Magnetic Spice Rack DIY

Happy Saturday! It’s a good day for a DIY project don’t ya think?

I have a confession. I absolutely love my spice rack. I’m not sure if it’s the stainless steel tins or the beautiful colors that it creates in my kitchen, but I have a love for my spice rack unlike any that I have for my other kitchen gadgets. My KitchenAid stand mixer is a close second though. 😉

You see, this is my spices cabinet before. In this picture, I’ve actually removed quite a bit of them already so you don’t see them stacked to the top like they normally are, but you get the idea. We have a small house so there just aren’t many places for spices to go. They got the cold shoulder into the smallest possible cabinet available. So I got the bottles flying out at me every time that I went to grab my parsley flakes and one day I said enough is enough. I scoured the web looking at tutorials on how to make your own spice rack and I found some that were magnetic. A light bulb went off in my head and I was hooked. I got some fantastic ideas, but most involved expensive materials and things you had to purchase online. Unfortunately I was in a get-it-now mood so I came up with my own plan.

I took myself down to about 5 different stores including your obvious places like Target and Walmart looking for spice tins. Most don’t have anything close to what you see above. I did find something similar at Old Time Pottery, but for $1.99 a pop that just wasn’t going to do. I was imagining a big and magnificent spice rack and at that price, I would be completely broke. I finally settled on ordering them online from Specialty Bottle. They were a much more affordable $.64 per tin. I got the 4 oz tins and they are plenty large enough. Shipping was a bit expensive, but still cheaper than what I would have paid at Old Time Pottery.

Next I needed a piece of metal for the tins to adhere to. Most suggestions that I saw were to order stainless steel sheets online. I can’t believe how expensive those sheets of metal can get. You can’t just walk into Lowes and purchase one. Trust me, I tried. You can however, get a piece of steel at Lowes. I purchased an 18″x20″ piece of it for around $10 there. Using my noggin I realized that if its not stainless, it can rust and around the kitchen there is lots of moisture. I opted to get some Rustoleum that mimics stainless steel to coat it with that ran us another $5 bucks. I actually got the “hammered” look and it turned out wonderful! If you want something that will fit in better with your kitchen colors, they have tons of color options of Rustoleom that would be beautiful on a spice rack.

Instead of the usual method of hanging the sheet metal, we opted for using Velcro. It may sound silly, but we have a tile back splash and I didn’t want to risk breaking the tile in the process. Surprisingly enough, the Velcro has worked out fantastically. It ran us about $5 in total.

Next, I needed magnets. After all, you can’t have a magnetic spice rack without those! I purchased 4 packs of 8 ct regular plain jane magnets at Lowes for about $2.50 each. Total= $10. I also used Locktite Super Glue to adhere them to the tins. I didn’t use much at all so they didn’t look messy.

I’m pretty good at knowing what certain spices look like, but I am not great at it with others. It’s amazing how some look like others once you get them up there on that rack. I simply typed up the name of my spices on a Word document and cut them out. Then taped them on the back of the tins. When I need to be sure, I just take it off and look. Simple enough and they look clean on the front without words. They have spice labels for sale on Amazon. Most are less than $3, but these didn’t cost me a dime.

All in all, my Magnetic Spice Rack cost us about $50 plus the shipping for the tins. They have sites that sell these premade online, but I’m very happy with the result that we got for our money. And it was actually quite easy as it turns out!

If you are wanting to do one of these, use your imagination. Don’t always listen to what others suggest. I’m glad that we didn’t because this was possibly a lot cheaper than we would have paid ordering from places online or purchasing some of the other expensive materials.

Yay for DIY!

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  1. I absolutely love this! I can’t wait to make my very own!

  2. Thanks Lisa! I’m just loving it so much. I never thought I’d enjoy seeing my spices on display, but they look so pretty. 🙂

  3. It looks great! Found one of your recipes on pinterest, and I’ve already pinned this amazing spice rack.
    Have you had any problems with the lids falling off the containers?

  4. Hi Sara! Glad you found me 🙂

    I haven’t had that problem so far. The tins that I used have nice and tight lids. Even some of the heavier spices like kosher salt stay on well. That is a really good thing to check out when buying your tins though.

  5. My research has told me that aluminum is not magnetic…how do you get the magnets to stick to the aluminum sheet?

  6. Hi Ryan, I’m not really sure about research but they just stuck for me. The sheet that I got might not be completely aluminum. It may be a mixture of metals. The barcode at the store listed it as aluminum but you never know.

  7. Just want to point out that your spices are going to degrade really fast where you’ve placed them as the three factors which make them go bad are in order:


    So with the clear lids right next to the stove you’re hitting them with 2 of the 3 things it’s recommended to avoid if you want to keep your spices fresh for more than a few months.

    If you want them in plain view then the solid lids will dramatically prolong their freshness, For those of us that like being able to see the color of the spices for easy identification lots of people choose to mount the magnetic tins on the inside of cabinet doors.

    Not sure that you’re likely to make either of those changes at this stage, but thought the information would be helpful to those planning their own project for the first time.

    Bonus is that that solid lids are even cheaper than the clear ones.

  8. Science:
    Aluminum is not magnetic.
    Aluminum doesn’t rust – “Aluminium is remarkable for the metal’s low density and for its ability to resist corrosion due to the phenomenon of passivation. ”

    Ergo – you didn’t buy an aluminum sheet.

  9. Ok thanks for the lesson Adam. I’m not a metal expert. All I know is that the tag said it was aluminum. It was cheap and that’s all I was concerned about! 🙂

  10. Thanks for the info! I use my spices quite a bit so many will get used before they go bad. Others will probably get stale, but luckily I didn’t place the entire bottle of spices in the tins.

  11. I love your spice rack! It’s fabulous! I’d like to make one for my daughter for Christmas but I’m not sure if I should go with clear lids or solid. How long does the spice last in the clear containers?

  12. My friend has a cabinet cluttered with spices. I used your instructions to make her one of these for Christmas.
    I made hers a little bit smaller (4 tins high and 5 tins wide) and in addition to that, I made 2 vertical strips to fit 5 down. Luckily I work in manufacturing so had some help getting some sheet metal cut to size and then a painting company put a clear laquer to prevent rust. I have had so many compiments so far!
    Thanks so much for posting the how-to!!!!

  13. For others looking at this, rather than painting the steel (it must be steel to be magnetic), you can wax it. The method certainly needs maintenance, but spray paint looks a lot different than raw metal.

    You can take this a step further if you have a more rustic kitchen…don’t wax it for awhile, let it rust. Once you have the desired level of rust, wash it to remove any of the rust scales, and then wax it. The wax will prevent further rusting and protect the patina that you were after.

    Looking at doing something very similar (no rust for me). I’m fighting paying $12 to ship 30 tins for Specialty Bottle 3 miles…I live that close them! They’d let me do a will call pick up with $100 minimum purchase. I guess I’ll pay the shipping.

  14. FYI — stainless steel is also not magnetic. Stick with galvanized metal (very little spangle looks best). Easily procured, price is right, and you can change when needed affordably! You could even coat it with fun papers/fabric/ paint, what not…. Just a thought!

  15. I just finished up putting all my spices in my tins today. Went back to check the prettiness and found that the ground cloves is oxidizing the clear plastic window-rapidly! I don’t like that the plastic is being compromised so quickly and who knows what might be leaching into the spice. Anyone else have that issue arise? Seems to be just the cloves.

  16. (I know this post in nearly a year old, but for anyone else with the same issue…) I ordered my tins from Specialty Bottle as well, they look just like these that Amy used. Some of the lids seemed a little loose especially given that the tins will be sitting on their side, attached to the inside of an opening and closing cabinet door, AND you pull them away from the metal back basically by the lid… well AROUND the lid… yes I was a little uncomfortable with some of them not being snug enough as well. The lides are easily adjusted though with a slight squeeze around the rim of the lid while the lid is separated from the tin… just a very slight bend inward. I had to do this to about 25% of the 24 I ordered, but now I am quite comfortable with the fit and security.

  17. DIANA WILD says

    This is the perfect solution to my spice rack problem. My first thought when I was the magnets was that the spice tins would not lay flat or would tip over and possibly spill when opened and sitting on the magnet. I found magnetic adheside sheets that will provide a flat bottom and make them stick out from the wall less.

  18. Lisa Harrison says

    I bought the materials to make my spice rack today and the tins ate scheduled to be delivered from Specialty Bottle this afternoon! The only problem I had is that Lowe’s did not offer 18x 20 metal sheets…only 24×24. Can I have the metal cut? Anyone else have other tips? Oh, can you remove the Velcro from the tile without leaving unsightly marks/goo?

  19. Lisa Harrison says

    Also, in the Rustoleum paint, did you use spray paint or a brush? I can’t find the “hammered” in spray.

  20. Angelique says

    yes, yes now this is exactly what i need!! i’m thinking combination of photo frame, recipe book holder and a place for sticky notes all in one! since i can have the steel plate made to fit i might as well go all out! I’ll post a pic when it’s done! really looking forward to creating this!

  21. I just finished my Magnetic Spice Rack today and I just LOVE it ! Thank you for posting this DIY. I followed almost everything you recommended. Differences: I used glossy black Rustoleum, used screws in each corner to attach the steel sheet to our dry wall and placed the labels I typed on the front, in the center of the plastic windows. Thank you again !

  22. I’m so glad that you love it! I LOVE mine. I’m not sure what I would do without it. It’s just so functional yet pretty! So easy yet everyone is so impressed with it. Great idea for the labels! I have a little game I play where I guess the spice. I’m getting better at it everyday. 😉

  23. I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but I have a similar spice rack system and it is a FAIL. I was lured by the absolute visual beauty of the spices on display. However, after using it for 4 months, there are some problems…problems big enough that I definitely need to get a different solution. First of all, you have to twist & remove the tin lid every time you want some spice, and because some of the spice hangs on the outside edge, you’ll lose some spice every time AND you’ll have to open it over the kitchen sink because it makes a mess. And thirdly, the lids have no way to even-off a heaping measuring spoon, so it’s cumbersome to measure what you need. Fourthly, they are NOT airtight…all the spices are starting to clump because of absorbing moisture. And fifthly, I’m having the same oxidation problem with cloves that another person mentioned. I must say, though, that the LOOK is beautiful and I’ve received many compliments on it. But the practicality is NIL. These spice containers are simply annoying for even a casual cook.

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  33. Have you had any problems with the magnets unattaching from the tins? I’m so excited I found your site, and plan on making this soon. Some other sites had problems with their magnets…

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  36. what font did you use on the back of the tins for your spices??? i love it!!!

  37. It’s a good thing that you bought a less expensive alloy metal sheet, because non-ferrous metals like real stainless steel and aluminum are not magnetic. I can see that I’m late to the party here, but love this idea and I’m totally doing this.

  38. If you are concerned about light deteriorating the spices, you could photograph the spices and then glue the photograph inside the lid! You’d have a good way to ID the spice without letting the light get to it.

  39. Stephanie says

    I love this idea so much and plan on using it when I move into my new home. You mentioned that you used velcro instead of glue – did you use it on just the four corners? All around? Can you go into more detail on that part of it. I don’t want to use velcro and then it comes tumbling down because I didn’t use enough.


  40. i did this craft, just a little cheaper…
    -I bought a cookie sheet from Home Goods for $7.99. I took a magnet with me to make sure it was magnetic. No need to do a spray finish since it’s already done!
    -I used the same magnets I bought for the tins on the back of the cookie sheet to attach it to my fridge. The cookie sheet is resting on the counter but also securely attached to the side of my fridge. This may not work for everyone’s kitchen layout.
    -I used a sharpie to write the spice name on the lid. I have decent handwriting, so I figured, why not?
    -Last, I found that I didn’t need to super glue the magnets to my tins. So I cut out the labels, superglue, Velcro, spray paint, and spent a little less on the metal sheet. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to save on the tins unless you get very, very lucky at a garage sale!

    Now, I wish I had used my savings toward larger tins (I bought 2.5 oz, which must be volume, bc my 2.5 oz [weight] spices don’t fit!!!) that have a lid that screws on. I also bought round tins, so that may be part of the problem. I’ve already lost some celery salt and black peppercorns bc the lids don’t stay on. I will try the suggestion above of squeezing them to make them fit better. Someday, I’ll get bigger tins with proper lids, but for now, this craft has saved a ton of space for me, and I’m thrilled!

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  42. I made something that looks just like this, only I ordered a sheet of stainless steel custom cut to the size I needed. It even came with holes punched in each corner to make it easy to screw to the wall. I ordered from a website called, and if I remember correctly it cost less than $20.

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  44. I just finished making this, and I LOVE it! I hope it’s as functional as it is beautiful. It looks fantastic. Thanks for the tutorial!

  45. Spicey lady says

    I recently ran across your clever spice rack idea. With my hubby’s help, we finished it today. Love it! I found a large magnetic chalkboard sheet at Hobby Lobby for the backing. It was really easy to work with.

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