DIY Spice Shelves

9 Materials
1 Day

Hey there! It’s no secret that I have a small kitchen, right!? So, when a friend asked me how I stored my spices, it got me thinking... not very well! She said she wanted something to hang on the back of her cabinet door to maximize space, which I thought was a grand idea. We shopped around a bit and found some cute little shelves from IKEA that seemed to be perfect, but were too long for both of our cabinet doors. Bummer, I know, but that inspired me to whip something up myself!

Here’s the situation I had going on before! 😳 These 3-tier little spice racks seem great, but I was always knocking things down in the front when getting stuff from the back and second row and the spinny shelf deal I had on the second shelf was full of unused and expired spices. 👎🏻

To build my new spice shelves, I measured my cabinet door and decided I needed 15” long shelves. I cut a 1x3 to 15” and then two more little pieces to 2.5” - I did this three times, since I was making three shelves for myself.

My friend wanted 14” shelves, so her cut list was a 1x3 to 14” and then two pieces at 2.5” for each of her shelves.

Then I put a few dots of glue on each edge of the 2.5” pieces and set my 15” piece on top, adding a few nails on each side.

After glueing and nailing, the shelves looked like this. This is the bottom and sides of the shelf.

To be able to attach the shelves to the cabinet door, I added two pocket holes with my Kreg Jig to the bottom of each shelf.

Then I drilled a 1/4” hole on the top front corner of each side to be able to add a dowel to the front of my shelves, so my spices wouldn’t fall out. I used 1/4” dowels.

Next, I cut my dowel to 15” and slid it through my holes, adding a little glue inside the bottom hole and on the outside of each hole to secure the dowel.

I cut my friend’s dowels to 14”, since her shelves were that length.

I also added wood filler to any of the areas my drill bit took off extra slivers of wood. When the wood filler and glue were dry, I gave each shelf a quick sand to get them ready for paint.

The 1x3 is just deep enough that the spice jars won’t slam around when I close my cabinet door. Check out my Instagram to see more of my DIY projects!

I thought it would be easiest to take my cabinet door off to attach each spice shelf, and it definitely was! Measuring was so much easier with the door laid out in front of me rather than in the air. I painted my shelves the same color as my cabinets (Sherwin Williams Alabaster) and used 1” screws to attach the shelves to my cabinet door.

If you don’t have an exact color you want your shelves to match, you could save some time and spray paint the shelves like my friend did!

When I got the door hung back up, I realized the back of the shelves could use a fresh coat of white paint as well. One project always leads to another, am I right!?

The fresh paint on the top two shelves really brightens up the cabinet! So yes, I added one more thing on my long list for myself now - paint the back of the rest of the shelves. Joy! 🤣

To finish off my new spice shelves, I ordered these matching glass spice jars and used my favorite Dymo label maker to label them. If you don’t have a label maker, you’re missing out!

All done! I also ordered some 9” lazy susan turntables to help me organize the rest of my things! To see more of my kitchen, visit my Instagram.

Who knew spices could look so cute!? 😍

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7 questions
  • Hannah Somerville
    on Oct 9, 2019

    Well done, this is fab! My cupboards are really narrow and really deep, any suggestions how I would utilise this space better once the spice racks were up? The lazy susans wouldn't work as there'd be so much wasted space behind them for me. Thank you x

    • Sheryl Gilliland
      on Oct 9, 2019

      The cabinet manufacturers have made a kit to make your shelves pull-out.

    • You don’t think a turntable would work? The cabinet under my sink is very deep and I have a turntable with all of my cleaning supplies in it. You could also check out those cabinet organizer shelves.

    • Jessica Goodwin
      on Oct 9, 2019

      I have used roll-out shelves for convenience. Walmart, Amazon , and some others carry them. Good luck!

    • K Holladay
      on Oct 10, 2019

      Ball bearing drawer sliders attached to a shelving board, cut to fit your cabinet, makes a custom slide out at a fraction of the cost of pre-made!

  • Luna
    on Oct 9, 2019

    It looks great and I sure could use something like this, just wondering about the weight... Will the hinges hold well enough if you fill all those jars? Glass itself is already a bit heavy..

    • Mary
      on Oct 9, 2019

      Leave your spices in their original (plastic) container. That would cut the weight down by more than half. Bonus: it would be cheaper, too.

    • I have all my spice jars filled and no problems so far!

    • Linda Sikut
      on Oct 9, 2019


      Many years ago, when we did a full remodel of our kitchen, we had cabinets made with spice racks on the doors. Those doors use the same hinges as all of the other doors and after more than 30 years, they are still holding up well.

    • Luna
      on Oct 9, 2019

      Thank you Mary, but in my country they still come in glass jars!

      I'll try it, maybe just one shelf at first and see how it holds.

  • Víctor Vega
    on Oct 12, 2019

    Does the screws installed protrude on the front of cabinet door after`installing the spice racks ? Some cabinet doors aren’t thick enough can you show us with the cabinet door closed to view the finished project

  • Michelle Clawson Kelly
    on Oct 16, 2019

    I love this idea but have thought that this would take away space from inside the cabinet? Do you think it does? Or is it just so insignificant that it really doesn’t matter?

    • Brooke | craftingupcuteness
      on Oct 16, 2019

      I lost about an inch and half in the front of each cabinet, that's all!

    • Paul
      on Oct 16, 2019

      Yes it does . It’s a trade off. I did something similar . I took blocks of wood different heights and made a staircase in the cabinet so I could see all the spices. Short ones on top and taller at bottom.

  • Helena
    on Oct 16, 2019

    Do the shelves hit other items What is the clearance

  • Kareema
    on Oct 17, 2019

    I live in a rented apartment, so I can't put screws into the cabinet doors. Could heavy duty 3M hooks work or velco strips? And where did you get all of those AWESOME spice jars?!?!

  • Donna
    on Oct 17, 2019

    When you close the cabinet, won’t it take up a bunch of space? So those round tables on top shelf won’t work, right?

    • Julie
      on Oct 17, 2019

      You could position the racks on the door up a bit so they don’t hit things sitting on the shelves when you close the door. Even if you have to move things back a bit on the inner shelves, it is worth the ‘lost’ space because the spices are easier to find than being behind each other on the shelf

    • Brooke | craftingupcuteness
      on Oct 17, 2019

      I wouldn’t take a picture And share a tutorial of something that didn’t work! The cabinet door closes fine as pictured without hitting anything.

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