[tweetmeme source=”VeganChickie”] Aside from the food, bare-chested chef and I aren’t usually ones to celebrate Christmas, we don’t decorate our house, or have a tree or even buy each other gifts, but this year, after I spent 5 whole minutes searching for ground nutmeg in our disastrously disorganised spice drawer, I decided to break tradition and get us both the gift of organised herbs and spices.

Originally I had my heart set on making us something like the Dean & Deluca Spice Rack pictured here:

Which, while absolutely gorgeous, wouldn’t be entirely practical for use here. For a start, those tubes hold such tiny amounts of spices that I would still need to have storage space for all the excess and we have such a small kitchen that it just wasn’t feasible. Combined with the fiddly tops, the fragility of the tubes themselves and the fact that not only do I have limited bench space but I could only find test tube holders for a maximum of 24 tubes and we have over 70 spices in our drawer. All in all it was looking like it was a bad idea. Besides, we all know that spices need to be kept in the dark in order to hold their freshness right?

So, beautiful but impractical test tubes aside, I decided to focus instead, on turning our current disorganised spice drawers (we have two) into beautiful, alphabetized, anal retentive spice drawers. First up I found a local wholesale supplier of great quality glass jars who had an excellent deal on some beautiful hexagonal jars. They fit into each other beautifully in the drawer – like honeycomb – which means there isn’t a lot of movement or unnecessary clinking every time you open the drawer. Next up I found a seller on Etsy who makes waterproof and dishwasher safe labels and I got her to set me up a custom listing with all our spices, as well as some blanks for any interesting spices we acquire in the future. Then I just had the fun job of putting it all together, secretly transferring all the spices into the new jars and voila! Our new spice drawers live! The hardest part was keeping it all a secret from bare-chested chef until Christmas morning!

Each jar is 9cm tall and holds 190ml which is small enough to fit into even the most frugal drawer space but big enough to hold a really good amount of product. The metal lids cost a little more than the plastic ones but will have a much longer lifespan and – in my opinion – look much prettier too, and best of all, the drawers are nice and dark so the spices all stay lovely and fresh! Here are some before, in-progress and after photos of the project: