Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spice Cabinet Project Part 1 {baby food spice jars}

I really, really like to cook. I like experimenting, I like throwing things together, I like trying new things, and I especially like pleasing my family's palates. There's something so gratifying about watching my husband nod and smile as he takes that first bite, hearing my daughter say, "Mmm! This is good Mommy!" and looking over to see my son has scarfed half his plate within a minute of saying the blessing. :-)

My parents gave me a decent start toward cooking, letting me try my hand at making family favorites like pancakes, French toast, salmon patties, mashed potatoes, and cornbread by the time I was 13. I learned so much more after getting married, mostly because I have a very brave husband who trusts me and is willing to try just about anything (I love that guy!).

I LOVE having a well-stocked pantry and freezer. I pride myself on being able to come up with a week's worth of menus (or more) from my pantry and freezer. I like freezer cooking (my own style), and knowing how to make things from basic scratch ingredients. Since we are changing things up here at DefrumpMe and letting each of us move out of our previous categories, I am planning a series of posts on these kitchen topics.

But one thing I detest is cleaning up after myself! YUCK!! I'd rather scrub toilets, take out the trash, and fold piles of laundry, than clean up the kitchen after I finish cooking. :-( I'm trying to get over that and implement some things to help it not be so overwhelming.

Unfortunately, I haven't always been that great at kitchen organization. My pantry gets cluttered and some things get lost; I can't always tell if I have the ingredients I think I have on hand. I'm getting a lot of good ideas from Pinterest, and I can't wait to implement some of them! I knew I had to start with my spice cabinet first. It holds my spices and seasoning, teas, and other random small items — and it needs help. Because I don't like parsley flakes and paprika falling out on my head every time I reach in to get the non-stick spray.

One of my goal projects for this month (and truly, it is not at all original) was custom spice jars. Now, a person could pay about $1.50 per jar from The Container Store. That's not in my budget, although those are rather cute. But, having a baby around the house, and recently coming into a LOT of baby food in jars, I decided I'd use the materials on hand instead. I really like how they turned out! Cute, right?

I'm sure there are other tutorials out there for these — pretty sure I even looked at one or two a few months ago, but just getting to these now, I figured I'd document the process and share it with you! Plus, since I had to make labels, I'm sharing those with you, too!

What you'll need:
Desired number of baby food jars - I used the 4 oz size and I started with 16
Scrapbook paper
Color printer & paper
Mod Podge
Straight edge cutter (optional)
1.5" circle punch (optional)

Step 1: Wash and dry the jars. Don't worry about the sticky stuff left over from the labels - it will get covered up, and it's actually pretty helpful for positioning the new label paper.

Step 2: Spray paint jar lids. For the record, I am not a master spray-painter. but I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out after two coats. 

Step 3: Print out these labels I made! I left some blank ones because, although my spice cabinet is pretty well stocked, I know we don't have everything.

PS I think I can adapt these if the gray doesn't fit your kitchen decor. Just let me know if you'd like something custom! :-)

Step 4: Cut out labels. The round labels should work with a 1.5" circle punch, which would be a whole lot easier than using scissors like I did.

Step 5: Cut your scrapbook paper into strips measuring 1 1/2" by 7 3/4". Was my choice of paper influenced by Valentine's Day? It is entirely possible.

Step 6: Glue the scrapbook strips to the jars. Remember that sticky stuff I said would be useful? You can start by positioning the edge of your paper on the gunk and then paint a stripe of Mod Podge around the jar and wrap the paper to overlap the first edge.

Step 7: Glue circle labels to the tops of the dry lids...

...and the rectangle labels to the sides of the jars.

Step 8: Dump spices into your new matching jars! I gotta tell you, this was my favorite part - going from all these mismatched and oddly sized containers to cute, uniform jars. :-) 

Step 9: Clean a drawer (optional) if you want to store your spices where you can see the tops of the lids.

Like this! And no, this is not all of the spices/seasonings from my "well-stocked" pantry. It's just the ones that needed removal first. Some of my spices I use in bulk and would never fit in a baby food jar (chili powder), some I like to use the sprinkle feature from the store-bought container (paprika).

Happy Day!! This really was a fun project, and I'm glad I got started on it this week. I've still got some work to do in that cabinet before I feel like it will be truly organized and more user-friendly. More on that to come in a later post.

I really hope that somebody out there is able to use this tutorial and these labels. Again, I should be able to customize the label colors if you'd like something different. If you use this tutorial or labels, let me know! I'd love to see your results!

Partying here: 
Five Days...Five Ways
Mom on Timeout
Making Lemonade
Naptime Crafters
The Shabby Nest
Happy Hour Projects


  1. I love this! What a great use for those jars. You are so smart! I am pinning this. I am a new Twitter follower visiting from Happy hour Projects. Vicky from Mess For Less

    1. Vicky, Thanks for stopping by! Your site is so fun, thanks for sharing!

  2. These turned out so cute! Someday I want to do a similar project! Thanks for the free printables too. :)

  3. What a fun idea! Certainly makes spices a lot cuter :) Thank you so much for sharing at Taking A Timeout Thursday!

  4. What a good IDEA! I agree that the spices are much cuter! and Thanks for sharing it with Six Sister's Stuff Link Party. We hope to see you back next Saturday!
    -The Sisters

  5. You've been featured!

    1. Wow! So exciting! Thanks for letting me know!! Love your blog!

  6. Love love love this!! What a great way to utilize space too!

  7. This is so great! I would love to feature this on Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle. Feel free to stop by and grab a featured button. Thanks!

  8. What a fun idea! this is so lovely:)