The Best DIY Hack for Organizing Spices in a Cabinet

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Is your spice cabinet so disorganized that you end up having a hard time finding the spice you need? This easy DIY Tiered Spice Rack makes organizing spices in a cabinet both efficient and beautiful!

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Having a disorganized spice cabinet can be really frustrating! I can’t stand when I’m in the middle of cooking a recipe and have to spend tons of time searching through my spices to find the right one.

Which is why, when I joined up with some other wonderful DIY bloggers for this month’s DIY challenge and heard the theme was organization, I knew I had to tackle our spice cabinet.

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In our previous home, when we did our first kitchen remodel, we organized our spices by adding baskets to the inside of one cabinet door – this gave us extra storage and made our “most used” spices easy-to-grab.

Then when we moved into our current home, we never really thought about spice organization and just tossed all of our spices into the cabinet next to the stove.

You can see we did reuse the baskets, but they were simply sitting on top of the shelf, rather than hung up, making them a bit less useful…

Ready to see how we used a simple DIY project to completely transform our spice storage?

Check it out!

I can’t believe how much more functional it is!

In today’s DIY tutorial, I’m really excited to show you how we’ve organized our messy spice cabinet and teach you how to build your very own tiered spice rack!

This is a pretty simple project (we built ours in just a few hours) and I’m amazed at how easy it makes organizing spices in a cabinet! Even better – we made the entire thing with left-over materials from our other projects, so it was FREE!

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I hope this tutorial helps you get your spice cabinet organized and makes your cooking even more efficient! ๐Ÿ™‚

DIY TIERED SPICE RACK FOR
ORGANIZING SPICES IN A CABINET

This DIY tiered spice rack is designed to put all of your spices on display in such a way that you can see every spice bottle at the same time. No more digging around, searching for the right one!

Better yet, sort your spices alphabetically to make grabbing a spice even quicker. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Let’s get building, shall we?

Materials & Tools

How to Build a DIY Tiered Spice Rack

STEP 1: MEASURE AND DETERMINE CUT LIST

The first thing you need to do is measure and write down the size of your cabinet.

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We have cabinets with face trim that makes the opening smaller than the inside of the cabinet, and so were forced to build our tiered rack inside the cupboard.

If your opening is as wide as your cabinet, you can actually assemble yours entirely before installing it! Lucky you! ๐Ÿ˜‰ For the sake of this tutorial, we’re going to show you the trickier way – installing piece by piece inside the cabinet.

The inside of our cabinet, like most standard upper cabinets, is 10.75″ deep.

We then checked the diameter of our spice jars (they’re all about 2″ or less) and chose to do 5 shelves – the front 4 at 2″ deep and the top at 2.75″ deep.

This enabled us to put larger spice jars on the top shelf and used up all of our available depth.

For the height of the shelves, we first measured our tallest spice jar and made note that it was 4.5″ tall. We also realized that there was about .5″ at the bottom of all of our jars before the labels were visible so we decided to do 4″ tall and let them overlap by .5″.

We also had about 6 shorter spices we wanted to display on the bottom of the cabinet (or bottom shelf) and so made the very first riser shorter to accommodate that.

If your cabinet measures similarly to ours, you should be able to make your rack with the same size cuts. If not, just modify slightly to fit in your space.

Here was our cut list for the rack that fit inside our cabinet that is 10.75″ deep, 16.5″ wide, and 20″ tall.

STEP 2: CUT BOARDS

Next, use your cut list to cut your 3/4″ plywood. We chose to start by cutting a 16.5″ wide piece out of a full sheet of plywood since all of our pieces would be the same width.

Then, again on the table saw, we cut that piece into each of the shelves and risers.

STEP 3: INSTALL TIERED RACK

After you have all your wood cut, it’s time to get installing!

Of course, you’ll need to clear out your cabinet, including any existing shelves.

We started at the top and began by nailing our support for the top shelf and the top shelf itself together.

Do this by clamping them together (with the shelf on top) and nailing them together from the top.

Then, install measure and mark 13.5″ up on the back of your cabinet and install that piece with the top of the shelf at your mark.

For each of the next shelves, nail the shelf and riser together using clamps and then slide them into your cabinet, clamp to the shelf above it, and nail it in from the top of the shelf above.

When you get to the last riser (the short 3/4″ one) just slide it under the bottom shelf and nail it in place.

You should end up with a raw plywood tiered spice rack ready for painting! ๐Ÿ™‚

I was so excited to start organizing our spices at this point, I almost didn’t want to wait to paint it! But, Chris insisted and trust me, it’s worth finishing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

STEP 4: SPACKLE, SAND AND PAINT

Our last step in building a this DIY tiered spice rack and getting you well on your way to perfectly organizing spices in a cabinet is the “finish work” as some people like to call it. It’s where we make things look pretty and give them some added durability!

Begin by taping off all of the edges that are not plywood with painter’s tape – this includes the back and base of your cabinet.

Then, using wood filler or spackling, fill in the exposed edges of the plywood, the nail holes and the seams between the shelves and risers.

After the filler has dried for 24 hours, use sand paper to sand it flat and then prime and paint the entire tiered spice rack.

Remove the painter’s tape with a box knife, and that’s it! You can now start filling the shelves with your spices!

I love that this is a super functional (and do I dare say PRETTY!) way of organizing spices in a cabinet!

I honestly LOVE having our spices all organized. So much so, that I may have considered what to make for meals based on which recipes would require me to open up that cabinet… ๐Ÿ˜‰

I mean, look at the before and after of how this DIY tiered spice rack organization changed my kitchen!

How do you store your spices?

As you can see in the before and after of this project, I chose to invest about $35 in matching glass jars for my spices – this of course, is an issue of vanity. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My husband and I both like things to look cohesive and I felt like it was worth it to us to store our spices in matching jars.

I don’t, however, think it’s a necessity for you if you choose to build a spice rack like ours! If you’re looking to simply organize, it’s totally acceptable (great, actually) to store your spices in the containers they come in from the store.

I promise you’ll still love your new organized spice cupboard. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me know if you have any questions as you build yours!

Now it’s time to check out all the other fabulous DIY organization hacks my fellow bloggers have come up with! Click on the links below to head over and check out their tutorials – you won’t be disappointed!

DIY Shoe Organizer – The House of Wood

Simple DIY Closet Organization – House Becoming Home

DIY Corner Vegetable Storage Bin – Anika’s DIY Life

Small Parts Bins – 100 Things 2 Do

DIY French Cleat Wall Organizer – Addicted 2 DIY

DIY Office Drawer Organizers – RemodelaCasa

Easy Closet Shelves – Jaime Costiglio

Shoe Cabinet with Trays – The Created Home

DIY Closet Cabinets – Woodshop Diaries

DIY Ziplock Bag Storage – The Inspired Workshop

DIY Backpack Storage Bench – Her Toolbelt

Cleaning Closet Organization – Reality Daydream

Between-Studs Workshop Organization – My Love 2 Create

Between -Studs Broom Closet – My Repurposed Life

DIY Jewelry Organizer – Ugly Duckling House

DIY Bathroom Drawer Organizer – Hazel and Gold Designs

DIY Wine Rack – Place of My Taste

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18 thoughts on “The Best DIY Hack for Organizing Spices in a Cabinet”

  1. I love the idea of the shelf, which I plan on doing. picked me up some mini mason jars for my spices, like you, I like pretty and uniform. My question is what kind of labels did you use., there are so many. I like the chalkboard ones. any info would be a great help. Thanks. It does look awesome

    • The labels on mine actually came with the jars. I’m sure you could find some similar ones online – just search for “small chalkboard sticker labels” or something similar. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Rachel, this is so pretty I want to copy it! I’m confused about one thing. Is the top shelf nailed into your cabinel box? Is that the only one attached to the cabinet?
    Fortunately I can build mine outside…no lip. Thank goodness!
    I can’t wait to give it a shot.

    • There is a support for the top shelf that gets nailed into the back of the cupboard and then you set the top shelf onto that support and nail it in from the top. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s plenty strong with the structure of the shelves against the bottom and that top support! Because we were installing ours in pieces, the first few install pictures in this post are of Chris nailing the support and top shelf together then the support into the cabinet. Let me know if this still doesn’t make sense!

    • Thanks Anika! I do love that it’s pretty in addition to being functional. Totally worth the $35 for the matching jars!

  3. wow! I’m so impressed with the before and after photo! I bet you do smile every time you open that door. All of the spices lined up like little people on bleachers! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love how clean it looks with the white paint and clear bottles.

    Pinning!

    gail

    • You’re so sweet, Gail! I agree, the white paint behind the clear bottles does make it pop. That was Chris’ idea!

  4. Hi Rachel, I agree with Cara, the spice rack is wonderful. Very cohesive & too pretty to put behind the door. Your hubby is so handy, give him a pat on the back from all your fans. I wish i could get my husband to participate in my projects, he just cant seem to find the time to help. (looking for a handyman). My big pain right now is the crazy junk drawer in the kitchen that catches everything from extra pens, to rubber bands, batteries, restaurant menus, old conference lanyards & flashlights. Do you have any ideas to make the junk drawer look pretty?

    • Thanks Dawn! I’ll see what I can come up with for the junk drawer – I hate to admit it, but ours is just as crazy!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Rachel, this is so pretty I don’t think it should be in a cabinet where no one can see it! Lol! I love how cohesive it looks and how functional it is! Glad to know I’m not the only one wasting time digging through my spices! I may just have to add this to the never ending to-do list! Lol!

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