DIY Spice Organization


Spice up your spice cabinet with this DIY spice organization using tins and chalkboard paint

I promise this isn’t turning into a DIY blog! I know I’ve had two DIY posts in less than a week but they’re all food related :) This next one was also a project that I wanted to do for a while but didn’t want to do it while we were still in the apartment. This was one of the first things I said I’d complete once we moved to a house.

I wanted to organize all my spices! I know it sounds OCD but I hate the containers they come in and how I could never find the spice I’m looking for. I wanted to SPICE UP my pantry. Oh, I’m hilarious. No, but seriously, we buy our spices in bulk sometimes at Costco and they come in those ugly plastic containers. You also buy the ones at the grocery store too that just end up being stacked on top of each other with red lids (you know which ones I’m talking about!) and you have no clue what spice is what. You go fiddle with one, the rest come tumbling down.

So this is where this spice project came into play. I wanted a CLEAR way of seeing every spice I had. I didn’t want to fumble around while cooking.

This was actually a pretty fun project. My MOH and I did this after wedding dress shopping on Saturday and it didn’t take long. The only “long” part was spray painting the chalkboard paint a few nights before to ensure it was dry.

Supplies you’ll need:

  1. First, you’ll want to go outside and spray paint your labels. A very thin coat will do. Don’t over-spray it or it’ll start dripping and you’ll be left with ugly drip marks.
  2. Let them dry overnight.
  3. Once you’re ready for assembly, grab all your spices from your pantry. One by one, start writing the spices on the label. Make sure you let the ink dry completely before putting on the tins. They smear easily!
  4. Once they’re dry, you can put them on the tins and dump the respective spices into their tins!

See how easy that was? Oh, want to know the best part of using chalkboard paint & ink?! YOU CAN ERASE THEM WITH WATER!! If you change up the tin with a different spice, if you write it wrong, you just take a wet paper towel, wipe and start over!! So awesome, huh?!

The way I have them now (shown above) doesn’t really help if I accumulate more spices as I’ll have to end up stacking them in front of the rows I have now, defeating the purpose of the labeling system. I found these which will help elevate the spices on different levels or this. Not sure which I’ll do yet but at least I have options :)

Happy spice organizing!


Posted on June 18, 2012

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  1. Susannah
    08/21/2013 at 1:45 am

    Love this blog post! I’m deep in the throes of kitchen reorganization, but I’ve been putting off the spice rack until last because, with 50+ spices, it’s going to be quite the undertaking. I’m pretty sold on this idea, though. My only question: over time have you found that your tins have become “grimed shut” due to moisture/kitchen grease/warping? Just trying to think ahead on this one…thanks!

    • 08/21/2013 at 8:38 am

      Hi Susannah – no, that hasn’t happened to me. I keep the rims pretty clean after each use and I also keep them stored in a cabinet and not out on my counters so I definitely don’t see that kitchen grease! I’ve had these for over a year now and they still work great! :)

  2. Susannah
    08/21/2013 at 8:46 pm

    That’s awesome to hear. Thanks for inspiring my spice reorganization!

  3. Diane
    09/23/2014 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you for including the link on where to get the tins!! Much appreciated!

  4. Amy
    10/04/2014 at 9:40 am

    I love this idea!!!! Did you use 4oz tins? If so, do you think 6 oz tins would be too big?

    • Julie
      10/05/2014 at 2:09 pm

      4 ounce tins. I think if you use 6 oz tins, you wouldn’t be able to stack as many on top of each other but totally up to preference.

  5. 12/28/2014 at 10:09 pm

    This a great idea. I have been battling with spice organization for a long time. The bottles are usually all different sizes and the big bulk bottles are a whole other story. Thanks for posting.

  6. Amy
    01/05/2015 at 1:21 pm

    I love this and Plan to do this to my kitchen this year. With 30+ spices it gets crazy in my cabinets lol. I do have a question for you though. I have a big drawer under my gas top range. I was thinking about using the space for my spices. However they would have to lay on their sides. Do you think this is a good idea?? Right now they are stored in a cabinet. Im just trying to be usefull of all spaces:). Thank you!

    • Julie
      01/05/2015 at 7:45 pm

      It should be fine to sit sideways – can’t see an issue with that!

    • Jen
      01/12/2015 at 8:31 pm

      Amy- I wouldn’t store the spices under the oven. The heat wouldn’t be good for them. It’s a good idea though, I have too many spices to fit in a drawer and have to fish through them in the cabinet every day!

  7. Tiana
    01/07/2015 at 10:02 pm

    Okay, so I did this, but some of my spices my more in the bottle. What did you do with all the leftovers? I don’t want to have 2 shelves taking up space.

    • Julie
      01/08/2015 at 8:39 am

      With the few that I had more spices in my bottle, I just put it in a plastic storage box and put it on the top shelf cabinet. Out of sight for a bit ;)

  8. Brandy
    01/28/2015 at 11:34 am

    Thanks so much for this idea. I am purchasing new tins right now. I cant wait for my train-wreck spice cabinet to be nice and organized!!!!!!

  9. Sarah Szatmary
    05/16/2015 at 10:29 pm

    So I bought these tins for a similar project, I want to store my tea and not spices. But when I received them in the mail I noticed they weren’t airtight lids. I was wondering if you found this to be a problem with keeping the spices fresh? or if you bought airtight inserts?

    • Julie
      05/18/2015 at 9:45 am

      Nope, I haven’t found this to be a problem at all! My spices have been pretty fresh since putting them in there.

      • Donna
        08/05/2017 at 11:40 am

        I can I get the lids tight so they don’t spill or grab the top and it falls

  10. Michelle Torralba
    06/23/2015 at 9:02 pm

    where do you find these containers?

    • Julie
      06/23/2015 at 9:32 pm

      they’re linked up in the post itself :)

  11. Triscia P
    08/05/2015 at 8:28 am

    Hi! I love this wonderful idea! I ordered the tins and noticed they are smaller than I thought. Do you have an issue with a spice not fitting in the container? Also, those labels are showing that they aren’t available anymore and I can’t find any others that are small enough to fit the 4 oz container. Any idea where I can find those labels?

    • Julie
      08/06/2015 at 7:00 am

      Hi Triscia, yes, they’re a bit smaller. The entire spice from the original jar will not fit into the tins, that is correct. I have a little box where I keep all my spices in to refill the tins. The did this project mainly to organize my spice cabinet and make it easier to find spices instead of digging through a box. These labels seem similar:

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