DIY Spice Rack

Let’s spice things up around here, huh?  Literally.  We’re diving into spice rack details today.  I keep calling our new spice rack a ‘rack’ but really, I should be calling them spice shelves.

My entire, home-owning existence, I’ve always stored our spices in an upper cabinet right next to the stove.  It was habit and because, usually, I was at the stove when I needed them so it just made sense.  In this little rental though, we only have one, quite narrow upper cabinet next to the stove and it’s stocked full of other things that I usually keep near the stove – large salt and pepper refill containers, corn starch, cocoa powder…basically all of our cooking and baking dry ingredients.  There’s zero room for spices.  So into a basket on top of the microwave on the opposite wall they went.  Not ideal.  Therefore, putting up this pair of spice shelves was gloriously satisfying.  For one, I can see all of our spices without having to move any around and two, they’re within arms reach when I need them.   

Another really great thing about these spice shelves is that you only need a handful of easily attainable and easy to use supplies to build them.  I still haven’t mastered using any of our big power tools so Anthony is always holding those reigns during any of our building projects, but this one I did all by myself.  It’s that easy.  Here’s what I used:

diy spice shelves

1.  A piece of wood to use as your actual shelf.  I wanted my shelves to be fairly thin so I went with this 1/2 inch thick poplar board from Lowe’s and had them cut them to the size I wanted (free!).  The longest they come is in four foot lengths and since I wanted our shelves to be 30 inches long, I had to buy two.  I was slightly annoyed I couldn’t find longer lengths at first but at least I’ve got a couple of foot and a half boards I can make some small shelves with to adorn some wall somewhere in the future.  #cuphalffull

2.  Corner braces.*  Since my shelves weren’t very long and spices aren’t really known for elephant-like weight, I got away with using four brackets – two per shelf.

3.  Short screws.  You’ll only need these if you use the 1/2 inch thick board I did.  The screws that came with the corner braces were too long and would’ve popped through the top side of my poplar board so I had to grab some shorter screws.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t think of this until it was go-time (also post-bedtime and post stores closing) so I had to go scrounging around in our stash of random screws to find a few that were long enough.  I could only find four and since everything had already been spray painted and was ready, they didn’t get the gold treatment.  But, since they were going underneath, it really didn’t matter since they aren’t seen…or at least that’s what I comforted myself with.

4.  Gold spray paint (optional).  I wanted my brackets to tie in with the other small gold accents in the kitchen so I gave them (and the screws!) a once over with my fave gold spray paint.

5.  Polycrylic* or wood sealer.  This part might be optional too but I think that sealing the wood just makes it easier to wipe down when the times comes.  With this size of a project, you’d probably only use a very, very, very small amount of a can so you can chalk the extra up to another project…or ten.

6.  A screwdriver or drill* (we’ve had the older model to the one I linked to for at least ten years now and it’s still going strong) to install the brackets and shelves.

To start, I gave what would be the top of each piece of wood one coat of polycrylic.  I let that dry and cure a few days (though I don’t think it takes more than 24 hours for that stuff to completely dry) and then it was time for them to be hung.  First, I figured out where I wanted the brackets to be placed on each board.  Lucky for me, there were two studs in the wall, centered over the stove.  I was really kind of shocked about that fact at the time.  I feel like they had to have been strategically placed there and that it wasn’t a coincidence?  Not sure but either way, it was awesome that they were there and centered exactly where they’d be most helpful to mwah.  (Side note that’s probably an obvious:  make sure you use drywall plugs if the studs aren’t playing nice and you’re drilling into drywall sans studs.)  So, I just placed my brackets 16” apart on each board (the width between the studs) with equal distances between each bracket and the ends.  To make sure I was screwing the brackets so that they were flush with the back of the board, I set both down on the counterop and marked the holes where the screws would go.

Then I set everything upright and followed my marks to attach the brackets.  I noticed at this point in the process that one side of each bracket has an engraving on it so if you’re making some shelves of your own, make sure that engraved side is the side touching the wood or it’ll be visible.
As far as where I hung the shelves on the wall, I just eyeballed it.  I know.  That’s not helpful.  I had Anthony hold them up for me where I wanted them and we marked the wall as a guide.  Lining them up with those marks, I had my right-hand man hold them to the wall for me while I screwed the brackets to the studs in the wall and that was it! 


Will they always look this good, all neatly lined up on two shelves?  Yes.  If there’s one thing you might want to know about me, it’s that I have this weird OCD tendency with things being lined up.  In elementary school it was my planner lined up perfectly in the upper corner of my desk.  As a bank teller, it was my perfect stacks of deposit and withdrawl slips.  As a domestic goddess (HA! ), it’s my spices.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Will the heat from the range below affect my spices?  Eh, I don’t think so?  Since the heat rises and kind of runs right into the bottom shelf, I’m thinking maybe that shelf just blocks that heat from getting to the spices.  That’s not to say the heat won’t rise any farther than the bottom shelf but I think the shelves maybe…hopefully… reroute it?  Don’t quote me on it but our spices don’t taste any different yet.  Plus, we usually run the fan above when we’re cooking so maybe that saves the spices too.  :)


I almost bought these spice jars because I’m a matching fool sometimes, but then I figured that buying Walmart’s organic line in the glass jars would be my method to getting them all to match one day.  I was also committed to staying within the kitchen remodel budget and they would’ve put me over.  


Matching or not though, I have really and truly loved having them all lined up here.  This mode of spice organization is a keeper. 

Just for fun, let’s pull it back a little to see how far we’ve come.  :)



That’s it for the kitchen!  I can’t promise I won’t speak of it again because things are bound to be tweaked sometime in the future but for now, it’s on to the living room.  I’ve already given it a fresh coat of paint and we moved some furniture around last week to give it a good douse of cozy.  There’s some DIY artwork in process at the moment that will be halted for my PRK surgery tomorrow and hopefully resumed next week!  I can’t wait to show you how it’s changed though! 

I hope your Tuesday was a great one!  Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than later…sans glasses or contacts!  Yippee!


  1. Love your spice shelves! We're remodeling our kitchen, and I'm going too use your tips for a spice shelf. I also want to read your article about scraping the popcorn ceiling! After 11 kids, it's time to spruce things up!

    1. Fun!! We are in the middle of remodeling our kitchen too so solidarity!! Also, you won't regret taking those ceilings down! You might even be able to rope some kids into helping. ;)

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