Kitchen Labeling Series: How to Create a Customized Spice Collection

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Have you ever dreamed of having a beautiful, customized spice collection, complete with pretty labels and the flexibility of adding any new spice at any time that will still match all the other pretty spice jars? If so, this post is for you!

I always wanted a cool spice rack that contained all the essentials (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, basil, etc.) with the flexibility of adding additional spices down the road. I would look at the spice collections on display at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, but could never bring myself to purchase one.

All of the pre-made spice collections I have seen don’t come with the option of adding in another spice should the need arise. So then you have a beautiful spice collection, and a few random spices jammed in the cabinet that don’t fit in. Where is the fun in that?

This gorgeous spice collection has been in the making for several years, and has evolved through a previous iteration involving magnetic spice tins with printed sticker labels. I won’t lie: there was nothing cheap about this creation, nor was there any time saved in the process.

Benefits & Drawbacks to Consider

organized spice collectionWe are fortunate to now have this large drawer that turned out to be perfect for storing the chosen spice jar design (RSVP Big Mouth Airtight Glass Spice Jar, Set of 6) and displaying the beautiful labels designed by Super Sweet Life. If you are thinking of creating your own spice collection, here are a few things to consider:

Comprehensive Spice Collection

I used to shy away from any recipe that used spices more obscure than basil or oregano. Or, if I was motivated enough, would have to make a special trip to the store to buy said spice, only to lose it in the recesses of a cluttered pantry after the cooking experiment was over.

It is such a great feeling knowing that I can make practically any recipe I come across with the confidence of having an extensive, complete spice collection on hand. Spend some time coming up with a comprehensive spice list that makes sense for you. Start with what you already have on hand. Don’t worry, you can always place another order later if you forgot something!

Expense vs. Benefit

Ok, so it wasn’t a cheap project. But, I LOVE having this spice collection! I use it everyday. I am currently reading Make Your Own Rules Diet by Tara Stiles. This book is reminding me of how essential it is to prepare meals at home as often as possible in order to feel as good as we can feel. Ordering in and going out all the time leave me feeling sluggish and yuck. Cooking healthy meals at home makes me feel good. It is that simple.

This spice collection makes cooking in the kitchen even more streamlined and joyful, so it’s worth it to me. If you are considering labeling your own jars but cost is a concern, you might consider ordering the spice jars little by little. Packages of spice jars might make good items for the Christmas wish list!

Jar Design

labeled spice jars These jars do not have the option of sprinkling spices like most spice containers. At first I was uncomfortable with this non-feature, but quickly got used to the real life definition of using a “pinch” of something in recipes. I also use 1/8 teaspoons a lot as scoops if I need a little bit of a certain spice. The jar opening is wide enough to easily fit in a tablespoon when needed.

How To Label the Jars

organized spicesThe labeling process is probably fast for a normal person. I got a bit carried away with the tape measure. It’s nice to have centered labels in the end though! Laura of Super Sweet Life provides a great overview of how to apply the labels here. Here is the slightly modified process I used:

  1. Clean surface to label.
  2. Cut transfer tape to size, peel off backing, and apply pressure to transfer tape over label with blunt end of a knife to adhere label to transfer tape (back and forth until label transfers).
  3. Carefully peel off label (you might lose an “i” dot occasionally like I did in the pictures above, but this is easily fixed – and she sends plenty of extra dots just in case).
  4. I created a template the size of the jar top and drew lines where the labels would go.
  5. I ended up measuring the labels or counting the letters to try to figure out where the center is. If you don’t feel the need to do this, I envy you!
  6. Once your label is where you want it, use masking tape to place the transfer tape on the template. Flip it over, and stick it to the jar lid.
  7. Use the knife to apply the label on the jar lid, as in step 2.
  8. Carefully remove the transfer tape.
  9. If you lost an “i” dot, these can easily be removed with the tip of a knife and then placed on the lid.

Following the spice jar labeling project, I have also been in the (slow) process of labeling practically everything in the pantry in larger containers. I am excited to share the results once complete!

If you have a spice jar organizing system to share, we would love to hear about it!

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