Introduction: Magnetic, Under-shelf Spice Rack...

Picture of Magnetic, Under-shelf Spice Rack...

 Spices are an integral part of any kitchen, but, if you're like me and your kitchen is smaller than your closet, they can take up valuable shelf space. Keeping that in mind, here's a way to store your spices in an unobtrusive way that doesn't take up shelf space.

Spice Jars (I got mine from Williams Sonoma but you can get cheaper/different ones)
Magnets (Mine are from K&J Magnetics)
Dremel or Drill
Measuring tape (if you're anal about measurements)
Epoxy or superglue

Step 1: Preparation

Picture of Preparation

Its important to make sure that your materials are in order before beginning anything. This means laying out your magnets, making sure you have enough, and measuring your space underneath your cabinet.

I laid out my magnets on my spice jars. The tops are metal (steel?) so the magnets stick, but you want to make sure that your magnets are all pointing the same direction.

I also made a quick and dirty template for drilling my holes by tracing the bottles on a piece of cardboard and stabbing it with a knife. 

Step 2: Tracing Holes and Drilling

Picture of Tracing Holes and Drilling

 I took the template that I made and used a felt tip pen to draw my guide holes. These don't need to be perfect, just general guides for where to place your magnets.

I used the burr setting on my Dremel in order to make short, shallow holes wide enough for the magnets and deep enough for the magnets to lay flush once they're glued.

Step 3: EPOXY

Picture of EPOXY

Now is the time for you to very safely smear epoxy into the holes. I cannot overstate how important it is for you to wear hand protection. This is why I am wearing my incredible gloves that look almost exactly like my real hands. 

It is also important to use epoxy in a well-ventilated space as it will eat your brain tissue and turn you into a zombie.

Smear epoxy into the holes, just enough for there to be a base. Let the epoxy set for about a minute, and then push the magnets into the epoxy in order to set them. Make sure to place the magnets into the holes such that they adhere to the magnets on the lid of the jars, if not, your magnets won't stick (they will repel, in fact!). Then, apply epoxy over the magnets in order to seal them into the holes. 

Next, very carefully move the magnets underneath the top of the jar so that they are in the same position as they were previously. You need to make sure they're in the same position so that they magnetically adhere to the magnets you just glued in.

Step 4: Enjoy.

Picture of Enjoy.

Once the epoxy has set for all of the magnets, attach the jars back to the magnets and enjoy your new magnetic under-counter spice rack!


sasrf (author)2017-06-19

- which specific K&J magnet did you use ?? (item no??)

- If the lid is iron/steel plate, would it not be better just to fix magnets only on the underside of the shelf ?? (author)2011-08-09

I would just screw sheet metal to bottom of the wooden shelf and kept the magnets just on the jars.

antioch (author)www.microbike.ie2014-06-03

That just wouldn't have worked out so well in the long run and it just wouldn't have been less work no matter how often you say just... =)

Bob11111 (author)2013-04-02

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antioch (author)Bob111112014-06-03

Ahaha, this is priceless!

Garrigus (author)2014-04-11

If you want to make the jars opaque there is a spray paint made by krylon that looks like rock..

drubinder (author)2013-03-03

what about using magnetic paint for them to stick to instead of going through the trouble of all this or larger square magnets glued to the shelf's underside?

Hey there,

Magnetic paint is too weak for the jars + spices. It's better for binding things against a wall rather than suspending them.

Larger square magnets would work, as would a large piece of sheet metal (steel or the like) screwed onto or epoxied to the underside of the cabinet or shelf.

I liked the flush look and the absolute certainty that these puppies would stick to one another, which is why i counter-sank the neodymium magnets into the wood and epoxied them in.

Spice rack (author)2010-07-23

What unique display of creativity and artistry. I never thought light bulb holders can actually look fantastic as spice racks.

bman114 (author)2010-06-16

I think this other instructable has more of a K.I.S.S. (Keep It Stupid Simple!) idea. It seems like a lot of effort with the placement and coordination of the magnets.

HmOnGbOi (author)2010-05-16

where u get those jar at and how much???

SydneyTripp (author)2010-04-09

Yep, we have this in our basement. Except our's was crap because it used to hold seeds, that grew that mold. Then we had to throw out the jars, and couldn't find matching jars anymore. (screw you wall-mart!)

EoinCannon (author)2010-04-04

Would it not be easier to just leave out the magnets on the tops of the containers and that way you don't have to worry about the arrangment of your magnets?

If it's has a steel or other magnetic metal for the cap then it will stick to any magnet.

Great idea though and very neatly done.

bobsbestgirl (author)2010-04-02

this is a great idea, but turned far too complicated for my taste.  Think I'll just use some heavy-duty glue to adhere magnet strips to the under-surface of the cabinets?  Then I won't have to worry about precision, not only during installation, but when I remove and put back my spices...?  Thanks for the beginning idea, though, I love it

njdjs (author)2010-04-01

I made mine just a little diffrent. I used the heavy duty magnets that you stick your tools to. I think I got them for 4 bucks each and then I used the small fancy canning jars with the designs made in the glass. I also have some baby food jars for smaller amounts of spices. I just stick the jars to the magnet. No magnets needed on the jars. It works great. I love it.

garrett.tillman (author)njdjs2010-04-01

 Thats awesome! Do you have the links to the magnets? Thanks G

njdjs (author)garrett.tillman2010-04-01

I just bought my magnets at a place that sells tools.

lizardknits (author)2010-04-01

 I did something very similar, but I used a strip of stick on Velcro on the underside of the cabinet and velcro dots on the spice lids.

JustinPayne (author)2010-03-28

I'd like to suggest an improvement. 
Spices, when exposed to light, degrade faster. I'm very surprised that most commercially available spice racks have containers that are clear. My guess is that seeing spices in their containers are very aesthetically pleasing but don't do much for the spices themselves. If you could in some way opaque the light, maybe with some patterned shelving paper or like, you'd help keep the look but extend the shelf life of the spices.
Hope that helps

I've also read that keeping them in blue or amber bottles helps to keep their freshness. It also has to do with sunlight and the UV rays breaking down the compounds in the spices, causing them to lose their color and odor/pungency. So, keeping them on the window sill is bad news, but indoor lighting shouldn't be too bad (unless your kitchen doubles as a tanning salon). Thanks G

A factor that contributes to this is simple age of a given spice. Keeping any spice for more than, say, 6 months or so is long enough. Anything past that and the spice's potency simply wanes because of age. Add UV impact and the time frame shrinks even more.

My suggestion is to find a bulk source for spices where you can purchase small amounts frequently. Penzey's online will sell as little as an ounce at a time. I've had great luck with their quality and freshness, and if you buy a number of different items, the cost is as good or better than supermarket prices even with shipping. Plus, it's fresh! You may have local sources for bulk spices, too, so check around.

Small quantities replenished often makes for happy spicing!

 Yummm. Good tip! Thanks G

I made something similar for my spices and the light  plus the lids not being as air tight  as they could have been dried out my spices in a matter of weeks. It was totally a bummer.

I think dark glass: blue, amber, green would help plus better lids, no shaker tops that's for sure.

zook74 (author)2010-04-01

Very  clever. I would also opt for stronger magnets and use them only on the shelf, rather than on the spice container. Much simpler and easier to swap new jars if if/when necessary.

Thanks for posting!

garrett.tillman (author)zook742010-04-01

 It is super easy! The magnets aren't epoxied to the jars, just magnetically adhered to the bottom side of the lid. That way, when you want to swap jars, all you have to do is pull the magnet out and stick it under the new jar's lid. Thanks G

rtyu (author)2010-03-30

use plastic glass

dkfa (author)2010-03-28

Mini pepper Grenades when earthquake?

Silas A. D. (author)2010-03-27

Great Idea.

phoebe-girl (author)2010-03-26

 Also, maybe a WS should pick this up as another use for their jars.  This is a really, really good idea.

phoebe-girl (author)2010-03-26

 I think this is a fabulous idea.  Perhaps you could assemble a "kit", right sizing the jars with the magnets. 

spydyr (author)2010-03-25

Reminds me of a comment I made on the magnet wall spice rack. I'm glad somebody made this. Now whats the weight limit?

I like the idea of using space that would other wise never be used.  Would it be possible to do this like my screw jaws in the garage? I mean have the lids epoxied on the self and just unscrew the jars when needed? It does limit the ease of access, but it does garuntee they wont fall.

garrett.tillman (author)spydyr2010-03-25

 Yes, that would work well too, but I like the ease of just grabbing when you need it and sticking it back when you're through. Plus, these WS spice jars are really a hassle to screw/unscrew. If you get some less-fancy and easier jars it could definitely work. Thanks G

cre8vldy (author)2010-03-25

I was wondering why you need to have magnets on the metal lids of the jars as well as the bottom of the shelf. i would think that the metal lids would hold to the under cabinet magnets just fine.

garrett.tillman (author)cre8vldy2010-03-25

 They would, had I ordered strong enough magnets, but my magnets are little-bitty and therefore required reinforcement. 

I've ordered bigger, stronger magnets from K&J and I'll post a lil' update once they've come in. 


feintXIII (author)2010-03-25


More like ugh-poxy. My ignorance has been fixed!

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