Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spice, Spice, Baby

I am not a crafty person, I merely like things to be efficient and functional. When we put the kitchen together, I designated one very large pull-out shelf for spices. It had to be next to the stove so that my "tools would be at my fingertips." High and mighty, huh? Well, when you pull out a drawer full of spice jars and look down upon them, it's pretty much a sea of black lids. Shuffling through them all while the garlic is burning is pain in the as...tronaut. So here's what I did to put a stop to it:

FIRST, go to IKEA.

I know that's 120 miles away, but go there anyway—and take me with you, because I love IKEA. OR, order online, these spice jars, 4 for $4.

SECOND: Go to your local hardware store, and pick up some ChalkBoard paint. $12.

Paint, paint your IKEA jars. It takes 3 or 4 coats, but they dry fast, and the paint is water soluble, so it's easy clean-up between coats.

Three days after the last coat is dry, take a chalk pencil and skritch in the title of whatever it is you're going to pour into that jar.



Now, it sounds like this was just a weekend project for me, but you have to know: I rarely have entire weekends for projects. It took me well over 6 months to finish this out. It was a few hours and a few jars there, some transferring around, and washing used jars to paint the next. Another trip to IKEA when I liked the idea, and mostly just tending to them when I had the time. I've painted larger jars also, that hold various pastas and grains, and popcorn. I love them.

I manage to keep busy—some might say too busy. That in mind, I feel a certain smugness that, embedded in my crazy life as a hare, I still have an inner turtle that crosses the line with an accomplishment or two.


  1. Add a little more meat to the bones of this post and submit to "Better Homes & Gardens", "Good Housekeeping" and similar rags as a DYI project for other home gourmets. Those lacking your natural ability to resolve issues.

    This might also be a possible product concept that you could sell to various home improvement centers.

    Just a thought.

  2. Great idea! And when I finals move and get a good kitchen, I am so doing this! No place to do this now. But damn, don't you love chalkboard. Paint?!

  3. Wow, that is incredibly organized. In alphabetical order no less? Whoa. I am impressed.

  4. 44 Jars! Yes, I counted with my mouse. Very cool....not to mention you have permanently altered Vanilla Ice in my brain. Interesting how something familiar to my brain for over 20 years is gone in a snap! It is now, and forever will be, "Spice, Spice, Baby!" Thank you, I think......

  5. Those look really cool. Did you not like my comment on your last post? I noticed it was not there.

  6. Ooooh.... that degree of organization combined with such adorable flair is enough to make me swoooooon!
    Who cares if it took 6 months, it looks mahhhhvelous!

  7. Thanks everyone!

    Geewits, your comment is there now; I must have read it on my cell phone or something, and forgot to go back and hit the approve button. I always like your posts and comments!

  8. 1. We use cool jars for spices, as well. The ones they come in aren't pretty enough for me, I admit this.

    2. I love this idea. I want to paint everything with chalkboard paint. My spice jars, my walls, Lithus, everything.

    3. You have "sugar coated fennel" in your collection. Where to get sugar coated fennel? What recipe utilizes sugar coated fennel? And can I be you when I grow up?

  9. I have never in my life cooked anything with sugar-coated fennel; it's just something that is sitting next to the cash register of all of the authentic Indian restaurants I've ever been to, with a little spoon sunk into them. Sort of the Indian mint.

    You just eat 'em.

    Now I want to cook with them though.


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