Spice Up My Life

“Colors of the world, spice up your life, every boy and every girl, spice up your life, people of the world, spice up your life, ahhhhhh!”  What?!  Can’t a girl start a blog post with a little homage to the Spice Girls?  Man I loved those Spice Girls back in my middle school days.  Ahh, the good old days.  Back to blog reality.  So I was cruising around Pinterest, my latest obsession, and came across this picture and pinned it immediately:

The original can be found on the Frugal Decor Mom blog.  I had to do this!  I love that the lids of these spice jars were covered with chalk board paint and the labeling was done with chalk!  How cute!  My spice cabinet is an absolute mess and half of my spices are in baggies because I started buying my spices in bulk.  Warning, shameless money saving tip coming.  Buy your spices in bulk at your local natural living center!  It is so much cheaper.  Here’s an example: last fall I was trying to find mustard seed to make dilly beans (by the way, yum).  I needed about a cup for the entire batch.  The grocery store only sold small jars and I would have needed about five of them at $4.99 each.  I went to the Bangor Natural Living Center and found bulk mustard seed where I got about two cups worth for about $4.00 total!  HUGE savings!  Since then I’ve sworn off McCormick and other grocery store brands of spices and opted for bulk versions from the natural living store.

Now that we’ve determined the need to “re-do” my spice storage situation, I should also mention that I have a spare drawer in my cabinets that would be oh so perfect for this project.  Couple that with my amazing find of plain glass spice jars from Bed Bath & Beyond (they cost less than a dollar each) and we’ve got a recipe for a spice cabinet makeover.  Below are the steps I went through to create the chalk board style lidded spice jars.  I preface this how-to post by saying that this is what I thought would be the best way to tackle the project.  I by no means recommend this process to anyone.  The process is quirky, and well, just plain old weird.  So here it goes!

First you take a bucket:

I had five of these babies kicking around from the great bathroom grouting project.  Any small bucket will work for this process.  Then you take a grocery bag and cover the bucket:

Make sure you tie the handles underneath the bucket really good.  The greater the tension across the bucket opening the better.  This is also a great project for using up all those old grocery bags that you keep around thinking you’ll use them someday but never seem to.  Welcome to someday.  Then you take your spice jars:

These were my $0.99 spice jars that I got from Bed Bath & Beyond.  I bought 23 of them (why 23 I don’t know, it just seemed like a good number) and I also had a coupon for $5 off your purchase of $15 or more.  Thus, the spice jar purchase came out to be around $18.  Then you prep your jars:

Make sure you remove all the stickers, clean the spice jars really well, remove the plastic shaker thing from the lid, and lightly sand the plastic lid to rough it up a bit.  Next prepare your plastic sheeting to cover the jars:

I used some plastic sheeting we had kicking around for closing off doorways to prevent drywall dust from infiltrating every room of our house when we sand.  But any plastic material you having kicking around your house would probably work.  Cut the plastic into pieces large enough to sufficiently cover the jars.  Next, you guessed it, cover the jars:

Make sure all the glass parts are properly covered and twist up the plastic into a little tail.  Replace the lid:

Now that the glass is protected, it’s time to insert them into the plastic bag/bucket suspension system:

Fancy trash bag bucket suspension apparatus, huh?  Mom, aren’t you so proud?  Look at that college education at work!  Then it’s time for spray paint:

And make sure you do it outside.  The spray paint goes everywhere, including on the backs of dogs who choose to run right through your spray zone.  The suspension system worked really well for the most part, but occasionally it needed a little help, courtesy of some wooden skewers kicking around the kitchen:

I let each of these dry in their bucket for an hour before removing them.  According to the directions on the can of spray paint, I used the Rust-Oleum chalk board spray paint by the way, it is okay to touch the spray painted surface after an hour but should be given a full 24 hours to dry before writing on.  Here are my first few jars in the drying stage:

Why did I choose this process rather than just laying the lids on a piece of plastic to be spray painted?  I wanted to make sure that no spray paint got underneath the cap to contaminate the jar contents.  The lid and the jar formed a tight seal so I felt confident that this method best protected the cap interior.  Besides, it was WAY more fun than just laying down the caps and painting them in one fell swoop!

By the end of the day I had all 23 jars done and waiting to be fully dry/hardened:

So now they sit and wait to be filled and fulfill their spice jar destiny.  I should also mention this was one of about 27 house projects I attempted to tackle this weekend.  You see, Colby went fishing this weekend leaving me home alone.  I should NEVER be left at home for a whole weekend without adult supervision because 27 projects get started but only about 2 actually get finished.  There was some serious painting, organization, and art projects going on.  I should have enough blog post material for the next month or so.

Stay tuned for more from the spice jar front!

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