{organizing with style} Matching Spice Jars & Ombre Spice Racks In the Pantry

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

They say time flies when you are having fun, so I must be having a lot of fun organizing our home! I am slowly working to get caught up blogging about projects I completed last year, and, looking at the date stamps on the photos of the spice racks we installed in the pantry, I realize that I've been enjoying this beauty of a project for well over six months now! #badblogger 

But I'm a glass half full kind of girl, so I'll put a positive spin on my tardiness in sharing this project... After living with our new spice organization for more than six months, I can say without hesitation that this project was a success because it looks just the same today as it did on the day I took the photos! Before I scare you with the before photos, here's a quick peek at the stylish "after"!

Ombre colored spice racks on pantry wall

Alright, now let's go back to where it all began... spice jars of every shape and size taking up too much prime cabinet shelf real estate, the remainder of which was occupied by bottles of oils and vinegars.


Once upon a time I had attempted to organize this space by adding three lazy susans - two for spices, and one for oils and vinegars. And while this certainly did help, it just wasn't enough to make this space functional. Lazy susans because you can rotate them and nothing gets lost in the back corners of the cabinet. But instead, many of my spices were getting lost in the center.


I knew I needed to find a better way to organize my spices, but we don't exactly have any empty shelves or drawers in the kitchen {quite the opposite in fact}. I knew I was going to have to get creative and create storage space where none existed before - and I realized that the narrow wall in front of our pantry shelves might be just the right spot.

Unused Pantry Wall Space is Perfect for Spice Storage

I measured the space and was pleasantly surprised that I had just enough width for the Ikea Bekvam spice racks {only 4 each!}. These spice racks are unfinished birch - which to me was an invitation to get creative.  


I raided the extra latex paint in my utility room and I came out with five shades of teal paint (all left over from painting our ombre striped nursery) and a navy blue (left over from the argyle wall I painted in Beckett's room). I also wanted one more darker shade of blue, so I grabbed a bottle of midnight blue acrylic paint from my craft closet, and then I set about painting seven spice racks.


Seeing the spice racks lined up on the kitchen table after I painted them, it was all I could do to not stare at them all day! I love the ombre effect, and they look even better up on the wall of the pantry... but we'll get back to that.

The next challenge was deciding whether to keep my spices in their current bottles, or transfer them into matching jars. After looking at numerous stores, I determined that spice jars just wasn't worth the $2-3 per bottle. But that made me sad! Before giving up on the idea of pretty, matching spices, I decided to do a bit of online research, and sure enough I found a great option! I purchased four dozen 4 oz. square spice bottles from Sunburst Bottle for only $31 - a steal at just $.65 per bottle!

After sorting through my spices to eliminate any that were expired, I began making labels for my new spice jars using my handy-dandy label maker.


I chose a clear tape with black writing, and when placed on the bottles the tape visually disappears giving them a sleek, custom look.


After transferring all of my basic spices into the jars, I began working on all of my spice blends. Many of  them were originally in plastic bags or small plastic boxes, so transferring them to the jars immediately made things easier. However, I didn't want to lose the recommendations - like, "best rubbed on chicken or pork, or sprinkled on fish and vegetables." To solve this problem, I simply used my label maker to print those instructions in a small font and placed them on the back side of the bottle.


I also printed tiny labels for the bottom of my jars to note expiration dates.


Once all of the spices were in their their matchy-matchy jars, I sat the pretty, painted spice racks on my kitchen counter and filled them with spices to determine how far apart each rack should be placed. I also filled a few of the racks with my oil and vinegar bottles to calculate the spacing of those as well. I decided to place the racks of spices lower on the wall {making it easier for my short self to read the labels}, and to put the large oil and vinegar bottles up higher.

With my measurements in hand, we installed the screws and anchors for the lowest spice rack, then used our laser level and measured up the wall to mark the location of the others.


When choosing the size and shape of spice jars I wanted to order from Sunburst Bottle, I selected the 4 oz bottles because none of the my current spice bottles were larger than that. And I selected the square bottles rather than the round because I knew they would fit nicely side by side without any wasted space.

By angling the spice jars inside of the spice rack, I was able to fit almost double the number that would fit if I placed them flat, but I left enough space between my spice racks that it's still easy to lift out the ones in the back row without having to remove the front bottles.

Spice Racks on Pantry Wall

Please tell me I'm not the only one who enjoys alphabetizing... anyone?! So then it should come as no surprise that it makes me so happy to see my matching spice jars in alphabetical order. But really, it does make it so much faster to find what I need.

Spice Racks on Pantry Wall

And call me silly, but I really just love the way the spices look in these spice racks. I've said it before and I'll say it again - make it pretty to keep it pretty!

Ombre colored spice racks on pantry wall

I filled two spice racks with my regular spices, and then the next two down with all of my spice blends.

Ombre colored spice storage on unused pantry wall

I used the upper three spice racks for my larger containers of salts and peppers, oils and vinegars.

Spice and oil storage on pantry wall

As you can see, installing these spice racks truly allowed me to use every inch of available space on the wall inside my pantry. I suspect you can also tell it is a challenging space to photograph. Here are a few "interesting" angles to give you a better view of the ombre effect.

Here's the view from the top of the pantry looking down...

Spice and oil shelves on pantry wall

And here's the view looking up at the spice racks (yup, that's right - the view you'd get if you laid on the floor of the pantry, cause who doesn't do that?!).

Ombre colored spice racks on wall of pantry

And finally, here's the glimpse of the spice racks that you get as soon as you open the pantry door...

Unused pantry wall space is perfect for spice storage

This is one of my favorite kind of organizing projects because it checks so many boxes:
  • it's a more efficient system storing and organizing an item I use daily, saving me time and reducing frustration;
  • it takes advantage of a space that was previously unused'
  • it frees up a space that was previously underutilized, and allowed me to find a better use for that prime real estate {see how I organized our sippy cups and water bottles on the shelf where our spices used to be}; AND
  • it's pretty and makes me smile every time I open the pantry door!
Reclaim an entire shelf by moving spices to pantry wall

Some might say that the ombre trend is on its last leg, but they can't tell me my pantry doesn't look a whole lot prettier now than it did before. Better yet, it's also a heck of a lot more functional. Win WIN!


Looking for more kitchen organizing tips? Click on the thumbnails below for more:



2 comments :

  1. Where did you get the jars? I'm trying to find some very similar to that.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I got them from Sunburst Bottle (linked in the post above): http://www.sunburstbottle.com/clear-square-spice-jar/p/sp4sqb/

    ReplyDelete

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