Sorry about not updating over the weekend. I went to visit my parents and in-laws for my birthday and didn’t really get the chance. But I have a fun post for today!
You know all of those little spice containers that do such a good job of cluttering up spice cabinets? I effing hate those things. Plus, my cabinets are really high. I’m not VERY short, but I’m slightly shorter than average, so getting into my spice cabinet is a chore for me. Especially if I’m already in the middle of cooking and I just realized that I forgot to get something down ahead of time. So I decided to make my life–and, therefore, my very tall husband’s life–easier by organizing my spice cabinet (which turned into organizing my whole kitchen, but we’ll get to that another time).
My main goal with the cabinet is to get everything off of the top shelf and reserve that only for my baking stuff. Even though I frequently bake, baking (usually) requires an oven and not a stove. Therefore, I won’t run the risk of catching myself on fire every time I need to reach to grab something off of the top shelf.
So the first rule of action was to get all of those annoying, tiny spices out of the cabinet. I couldn’t throw them away because I use them. (Well, most of them, anyway. I still have no idea what yellow mustard seed is used for…but one day I’ll find out and I’ll be glad I kept it! Pack rat? Me? No, of course not!)
This one kind of falls under DIY and organization, since I did it while organization my spice cabinet. But since THAT project isn’t even close to being finished, we’re going to talk about just the DIY part of this. Namely, the labels. Which look like this:
Cute, right? They were super cheap, too. They took a few hours to make, but it was totally worth it.
What you will need:
- black 0.5 mm needle point pen (NOT ball point–these ones are my favorite)
- black fine tip permanent marker
- scrapbook/construction paper (I used a paper pad that I bought over the summer for a different project)
- exacto knife
- Elmer’s glue
- tape OR hot glue gun
- cutting surface
- spice containers
- a candle holder (or something round that is about the size, or smaller, than your spice lid)
- a piece of old jewelry or something of a unique shape (you’ll see what I mean)
Step 01: I got the spice containers at the Dollar Tree (for those of you who, like me, get your dollar stores confused–that’s the one that ACTUALLY sells everything for a dollar). I got a bag of ten containers for a dollar. They’re about three inches across and hold exactly the right amount to get all of those pesky 0.7 ounce spice jars out of my cabinet. Which was good enough for me! I hate those things and I had a ton of them.
Anyway, I got some magnets at Wal-Mart and stuck those suckers to the bottoms of the containers like so.
It was quite easy, since the magnet had a sticker on it.
Step 02: This part was easy for me, but accidentally. I realized that I had a candle holder that was the exact size of the side of the spice lid. See?
Can you even believe how perfect that is? I mean, how often do you just have something that perfect just lying around?
Anyway, your mission now is to find something that is the size you need and put it on your paper. Take your exacto knife and cut around it. (I had to put some electrical tape on the bottom of my candle holder to keep it from sliding around, just so you know.) As you’ll also see from the picture, I picked a paper that had different colors and patterns, so I wouldn’t waste paper by cutting holes into a bunch of different ones. This worked for me because I wanted my labels to all be different. If you want your to be the same, then it really doesn’t matter what paper you pick. But think about that before you buy your paper.
Step 03: Once you have all of your round labels cut out, set them aside and pull out whatever you’re using to make the unique shape. Mine was a jewel that used to be on an old hairband, but fell off a few years ago. I don’t know why I kept it, but now I’m glad I did (I swear I know how to throw useless things away…I am not a pack rat).
For the sake of saving paper, if your scrapbook paper has a solid color on the back that is not the pattern you’re using for the circles, flip the paper over and use that side for this part. A paper grocery bag will work well, too.
This is going to be a little bit different and kind of a pain. With the circle, I was able to just take the exacto knife and cut right around the candle holder. With this, though, you’ll want to take your pencil and just trace around your flower (even though you’re probably not using a flower, I’m going to call it that to distinguish between the two labels we’re cutting out). Make sure you trace dark enough that you can see it. I would even recommend going around it a couple of times, just to make sure it’s an even trace. Don’t worry about your pencil markings being too dark–you’re going to take care of that later. You should have something like this:
Step 04: This part sucks. You have to cut all of those out with your exacto knife. Yeah. I suggest just getting it over with. It’s very long and tedious, but when it’s done it’s done and you can get to the fun part!
Step 05: Take your permanent marker and go around the edges of your flower-shaped label. No, it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it’s better if it’s not. The more handmade it looks, the cuter and more personal it will be.
Step 06: Use Elmer’s glue to attach the flower label to the round label. You might have a problem with the flower label edges sticking up. Just set your candle holder on top of it to keep it down until it dries.
Step 07: You might be tempted to do this before the gluing, but it’s very important that you do it after. Take your needle point pen and make a dotted border around the edge of your flower label. The reason you have to do this AFTER you glue is because you are very likely going to get glue on your hands, which will get on the front of the label, and smear the pen ink. And that will make you sad. We don’t want that.
Also, if it helps, you can go around and do dots with your pencil first. I did that with the first few labels until I got the hang of it. In the end, you can’t really tell unless you’re up really close and looking for it. (The one pictured below is the second one I did. The first one got smeared because I didn’t follow my own advice and I dotted before gluing.)
Step 08: Give your needle point ink a minute to dry (blowing on it doesn’t really help, but if it makes you feel better…) and then pencil in your spice’s name. I say pencil in because I messed mine up a few times. If you have very nice handwriting and are confident that you’ll be happy with it on the first try, then by all means use your needle point pen. But if you’re like me and you have shaky, sometimes unreliable handwriting, pencil it in first and then trace over it with your needle point pen once you’ve written something you’re happy with.
Step 09: Using either tape or hot glue (hot glue works better, but tape is fine), put the finished label on the corresponding spice container.
Yes, this is the one that got smeared a little.
What I really like about these is that they don’t require a PDF download or a printer (which is great, because mine is currently out of commission). I didn’t think I would be, but I’m very happy with the way they turned out.
I keep mine on top of my oven fan for easy access. At first, I was worried it might get too hot up there…but it really doesn’t (just keep them closer to the edge). And it’s nice to just be able to grab it when I’m cooking.
Since this is a budget blog, I should probably break down what this project cost me. I already had everything except the containers and magnets…but I’ll throw in the price of the paper, too, because it stands to reason that you won’t have scrapbook paper lying around.
Containers: $1.00/10 (so $0.10/ea)
Paper: $12.00/48 sheets (so about $0.25/ea)—-I got the paper on sale at Michael’s
So this project cost me about $3.25 overall.
Without an exacto knife, it would probably have cost more like $10.00 (depending on where I bought it, of course). If you have absolutely nothing on the list (including things like glue and pencils), this project will likely cost you about $20-$30. Maybe? It’s been a while since I bought glue and pencils….
I would love to see what you all make!