DIY A Magnetic Spice Rack (Easy)

DIY A Magnetic Spice Rack (Easy)

Finished view of the spice rack - with two different sizes of jars! This is on the ceiling of our kitchen, which is only about 6'9". I can still reach the jars but they are out of the way!

Finished view of the spice rack - with two different sizes of jars! This is on the ceiling of our kitchen, which is only about 6'9". I can still reach the jars but they are out of the way!

Living in a tiny house, I need to use my space wisely. Even if you don't live in a tiny house, spices can take up lots of space. I wanted a stylish and handy way to store my spices, which I didn't want to give up just because we live small. I searched and searched online, but I wasn't able to find a solution that was A) affordable and B) useful for my space. So I decided to make my own. Dan really liked the idea of using magnets, so I figured a magnetic rack on the ceiling just above our cook top would be ideal. Handy and pretty were my goals! 

Gluing the square magnets to the small jar lids, round 1. I might end up adding a second magnet because they wobble a bit when pulling them off the board, but so far one magnet is enough to securely hold them.

Gluing the square magnets to the small jar lids, round 1. I might end up adding a second magnet because they wobble a bit when pulling them off the board, but so far one magnet is enough to securely hold them.

I ordered a case of octagon jars from Amazon. I got two different sizes, actually, the 1.5 oz and the 4oz. I went this direction because the larger size was great for bulky spices and spice related items - for example, one of the bigger jars holds my bouillon cubes. But I also have a lot of spices in small quantities, which looked ridiculous in the bottom of a larger jar. The two sizes allow me to be flexible with my spices and they still look good together because they are the same shape. I also ordered some Neodymium magnets to glue to the lids. The ones I got were 5mm x 5mm square, so pretty tiny. But neodymium magnets are quite strong. And, using small magnets gave me the opportunity to add more magnets if I needed more strength, while not spending extra money on bigger, more expensive magnets. I used super glue to attach the magnets to the lids. Be aware that the magnets will 'snap' really strongly to the metal lid, sometimes splashing the super glue around! I left the jars in their box, with the flaps angled upwards as a shield so I didn't splash super glue on myself or my counter top.

One of my two magnet boards. You can see the metal is wrapping around the cardboard insert.

One of my two magnet boards. You can see the metal is wrapping around the cardboard insert.

While the magnets and lids were drying, I prepped the magnet board. I got two skinny boards made by Umbra and put them side by side, but you could also go for a larger one such as this if you have more spices. I like this style because it is a soft cardboard insert covered by a perforated metal - dual function! It can be used as a magnet board or with push pins. If you were to hang this on the wall, it could easily serve as both a spice rack and a message center. 

Teeny tiny screws need a teeny tiny screwdriver!

Teeny tiny screws need a teeny tiny screwdriver!

Since I am using this board flush on the ceiling of my kitchen/underside of my loft, I needed to remove the alligator tooth picture hangers on the back of the board. I used a very small screwdriver, like the kind you find in eyeglass repair kits, to remove the mini screws holding the bracket on. 

The screw heads will be visible on the magnet board when I am finished, but it's ok because I kind of like that look. If you want to hide the fasteners, just use an alligator bracket like the one I removed (if you are putting it on a wall) or a keyhole style (for the ceiling or under a cabinet)

The screw heads will be visible on the magnet board when I am finished, but it's ok because I kind of like that look. If you want to hide the fasteners, just use an alligator bracket like the one I removed (if you are putting it on a wall) or a keyhole style (for the ceiling or under a cabinet)

I wanted my screws to be visible at each corner of the board so I pre-started the screws on the front before I hung up the board. I sized the screw so it would go through the material of the magnetic board, and still have half of the screw shaft left to go into my ceiling material. I didn't want it to go anywhere or fall on someone's head! I pre-started the screws in all four corners because I was working alone, and didn't have enough hands to hold, screw one corner, grab another screw, continue on with all four corners. This is one of the many tricks that I use when I work by myself. Any time you can minimize the number of things you need to hold and juggle at once the more effective you will be at working alone.

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Once I screwed the boards up on my ceiling, all I had left was to fill and label the jars. I used a set of labels from Gneiss Spice I found on Amazon, but you could also print your own or just write on the jar with a sharpie if you're not feeling like spending more money. 

Altogether this project took about an hour, excluding filling and labeling the jars - add another hour if you do it all in one go. The only tools I used were a tiny phillips screwdriver, and my drill with a #2 phillips head for hanging the board. You could of course use a hammer and nails and the alligator style hangers if you are putting it on a wall instead of the ceiling. I was surprised at how much I spent - it was approaching $75. I could have spent less by using only one size of jar, or a simple metal sheet from the hardware store instead of the Umbra magnetic bulletin boards. I ended up with 48 jars - 24 large, 24 small - so I don't mind spending the extra. And after it was all done, it make sense to me now why some of these spice kits are so expensive! Like this one from Gneiss Spice on Amazon - 24 small jars, with spices, for $135. I did find that buying more jars was less expensive. It would be a great Christmas gift to order the jars, spices, and magnets in bulk and make a few sets to give to family and friends. Oooo, I hope my aunts aren't reading this... :-)

 

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