The Legend of the Rack is Way Hardcore!

So, here's how it started. We (I) are (am) in the midst of a huge winter purge and reorganization. Typically, I do this kind of thing in the Spring, but I think that the cabin fever is getting to me, and little things are nagging at me and turning into big things. The other day, I was rifling through our spice cabinet thinking a) I bet most people don't have an entire cabinet (like 3 shelves) for spices and b) I bet most people don't have 5 jars of poultry seasoning. You see, we have no counter space, and what we DO have we need for food prep. SO, spices got hidden in a cupboard and then when we needed something for a recipe, if we weren't willing to dig too far into the cupboard to see if we had the spice, we'd just write it on the list, buy it (again), and shove it in the cupboard. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I was tired of cursing every time I opened the cupboard door, and seeing valuable storage space wasted with who knows what. So, I emptied the cupboard and made a list of all the spices we have (and use). We had 25. I found these little containers that have magnets on the back and clear windows. I have seen these in tons of magazines, and you can actually buy spice racks with magnetic stands and these containers, but they are about $30 for a set of 12. Again, with NO counter space, this wasn't going to cut the ground mustard. So, I purchased 30 (just in case we find some more spices) for about $1.50 a piece. Frankly, I probably could have found them for less, but I was in a hurry. They are available at most container or organization stores, but also can be found at office supply stores. I found half of these in the kitchen section of the store and half in the office section. They come in two different sizes, and if you're willing to pay a couple dollars more per container, you can also get them in stainless.

I was especially excited to note that they have an opening for sprinkling and pouring [insert "you have no life" commentary here - because I SERIOUSLY was excited by this], so you don't have to pop the top off every time you want to use what's in it. You just rotate the top so the slot on the inner ring lines up with the coordinating slot that you want to use on the outer ring, and voila!

Then I consulted my list and made a label for each spice we had, using this handy label maker my mom once gave me. I love this label maker because it gives me the illusion of organization. Make no bones, though, it's an illusion.
I picked a font I liked (from the limited selection), used italics (because I think it's fancy), and added the border option. (Thanks mom, for getting me a label maker with bells AND whistles.)
I cut them to size and affixed them to the front of each container. Here's where I made my first mistake, I should have used the white tape rather than the transparent tape because once the spices are in the container, it's hard to see the words (you'll see what I mean later). But, live and learn... moving on...
I bought this amazing magnetic paint at my local "big box store that carries paint," it's possible that it rhymes with "comb creep-o." In any case, I was convinced that it comes in a spray can, but I didn't see that, and in the end, I'm glad I got a can. It's a lot easier to control. So, I think I paid about $20 or so for this, but I have a TON left and now I'm an addict, so it's a win/win. It is technically a primer, so it is meant to be painted over. You can prime a wall with it, and then paint a wall cover over it and magnets will just stick to your wall. CRAZY! Even cooler, you could use chalkboard paint over it, and make it a magnetic chalkboard. That's probably the coolest thing ever. But, I just left it plain. The can says that you can do 3 coats. That didn't feel like enough for me, so I put on about 7 or 8 coats in the end. The good part is that you can apply another coat 30 minutes after you've applied the previous coat. So, I just set a timer, and dropped what I was doing when it went off to spend 3 minutes covering the 12" by 24" space I was covering.
(Oops. I just realized that I was using the obits as my drop cloth. My apologies to everyone I dripped on. Rest In Peace.)

Actually, in between coats, I filled up the spice jars. I let the last coat dry overnight, and woke up in the morning, went directly to the new spice wall without even collecting a cup of coffee for passing go, and stuck them up on my new magnetic wall. (Here's where you can see that the words are not very easy to read when they are on top of the spices -- cinnamon is especially difficult - and if you take the words "cinnamon is especially difficult" out of context, it's actually kind of funny).
I'm kind of in love with it. Now, I want every wall in my house to be magnetic. Would that be overboard? Don't answer that...


  1. I love these. Most of out spices are in them (and I also love the sprinkle option!). The side of our fridge is right next to our stove so ours are all attached there and we didn't need a magnet wall. But I love the idea. Looks great!

  2. Will you please tell us where you purchased the ones with the pour/sprinkle options?

  3. I had to come on over and post about how cool I think this is. I also have a suggestion -- on the bottom of the spice jar, put a label with the date you bought/open the spice. They tend to loose potency and any that are over a year old might need to be tossed.

    And, Allison, I think the Container Store sells the little jars with the pour/sprinkle option.

    I didn't notice exactly where in your kitchen your spice wall is, but I've been told you shouldn't store your spices right next to the stove/oven. The heat can affect the spices.

  4. I am so jazzed! Looks like I have a project for this weekend! Thanks so much for sharing Allison!

  5. What a good craft project! I am very impressed. I still have everything jammed on 4 IKEA shelves.

  6. Creepy...we have the same system! Although handwritten labels because I couldn't be bothered pulling the label maker out (lazy).

    Also, flights to RSW booked.


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