Refreshed Carousel Spice Rack

24 Jan

carousel spice rack

Last weekend, I did some major cleaning. I’m talking the “pull-all-the-appliances-off-the-counters” kind of cleaning (which I admit, is somewhat rare for me). In the process, I had the striking realization that over half the spices in our carousel spice rack have never been opened or used. Since we got it for a wedding present three plus years ago, that means…they’re pretty much worthless.

The spice rack takes up a good bit of counter real estate, and I briefly considered giving it away so that I could have more space. But it was a wedding present! (Ok, not really that important.) But I like the way it looks! And I like the IDEA of having all my spices right there next to the stove, rather than in a cabinet that I can barely reach.

So it was decided–time for a refresh.

old spices

First, I took out all of the spice bottles and gave the rack a good wipe-down. It’s amazing what crud gets on your counter appliances and accessories, but nothing that a little soap and water can’t take care of.

Next came the difficult task of dumping out all the spices in to the trash. I kept the two that had whole unground spices (mustard seeds and coriander seeds) since those are supposed to last a little longer than three years. Even though I knew the spices that were expired had about the same amount of flavor as shaved wood, it still felt painful dumping them in the trash. I know, I’m sad.

spice template

I filled the sink with soapy water and put all the empty bottles and lids in to soak, save one. I happened to have a pack of label paper in my craft supplies, so (using the bottle lid as a stencil) I traced enough circles to cover the lids of all the spices. You can buy simple pre-cut circle stickers (there are even different colors) if you don’t have any label paper laying around. My circles were pretty loose, but I was going for more of a loose, hand drawn look than precision.

current spices

The next part was fun–I grabbed a chair and went through the spices in my cabinet, pulling out all the ones we use on a regular basis. We do use a lot of spices, and I can’t believe I’ve been keeping them way up high for so long. I know that if they’re too close to the stove, they lose their flavor more rapidly, but we go through them so quickly that I don’t think that will be an issue.

spice labels

I wrote the names of all the spices on the circles in ink–again, you can definitely go fancier and print them out, or use letter stamps–whatever suits your taste. I also used a library stamp to put numbers on each of them, just to add some more visual interest. The numbers didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, but no matter. I can always make better labels down the road. :)

refreshed spice carousel

I rinsed out the bottles and let them dry overnight on a cookie rack. When all the moisture was gone, I stuck the labels on and then used a simple paper funnel to pour the spices in their respective jars.

Voila! A spice carousel with spices that I already own and will actually use. I’ve already been glad that I can reach right next to me instead of wayyyyy up above when I’m cooking. Plus, now my counter space doesn’t feel like it’s being wasted.

There’s no reason to keep things that you aren’t using, but before you throw it out or give it away, stop and consider if there’s a way you can refresh it so that you WILL use it.

The best part? I didn’t have to spend a dime.

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5 Responses to “Refreshed Carousel Spice Rack”

  1. Huong 24. Jan, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Great post and super fun idea! I’ve been wanting a spice rack for a while now (like you used to, I keep mine way up high where I can never reach them) and this is such a great way to personalize it! Like another piece of art in your kitchen. I’ll have to keep this in mind when I do eventually get a spice rack :)

  2. Miss Jones 24. Jan, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Thanks Huong! I could see you doing something really fun on yours–maybe the labels could be a photo of the herb/spice that’s inside? You’ll have to share pics when you get/personalize one. :)

  3. Jenn @LeftoverQueen 24. Jan, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    I did this when we moved and I love the way my spices are arranged now!

  4. Deborah Watkins 24. Jan, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Love it…especially the library stamp idea :)

  5. angela 28. Jan, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    neat!!

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