Spice rack - after

Spice rack - before

My old spice rack just wasn’t cutting it. I barely cook, but even I have accumulated more spices than what fit in those 12 small tins. I couldn’t find the right spice rack, so I created my own. And made room for expansion. Check out my odds & ends rack for a variation on this idea.

How to make a spice rack


  • 25 8oz. seamless tins
  • 3½-inch wide thin plank of wood (I recommend ½-inch thick)
  • wood filler
  • primer
  • paint
  • finish nails
  • address labels (I used Avery 5160/8160)
  • dot stickers
  • thin, white cardboard or bristol board


  • miter box & pull saw
  • sand paper or electric sander
  • drop cloth
  • paint brush
  • nail set
  • hammer
  • tack cloth
  • tape measure or yardstick
  • pencil
  • staple gun & staples

1. Measure the tins and make a sketch of the rack (click the sketch to see it bigger). Then add up the amount of wood needed. I figured that I needed 11 feet of wood. (I found a 15-foot piece of wood at a salvage yard that was just the right width.)

2. Measure the wood (twice!) and cut each piece. Because the wood is thin, I cut it with a pull saw and miter box.

3. Fill the holes and nicks in the wood with wood filler (if necessary) before lightly sanding each piece. Remove the dust with a vacuum and/or tack cloth.

4. Place the wood on a drop cloth. Paint two coats of primer. Let dry in between coats. Then apply two coats of paint, letting each coat dry for a couple hours. I found it easier to paint this spice rack before assembling it, then touch it up at the end.

5. Measure and mark where each shelf should go. I started with the middle shelves first. Hammer in two finish nails on each side. (I pre-drilled holes, which made the job easier.) Use a nail set to sink the nails below the surface of the wood.

6. Use wood filler to fill in the nail holes. Lightly sand smooth.

7. Apply two coats of paint to cover the nail holes. Let dry in between coats.

8. Trace the rack onto a sheet of white cardboard and cut out. Staple the cardboard onto the back of the rack.

8. Make spice labels in a word-processing program. Or download a pdf of mine. Use dot stickers to note the expiration date on the bottom of the tins. Then dump in your spices, grab a cookbook, and make something fabulous.