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Large Custom DIY Spice Rack for the Pantry

Easy DIY Spice Rack

Did you ever notice how many spices your Grandmother had?  My mother and her friends had maybe 6 spices in a little rack.  We still use the same basic 8 spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, poultry seasoning, paprika, chili, and allspice).  These days its fairly common for us to have 30 or more different spices. This DIY spice rack has room for all of them, tit holds 40 jars with room for other condiments and snuggles into an unused spot of your pantry.

Placement and Sizing of your Spice Rack

Our kitchen has a teeny tiny pantry, and by tiny I mean less than 9 square feet, it’s always so full.  The pantry has two floor to ceiling shelving units and two narrow bare walls on each side of the pantry door.  We built this DIY spice rack to snuggle in between the smaller of the shelves and the pantry door, its only 12 inches wide, but its a glorious six feet tall.

Given the constraints of the small pantry, it’s impossible to take a picture of the entire rack inside the pantry, so I set it up quickly to  show you.

DIY Spice Rack Measurements

Measure any empty wall space you may have in your pantry.  The width of our open wall space between the shelves and door is 12 inches.

Large DIY spice rack a fantastic kitchen storage hack for the pantry.

For easy access to the spices, you will need the spice shelves to be a minimum of 6 1/2 inches between the bottom of the upper shelf and the top of the lower shelf.   This rack has 7 small shelves and 2 tall ones.  If you have room for a taller spice rack make sure you lengthen it by at least 6 1/2 inches.

This spice rack has two taller shelves on the bottom for small containers, like my box of salt.   If you have more spices than I just make all small shelves the whole length of the spice rack.

Build the DIY Spice Rack

To make a DIY spice rack the same dimension like this one you will need:

2 –  1 by 3″ boards cut to six feet (Long Casing)

2 –  1 by 3″ boards cut in 2 – 11 inches pieces ( Top and Bottom casing) and  8 – 10-inch pieces (Spice Shelves)

1 – 1 by 2″ board cut into 8- 10-inch pieces (Shelf Support)

99 inches of small molding cut into 9- 11″ pieces (Cross Bar)

Screws, small nails and white paint.

How to make a custom DIY Spice Rack for the Pantry

Build the Outside Casing

All your cuts are simple square cuts.  Cut two 1 by 3’s six feet long.  If there is enough board left over, cut two 11 inch pieces.  If not use a new board.

Make sure all the boards are square and edges meet exactly.  Screw the short boards to the ends of the two long boards. (Careful not to attach on the inside of the long pieces or your shelves will be too short.)

Build the Shelves

Using the remains of your 1 by 3 ” boards, cut out 8 – 10 inch pieces (Spice Shelves)

Starting at the top. Measure 6 1/2 inches with a pencil, down each of long casings.  Double check to be sure they are even on both long pieces. ( this ensures level shelves).  Once you have confirmed that you like the spacing, screw the shelves into the place through the casing.

Next, take a 1 by 2″ inch board and cut into 8 – 10 inch pieces.   The shelf supports not only strengthen the shelves.  You will use them to attach your shelves to the wall.

Place the shelf supports under each shelf and screw into place.

Cut the moulding into 9 – 11 inch pieces.  Place one of your spice jars on the shelf and place the moulding where it will hold the jar in place while allowing the jar to be moved easily.   Ours is 1 inch above the shelf.

Nail the moulding into place with small nails or an air nailer.

If you like you can fill all the screw and nail holes.  Frankly, this is a practical piece so I didn’t bother.  It was given two coats of white paint.

Attach the DIY Spice Rack to the wall with screws into the studs.  Due to the weight placing the screws in a wall stud is important. If the screws are not centered to the spice rack, it’s in a pantry and doesn’t truly matter.  After locating the studs Hubs drilled two holes towards the top and again near the bottom of the spice rack.  Then attached the spice rack with four 2″ screws.


Attaching a tall DIY spice rack to the wall of a kitchen pantry.

Jars and Labels

Spice jars with DIY labels

The jars are from the Dollar Store, I purchased them for 3/$1.00.  I suggest buying a few extra bottles and having them on hand in case you ever get a new spice. After all this work you want the jars to match.   The labels were made in Word using a free Microsoft clipart of a mixer and Avery 22804 labels.

Organized Pantry

Adding the DIY spice rack emptied most of a pantry shelf.  The little project made a really big difference.  The spices are stored in alphabetical order and I can easily find what I want.  The pantry is not pretty I admit that, but it is extremely functional.  At least it is now that I have the extra spice storage.

A kitchen pantry with DIY spice rack

Let me know what you think, and please pin the project if you think your friends may find it helpful.

How to find room and build a pantry diy spice rack

Related Posts

When you have as many baking supplies as we do, its take lots or organization. If I didn’t have things where I could find them I swear everything would tumble out of the cupboards burying me. Here are some other Kitchen Pantry Organizers I have created.

These DIY can organizers are made using a tmeplate and cardboard so I could make them large enough to hold big tomato tins and such.

Large can organizer for tin cans.

DIY Can Organizers for the Pantry

I have another pantry that I use to hold all my cake decorating stuff, baking pans. I created these easy to make pantry organizers to keep my glass pans safe, and organized where I can see them.

DIY Wood boxes for the Pantry, a Waste Not Wednesday 146 Link party feature.

The actual food stuff I prefer to keep in boxes with lids. I recently made some fancy dancy labels with the Silhouette machine. The pattern is on the post.

Two glass jars with DIY white vinyl script font farmhouse style labels. There are also two bins with vinyl category labels for the pantry.

DIY Pantry Labels


  1. Great idea with the spice rack. Your look so organized! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  2. Leanna, this is such a great idea! We did a similar one on the back of our pantry door in our old apartment. I wish we had a space for it in our new house because I need a more organized spice storage situation that isn’t toddler accessible!

  3. This is gorgeous Leanna – and so convenient to have them all readily available and easily visible. Great job! xx

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you very much Kate. This spice shelf works perfectly, I wish I had made one years ago. I really appreciate your kind comment.

    2. P.S. I’ll be featuring your awesome spice rack this Wednesday at House of Hollingsworth Blog xx

  4. I’m in awe of your carpentry skills. You were able to fit a ton of spices into a small space, and it looks great, too! Thank you for linking up at #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty. I’m sharing your post on social media.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Carol. I am all thumbs in the garage but I make really simple projects and am trying to learn.

  5. I have a tiny pantry too, but I don’t have any room between the shelves and the door. If I did I would definitely put this on my husband’s honey-do list!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Aren’t honey do lists the best? Maybe you could put one on the back your pantry door. We aren’t able to add storage on the back of our door as it is semi transparent glass. Thank you for commenting, much appreciated.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Jenny. Thank you and it does help with spice storage. I am really liking it.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Amanda, it has helped solve my spice storage needs.

  6. What a great idea! We have loads of spices in our cabinets and putting them in one place where I can see them is something I need. Hubby is tall and sometimes I have to ask him to get me a jar I need. At least with your spice organizer, I could see where it’s at.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Absolutely Marisa. Mine is tall and narrow, to fit in the space allowed. Spices really do take up so much room and you waste time sorting through trying to find the one you want. I know this rack solved my spice storage problem, I hope it solves yours.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Marci. It has certainly saved some shelf room. Storage is always an issue.

  7. Wish I had room for one of these in my tiny kitchen. My spices take up an entire cupboard (they are organized but definitely not space saving). Perhaps one day. Pinned

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Marie. Our cupboards now are so full. I have to tackle under my sink next. I wish I had your building skills, they would come in very useful with making a shelf around the pipes.

      Thanks for commenting and the pin.

  8. Hi Leanne!
    That looks like a real space saver, and I’m envious of all your room! Our spices take up a whole shelf too….not the best working system. Pinned.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Isn’t it funny how we all have so many spices now. Not to mention all the spice blends. The spice rack really helped lots and everything is easy to find.

      Thank you for commenting, have a great week.

  9. You are super organized! Thanks for these tips! I really need this in my spice cabinet.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Maria: I work at being organized but it gets to the point where I need to purge. If I have things label and a spot or everything I am able to find what I need instead of digging through the mountains.

      The spice rack works really well, if you make one I be you will love it.

  10. Leanna…what a perfect solution for your spices…and you are right…I have so many more spices that I did growing up…but I love all the options.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Lynn: My Mom would say, so much stuff and no food. I love having what I need available when I want it. Such a pain to stop mid recipe to go grab a spice you want at the store. Also when you need a new spice for a recipe of course yu have leftovers. Thank you for commenting.

  11. You are so handy – love the pantry and spice rack

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Thank you Carol. I love it too.

  12. What a great idea! Right now, my spices are in a drawer. I would love to make something like this!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Carolann, you could make this yourself. It doesn’t have any large heavy pieces of lumber or mitered corners to work with. The hardest part is making sure that everything is square and level.

      I love mine. Thanks for commenting.

  13. My pantry is in my dining room (strange!) and has a big door. This is a perfect solution to my huge spice stash. I always buy loose bulk spices and just leave in the baggies due to lack of space. This totally solves my problem. Thanks for sharing!

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Your welcome Maureen. I was in exactly the same situation. My spices took up a whole shelf in my pantry even when I put them in a box organizer.

      I love my new spice rack, I am sure you will love yours as well.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Right on Joy. Thanks for the thumbs up, you really just take a normal sized spice rack design and make it taller.
      It amazes me how my kitchen is full of stuff. Guess I need to stay out of Home Sense…NOT.

      Have a great Mother’s day weekend and thanks for the comment.

  14. I would love to build something like this. I will have to figure out if I can do it in my pantry. How fortunate you are your husband made this.

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Debra: He gets nervous with me near the power tools I am willing to try little jobs like this one, but he figures he can put it together faster than I can. But guess who gets to do all the sanding and painting lol.

      Thank you for commenting and this spice rack is really very handy.

  15. Very cool! Spice storage is always a problem for us, too. We can’t put anything like this in where we currently live (it’s a rental), but after we move next spring it could work for us! Thanks for sharing. =)

    1. LeannaForsythe says:

      Hi Natasha. If you put it right on the floor, you could add two hangers to the back. You wouldn’t require screws that way because the weight is on the bottom.

      As its not going to be your home for long I would also hold off. You may as well have one the exact dimensions you need in the new house. Glad you found the solution beneficial.

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