When cupboard and drawer space are at a premium, you have to come up with alternative solutions to store and organize all of the little ‘extras’ in your kitchen.

Our little ‘extras’ are spices – and Hubby’s fascination with accumulating every single one in existence has created a PITA for me.  You see, I purchased a wire spice rack a few years ago – one that can be hung over a pantry door – and we have managed to fill it.  Overfill it really.  We have so many spice containers, bags, bottles and jars that the rack no longer sits flush against the door and instead sort of swings every time we open the pantry.

DIY door mounted spice rack

I did try using command hooks to hook it down to the door surface so that it wouldn’t swing and bang, but they kept popping off…

and my temper grew.

But, like I say to the girls “There’s no point complaining about something if you can’t offer up a solution”.

For our purposes, we needed a large, closed-back spice rack and one that could be mounted directly onto the door.

You could probably have one custom made from a kitchen cabinet company, but it’s such an easy build that I’m sure it would be a waste of your money.

DIY door mounted spice rack:

Door mounted spice rack

The total size of this rack is 21″ wide by 43″ tall by 4.5″ deep – PLENTY of space for all of your spices. I sized the shelves to be deep enough to hold our Tupperware spice containers with enough room to lift them in and out easily.

You will need:

I made our rack entirely out of scrap wood (except for the dowels).  I had old boards and leftover mdf lying around that I ripped down to 4.5″ wide.

First you’ll want to create the frame for your door mounted spice rack – pre-drill pilot holes into both ends of the 21″ pieces of wood (2 holes on each end).

Using some wood glue and your wood screws, drill up through the bottom of one 21″ board into the base of your 41 1/2″ board.  Repeat on the other side.

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

Top your U shape with the second 21″ board.  Pre-drill, glue and screw it down onto the 41 1/2″ boards to complete the frame.  Check for square before drilling.

I measured out the shelves to fit our selection of containers and jars, but if you have more or less of one or another, change up the shelving height to fit your needs.

Measure down from the underside of the top board 6″ and mark a line on both sides of the frame.

If you have a Kreg Jig, you could pre-drill your holes on the underside of the boards where they will attach to the sides.  Since this is going on the inside of the pantry, I opted to go the easy way and just pre-drill through the outside of the sides and into the shelves.  Counter-sink slightly and you can fill the holes with wood filler and you won’t even notice the screws.

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

Insert the next shelf 8″ down from the bottom of the first – which is actually 15 1/2″ from the top (you’re better to measure from the top each time to ensure your shelves are even and level).  Pre-drill pilot holes, add wood glue to the ends and then screw into place using your 1 1/4″ wood screws.

Repeat with the remaining shelves.

Now it’s time to attach the back of your door mounted spice rack; hopefully you had your 1/4″ mdf cut at the local hardware store, so that all you have to do is nail it into place with your finishing nails.  So that the back doesn’t gap, I made sure to tap three finishing nails into each shelf as well.

Next up you’ll want to drill the holes for the dowels; my dowels are inset 1/2″ from the front of the spice rack and just shy of 2″ up from the shelf.  Set your spices on each shelf to make sure that you have enough room.  Mark your holes and then drill through with your 5/16″ or 7/16″ drill bits.

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

Sand your entire piece smooth and use wood filler where necessary.  Once the wood filler has completely set, sand smooth again (150 grit)

My primer of choice is Kilz – and while it is a pain (because it’s oil based), it is fantastic at blocking bleed-through, and primes MDF without any expansion of the wood.  I applied two coats of primer (because I was using old wood), giving a light sanding between layers.  It’s easier to prime BEFORE inserting the dowels.

Insert your dowels and cut them off so they don’t stick out the sides of your spice rack.  No special tools for this, the dowels aren’t a difficult cut, so I just used pruning shears to cut them slightly short of the length of the cabinet.  Once you have them all in place, use a bit of wood filler to hide the holes on the outside.  Let dry then sand smooth.

You are ready to paint!

Choose a durable gloss or semi-gloss paint for your door mounted spice rack.  It will protect the piece from scuffs and smudges and makes it easy to clean for spice spills etc. One quarter of a quart of paint will do two coats beautifully, so you don’t need to buy much.

If you go with a white paint, you can always take it back to the paint store down the road and have it tinted another colour for future projects.

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

Looking good!

This is the key part though – you need special screws to hang your spice rack if you are putting it up on a hollow-core door (which most are nowadays).

I used E-Z Ancor with a weight threshold of 40lbs per screw.

E-Z Ancor

I placed my spice rack on a chair and leaned it against the door where I wanted it to hang.  I made sure it was level, then I drilled 4 small pilot holes through the spice rack and into the door.

Remove your spice rack.

Screw in the anchor base until it is flush (or as close as you can get) with the surface of the door.

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack 4 - 5

Once you have all four in place, set your door mounted spice rack back into position and screw the screws through the back of the rack and into the anchors.

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

Fill it back up with your spices and admire your beautiful work!

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

The bottom shelf is large enough to hold garbage bags and/or larger spice containers,

and the top is small enough to keep even the tiny cans in place:

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

It turned out so well!

Not even mis-matched jars or skinny spice bags will fall through the gaps (like they often did with the wire organizer).

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

OCD me is squealing with delight!  Just look at this perfection!

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

At only 4.5″ deep, it doesn’t stick into your pantry too much – just utilizing wasted space.

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack

Something for your Pinterest board (it pins larger than it looks):

DIY Door Mounted Spice Rack


While these plans are completely free for you to use, they did take time to create, build, photograph and describe.  If you enjoyed these plans, and would like to see more – please consider contributing money to help keep 100Things2Do.ca up and running.


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5 Responses

  1. I need something like this. I have a full shelf of spices in my cupboard, I could use that space for other stuff.

    1. We’ve had ours up for a week and I’m so pleased! No more banging and clanging of the hanging wire one we had before and it’s so compact and cute that I even show company how great it looks/works. Can’t recommend enough – and it’s an easy build you could finish (even with paint drying time) in a weekend! Thanks for taking the time to comment.