Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cheap and easy spice shelf makeover

This week I headed to our local Goodwill in search of a purple dress to use for my Halloween costume. I'm going to be Ms. Frizzle from "The Magic School Bus," like so:

{via here}

Sadly, I didn't find a dress, but I did pick up several other goodies, including some cute "Flour" and "Spice" tins ($1 and $0.50, respectively), some assorted glassware (I'll show you project I used them in later this week!), and this lightweight wooden shelf:

You've probably seen shelves like these in many thrift stores. Usually people put little tschotskes in them, but I knew right away that I wanted to use them as a spice shelf. We have a dedicated spice cabinet (see this post for a picture), but it always irked me a little that we weren't really using all of the space in the cabinet. I figured I could place our most frequently used spices out in the open and take advantage of the cabinet more!

Of course, I wanted to gussy it up a little. The backing of the shelf was this dark green color that didn't really suit our kitchen color scheme, so I picked out some colorful scrapbook paper to coordinate, then measured the backing and popped the paper in! Easy as pie! I decided not to modge podge it so that I can easily change it out as desired, but if you're using paper that you'd want for the long haul, then you could seal it in. Obviously you can customize the color & pattern of the papers you use, too--I'm a bright and colorful gal, but that might not suit everyone's tastes :)

Ideally, I'd like to paint it white, but we live on the third floor of our apartment and don't really have any place to spray paint. (I'm a spray paint addict. I'll admit it, when I paint by hand it's very streaky. Plus I don't have any white paint.) So I decided just to wipe it down before adding the paper. Luckily, it matches our kitchen cabinets very well!

When I went to hang up the spice rack, I realized that best place for it would be on the side of our fridge, since there isn't really available wall space near the stove. Our fridge was pretty cluttered (see picture below!) so I took this as an opportunity to clean it up, too!

I just took everything off of there and decided what needed to stay. All of the magnets were fun, personal, and colorful, but I think they just made things a little visually distracting. In the future I'd love to add a magnet board to the office, so I could use the magnets in there. I decided just to keep our menu planner and fridge inventories, along with a few wedding invites from friends (and ours, too!) I moved my aprons from the side of the fridge and hung them elsewhere in our kitchen/dining area.

Once everything was clean, I popped some command strips on the back of the shelf and placed it on the side of the fridge! It's so lightweight that I only used 3. For a larger one I'd use more, or even those velcro picture hanging strips, but these work just fine for my shelf.

With the shelf hung, I got out my most used spices and arranged them on it:

But then, because I can't just let things be, I decided the spice bottles needed a little spicing up (har, har)--so I grabbed more colorful scrapbook paper and used my favorite font, Honey Script, to add labels to the front of each! Here they are now, all colorful and happy:

And I still have two cubbies to fill! Exciting!

So, again, here are the befores of the plain ol' spice rack and the messy fridge:

And here are the afters:

I'm already loving how clean the fridge looks and how easy it is to grab the spices! The pegs are a bonus, too--now my measuring cups are close at hand and I have a place to hang our box tops collection & oven mitt without over-cluttering the fridge. And in the future, I plan to grab more of these little shelves--they also look great as craft storage, as Beckie uses them:

{via here}

What do you all think? Anyone have other ideas for how to use these ever-present wooden shelves?

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  1. I spy my wedding invitation! Can't wait to come see your apartment in person.

  2. Haha, yes, yours was deemed important enough to stay on the fridge of honor :) It's too cute--love the birdies! We can't wait to see you!!

  3. Great idea! I always look at those things at goodwill and think that they are absolutely useless. Now I know otherwise. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I JUST found your blog - but will be a follower now!! I LOVE your cute spice racks! I think you are on to something here! They seem to be marching in and out of my shop on a regular basis these days. I'm going to run around --- collect all of them together and get them ready for a paint project. Very fun Brittany!
    Jennifer -- Echo echo Home furnishings worth repeating


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