Introduction: Spice Rack

I made this because my wife and I couldn’t find one that fit all our spices, displayed labels clearly, looked nice, and could be mounted on a door or wall as needed. It’s a simple straightforward build, but be careful of tear out on when dadoing or routering cuts. It uses stock hobby wood from a local store or your own finished wood products.


  • 2 Sides - 3½” x ½” x 27¼”
  • 4 Shelves - 1 7/8” x ¼” x 16”
  • 1 Bottom Shelf - 3¼” x ¼” x 16”
  • 4 Front Rails - 1½” x ¼” x 16½”
  • 1 Top Front Rail - 7/8” x ¼” x 16½”
  • 5 Back Rails - 1½” x ¼” x 16½”
  • Stain
  • Finish
  • Brads
  • Double Stick Tape
  • Sand Paper
  • Wood Glue


  • Table Saw (Router can be used for most of this, most instructions are for table saw)
  • Table Saw Sled Jig (optional, but better)
  • Band Saw
  • Router (not required)
  • Chisels
  • Brad/Finish Nailer

Step 1: Draw and Cut the Sides

  • Cut down 3 ½” x ¼” stock to two finished lengths of 27 ¼”.
  • Mark one side of one board “RI” and one side of the other board “LI”. Use double stick tape to marry the boards together with markings facing outward (this helps ensure symmetry of the two pieces while being cut.
  • On the face of one board, measure/mark in from one long edge 1 3/8” and draw a line parallel to the edge the length of the board. Measure/Mark along the line 7” from one end. From the same end, measure/mark from the corner 1½” along one long edge. Freehand draw a Bezier curve (shallow “S” curve) between the two points. This will be the wider bottom end of the rack.
  • Along the same edge, measure/mark at 1½”, 7”, 8½”, 13”, 14 ½”, 19”, 20 ½”, 25” and 25 7/8”. These are for cut outs for the front rails.
  • Set the table saw to 1 5/8” depth (adjust for the sled jig depth), put the boards up on edge with markings showing. Cut dadoes between 7”-8 ½”, 13”-14½”, 19”-20½”, and 25”-25 7/8”. Adjust the depth to ¼” and cut a dado from 0”-1½”. Make cuts to the inside of each area marking, then incrementally move the piece to remove the rest of the waste. Chisel cleanup may be needed for the front rails to fit well but save that for when dry fitting.
  • Measure mark on the same edge used above at ¼”, 7¼”, 13¼”, 19¼”, 25¼”.
  • With the table saw still set to ¼” depth, cut dados on the outward faces of the taped together side pieces between 0”- ¼”, 7”-7¼”, 13”-13¼”, 19”-19¼”, 25”-25¼”. If using a fence, set the distance and make cuts on both sides of the taped together pieces, then reset your distance and make the next set of cuts. Ensure cuts are to the inside of your marks. These dadoes are for the shelves.
  • Use a band saw to cut away the excess wood along the central line and Bezier curve. Also round off the top corners.
  • Sand the pieces being careful not to round off edges where front braces and shelves will attach.
  • Separate the two sides and sand the surfaces that were taped together.

Step 2: Cut and Sand the Front and Back Braces and the Shelves

Use the above cut list dimensions to cut the braces and shelves from stock wood from local home store or hobby store. Both major home stores carry "hobby" lumber in the needed thicknesses, usually in oak, maple, poplar, or pine. I recommend oak or maple as they show better whether stained or natural with a decent finish. the one in the pictures is maple with a satin polyurethane.

Step 3: Dry Fit

Dry fit all the pieces and adjust depths/widths/lengths as needed. Most adjustments can be made with a chisel or sandpaper. The locations for the shelves and front braces is obvious, The back braces are attached with the lower edges at 2", 9", 15", and 25 1/2" from the bottom (see drawing).

Step 4: Assembly

  • Use ½” or ¾” brads to assemble the pieces, using two brads per joint set in sufficiently to avoid splitting your wood. Alternately use wood glue and brads, being careful not to use too much glue that squeeze-out spoils your finish. Wipe any squeeze out with a damp cloth. Be careful to keep the brad nailer perpendicular to avoid tear outs and that the brads a little below the surface.
  • Fill the brad holes with a putty stick or wood filler that matches the wood used.
  • Router or sand the outside edge of the side pieces/front braces. Alternately, router all the visible edges. If routering use either 1/8” or ¼” round over bit.
  • Stain and finish as desired.


  1. Widen the sides by 1/4" and recess the back braces as was done for the front braces. This maintains the "tightness" of the bottles and gives a flat back if mounting to a wall.
  2. Eliminate the back braces and replace with a sheet of fiber board, finish side plywood, or other backboard.
  3. The top brace is set narrower to make labels on the small spice bottles visible. I found this out after building the one pictured, that’s why the top front brace is router out to make it more narrow. If you want more room for larger bottles, adjust the length of the sides to 30”, running long at the top, and change the top front rail and dados to 1½” (the wider rail keeps the standard bottles from falling out).