They're also not exactly ideal in a rented apartment, where site modifications (i.e. holes in the walls) may be a no-no.
To overcome both of these obstacles and tidy up the precarious mess that was my preexisting kitchen shelving, I decided to shop around for an alternative.
Thirty minutes of shopping, a $10 investment*, and 15 minutes of assembly later, I had my spice rack!
*individual components used, some of which might already be laying about your home, come to $7.
Step 1: Problem && Plan
What a mess.
Next to the shelving existed plain white cabinet doors, perfect blank canvases.
Rather than attaching my rack to the door with screws, I needed a hanging fixture.
I brainstormed up a tiny plan to lash some suitably deep and wide containers to some sort of grid that could then be zip-tied (cable-tied) around the back of the door.
Step 2: Materials && Tools
There, with a bit of hunting and gathering, I came across all necessary materials.
- 4 Plastic bins deep and wide enough to hold spices (mine were 3 for $1, found near the flatware trays.)
- 2 Wire Grids (what one hangs in a paint bucket and utilizes to remove excess paint from paint rollers) ($2.50 each.)
- Assorted Cable Ties ($6 for 600.)
The tools, used mainly for reshaping the grid hooks, were few and common.
- Needle and Flat Nose Pliers
- A permanent marker
Step 3: Modification && Assembly
1. Unbend and Flatten grid hooks up until 90º bend from grid plane.
2. Holding grid against front of cabinet door with 90º bends flush with bottom edge, mark off width with permanent marker.
3. Carefully re-bend to form angular U shape with the cabinet door's width.
4. Repeat 1-3 for second grid.
Assembly (may require two individuals):
1. Hook one grid over the door.
2. While second grid is hooked over the bottom edge, link the two with a loosely looped cable tie fed
through the most extreme corner holes. Remember not to tighten fully or attaching the containers will be quiet tedious.
3. Decide upon the distribution of shelves. On the grid, mark off the intersections around which the cable ties will loop if it will help you keep track.
4. Attach a container to the grid via two vertical, edge loops and one horizontal loop surrounding two of the plastic columns, centered as well as possible. I used smaller zip ties for this.
5. In order to aid in turning the corners, You can take a moment to bend the tips of the ties. Touch the surfaces together, as you would fold a piece of paper, and apply a bit of pressure to the fold. Doing this in several places starting from the tip seemed to provide the best arc. When the tie forms a nice arc, set it aside and prepare more, or feed it through the joint on which you're working.
6. Repeat attachments for all other containers.
7. If you'd like, add corner tension supports. I did this for containers in which I planned to place heavy spices and jars. loop around front corners of containers and attach to grid to form a 45º angle. Tighten carefully until bottom of unloaded container is just level with ground. If over tightening causes warping, you can simply cut the tie off and try again with a new one.
8. Finally, center rack rig on the door, tighten the cables that connect the grids fully, clip loose ends, and rotate loops for a cleaner aesthetic.
Step 4: Organization && Satisfaction
Interestingly, the final product featured a clean inside, with only the extreme ends of the hooks to hint at the fixture's existence. while it may not be as beautiful as wooden, wrought iron, or other expensive decorative spice racks, it is beautiful in its simplicity and functionality.
I plan to add a few more in my kitchen and use them for other kitchen tools if not spices.
Best of all, this construction can certainly be adapted to serve other vertical storage needs in small kitchens.