Trainwreck to cute DIY spice storage tutorial.

Coffee Under the Umbrella DIY spice rack, after

After. I want to leave the door open just so I can stare at it.

Coffee Under the Umbrella DIY spice rack, disaster before

Before. Nothing motivates like a little public shaming.

That’s right, world. You get to see what my spice cabinet looked like in its train wrecked glory!

Oh, the 1970s. How did residents organize their stuff in their small number of cavernous storage spaces. Oh, they probably didn’t have as much stuff as we do today. Ah, materialism.

So, as I was waiting for that $5k to fall out of the sky for our kitchen remodel, I continued to be on the lookout for storage gadgets that would fit in our cabinets and budget. And of course, if one criteria was satisfied, the other was not. I began to seriously consider building this one and just modifying it. Then noticed it was for a pantry rather than a small cabinet, and a one piece in-the-door rack wouldn’t be practical for this cabinet because the shelves would prevent the door from closing.

I was lackadaisically intending to just design one myself to build, then I saw this. Problem solved. Here’s what I did. The measurements I include are for my cabinet, so you’ll have to adjust. I’m really sorry that I neglected to take pictures of the process, but it’s not complicated and I think it will make more sense if you look at the picture of the rack. If you want to try this and have trouble visualizing, get in touch with me.

Supplies for 3 little 12″ racks:

1 8′ 1×4

1 4′ 3/8″ dowel

12 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws/12 2″ wood screws

12 1 1/4″ wood screws

2 wood screws to hang the rack (I used 1″ screws)

Enough 1/4″ plywood for 3 3 3/4″x12″ pieces

3/8″ drill bit

Miter saw, carpenters square, tape measure, wood glue, carpenters level

Cut list:

3 12″ 1x4s (bottoms)

6 3″ 1x4s (sides)

3 12″ dowels

3 3 3/4″x12″ plywood pieces (back)


1. Cut your pieces.

2. Drill 2 pocket holes, set for 3/4″ stock, in each of the 6 3″ 1x4s. Drill them in the side that is 3 1/2″ (a 1×4 is actually 3/4″ x 3 1/2″). If you don’t have a Kreg jig, I would drill 2 pilot holes through the bottom of the 12″ pieces where the sides will attach.

3. Drill the holes for the dowel. You will need to figure how high from the floor of the rack you want the dowel and how far in front. This will largely depend on the size of your spice jars. I designed mine so that the top of the dowel hit exactly 2 1/8″ from the bottom (pocket holes are at the bottom) because of the way the clamps on my jars were positioned and the front of the dowel was at about 3″ from the back, maybe a little more. I found this point, traced the hole, and drilled. I drove the bit up and down after the hole was drilled to make actually driving the dowel through the hole easier.

4. Fasten the sides to the ends of the bottom 12″ piece with glue and screws.

5. Fasten the 1/4″ plywood backs. I drilled 4 pilot holes – 1 through each of the side pieces and 2 to fasten to the bottom piece (through the side grain). Use glue. Use screws, not nails, for strength.

6. Bang or twist the dowel through the holes.

7. Get out the level, mark on the inside of the cabinet door where you want your rack to hang, drill your pilot holes, then fasten to the inside of the door. My cabinet door was 3/4″ thick.

DIY spice rack after measurements

Here are the measurements corresponding with steps.

DIY spice rack

I love my spice rack.

I found these cute little jars at World Market for $1 a piece. If anyone has ideas for cute, non-permanent labels, I’ll take them.


I cave

Introducing the product of several months of resisting the urge to record my projects in the blogosphere and open part of my life up to the world.

If you are reading this, I sincerely thank you. I resisted starting a blog for so long because I was intimidated by the sheer volume of girl blogs out there and of women doing really, really great things with their homes, creativity, and limited resources, and thus proving that you don’t need unlimited or even vast resources to look like you do.

This is not a home decor blog per si. Mostly because I know nothing about decorating. Planning to do anything new to my home is typically a project in itself because my husband and I have wildly divergent tastes. The only thing we have in common is that neither of us like a lot of things. I don’t like knick-knacks. The engineer part of me doesn’t like anything that doesn’t serve a specific function (I was teased by my girlfriends when I got married because my registry contained only highly functional items).

I love furniture. And for most of my life I thought I would never have furniture I liked because it was expensive. I know…first world problems. Then I discovered my friends Craigslist, Primer, Spray Paint, and Power Sander. Ok. Then I discovered Ana White and found that I could actually build my own furniture.

Join me for coffee under my umbrella.

I like to deuglify stuff. I like to build stuff. I like to paint stuff. I like to build and paint stuff. I started with deuglifying furniture. Then I discovered that with patience and time, I could deuglify my house from the early 70s, back before decor was cool. This is mostly a deuglifying blog. Over the next few weeks I will be posting my previous projects, starting from before I thought to take ‘before’ and ‘in process’ pictures, then I will start with current projects. I hope you will get your coffee and have a seat on the patio as we chat. Thanks again for reading.