (coriander, anyone?) are in the pantry.

  7. Diana permalink
    April 10, 2009

    Being the sucka that I am, I bought one of those $11 fancy-shmancy plastic shelves from Bed Bath & Beyond (rubberized grips and all…sheesh). And since I'm a bit of a cooking fanatic, I had more spices than the shelves could handle, so I had to plop down another $10 or so for a stainless steel lazy susan. I'm likin' your idea much better. You're one smart cookie, Miss Bower!

  8. Sweet Home Amy permalink
    April 10, 2009

    Great idea!! I love your creativity here. And love the dance moves inserted…fun stuff!

  9. Kim permalink
    April 10, 2009

    You are a smart cookie.

    I have some in a cabinet on those shelves that I foolishly paid for. I also have a wall-mounted spice rack but I tell Ryan it’s just for looks. =)

  10. Kelli permalink
    April 11, 2009

    I just have them all on one shelf, nothing fancy. Spices on one side and baking spices, like nutmeg, on the other.

  11. Michael permalink
    April 11, 2009

    I just realized that I keep my spices in the cabinet above my stove, not next to it. No wonder I can’t see my spices…duh!

  12. MonkAre permalink
    April 12, 2009

    It’s so nice site. We love to see more on this site. Keep on updating… MonkAreRee Bali ***sdzs

  13. anonymously chic permalink
    April 12, 2009

    oooh, so creative (and helpful when you’re looking for that one thing…)

  14. Bayjb permalink
    April 13, 2009

    Clever way to make an impromptu spice riser. Nice.

  15. Sherry permalink
    April 13, 2009

    You are such a genius. Love it!


  16. Lauren permalink
    April 13, 2009

    Very ingenious of you! My father also invented a spice rack called the SpiceStack that holds random bottles from the grocery store in the kitchen cabinet. IT’s nice because you don’t have the go digging to read all the labels. Also good for people with open shelving (like the one comment above). Check it out at

    Happy Organizing! Lauren Greenwood, SpiceStack Inc.

  17. dawn permalink
    May 6, 2009

    what an awesome idea. i was ready to buy a cheapo plastic spice organizer too! btw, just discovered your blog- it’s hilarious (and informative). kudos!

  18. Aimee and Lonnie permalink
    May 9, 2009

    That’s genious!

  19. katie permalink
    January 23, 2010

    I am in the process of making one of these right now after I saw your nifty idea! Thanks so much for the inspiration

  20. Momma-bird permalink
    January 25, 2010

    You’re genius. I used your idea and arranged my cabinet yesterday. It is sooooo much better.

  21. Emily S permalink
    March 2, 2010

    I got my spice organizing chops from Martha. Since I have them all in a cabinet with really short shelves, those tiered shelves weren’t an option. Instead, I have all my spices on a small baking tray that’s easy to pull out, find my spice, shake shake shake, and put it back right where it belongs, before sliding the whole tray back into place. It’s especially helpful that most of them are labeled on top! ;) Love that baby belly!

  22. Maggie permalink
    August 6, 2010

    ahhh!! so simple and so awesome! I’ve been looking for a solution like this…and accidentally stumbled across your sweet blog through YHL. thank you!!

  23. October 21, 2010

    I pretty much love this idea. We just recreated it and it rocks — what a lil smartypants you are! PS – love the blog and love your humor. It cracks me up just to read your entries!

  24. June 30, 2012

    I found your blog when I was searching for “spice risers” on google! What a great idea!

    I’m super handy and know my way around power tools so I’m thinking this will be a snap to make for my spice cabinet.

    Thanks so much for this great idea!!

    and…once I find my jars (still trying to decide on them) I may just be featuring this on my blog…and of course will give you credit for the great idea and tutorial!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  25. Sophia permalink
    January 20, 2013

    OMG!! What a great idea! I was in the process of making this elaborate (but not the prettiest) spice rack to attach on the inside of my pantry door, when I came across your idea! So glad I haven’t purchased all the materials yet. I have a cupboard that holds all of my cookbooks (3 shelves stuffed). I only use about 1/3 of those books. I’m about to purge them, thanks to your idea. My coworkers will have fun getting some cookbooks after this weekend. I’m definitely going with YOUR idea!!

    Thank you. You saved me a lot of time and money!

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