DIY Magnetic Spice Jars – For Organizing and Freeing Up Counter Space

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We don’t have a lot of counter space in my new kitchen. And the cabinets we have are small. Not to mention our kitchen isn’t exactly a modern one – after all, the house we are renting is over a hundred years old. So counter space is a commodity. But with a boyfriend who likes to cook, spice jars can quickly clutter what counter space there is.

I have long loved the idea of magnetic spice tins and had planned to craft some for our new space. However, after really digging into reviews, I found that many of the tins don’t seal tightly which has led to issues with the herbs staying as fresh as possible. There were also stories of sea salt ending up in solid blocks in magnetic tins. Unable to find tins that had great reviews for this purpose, I decided to instead use the original jars my spices came in – or buy empty glass jars with screw tops – and instead make them magnetic.

This is what I started with. Spice jars lined up on the counter. I went ahead and bought some basic spices in jars just to get started, but I’ll be refilling these with bulk spices and herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs so I can buy organic and save money.
I then made new labels for my jars just for fun. Of course, new labels are optional. But they can be changed from time to time. You can either decoupage labels or make your own. I made my own labels by hand drawing the type of herb or spice onto whole sticker label sheets I purchased in bulk from Onlinelabels.com. I used a ruler to mark how high on the sticker paper the labels should be then drew my images and wording within that section with permanent Bic Markers.
The existing labels I could get off of my spice jars I peeled off. The ones that wouldn’t come off easily I left on. I then removed the backing from the sticking paper.
And adhered my new labels to the jars over the old ones.
I then took some E6000 Glue to affix two 25 Neodymium Rare Earth Magnets to the back of the jar. (I bought my glue and magnets from Candy Tiles on Etsy.)
And then allowed the glue to dry completely.
Once the glue dried all the way, I was able to place my herbs and spices on the side of the fridge for easy access and clear up some counter space. Alternately, you could also hang a spice tin wall base on a wall in an area you’d like to store your spice jars.

Now everything is right where we need it and we can easily add more jars to the side of the fridge as our spice and herb collection grows.

What types of things have you done in your kitchen to organize and save space?

Homemaking Tips for Making Life Easier

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You, my lovely readers have been sharing some great homemaking tips in response to several of my blog posts, so I wanted to combine them in one location to give everyone a chance to read about them! Here are a few useful tips you may want to try yourself!

  • The best way to get blood out of fabric is hydrogen peroxide. Soak, scrub, rinse with cool water. Repeat until clean. – by Anonymous
  • If you are in the middle of painting a room and you want to take a break and resume another day wrap your roller in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer, then when you are ready to paint again just thaw out your roller and your ready to go. – by abr76
  • BEST overall cleaner in a spray bottle, mix half rubbing alcohol{any scent}half water and a drop of dish detergent. Kills germs and safe to use. A doctor’s office secret! – by Anonymous
  • Keep a small spray bottle of lemon juice in your fridge. If your little ones only eat half an apple, spray the other half with lemon juice and wrap in plastic or baggie for tomorrow. Cut a banana in half, spray the end with lemon juice and fit into a small plastic lid. I save juice lids of various sizes just for things like this. The best size for my bananas, SunnyD lids from individual juice bottles. It will fit snugly and keep out little flying critters and keep the end fresh. You can leave it out on a counter. – by KarenSluder
  • If you use a Pyrex dish to bake a chicken, pot roast, scalloped potatoes. etc., fill the dish with water, drop a dryer sheet in the dish, and rinse it out in the morning. I have found it actually works! – by Anonymous

From Home Office Organizing Tips and DIY Projects:

  • I got my windows tinted on my car as a present but the guy who did it told me I could no longer use the cup holders that hook on the window anymore. I found another use for them. I put one on my toilet tank and put the top back down on it to hold it steady and put a can of air freshener in it. – by Anonymous

From Household Tips for Organizing and Living:

  • Take your conditioner from the shower and fill half an empty spray bottle with it. Fill the rest with water and shake it up well. You have your own leave-in conditioner, detangler, whatever you want to call it. Too strong, make it a third of the conditioner and two thirds water, or one quarter conditioner to three quarters water…. whichever works for you. – by Anonymous
  • I HATE to iron. I took an empty spray bottle and put half of it with my liquid fabric softener and filled the rest with water. When my items come out of the dryer wrinkled I take one item out and keep the other stuff drying in the dryer to prevent more wrinkles. I lay it on a flat surface and spray it with the softener spray and press the wrinkles out with my hands. Spray and press as much as you need to. This works beautifully for denim! Just let it air dry once the wrinkles are out.
    This mixture also works well for spraying down to freshen fabrics in the rest of the house that do not get washed often or at all like curtains, furniture and carpets.
    Also works well for static in clothing. Or in a pinch and laundry day is not here yet, spray your not too dirty clothing to freshen it up for one more wearing. – by Anonymous

From Helpful Tips for Everyday Success:

  • Freezing meals is a good idea. I do that with chili beans and other soups. sometimes meatloaf or other pastas like lasagna. It really does save a lot of time and headache when you’re hungry. – by ij
  • I took two receiving blankets and a plain metal hanger to make an earring holder. I folded one in half and draped it on the bottom of the hanger. I put my earrings on that pushing the hook/post all the way through all of the layers (to keep it from sliding one way or the other) and when they were all on it I draped the other blanket over it to help from dust settling on them and reduce tarnishing.
    Another is a medium to large width chain, a plastic child’s clothing hanger and two curtain rings (I used the ones shaped like a pear). Take one of the rings and hook it through one end of the chain and hang it on one side of the hanger. Do the same to the other side. Now you can hang your dangle earrings on it and hang it somewhere. If you have a very dusty house like me get a plastic grocery bag and put a small hole in the center of the bottom and put the hook of the hanger through it to protect the jewelry. – by Anonymous
  • Old pillowcases are wonderful for protecting clothing in a closet or when traveling. If you have old ones with a zipper, even better. Put a small hole in the center of the closed side. If you worry about fraying put a coat of clear nail polish on the edges of the hole once it is cut and allow it to dry. Whatever clothing or whatever you have on the hanger is protected. Put your choice of items on the hanger and place the hook of the hanger through the hole of the pillowcase and gently pull the pillowcase down over the hanger. I used this when moving for my jewelry with the zipper ones and even if the jewelry came off of the hanger it did not go far because of the zipper. If you have a long enough pillowcase and a short item you are protecting, you can tie the pillowcase off at the bottom too or use a rubberband (keep in mind that rubber bands break, harden and snap fairly easily too so maybe use and old twist off of a bag of bread) – by Anonymous
  • When you buy a frozen dinner they usually come in the black plastic microwaveable dishes. They are easy to clean and reuse. I prefer the ones in sections but any will do. If you cook a meal and have leftovers these are perfect. When you eat the meal save the black container and put the leftovers of a meal you cooked in it. Most of them will fit in a resealable freezer baggie. Put the food in the dish, put the dish in a baggie and put that in the freezer. They are very handy to have around and it is your own cooking so you KNOW what is in it too. Personally, I clean the dish and the baggie and reuse them as a pair. – by Anonymous
  • If you washed baby bottles by hand you likely have a unit to drip dry the bottles and parts. These work great to drip dry resealable baggies that you have washed to reuse. – by Anonymous
  • Take a bottle of something to drink with you easily. Get a carabiner clip (these days they are cheap and easy to get) and take an O ring (I buy them individually at Menards) that is just a tiny bit smaller than the opening of the bottle. Use a sturdy and fairly large jump ring and attach the clip to the o-ring with the jump ring. Put the o-ring over the top of the water bottle until the bottle widens. Put the carabiner on a belt loop or purse strap and you should be good to go. – by Anonymous
  • I do not like lotion on my hands but I love it on the rest of me. I took a round sponge about a quarter inch thick and about an inch and a half in diameter and glued it to a bottle top which was close to the same diameter as the sponge. That makes a great applicator for face cream. – by Anonymous

And, here are a few more great tips I’ve discovered:

  • Use Bar Keeper’s Friend to clean your stainless steel sink. It’s great for taking out hard water spots. Also try it for cleaning stainless steel pots and pans and removing stains from kitchen counters. – via Pinterest
  • To clean and deodorize your microwave, fill a small container with water and a dash of vinegar. Heat on high for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the dish and wipe down your microwave with a wet cloth. – via Crafty Little Gnome 
  • Combine equal parts of water and white vinegar into a spray bottle and spritz on baseboards and kitchen floors to deter ants. Also use outdoors on your patio or picnic table right before family gatherings to keep ants away! – via Martha Stewart

Save money on groceries buying herbs and spices in bulk. (I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.) You can either recycle containers to store them in, or craft a DIY Wall Mounted Magnetic Spice Rack to also save on kitchen space. Need more ideas for saving space in the kitchen? Mount a painted peg board on the wall to hang commonly used utensils, pots, and pans and use tiered shelves in your cabinets to organize canned goods in a way that makes them easy to both inventory and grab when you need them. You can also free up counter space by getting rid of that bulky knife block and instead mounting a Magnetic Knife Storage Strip above your counter to hold knives and kitchen scissors.

What are your favorite tips for organizing or cleaning your home that you find you use on a regular basis?

Creating new from old. How to re-style dull accessories into something new.

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This lovely, handmade Vintage Ball Mason Jar Soap Dispenser (left) created by Whippoorwheel would make a great addition to your  rustic kitchen or bath. But you don’t have to buy one to own one of these beauties. Heather Bullard provides full DIY instructions on her blog for creating your own Mason Jar Soap Dispenser by combining an old mason jar, used pump soap bottle, two part epoxy and few tools. Click here for the full tutorial.
Looking for other great ways to re-use and re-style old or vintage pieces just lying around your home? Dress up a dull vase using Japanese Washi Tape or recreate boring dinnerware with Porcelain Paint Pens. I also love the idea of  re-purposing baby food jars into a Magnetic Spice Rack!