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Upcycling Baby Food Jars: The Spice Cabinet

My slow recycling project this past month has been to redo my spice and herb collection – something I have a large and often used collection of. It had stuck at me for a while and I had looked at buying a bunch of jars, but it really pained me to spend $1 to 2 a jar when I had so many to do. I was looking at $100 to 200 for just the jars! Ack!I was catching up on Facebook when I saw a post on Beech-Nuts page about using the jars for spices. Duh. Why that had gone over my head? Of course! So I started saving Walker’s empties and kept to a theme – one brand only so they all matched which ended up being Beech-Nut (since their jars are the best shape for it and they have 2, 4 and 6 ounce jars). I rinse the jars and lids off after he eats and stash them up to wash every two days with his bottles and cups. Then I let the jars soak for a good hour in hot soapy water. The labels will fall off (toss into my compost bin) and I can rub the leftover glue off easily then. Then I let air dry. Once I have a good 6 to 8 jars ready I fill and label them and add to my collection. The 2 ounce ones are good for tiny amounts, 4 ounce jars will take a fill from a regular spice jar and 6 ounce jars are great for whole spices like cinnamon sticks and bay leaves.

For labeling I borrowed Kirk’s Brother PT-2100 Labeling System that has laminated labels which while not fancy looking, does the job perfectly. The labeler has a full keyboard so I can type out quickly what I need – be it Smoked Paprika or Yellow Mustard Seeds. I may have Kirk paint the lids at some point, he paints miniatures and has all the tools. But no rush.

Eventually I am hoping Kirk will have the time to build me a custom wall shelf to hold all the jars but for now everything fits into one spot in my cupboards and I get my clunky piles of jars off my counter – but most of all they match. And the real bonus? The wide mouth of the jars allows me to slip a teaspoon in and even a couple of my Tablespoons. That is something I couldn’t do with most commercial narrow spice jars! The project isn’t done but is getting close (come on Walker, eat more!). When I get done there will be a number more spices and vegetables not listed below added. So keep an eye for my update later!

The list of my spices/herbs/etc so far jarred?

Whole Spices and Herbs:

  • Allspice
  • Bay Leaves
  • Black Mustard Seed
  • Celery Seed
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Coriander Seed
  • Cumin Seed
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Juniper Berries
  • Nutmeg
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Star Anise
  • Yellow Mustard Seeds

Ground Spices and Herbs:

  • 21 Spice Blend (no salt)
  • Allspice
  • Ancho Chile Pepper
  • Basil
  • Cajun Blend
  • Cardamom
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chai Spice Powder
  • Chili Powder
  • Chives
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Curry Powder (Indian, mild)
  • Dillweed
  • Garam Masla
  • Garlic (granulated)
  • Ginger
  • Italian Seasoning Blend
  • Lemon Peel
  • Mustard (ground)
  • Marjoram
  • Mint Flakes
  • Onion Powder
  • Orange Peel
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Paprika (smoked)
  • Parsley
  • Red Pepper Flakes
  • Rosemary
  • Saffron
  • Sage
  • Turmeric


  • Celery Flakes
  • Jalapeno Peppers

Various Powders:

  • Honey Powder
  • Maple Syrup Granules


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