How to create a Glass Menagerie Spice Rack
It’s not like me to do meal preparation from boxed dinners. I’m convinced it’s just not the best food for my growing boy, so I cook. A lot. Many of the ingredients I do use, however, are in glass jars: from honey and capers, to jarred mustards, I find that I recycle a ton of glass and then one day I realized that some of these grocery store bought jars were quite attractive.
Then the idea happened upon me: I should just up-cycle these jars to hold all my herbs and spices, because there’s something I have a lot of as well: spices! From garam masala, smoked paprika, to garlic powder, cumin seed the list goes on. There is just nothing more irritating than plastic containers littered all over the inside of my cabinets, often times spilled of their contents. I needed another solution and here it is.
Follow along, this is an super easy project:
here’s what you will need:
#1. A Collection of Glass Jars (shown above):
This can be anything, but preferably something that is small to medium sized (depending what you will put in it. Star Anise doesn't typically need a larger jar but I've found that dried onions or chili powder does, so choose accordingly) I like to find things that have some character to them, if you notice, the capers have this wonderful tall and thin jar, while my go-to spice jar is the Pesto Sauce. I've recycled a number of these.
#2: Here's What you Need (shown above):
Glass Jars, small to medium, dish soap (any will do) warm water, razor blade (not pictured) 320+ grit wet sanding paper, a lint free towel (not pictured), matte finish spray paint and chalk paint ready to stick labels.
Once your jar is empty, go ahead and clean it out with soapy water and let the jar sit in a warm soapy bath for at least 1/2 hour. Some jars will be easy to get the labels off, some will require you to work - that’s what the razor blade is for. Proceed carefully.
Once the label is soft, most of the time they come off really easily. You will want to make sure that you get all of the label off, as well as any sticky little goobers that are sometimes left behind. Dry the jar completely and check it for sticky debris. Remove using rubbing alcohol if you need to.
Give the lid a good wash, too. remove any labels and use a super-fine grit (320 and above) sand paper to give it a quick rough up. This allows you to scrub off any sticky stuff and paint coverage will be better.
Here are the steps, simple and easy:
Applying the labels is much easier when contents are in the jar. This lessens any reflection on the bottle.
Below is a sample of some of the jars I've found over the last few months: A simple craft store jar with a latch (.47 cents), jar filled with capers, a beautiful jar repurposed to hold cardamom and one of the best jars ever: The Aldi Pesto jar. We use the pesto so often, I have a number of these now repurposed as spice jars.
These jars don’t need much: just a good wash, a quick spray of paint on the lid and they are ready. Some Jars already have black lids, but I paint them anyway because it makes the finish for each jar consistent.
Below is a snapshot of some of my collection and newly finished jars: The Dijon Mustard and Caper Jars are just waiting until their contents are gone before I flip them into my storing my spices. Both products were bought at Big Lots. The Aldi Pesto Jar is now complete with label and tightly sealed chilli powder and my greatest find ever was the Himalayan Salt which actually came in this beautiful jar...all I needed to do was remove the label and put a new one on it.
I’m not past buying some odd thing in a jar just to get have the jar at the end of it’s contents. It’s a new game now, I go anywhere I can to see if I can find something unique.
As of the writing of this blog entry, I'm waiting to get the shelving part of the spice rack up on the wall. I am designing not only what I need, but something that will measure up to the charming part of the project - that will be part two of the process. So stay tuned, always have fun and post some of your picts.
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