Introduction: Spice Shaker From Pill Bottle


Pill Bottle With Adult Proof Lid

Labels (Optional)



Drill and small bits

Butane Torch

Wire / Small metal rod / broken drill bit

Fingers (Count before and after to make sure you didn't leave any behind)

Step 1: Why a Pill Bottle to a Spice Shaker?

For years I've been looking for a salt / pepper shaker that I could keep in a briefcase or backpack without it spilling all over everything. I've looked in camping supply stores, dollar stores, big box stores, even online, nothing I purchased worked as needed. Too many times the caps come loose and make a mess of everything, and it's never a good idea to hand in homework that smells of the Colonels secret recipe.

So why don't I just use prepackaged salt and pepper packages? Well, I've been told to cut down on salt, and if you look at the above picture you may have noticed that I don't use standard herbs and spices that come prepackaged.

I had a couple adult proof cap pill bottles laying around for storing small screws, nuts, bolts, picture hanging parts... Well anything that was small and the original packaging wouldn't store without breaking. And I was playing around with a cap, I pulled the insert out, stuck it back on the bottle and it came to me. A little modification to the insert and I'd have a nice spice shaker, and with the cap securely snapped back on, the shaker wouldn't spill.

Step 2: Type of Pill Bottle

So this is probable the hardest part, finding the right pill bottle.

You need a pill bottle whose lids are adult proof. (OK, they are supposed to be child proof, but someone with arthritis or the elderly find these adult proof, and look for a child to help them open the bottle) They should comprise of two parts, the outer lid with little ridges that stick out, and a plastic part that will fit back on the bottle like a stopper, without coming loose by itself. See, those little ridges that stick out on the outer cap hold the inner plastic stopper, pulling it out when you open the pill bottle. They also hold onto the pill bottle proper, causing you to both push down and twist open the bottle of pills.

Just see the picture for reference.

Step 3: Notching the Stopper

We want to be able to leave the inner lid, the stopper, in the pill bottle when we open our Spice Shaker, so we have to make some notches. Put the inner cap onto the pill bottle. Using a knife, just cut away everywhere there is an open area on the upper ridge of the pill bottle. You can be generous and cut a lot more away, but leave a little of the outside ridge of the stopper so it won't fall into the pill bottle.

Again, the pictures will show a better idea than just the description.

Step 4: Holes

Now having a Spice Shaker without holes is pointless, so here are a couple thoughts on how to add your holes.

You could use a heated metal rod like the picture shows, it works, but may leave the bottle smelling of burnt plastic. A little experience goes a long way. And it will probably take a long time to get rid of the smell.

The better way is with a small drill bit and patience. Take a sharp knife afterwards or sandpaper to clear up the burrs in the plastic. Go slow with the knife, the plastic is soft, and safety is paramount. Again, experience is a great instructor, so take my experience and be safe.

The best way to make the holes, is to use a leather punch on it's smallest setting. Sorry, no picture, but this way works best cutting small holes and not leaving the burrs to cleanup after.

Step 5: Last Step Labeling

This could probably be an 'ible by itself. Labeling your new Spice Shaker will make it look more professional. Print off any label you want to identify your spice of choice, you can see I've printed off a full sheet of labels for my favorite spice combination. But to make your label really pop out, so it doesn't look flat and drab, cover the label with clear nail polish. I know it sounds stupid, but it makes the colours bolder, and most important, makes the ink on the label waterproof.

Let's just say that you are at a BBQ, about to season your steak, the condensation from your iced tea (careful there, I'm trying to keep this 'ible kid friendly) so the condensation from your cold drink of choice gets on your label, causing the ink to run and leaving you with colourful fingers and a smeared label you wouldn't want to show to anyone.

However the person who used the clear nail polish instead of being embarrassed about his fingers can boost about how great his custom spices are and can show off his culinary prowess to all his friends.

Thank you for your time, and happy making.

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