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Picture of Cabinet Spice Rack

I recently finished renovating our kitchen, and one thing we couldn't find was a suitable rack that accommodated all our herbs & spices. Not for my wife a few desultory plastic containers; she has dozens of mason jars in four different sizes that fill many shelves in a normal cabinet and generate a sorting problem when you're trying to locate a herb or a spice you haven't used for a while. Here's my modular solution. Because I've designed it for jars of 4, 8, 16 and 32 oz, you could redo it using any one (or more) of the sizes that best suited your needs.

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design

The main idea of a spice cabinet is to present everything so you can see all your options at once, or at least easily access them. I settled on making arcs of jars with all jars of the same size on the same layer. I have access to a laser cutter, so fabricating the shelves would be straightforward. I planned to use the holes drilled inside the IKEA cabinets for shelf support in exactly the same way as they're used for regular shelves.

I used Fusion 360 to design the shelves. I measured the size of the cabinet (it's nominally 18" wide, 15" deep and 40" high) and drew a rectangle, then measured each jar and calculated how wide the shelf needed to be (giving some space around each jar). That defined a distance for the sides at the front and the middle at the back. The easiest way to produce a smooth arc was with the ellipse tool, and I drew three: one to define the front edge, another to define the midpoint of the circle that would hold the jar, and a third for the back of the shelf. I then drew a circle large enough to hold the base of the jar on each side. I measured the length of the remaining arc and calculated how many jars I could fit in, then divided the distance evenly by that number. It worked out that I could fit 9 small or medium (4 or 8 oz) jars, 7 large (16 oz) jars, and 5 very large (1 quart) jars. Aesthetically this was nice because there was always a central jar at the back.

All four shelves are attached to this step as .dxf files for cutting. Note there are two shapes for each shelf: one is to be cut out of 1/4" (6 mm) plywood for the base of the shelf, and the other out of 1/8" (3 mm) plywood for the rings.

Note: we have 4 different sized jars for historical reasons, and the larger ones are for herbs that we grow in our garden. I suggest if you're making this yourself, pick the most practical size for you (I recommend the 8 oz "medium" sized jar) and stock all your spices in those (double-up when you need to). If you have a router and want to save money on laser-cutting, just laser cut one of the horseshoe-shaped holey parts and use it as a template - you could do something quite cool then and rout out each spice shelf out of 3/16" plywood and cut the holes to a fixed depth. No gluing!

cdnmaker1 year ago

The inside of the door could hold a rack that fits into the center space. (light things or a strong door)

PHamm541 year ago
Because large jars are heavier, I would suggest putting them on bottom for easy access.
sabu.dawdy1 year ago

voting for you, this is excellent, this will safe all the hassle at spice finding or breaking the jars.

Glumgad1 year ago

It is really useful invention!

I will try to make it for our kitchen.

And, you have got my vote)))

makendo (author)  Glumgad1 year ago

thanks, good luck with the build

mjgradow1 year ago

This is fantastic! I wish my husband and I were more handy. These would sell like hot cakes. Have you considered selling them?

makendo (author)  mjgradow1 year ago

Thanks. It's a thought. I might add them to Ponoko so people could get them made. Stay tuned.

blyzz1 year ago

This is VERY awesome! I did a similar project a while back, but didn't have all the uniform jars you have, so I made do:

makendo (author)  blyzz1 year ago

Nice, it almost looks like an entire pantry!

blyzz makendo1 year ago

It pretty-much is. There used to be amassive cupboard there with closed sides, and you couldn't even reach half-way to the the back of the upper shelves, so each shelf was basically 1-to-2 items deep (at most). One thing of which I'm quite proud is that I used the old shelving to make the new.

That is so nicely organized :)

makendo (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago

thanks sure beats the three-high piles of jars we had before...

Wild-Bill1 year ago

You solved the problem quite elegantly. Typical shelving just does not work right as stuff gets buried behind other stuff and one cannot find anything. I never though about it until a friend who made a suggestion when I was planning a major house renovation which included the kitchen and that was to make a floor to ceiling cabinet where the shelves were only 4 inches deep. I didn't use that idea but I put pull outs with shelves in my cabinets that were only as deep as they need to be. The density it super high and nothing get buried. Not as elegant as your solution but it works.

makendo (author)  Wild-Bill1 year ago

Good solution. The 4" deep idea might work in some scenarios but would have looked weird in our kitchen I think. I did have a 4" wide gap at the end of the row of cabinets and thought about a pull-out, but ended up installing a 3' long bluetooth sound bar vertically instead. Slightly less storage but the music quality is excellent!