Variety may be the spice of life, but it is definitely the key to the use of spices. Finding a good place to keep all of your spices where they will be handy for cooking can be a challenge, and letting them roam free inside a kitchen cabinet often leads to picking them up from the floor. There are several options for wooden spice rack crafts, and all of them will benefit during the sanding and finishing process when handheld rotary and cutting tools are used with the appropriate sanding and cutting accessories
Spices typically come in small round bottles about 1 inch in diameter and 2 to 3 inches tall. Since spices are best kept fresh; it is typically recommended they be kept somewhat cool and in the dark to maintain their color and aroma. With dried spices this is less important. Since both conditions must be met, a low cabinet, separated from the stove, is best. Fresh herbs can be kept in the refrigerator, although the humidity is typically too high for bottled dried spices.
A simple wooden box attached to the inside of a lower cabinet door can make your spices readily available. Group all of your spice bottles together and measure them. Make the box wide enough to hold the thickest bottle and contain all of the spices in a single row. Cut two ends from 3/4 inch hardwood with a handheld cutting tool, about as wide as the widest bottle, and 3/4 inches shorter than the shortest bottle, to make them easy to grab. Make the sides and bottom from thin 1/4-inch plywood strips stapled to your end pieces. Attach the box with screws and make labels for the tops from adhesive stickers for easy recognition.
Most cooks have some spices and seasonings they use almost every time they cook. For those items a block holder that can be pulled out onto the counter near the stove for easy access might be a good option. Use a handheld cutting tool to cut down a piece of 4-by-4 lumber to length as long as the total number of spices you want to keep in it, plus 1 inch, plus 1/4 inch between each bottle. Use a high speed cutter accessory to bore holes in the top of the lumber as large as your spice bottles and about an inch deep. Sand the block with a rotary tool and sanding accessory, rounding over all edges slightly. Stand the spice bottles in the holes. Keep the block in a dark, cool place, then pull it out to the stove or countertop when needed.
For a large collection of spices a small shelf is a good solution. It allows the spices to be seen, while multiple shelves allow for a lot of spices to be stored with their labels clearly visible. Cut two side pieces from 1/2-inch thick lumber with a handheld cutting tool, making the two pieces a little wider than your bottles and as tall as the bottles, multiplied by the number of shelves you want, plus 1/2 inch for the thickness of each shelf. Nail the shelves in between the side pieces and nail a narrow strip along the front edge of each shelf to hold the bottles in. Attach picture hanger hardware to the top corners of the shelf and fasten the shelf to the inside of a lower cabinet door for dark, cool storage.
- India Curry: Spice Storage
- "101 Crafts Under $10"; The Editors at Butterick; 2000
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