Here's a test tube spice rack that I made to hold all of my spices.  I tried to improve upon previous test tube spice racks that I've seen by using a nice looking piece of bamboo plywood and by using oversized O rings to "float" the tubes in the rack and eliminate the base plate.  Also, my kitchen is short on counter space, so moving the spices out of the cupboard and onto the wall was a bonus.  I've got a lot of spices, so I made two of these racks, but the design would work well with just one, or as many as you might need to hold all of your spices. Sorry I can't publish this as a full step by step Instructable since this was one of the few builds I've done where I didn't take pictures along the way, but I'll do my best to explain how I made it in the text below.

  1. plywood bamboo strip approx. 2" x 16"
  2. glass 25mm x 150mm test tubes from Drillspot
  3. size 10 cork stoppers to match test tubes from Mcmaster
  4. 22mm x 4mm rubber O-rings to match test tubes from Mcmaster
  5. assorted spices
  6. skinny measuring spoons from Lee Valley
  7. screw hook to hold measuring spoons
  8. mini L brackets
  9. hanging hardware for plaster or drywall walls
  1. saw to cut wood
  2. drill or drill press (better) to drill holes in wood and hang rack
  3. 1 1/8" Forstner bit to make clean holes that are slightly larger than test tube diameter, but smaller than O-ring.


Cut appropriately sized strips of wood for your test tube rack.  On a drill press, use a 1 1/8" forstner bit to create evenly spaced holes on the rack.  Try to drill as straight as possible if you're using a hand drill.  Slip the O-rings onto the test tubes, fill with spices, and insert cork stopper into the top. 


Hang test tube rack onto the wall with small steel L brackets using appropriate anchors or hardware for your specific wall type.

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slooney64 made it!2 months ago

I had the bamboo plywood from another project and was installing a new shelf for hanging pots. Decided to use your idea to restructure my spice storage.

Weekend kitchen remodel, complete!

2015-06-07 15.49.22.jpg
Naturelover55511 months ago

I made a similar one! I purchased my test tubes from www.indigo.com instead. They were a lot cheaper and much better quality (they are borosillicate).

Ketzer3 years ago
Needs ominous/semi-misleading labels.

Latin names, major chemical components (i.e. "cinnamaldehyde"), or just drawings of molecules. Just don't outright lie on the labels, though (no "Strychnine" please.)

If you are going mad-scientist in the kitchen, you have to go all the way.
I'm in the middle of gathering the bits and bobs for a project like this and I decided on Periodic Table type elements. English name, latin, plant family and made up symbol.

Bay Leaf.jpgCorriander.jpgDill Weed.jpgGinger.jpgNutmeg.jpgSage.jpg

What was the best way you determined to(1) make the labels and (2) stick them to the tubes?

For extra science points, the Latin genus and species should be italicised, with genus capitalised and species all lower-case, example; Salvia officinalis. Otherwise, awesome :)
FunkyNutbar, this is brilliant. DIY spice racks are worth the trouble even more now with this labeling convention. :D
Agreed! I thought the test tubes would be kind of sleek, but those labels make them awesome instead!

Please, tell me you have a complete set I can grab somewhere?
And now that you've got me curious, what is the word in the top-right corner?
The text on the top right is the plant family name. I've uploaded my image files to my library. Take a look in there to get all the ones I've made. I can send a photoshop file if you want the template too.
That's awesome. When I visit your profile though, I don't see any links to a library or images or anything. Do you have a link?
I love this idea.
bwaters21 year ago
what a beautiful job you've done with this. I love it!
Thraxen1 year ago
I want to built a spice rack and thought of the common ones which are shelves. Though I was thinking with all the different size bottles it would have been a pain. Yours though... Oh damn it looks epic and so useful!
beginnerls2 years ago
Love this spice rack!
beginnerls2 years ago
Love this spice rack!
mhauser12 years ago
Here's my version. A retired shop teacher made it for me. It is 3 rows deep and holds 26 spices. I love it and he said he would be happy to make more if people wanted to order them. It is out of walnut. He's also made some that are 2 rows deep and hold 13.
Spice Rack Filled.jpg
noahw (author)  mhauser12 years ago
That's really nice! I'm so glad that you like it. Aren't those little spoons cool too? My dad got them for me on mine. Thanks for posting the photo of the finished project, this is what keeps me posting and sharing my work!
PapaGeek2 years ago
How do you like the size of the test tubes (25mmx150mm)?
Do you wish you got bigger/smaller ones, or are they just the right size for spices?
noahw (author)  PapaGeek2 years ago
I think the size is just right. I find myself refilling the black pepper corns the most frequently, but that's only around once a month or two. It's just big enough so that you are not filling too frequently, but not too big where the spices just linger forever. You know that stale "old spice" smell...hey, maybe that's where the aftershave company got it's name?!
hlangille2 years ago
For those concerned about spice degradation, you could try aluminum cigar tubes such as these http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/667396915/Unique_Aluminum_Cigar_Tube.html. (Caveat - I've never ordered from this company before, first one that popped up)
sing1ejack2 years ago
The bamboo plywood looks great, where did you get it?
diegofenner2 years ago
Looks awesome!
That's a great idea, I'll do something like that, if it looks good I'll send a msg with pics :)
Thanks for sharing.
Loopstyle3 years ago
Really nice idea!! You are more then welcome to visit www.loopstyle.se and share your work! :)

You could frost the labels on the glass. :o)
noahw (author)  banzitothecheeto3 years ago
This is a good idea - thanks! I used to etch glass plates by applying tape, then cutting parts away to make an adhesive stencil of sorts, and then sand blasting them. A laser or that glass etching creme that Earth First was into a while ago would also work well.
That would be cool!
hey just wanted to share what I did after seeing your project. I wanted to this a while ago but couldn't figure how to make them stay. rubber gaskets, of course!!

noahw (author)  alexandredoubleyou3 years ago
This makes me happy. Glad you the O rings worked for you.
TheCritic3 years ago
This is really cool but I see a practical use issue due to size along with a labeling issue. I really like it for spices frequently used to stay close at hand though.
Great post.
The only change I would make would be adding another lower level for the tubes to rest on instead of the o rings. They tend to dry out quickly. then you have a mess on the floor when they fall through..
Lindie3 years ago
I really like this! Nice idea!
OldDogVT3 years ago
Very nicely done and attractive.

Moving the spices into the light (from inside your cabinet) in clear glass, however, shortens their shelf-life and potency. Spices stored this way are pretty much worthless after just a few months, having lost a high percentage of their flavor. I keep all my spices in aluminum containers that have tightly fitting lids, most of them stored whole, ground when needed. Even spices I purchase preground are stored this way. Whole spices basically last forever. The stuff you get in supermarkets, sold in glass bottles, is already less than half their original potency, and is a waste of money.
Aswa OldDogVT3 years ago
I was thinking the same thing.
I think you could also mount the rack on the inside of a cupboard door, though. That way you’d save space and keep them dark at the same time, and you could still have the cool looking test tubes :)
Lindie Aswa3 years ago
That's a great idea!
acti3 years ago
Has anyone looked at (or designed) a test tube compatible way to control dispensing of the spices?
(Perhaps something along the lines of a liquor bottle pour spout,
or a close-able shaker top?)
mir0k3 years ago
great idea, I've been looking for spices solution for a while, so I think this is it:)
thanks for posting.
tonll3 years ago
oh. *places hand to heart* my heart just went pitter patter. lovely.
Bochiechio3 years ago
Where do you get the bamboo plywood?
hollymaren3 years ago
You could also get bigger tubes for the spices you use a lot. Easier access for measuring spoons too.
I use a lot of beads and think this would be great way to have them displayed for use.
hollymaren3 years ago
It would not be hard to add a label (label maker) or use a Sharpie, etc. You could also make a double wide holder and stager the tubes to see them all. Also you could add a smaller hole to the back to lift the back row up a bit to make it handier to grab.
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