DIY spice rack

White spice rack with 25 seamless tins, photo

My old spice rack wasn’t cutting it. It only held 12 tins. I’m not a prolific cook, but even I quickly outgrew it. Still, I needed a compact storage solution because I share a small kitchen with my roommate, and countertop space is limited. I couldn’t find a spice rack to buy that would hold all my spices and have room for expansion, so I created my own. Check out my odds & ends rack for a variation on this idea. (This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I may earn a small commission. You can read my full disclosure here.)

UPDATE 11/23/20: I found out the hard way that these tins aren’t food grade or airtight. Turmeric permanently stained the inside. Onion and garlic powders turned into a solid brick. And cloves became a black tar-like substance that I could only remove by soaking it overnight in Easy-Off Oven Cleaner. Consequently, I don’t recommend using this rack for spices. How about beads, buttons, small parts, or other craft supplies? There are 25 tins on this rack, so I turned mine into an advent calendar. Click here to see how.

How to make a spice rack with tins

  • 25 8-ounce seamless tins

  • 11 feet of 3½-inches wide by ⅜- to ½-inch thick wood

  • primer

  • paint

  • finish nails

  • address labels (I used Avery 5160)

  • white chipboard (or thin plywood painted white)

  • miter box & pull saw (or miter saw)

  • sand paper (or palm sander)

  • drop cloth
  • paint brush

  • nail set & hammer (or finish nail gun)
  • tack cloth

  • tape measure

  • staple gun & staples
  • drill and small drill bit (optional)
  • utility knife and ruler (or straight edge)

Sketch of the spice rack with dimensions, photo

1. Measure the tins and make a sketch of the rack. Then add up the amount of wood needed. I figured that I needed 11 feet of wood. (I used a 15-foot piece of wood that I found at a salvage yard.)

Cut pieces of wood and stack of tins, photo

2. Measure the wood and cut each piece using a miter box and pull saw.

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.

Assembling the painted pieces of wood, photo

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

Stapling the back onto the rack, photo

7. Trace the rack onto a sheet of white chipboard (or cardboard) and cut it to size with a utility knife and straight edge. Staple the cardboard onto the back of the rack.

Date label on the bottom of a spice tin, photo

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, find a new recipe, and make something fabulous.

Crafty Nest spice rack with tins Pinterest photo

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Made this project? Email your photo(s) to monica (at) craftynest (dot) com, and I’ll share your version here!