DIY: Spice Caddy (from recyled babyfood jars & an old DVD holder..)

The school holidays always reduces the amount of time I can spend on sewing projects. When I spend that time in the house I start finding things that need doing! So last week I turned my attention to my kitchen cupboards. Boy was THAT a job that took longer than I thought! Aaaaaanyway…one cupboard that needed some serious attention was our spice cupboard. I find those little jars of spices a pig to keep tidy and organised. They come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. If you corale them in a tub for easy access then you can’t see what’s what from the top. If you line them up on the shelf directly, then they tend to stain the shelf (turmeric, I’m looking at you!) and invariably you end up making a mess of them in order to search for the bottle you want. So a solution was long overdue!

I’d had this project in mind for a while and had gathered all the bits together a few weeks back. The babyfood jars I got locally via Freecycle. The wood laminate box is actually an old DVD holder. It had plastic strips glued inside it to create the slots for the DVDs to slide into. I simply removed these and I was left with a simple, if a bit plain, box that conveniently held all my babyfood jars…

I got these self adhesive vinyl letters from our local hardware shop for 20p each….

I completely masked off the rest of the box as I only wanted to apply colour to the front…

I used Plastikote Gloss “Smoke infusion” and applied 2 coats over the front of the box…

I let it dry overnight and then carefully peeled of my vinyl lettering…woohoo! It worked! (I never really know if these things are gonna work out or if I’m gonna fluff them completely :)…

I cleaned and sterilised all my jars and applied 2 coats of the same paint to the lids too…

Here they are all nicely nestled in their new box. See how perfectly they fit? DIY kismet I tell you!

Using double strands of natural jute string I plaited/braided me some handles…


Threaded through…

And secured with knots in the spaces between the jars…

I bought labels from ebay here. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, finishes and quantities. (I went for a 29mm diameter in a matt finish.) The company that produces them provides a template that you can download in Word or PDF format, so the alignment when you print is spot on. I downloaded a font called “A safe place to fall” from this free fonts website. I wanted the handwritten chalkboard effect so simply set the background fill to black and the text colour to white and printed ’em off…

Then filled em up with my spices…(there’s that pesky turmeric!)

And there it is 🙂 Stores neatly in my cupboard, lifts out for easy access AND I can find the spices I need easily without having to root around…

I’d call that problem solved….and I need some more ground cumin….

If you fancy replicating this, (or something similar, for craft storage perhaps (Huli?)) these old DVD and CD boxes turn up all the time at charity shops and car boots for pennies. For the jars, if you have a baby, then you’re sorted. (If not constantly knackered! They’re great for miniature homemade chutney/jam stocking fillers at crimbo too). If you don’t have a baby, (then making a DIY spice caddy is not a good enough reason to have one. Just sayin….) do what I did and find someone who does, either within your circle, or somewhere like Freecycle 🙂 The rest of the supplies can be bought online. Whilst I spent about £10 on the labels and spray paint combined, I only used about a third of the paint, and only half a sheet of labels. So I have plenty left for future projects and therefore it still works out super cheap in my book. I’m planning a similar “co-ordinating” caddy for all our oils and vinegars 🙂

Have a great day peops!

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  1. Donna Hensley August 21, 2013

    Good idea – I love the result!

  2. A.J.A. August 21, 2013

    I love this, Portia. Very tidy and functional! You have such an eye for the details 🙂

  3. Jenn C August 21, 2013

    What a great project!

  4. Katherine August 21, 2013

    This is just perfect! I have an out of control pantry cupboard and this kind of thing would be just the ticket.

  5. Sam August 21, 2013

    I so need to do this, I can never find the right jar when I’m searching through my spices.

  6. Giddyauntlola August 21, 2013

    Love it – I have lots of little jars that are perfect for this AND and old CD rack that would work.

  7. AriB August 21, 2013

    This is very nice. I definitely what to do this!

  8. lisa g. August 21, 2013

    very cute! i love this idea!

  9. ericaorcalluna August 21, 2013

    Wow, such a lovely idea! Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  10. Eilidhbelle August 21, 2013

    This is amazing! What a brilliant idea!

  11. Janet August 21, 2013

    Looks amazing and so practical. Love it!

  12. forwardmartha August 21, 2013

    This project is just what I need in my kitchen. I like that you can see what’s in the jars from the top. I bought some jars of banana baby food a while back because I needed the jars for spices. I wasn’t about to waste the food. My adult son was like, uh, Mom, are you supposed to be eating that stuff?

  13. pandchintz August 22, 2013

    What a clever girl you are!! Looks fab!

  14. Fayfe August 24, 2013

    Love and need this!

  15. Lisa September 26, 2013

    This looks great! Last week, i’ve tried to do this with little crates, but totally failed. The contrast between my paint and the box just wasn’t big enough. Will try this with an other chest like yours if I can find one. Looks a lot neater too 🙂


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