Introduction: Hanging Magnetic Spice Rack

My wife and I really enjoy cooking, so we have a lot of spices. We have a fairly small kitchen so we need to maximize our counter space for work areas. We had our spices in a cabinet but hated that they took up an entire shelf. We were looking for a spice rack that drops down from under the cabinet, but didn't find any we liked so we came up with this. The spice jars have a small flat Neodymium magnet glued onto the top and we mounted a sheet of metal to the underside of the cabinet from which the spices hang.

This setup unfortunately adds a little inconvenience because you need to affix a magnet to the top of every new spice jar. To make it as painless as possible we have a little bag in our junk drawer with the glue and magnets ready to go.

Step 1: Materials

We ordered 100 3/8 in x 1/16 in Thick, Grade N42, Rare Earth Neodymium Disc Magnets from Magnet 4less for $9.00.

We went through a lot of different types of glues trying to find one that worked well bonding metal to plastic. I didn't want to use epoxy just to avoid mixing. We settled on plain old Krazy Glue and then Loctite Super Glue once we ran out of the former. They both worked equally as well.

We had 28 spice jars and with through a whole bottle of Krazy Glue and a half bottle of the Loctite. The Loctite had a much larger size (20g) than I could find for Krazy Glue (5g).

We ordered two custom-cut metal A366/1008 0.0359" (20 ga.) cold roll steel sheets from for $28.51. Just a friendly reminder, make sure to measure twice before placing your metal order! Also, make sure to measure the area where you want to mount the metal, not the actual cabinet dimensions, and take a little off for a safety margin.

We went with cold roll over stainless for two reasons. The sheet would be mounted under the cabinet and not seen, so no need to get the "prettier" metal. Second, and most important, the cold roll steel has a much stronger attraction with magnets, compared to almost none with stainless steel. I think the cold roll can rust up, but I'm not sure how much of a problem that will become.

Screws and Washers
We had plenty of screws and washers left over from other projects so we just used the ones that looked best. Pick screws that are short enough that they don't go up through the bottom of the cabinet. If you don't have any short ones just cut a long one down and drill a pilot hole.

Step 2: Prepare the Metal

I wish I had a drill press for this step. All you need to do is put a hole in each corner for the screws, and maybe a hole in the middle for wide sheets. Sounds simple enough. I had no access to anything more than a power drill so that's what I used. By the last few holes I realized the more weight I put downward the faster it went and the less the bit slipped when starting the hole.

Don't forget to put a piece of scrap wood or something similar under where your are drilling so you don't put a hole in whatever your sheet is sitting on.

Step 3: Mount the Metal Sheet

Hold the sheet up to the bottom of the cabinet and mark where the holes are. Drill small pilot holes and then fasten the sheet to the cabinet using the screws and washers. Again, try to find screws that are short enough that they won't go through the bottom of your cabinet. Same goes for your pilot holes, don't go all the way through the wood.

Step 4: Prepare Spices

Get all your spices, magnets, and glue ready. Put a drop of glue in the center of the lid, put the magnet on top of that drop, then cover the magnet completely with glue.

We never found a glue that would bind the magnet to the lid strong enough to hang. Instead, we create a puddle of glue within which the magnet is held.

Step 5: Hang Spices

Make sure the glue is completely dry, it should feel like plastic. Once it's dry hang em' up! We had two spices that were heavy so we added a second magnet. Other than that we were good to go.

Almost all of our spice jars had flip-open lids, rather than screw off. We were worried that the lids would flip open hanging or when we pulled them down, but it turns out that the flip lids need more force than the magnet so there hasn't been any problems.

Looking at my pictures I realized I have almost all McCormick seasoning. I in no way advocate for McCormick!