Custom DIY spice rack in your IKEA kitchen

Ikea custom diy spicerack

I’ve been immensely impressed with the IKEA process. The few problems I’ve run into have been relatively minor in the grand scheme. They’ve thought of everything…

…almost everything.

What I’m not impressed with is their solution for spice racks. As of this writing, they offer two options: a drawer liner where you lay the spices down inside a shallow drawer, like this:

Rationell Spice

Interesting, but takes up valuable drawer space

or a spice rack that hangs underneath your upper cabinets on your back splash, like this:

grundtalspice

I haven’t seen this one at IKEA in a while… discontinued?

I use this rail system for other things, but I just don’t like it as a spice rack.

I don’t like these solutions because drawer space is at a premium in small kitchens and I like my spices put away and hidden, so a rack that sits out in open view is an eyesore. There are some cute solutions that involve buying a ton of little glass jars and displaying them on a small shelf, like this:

So adorable! But this is just too much work for me. Often, I identify the spices visually based on their brand or size container, and this would just mess with my flow.

This is where the Rev-a-Shelf spice racks come in. Without fail, you will end up with a gap between your cabinets, or between an end cabinet and a wall. In our case, it was between the end of an upper cabinet and the side of our fridge panel. It was about 3.5″ and it gave us just enough room to do this custom spice rack.

We were able to do this with a little bit of luck and some planning.

Step 1: Have at least a 3.5″ gap. It can be almost anywhere. Rev-a-Shelf also makes a pull-out spice rack that goes between lower cabinets, but I don’t like the idea of bending down to look for spices.

ikea_spicerack01

There was about a 3 inch space between our upper and our refrigerator panel, so we took the opportunity to add it here. We used the same handles as the rest of the uppers so it would blend in.

Step 2: L-brackets. We really lucked out on this one. I had an L-bracket left over from some other IKEA project and it looks like this:

ikea_spicerack_bracket

L-brackets!

ikea_spicerack04

The gray L-bracket ran almost the full width of the spice rack so it worked really well. There are many options for this kind of mounting system at any Home Depot.

If you’re doing a light rail, the L-bracket doesn’t have to be fancy since it’ll be hidden. If you’re not doing a light rail, you’ll want to find one that matches your cabinets or that you can paint to match.  This L-bracket is about 8 inches long but we could have easily found smaller ones and used more of them.

ikea_spicerack03

You can see the light rail ran right under the spice rack just like the rest of the shelves. We sandwiched another piece right above it to give it some more stability.

Step 3: Secure the top of the spice rack to the cabinet. Your screws shouldn’t be more than 1.5 inches. You can use another small L-bracket for this but we simply screwed it directly into the side of the cabinet. Be careful that your screws are just long enough to pass through the spice rack and halfway through the cabinet, or you’ll have an ugly hole on the other side to cover up.

ikea_spicerack_mount

This was a little tricky since the rack comes pre-assembled.

ikea_spicerack_open

Side view, before we installed the refrigerator cabinet to the right of it.

ikea_spicerack_unfinished

A naked spice rack, before the front was installed.

ikea_spicerack05

The left side of the spice rack is secured to the cabinet directly to its left. You can use L-brackets or screws. We used screws but in hindsight L-brackets would have been easier to use. Whatever you decide, the spice rack is much shorter than the height of the cabinets, so your panel will cover up anything unsightly.

Step 4: Use the filler strip as the front of your spice rack. This works well for the Adel off-white cabinets but I’m not sure what the filler strips are like for some of the other colors. Because of how the filler strip works, it looks like the others we’ve used in other parts of our kitchen, but this one hides the spice rack!

ikea_spicerack01

Instead of using toe kick or lightrail material, we used a piece of the end panel (pictured directly to the right of the spice cabinet). The filler strip doesn’t quite match the color and texture of the cabinet fronts, so this seemed like a better idea.

Step 5: Figure out some kind of handle or pull. If you truly want it to be hidden, then skip the cabinet pull/knob/handle. I didn’t want finger marks on the filler strip so we used the same pull as the rest of the upper cabinets.

 

This really is the missing link for IKEA kitchens. It seems like such an easy thing to offer! I’ve noticed their spice rack solutions are starting to disappear off the shelves and I’ve noticed the drawer liner for spices has disappeared from their website, so perhaps they’re coming up with something spectacular.

 

12 Comments on "Custom DIY spice rack in your IKEA kitchen"

  1. BF says:

    Thanks for this great idea- it was just what we were looking for.

  2. Howard says:

    Wow! Really impressed with the ultimate usage of space and incorporating an existing product into a space not designed for it. You guys must be amazingly creative.

  3. Fabulous job with awesome idea!

  4. Gris says:

    I am working on a similar project. The gap I have between my cabinets is 6″ and I wanted to use a 5″ rev-a-shelf and mask it with a drawer front placed vertical, but it is shorter than the cabinet by 1/4″. So I have to use a filler instead.
    After you cut the filler to size, what did you do with the edges of the spice rack “door”? Does it come with any laminate strip to cover the cut?

    • LALady says:

      Hi Gris! We ended up buying laminate edge strips at Home Depot. They’re pretty common and they come in an off-white color that will match.

      They’ll look like this:
      http://amzn.com/B000LNPAKQ

      We bought ours at Home Depot but I couldn’t find the product on their website so I’d ask you local hardware store for a product like this. It was very easy to work with when applying it to the filler strip.

      • Gris says:

        That would work great for white cabinets, but mine are grey :( , and the color is harder to match.
        http://www.aktuelleangebote.eu/al/365-ikea-katalog/ikea-katalog15.jpg
        I’ll check at home depot and lowes though. I have one of each by me. If I don’t find the right grey, maybe a silver one (“stainless steel” like) would work.
        I can not understand how come ikea doesn’t provide the laminate strip to cover cuts on fillers.

        Thanks again for the tip!

        • LALady says:

          I wish they carried the laminate strips, too. In order to make these kitchens look “finished” you definitely need those strips. If you have trouble finding a match, I’d suggest getting white strips and painting them. It’s definitely inconvenient but it would be pretty easy to bring in a cabinet door to a paint store and have them match the color and sheen.

          LOVE the grey cabinets! I might use them for my bathroom when the time comes to remodel it (still recovering from the kitchen remodel–one step at a time…).

  5. Christina says:

    This is such a fantastic idea! I have a 4 inch opening from my last wall cabinet to the wall that we filled with just a cover panel. This is a much better use of space.

    I looked online and noticed that there are a few height sizes available. I can’t tell if you have 39″ high cabinets, but if so, did you purchase the spice rack meant for a 39″ (or your cabinet height) or did you purchase any size?

    Thanks so much for any advice you can give!

  6. Adam says:

    What is the purpose of using L-brackets? Why not screw the rev-a-shelf directly to the side of the cupboard?

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