Friday, July 26, 2019

DIY Spice Jar Drawer Project 2.0

Five years ago, I was the monthly "Kitchen Made Simple" contributor for Teal & Lime/School of Decorating. In March of 2014, I shared a fun DIY solution for my spices and dried herbs. That system of organization has worked incredibly well for our family {and gotten a lot of compliments} throughout the past five years. But, the labels were getting stained a bit and discolored. Basically, they were in dire need of a face lift. Furthermore, I had since acquired additional spices for which I had not yet created labels. So, I recently spent an afternoon revamping the whole system.

This is a project that you can do - I promise. From start to finish, it took me about three hours this time around. If you've got a computer, printer, paper and scissors, you can create the labels. The rest of the project is just a matter of picking up some small glass jars, washing them up and transferring all of your spices.

It makes reaching for a particular spice or herb so quick and easy when you're knee-deep in the act of cooking and baking. It's been so totally worth the time and effort to set this system up.

I'll show you below how I did it all. Your computer program may be a little different or your jar size{s} may vary from mine. Just work with what you have and use this post as inspiration as you come up with what works perfectly for you.

What You'll Need:

Small glass "jelly jars" {each twelve-pack cost me around eight dollars}
Printer with ink
Cardstock paper
Adhesive, if desired
Pencil or pen

The Process:

Inventory the spices and herbs that you have on hand. Tally them up and purchase the jars accordingly. Keep the list on hand for when you're ready to create the labels.

Wash and dry the jars and lids. Set aside.

Using a program on your computer that can make a simple circle with text, do so for each spice. The beginning of the label creation process is the most-tedious as you work to figure out precise sizes and what looks good font-wise to you. Once you create the first label, you can, hopefully, "copy and paste" for the remaining label on that first page. From there, you should be able to create additional pages of labels and usually have the option of recreating additional pages to replicate the first page. You'll just need to change the text and font as needed on each label/page.

NOTE:  "I use a basic Microsoft Publisher program.  Mine is actually from 2003. {Seriously.} But, it works great and I know it like the back of my hand at this point. I prefer to allow some of the text to 'overflow' outside of the circles while, also, having each label a different font with the text in different positions on the label. But, you can make each label the same font if you want. You can perfectly center and 'fit' the text in the center if desired. Furthermore, I chose to go with basic black and white this time. You can do whatever colors you desire."

Below you can see how I first started this system back in 2014. I chose a variety of colors, but utilized the same font for every label.

Once created, you can print the labels onto heavy cardstock. I fit six onto each sheet. I recommend printing one page after CREATING THE VERY FIRST LABEL. Cut it out, then test to make sure it fits exactly onto your lid before proceeding with creating the remaining labels.

TIP:  "I buy a lot of spices and dried herbs at a local health food store where I can purchase them in bulk. This allows me to buy smaller quantities so that my spices don't go "bad" before I use them.

Next, you can start filling the jars with spices and herbs. I jot a little note on the underside of each label that tells me either when it was purchased or when the original package indicated that it would expire. You can, also, write this information on the bottom of the jars with a Sharpie. {It washes off easily - don't worry.} You can put a dot of some type of adhesive under the label to secure it to the metal lid if desired. {I do not.}

Below you'll see the condition of the labels after five years. They held up well, but were in need of an upgrade.

You have a couple of choices once your jars are filled and labeled. You can keep the jars in one or two drawers close to your prep area in your kitchen. Or, you can keep them on a large shelf in a cupboard or pantry. Just be sure that the shelf is low enough for you to easily view the tops of the jars.

That's it. You're all set up for cooking and baking with much more ease. And, every time you go to grab a spice, you'll relish in such a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Let me know if you try this or if you have a similar system set up in your kitchen. And, be sure to follow Joyously Domestic on social media. We have a lot of fun sharing ideas there with each other. And, you'll get an almost-daily sneak peek behind the scenes as I create and test recipes and DIY projects.


  1. Just going to order new jars from amazo cant wait to get started I do use spices a lot I have been more imaginative in the past 6 months due to not eating out as much thanks for the info

  2. Very good 👍 idea I'll have a go