Introduction: How to Make a TARDIS Spice Rack

About: I'm an engineer and a dad who has a love for designing and making toys, STEM projects and anything electronicy.

My wife and I are massive Dr Who fans and we were in need of a spice rack. So, the idea for the TARDIS spice rack was born. Add to that the pile of pallet wood waiting in my cellar looking for a more meaningful life and hey presto! The pallet TARDIS spice rack came into being.

For the full video walkthrough, click below!

Step 1: Tools and Materials


  • Hand saw (or chop saw)
  • Screwdriver and bits
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper or hand sander


  • Pallet wood planks (same width and thickness)
  • Rectangular dowling or 5mm pine sheets (if you've not got access to a table saw for ripping down pallet sheets)
  • Handful of wood screws
  • A small washer (hole large enough for a wood screw to thread through)
  • A pair of hinges
  • Can of Royal Blue plasti-kote paint

Step 2: Rip the Pallet Boards to Size

First up, rip the pallet boards to these lengths, making suer they're all the same width and thickness:

  • 6 x 46.2cm (although 46cm would do fine)
  • 8 x 13cm
  • 4 x 26cm
  • 1 x 22cm
  • 1 x 18cm

You'll also want to rip some pallet planks lengthways to around 5mm thick to use later on. We'll come back to these in a bit!

Step 3: Dry Fit the Cabinet Pieces

Next up, dry-fit the pieces together to check the lengths are correct. This also gives you an opportunity to play around with the spacing of the shelves.

Step 4: Screw Together the TARDIS Frame Pieces

Next up, drill pilot holes in base pieces through into the sides of each frame and screw the frame pieces together.

Use the guide picture in step 2 for which piece goes where!

Check each corner to make sure it sits at 90 degrees.

Step 5: Adding the Base

The TARDIS has that extra step under the main frame.

So, cut yourself a piece from a wider pallet that's 26cm wide.

Pilot, glue and screw it onto the base of the large cabinet frame so the back of the pieces line up (see photos 4 and 5).

Step 6: Fixing the Shelves in Place

Using the spice jars as a guide, cut a spacer the right height for the shelves to sit.

I found I had two sizes of spice jar, so I cut several spacers for the different heights I needed.

Then, using the spacer to set the shelves at the right height, pilot, glue and screw the shelves in place from each side. I used two screw in each side to stop the shelves rotating.

Add a few spice jars to make sure the shelves are at the right height.

Step 7: Adding the Roof

Now, the TARDIS has a kind of staggered roof, like a set of stairs from the side-on.

To achieve this, glue and screw down the 22cm piece on top of the main cabinet section, making sure there are 2cm free on either side.

Then, glue and screw the 18cm piece on top of that piece with 2cm free on either side. That finished of the roof!

Step 8: Adding the Backboard

You've got a couple of options here. As I had a sheet of 3mm MDF lying around, I drew around the back of the main frame on the MDF and cut it out with my jigsaw.

Alternatively, you could rip down pallet boards length-ways to around 5mm thick.

Then, glue and tack (I used a staple gun with 8mm long tacks) the boards down on the back of the main cabinet.

Step 9: Attaching the Hinges

Line up the door frames on top of the main frame and mark where the hinges will go.

I used recessed hinges here, but I think it would have been easier to use hinges that just fit on the outside of the frames.

Use a pencil to mark where the screws need to go and pilot and screw the hinges in places.

Step 10: Adding the Fronting

Rip down some more pallets lengthways to make some 46cm long, 5mm thick boards and tack/glue them over the front of the door frames.

Step 11: Creating the Latch

You could just buy a latch, but with a bit of creative sanding, you can make your own!

I used a piece left over the earlier ripping and used a hacksaw to shorten it to around 40mm long, 25mm wide.

Drilling a hole around 1cm from the end (wide enough for a screw to pass through), pilot a hole into the base of the main TARDIS frame. Sand the edges off the hole end of the frame so it's rounded off like half a circle (with the hole in the centre).

Thread the screw through a washer and screw it onto the frame (see photo 8) so there's a enough give for the latch to turn.

Step 12: Time for the Handles

I grabbed a piece of 30mm dowel I had lying around, but you add handles like the real TARDIS if you wanted to!

If using wood, make sure to glue and clamp them in place while the glue goes off.

I then drilled through from the inside of the cabinet and screwed them in place.

Step 13: Adding the Colour

Making sure you've got a well ventilated space, give the whole frame a good coat of spray paint. Do make sure you've got a proper mask or ventilator when you do this as spray paints aren't good for you! I didn't do either of these things for this project which was a massive oversight.

I found that the 'Royal Blue' can of Plasti-kote was pretty close to TARDIS blue!

After it's dried, give it a second coat for good coverage all over. Adding a coat inside really makes the spice jars pop!

Step 14: Adding the Outside Transfers

First up, download and print the lettering for the TARDIS and stick it onto card from a cereal box. Cut out the pieces and set them aside.

Next, use a Sharpie to measure out the rectangles of where the panels are on the TARDIS. If you measure in from the edges 1cm all the way along, mark at 1cm, 11cm, 12cm, 22cm, 23cm, 33cm, 34cm, 44cm, 45cm. Measure across the width of the doors and you should have 4 rectangles!

Using spray adhesive, stick the windows in the top 2 rectangles and the Police Box note in the space below the left window.

Step 15: Adding the Guide Rails

After loading up the spice jars, I opened the door to a spice jar tidal wave. It was then I realised that guide rails would have been helpful!

Take those strips you ripped earlier to 25mm wide (5mm deep) and cut so you have:

  • 6 x 13cm pieces
  • 3 x 26cm pieces

Run a line of glue along the edges of the pieces and wedge them in place on the edge of each shelf. If they're a little long, just sand down the ends until they fit flush.

With that done, allow the glue to dry and you're finished!

Step 16: Mount It to the Wall and Admire!

Now it's completed, drill four holes in the back of the spice rack and mount it to your kitchen wall.

I had to drill through stone tiles, but a masonry bit (non-hammer setting on drill) on slow speed works nicely in gently working through the tiles without cracking them.

Thanks for checking out the instructable, hopefully enjoying the video and please post any pics if you try it yourself!