This was a really fun, although somewhat stressful, project. The stressful part was mainly because we didn’t have the perfect drill bit to make the right size holes, so we used a a combination of two different types and had to drill everything twice. However, in the below instructions, we’re helping you avoid our mistake and make things a bit simpler. Here is the finished product so you have a sense as to whether or not you want to keep reading – is this what you want to create?
- piece of 3/4″ (23/32″) cabinet grade plywood
- Loctite 5 min epoxy
- Super magnets
- Watco Danish oil in Dark Walnut
- 24 Square Glass Spice Bottles
- Drill press
- Combination square
- Forstner bit – 1 11/16″ and ½”
- Tape measure
- Circular Saw or Table Saw
To make this, first I started by finding some jars I liked that had metal lids. I found a couple of really great options on Amazon, but ended up with these even though they were more than I ideally wanted to spend. I bought two sets because I have a lot of spices and then ended up using all of them, so it was perfect. My husband started by measuring the length and width of the underside of the cabinet and cut a piece of 3/4″ plywood to fit. Then, we measured the diameter of the jar lids to determine how big of a circle we’d need to drill out so we could mount them up in the plywood. If you buy the same jars I did, you will need the 1 11/16″ Forstner bit. If you’re lids are a different size, you’ll need to measure to determine the bit size you need.
We then needed to work out the spacing of the jars. Our plywood was 29″ by 10″ and we decided to do four rows deep by 12 rows across, which created about 2 5.5/16″ (2.33 in.) by 2 1/4″ of space for each jar. We marked the underside of the plywood with the intersection points of the grid at the exact center of where each jar should go. This helped the hubs a lot in drilling all the circles. Sadly, because we’re using the Imperial system, we got into some crazy fractions, but ended up making it work. Here’s the math:
- Measure a border around the edge – we had about a ½” border around the whole outside of the plywood
- Determine how many jars you want to fit across and how many deep. The space for each jar will be called the jar perimeter. Then = total length of the plywood – total width of both borders (in my case, this was 1″ (½+½)) / number of jars you want to fit across. This will give you the length of each jar perimeter. You then need to do the same thing for the width of the plywood = total width – (width of border x2) / number of bottles deep. This will give you the width of each jar perimeter.
- Then, you want to mark the center point where each jar center will be. Take ½ of the jar perimeter length and add it to the width of your border. Measure in from the outside of the wood and make a vertical line (if your wood is landscape). From that measurement, add a full length of the jar perimeter and mark another vertical line. Keep adding in increments of a full jar perimeter length and making vertical lines until you reach the end of the plywood.
- Repeat this process with the jar perimeter width. From the border, add ½ the jar perimeter width and mark a horizontal line. Add increments of the full jar perimeter width and continue marking horizontal lines until you reach the end of the plywood. It should look like this when you’re done. You can also see the tools we used to make marking and line drawing simple. These are from Woodpeckers and are all American made in Strongsville, OH.
Once the plywood is marked, drill the holes using the larger of your two Forstner bits. Once you have all your main holes drilled out, use the smaller Forstner bit to drill out small holes for the magnets to rest in. If you use the magnets in the link above you’ll need to drill down 1/8″ using a ½” drill bit). To secure the magnets in place, we dropped them all in, put the jars in to hold them in place, and then flipped the whole thing over to drop 5 minute Loctite epoxy through the top holes. I decided to tape off the top of my jars just to be sure I wouldn’t get any epoxy leakage and it worked really well (I used blue painters tape because I had some laying around and I figured it would remove cleanly).
Once the epoxy dried, we sanded the top to remove any overflow, pulled off the jars and then coated the whole thing in Watco Danish oil in Dark Walnut. Once that dried, it was time to install. We used 1″ counter sinking screws (flat head) and screwed directly into the underside of our cabinet and then placed all the jars. They actually hang really well from the magnets and are easy to use. One tip for using this spice rack – organize your jars so you’ll remember what’s where. I planned each row in a way that I would associate them and remember the order. For my husband, I just made a little chart that is taped on the inside of the cabinet door: