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DIY Warrior: Back-of-Door Spice Rack

Filed Under: Kitchen & Bath, Big Projects

DIY spice racksCarl Weese/Home and Garden Editorial Services

Storage space in most kitchens is limited, so there's no sense in wasting any of it. One area that's typically underutilized is right behind the cabinet door. It also happens to be easy to reach, making it ideal for a spice rack.

The door-mounted spice racks shown here have acrylic fronts that provide good visibility for a dozen of your most frequently used herbs and spices. If you're comfortable using a table saw, you can build these spice racks in the cheap in just a few hours. (Just be sure to abide by our table saw safety tips).

Safety note: For clearer photos, I removed saw guard for clarity. But you must use it to prevent accidents while working with your table saw.,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=909149&pid=909148&uts=1278974841

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

- A table saw with combination blade, plus a plastic-cutting blade for cutting the acrylic fronts to size
- A push stick (for table saw safety -- watch those fingers!)
- Bar clamp
- ½-in. dia. Forstner bit or ½-in. wood chisel
- Carpenter's wood glue
- Brad nailer and 1-1/2-inch brads or a hammer and 1-1/2-in. finishing nails
- 2-inch wide acrylic panel x length to suit racks
- Two 1" x 6" x 24" pine or birch boards; if you can't find this size, get two 1" x 4" stock boards with a length of 48" instead of 24".
- Keyhole hardware with hanger screws

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

For this project, it's best two use two 1" x 6" x 24" boards. Using your table saw, rip each board lengthwise, so you have two 1" x 2 1/2" x 24" boards. 2 1/2 inches (or thereabouts, depending on how much is lost while cutting; you'll even this out later) is an adequate depth (from the wall) for the racks -- just deep enough to fit the spice containers. I cut the length of my boards to 20" to fit my cabinets. To fit narrower or wider cabinet doors, adjust the dimensions accordingly.

If you can't find 1" x 6" boards, you can use 1" x 4" boards instead. In this case, though, you'll want to buy boards that are 48" inches long. That way, you can still rip the boards lengthwise to a 2 1/2" measurement, because you'll have twice as much board to work with.

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Then cut a 5/16-inch-deep x 1/4-inch-wide groove at about 1/4" from one edge. Your racks will have acrylic fronts to hold the spice containers in place, and this is the groove that the clear acrylic front will slip into.

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Now that you have two 2 1/2-inch boards, each with grooves, it's time to cut the boards to the length you desire (take careful measurements of your cabinet door) using the table saw. You can use a miter saw too (shown).

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Cut a shallow channel to accept the 1⁄2-inch-wide keyhole hanger on the back of the grooved board you'll be using for the sides. The easiest way to do this is by making several 1/8-in. deep cuts with the table saw and cleaning out the waste with a chisel. Then cut the sides to their finished length of 2 1/2 inches using a miter saw as in step 4 or with a table saw and miter gauge. (Do not cut the sides to length before cutting the channel -- it's easier and safer to handle a longer work piece when performing this operation).

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Cut a mortise (a gouge) to accept the 1⁄2-in.-wide keyhole hanger -- the hardware that will allow your racks to mount on the wall -- on the back of the grooved workpieces pieces that will act as the shelves' sides. The easiest way to do it is by making several 1/8-inch deep cuts with the table saw and cleaning out the wasted with a chisel into you have a clean channel.

Then cut the sides to their finished width of precisely 2 1/2 inches.

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Apply carpenters glue, and clamp the sides of the shelves to the bottom with your bar clamp. You may then secure the joints using a brad nailer and 1-1⁄2-inch fasteners -- or with a hammer and finish nails.

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Set the keyhole plate in the mortise and mark the screw holes. Trace the keyhole hanger opening, too. Then remove the hanger, and make recess behind the keyhole hanger. You can do this with a spade bit, a Forstner bit (as shown) or with a narrow chisel. Attach the keyhole hangers using the screws provided.

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Finally, cut the acrylic fronts to size, and insert them into the grooves on your new shelves. Then install hanger screws at the back of the cabinet door as shown, and install the racks.

You may stain or paint the racks to match or contrast with your cabinets -- or just leave the raw wood!

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Now, enjoy your new back-of-door spice racks! And never deal with toppled over spice containers on your cabinet shelvesagain.

DIY Back-of-Door Spice Racks

Want more DIY storage solutions?
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  • Anna

    I'm in the middle of remodeling my kitchen - can't wait till it's done! Http://

  • vera

    To bad you have to make them yourself I was hoping you were about to tell us where to purchase them.

  • Steven R. Russell

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  • Amy

    Seriously, Dude. It was just an article about a spice rack.

  • Jim Wolf

    your nuts dude

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    Bless you my son for your rewards will be great please enjoy the spices of life

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  • venuszine

    These racks seem to be very useful and attractive. I would like to buy these store my Pizza condiments in them. May be I will start making after I buy these !

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