Monday, October 19, 2015

Baby Food Jar Spice Rack Thingy

It's fall y'all!  How in the world did that happen?!  Life has gotten really crazy around here for me, but crazy in a good way, and in a way that is making time disappear WAY too fast!  I had wanted to share this project a few months back, but yikes!  Here we are in October!  Anyhoo...

#goodbyeyellowkitchen is still underway, although it will probably not ever get to the completion point I had imagined in my head.  Basically, any project on the list but not yet started won't get started.  And there's a really good reason for that that I will hopefully get to share soon!  I'll still be able to show off the "afters" once we do get things wrapped up, it just won't be the after I imagined.  But I'm going to store all of those ideas & projects for another purpose.  Can't let good ideas go to waste, right?

One of the new features in the kitchen that did get completed was my new spice "rack."  Really, I don't know what to call it.  Spice display?  Spice jar thingy?  I had a hard time deciding how to share this project because in order to get the materials needed, I had to do a couple of side projects.  So, do I give out the materials first then show what to do with them, or show off the finished product and then explain how I got my materials?  I decided on the latter.  Here goes...

When we moved into this house, we removed all the cabinet doors to create open shelving, which I hoped would make the kitchen feel a little bigger.  Obviously, that means everything you have in these cabinets is on display.  And, yeah, the designer in me wanted everything perfectly arranged and looking "pretty" but the practical person in me was like, whatever, just make stuff accessible.  For the most part, the designer in me won out.  But when it came to all my spices, the practical one won.  

This was my spice shelf.

Um, yeah.

Not terrible, but not exactly pertty either.  So with this kitchen mini-makeover, I wanted a better solution for my spices.

Now, here's the driving force behind my material choice for my spice jars:  getting my measuring spoons into the spice jar.  I have round measuring spoons.  Yes, ideally you should have oval, for just the reason I mentioned above.  But I don't.  Mine work just fine for most other applications so why should I have to go buy new ones just to fit in the jars?!  

So, what if my new spice rack had jars that had wide enough mouths so my measuring spoons would have no trouble fitting in?  The first thing that popped into my head?  Baby food jars.

I've done a project before with baby food jars.  These little guys are the perfect little jar.  They're so great!  Of course, my issue was that they are full of food and I don't have a baby for the food, and I can't just throw food away.  With the last project, my husband graciously agreed to help consume some of the baby food so it wouldn't go to waste, and even though he said it wasn't terrible, I wasn't going to ask him to do it again.

So I thought surely you can buy just the jars somewhere, empty.  And, you can, but nowhere could I find them as cheap as you can get them with food!  Isn't there something wrong with that?

I ended up getting the baby food jars with food, and found a solution for the food inside that didn't include my husband eating it all, and those are the "projects" I have to share with how I got the materials for my new spice rack, so stay tuned for that!

Ok, so, onto the spice jars.  The idea was simple (or so I thought).  I wanted something similar to the magnetic spice canisters:  the jars with their bottoms to the wall and their lids facing out with the spice labeled on the lids.  I wanted the lids to be a matte black against my new lighter-colored kitchen, which meant chalkboard paint.  And I wanted them in the same location as before, on the cabinet shelf, but not attached to the back of the cabinet.

Hubby's the one that came up with the idea of using a pegboard for the jars: having small dowels in the holes that would support the jars.  Genius!

So we bought a plastic pegboard at Home Depot, I painted it white, stuck my dowels in the holes, added my jars, and womp womp.  (Sorry, no "womp womp" pic.)

I hated it.  Well, not really hated, but it just wasn't at all what I thought it would be.  So I waited for inspiration to come to me.  And it did.  (:

Somewhere (because I didn't save it) I came across an image of a wood pegboard, similar to this:

and I KNEW that's what I needed to do, and how perfect the wood with the black lids would fit into my modern farmhouse kitchen look.

I cut a piece of birch plywood to size to fit in my cabinet to use for my wood pegboard.  Because the plastic pegboard I was originally going to use had the hole spacing perfect already, I just used those placements for a template on the plywood.

Then, I went to town with my drill and made all my new holes on the piece of plywood.  I should note:  I did not drill out every hole that the plastic pegboard had.  That was part of the reason why I didn't like the plastic version:  too busy with all the unused holes.  So I only drilled the holes I needed for pegs to support my jars.

I bought long dowels from Hobby Lobby that were the right thickness to go through the holes in the plastic pegboard (remember: my original plan), so when I drilled my holes, I made sure to use a bit the size of my dowels, but actually a teeny bit smaller.  

I cut the dowels to be just a tad longer than the jars were tall.  I wanted the jars to stick out past the dowels, but I also knew the dowels were going to go all the way through the plywood, so I let that make up the difference.  I also sharpened the dowels a bit in a pencil sharpener just to dull the edge a little on the end that would be sticking out.  I think it gave it a softer look.  (You could definitely buy pre-made furniture dowels and drill your holes to accommodate those rather than cut down longer ones.)

I hammered the dowels into the wood pegboard so they were secure enough to support the jars, and because the dowels were slightly larger than my drilled holes, I didn't use wood glue, but you certainly could just for the added strength.

Before I put all the jars in place, I wiped down the wood with oil to really make the grain pop and brighten up the wood a little.  The difference was pretty remarkable. 

I set my new pegboard on the shelf in the cabinet, then added all my spice jars.

The jar lids were lightly sanded, then given 3 or 4 very light coats of spray chalkboard paint.  Once they were dry, and the jars had been well cleaned and dried, I transferred the spices to their new jar homes and labeled each lid accordingly with a pastel pencil, which is a great alternative to chalk when you need finer points.

And, ta-da!!

I loooovvvee it sooooooo much!!!  We've had this in place for a few months actually and it works so great!  Its easy to read each label and know what is where, and all my measuring spoons fit perfectly in the jars.  This is by far one of my favorite projects for the #goodbyeyellowkitchen and that I've ever done!

And look at you getting a sneak peek at my new kitchen!

So, now that I've got you convinced you need to make a baby food jar spice rack display thingy, I'll fill you in on what to do with all that baby food - if you choose to buy jars with food in them, and if you don't have a baby to feed it to!  Look for those posts - yep, multiple - soon!


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