Friday, February 24, 2012

The Spice(s) of (Our) Life

For years now I have been meaning to organize our spice cabinet.  Last week I finally got around to it after coming home with a few new spices from the store.  This cabinet was probably one of the most disastrous cabinets in our kitchen.  All of this somehow fit into our smallest cabinet.

 That's only half of it!

A few years back I had purchased cute little glass spice jars at IKEA.  Cute as they were, air-tight they were not and spices contained in them would clump together.  Also, there was no handy sprinkle top option for the ground spices.

So the cute glass IKEA spice jars were replaced with…cute glass IKEA spice jars!  Last August on my yearly IKEA trip with Mom I picked up twelve upgraded spice jars for $11.97.  By upgraded I mean the lid screws on tightly, and there’s a handy flip top with both open and sprinkle options. 

Another issue with our last set of IKEA spice jars was that I never labeled them.  I decided to remedy that this time around, no more mixing up the oregano and parsley, or even worse the Lawry’s and the cinnamon sugar (they look surprisingly similar).  I had previously fallen in love with a can of chalkboard spray paint at Home Depot, and thought this would be a good opportunity to break it in.

I also bought oval labels that I had originally intended on using for the spice jars, but realized the ink would likely smear as they were not waterproof.

I don’t know about you but I’m not the neatest chef and I tend to smear ingredients on random objects (such as spice jars).  I still used the oval labels, except I technically used the sticky outline of the ovals to create an empty oval on the glass jars.  I used painters tape to cover the rest of the jar.

After two light coats of chalkboard spray paint I removed the tape and had a pretty smooth chalkboard oval for the label.  I used a funnel (to the delight of my husband, I’m a former funnel hater) to pour the spices into each jar and I labeled them with chalk.  I am looking into purchasing a chalk pencil so I don't have to try to write with a half inch piece of chalk I found in my sewing kit, please excuse the handwriting.

So this solved the problem for 12 of our spices.  Now, what to do with the dozens of tiny spices?  You know the cheap ones you buy when a recipe calls for whole cloves and you don’t think you’ll ever use whole cloves again. 

Well we had a lot of these cheap mini spices of various brands, and being the perfectionist that I am I wanted them all to match and have pretty labels.  I know, I know, who cares if they match?  I just wanted them to look nice and uniform against the cute glass spice jars.  I tried to think of different ways I could label them, again trying to find something that was water-proof or at least smudge proof.  Then suddenly it came to me…the random Christmas gift I received!

Yes, my friends, that is teal duct tape.  I’ll just let you dwell on the awesomeness of this as a Christmas gift for a moment.

And, thoughts?  It just so happens that duct tape is the perfect width to cover the mini spice jars and it also matches the new teal accessories I purchased from Target.  I know, it’s like it was meant to be.

I wrapped each mini spice jar with duct tape and used a Sharpie to label it with the name and approximate date it was purchased/opened.

Here’s the after shot of the beautified spice cabinet.

And here are a few gratuitous shots of my new teal Target accessories just for good measure.

So what do you think of our spice cabinet overhaul?  It’s been a lot more functional so far.  We like the upgraded IKEA spice jars with the sprinkle option and the duct tape adds a nice classy pop of color when you open the cabinet.  I wouldn’t say that I’m promoting duct tape as the latest home décor accessory, but for this circumstance it was just too perfect (can you tell that I’m still struggling with the idea that I used duct tape to decorate?).  Who knows, maybe this will start a trend (please, no).


  1. Thanks for taking the time to be thorough with the process of you new upgrade. Of course, you also made if fun to read with your personal writing touches. Well done!

    1. Thanks for reading! Sometimes I worry that I get a little too long-winded and detailed...glad you appreciate it ;)

  2. I was thinking of purchasing the IKEA spice jars since I'm in the process of organizing my pantry. But after reading for your review about them not being airtight, I'm glad to know that these may not work for me. They're cute though. Thanks!