Sunday, March 4, 2012

Labels: good news and bad news

First, the bad news:

I was perhaps most excited about these circular spice jar labels I purchased last week. 

 Let me explain why.  Until just last month our spice cabinet looked like this:

A hot mess, I know.  We had to pull out half of our spices just to see which ones were lurking in the back, the sprinkles and cupcake supplies on the middle shelf were precariously stacked, and anyone attempting to dig for chocolate chips on the top shelf, really should have donned a helmet first.

Part of the solution was to make much better use of our pantry area in the laundry/mud room just off the kitchen.  I'll share more details on that project in a future post, but for now, here's a look at our spice cabinet today:

SO much better!  We pulled out all of our spices, threw out any that were past their expiration date, and then divided the remaining spices into two baskets.  One holds the majority of our everyday cooking spices and the other holds spices for more specific types of cuisine (mexican, asian, etc). 

But we still didn't have the baskets labeled and we ran into another problem when we pulled the baskets down:

Can you tell which spices are which?  We couldn't either. 

This is why I was so excited to find these spice jars labels made just for the lids.

Unfortunately, almost every jar had a ridge on top that would not allow the label to lay flat (like the ground mustard jar).  The other jars had flat lids but popped open like the one to the right.

I was able to fix that issue using two simple cuts with a craft knife.  I messed up the edge on this one and still wasn't happy that the majority of the jars had the ridge and wouldn't have a similar label. 

So, it's back to the drawing board.  Maybe a smaller label to fit in the center circle of the ridged lids and also fit in the center part of the pop-up lids? Will that be too small?  I'll have to brainstorm a bit.

The circular labels were a disappointment; however, there is good news.  The chalkboard labels were a huge success!

I had them in mind for these air tight containers that I now use for flour/sugar/salt/etc. 

We already had one mix up with the sugar and salt while my mom and aunt were could have made for a very interesting morning cup of coffee.  Oops!  To make sure they visit me again, labels were in order.

These Martha Stewart labels are a simple peal and stick.  It took me a few times to write out the words so that it didn't look like a 5-year old's handwriting.   I may try a chalkboard pen in the future (can be found at most crafting stores) but for now, I'm thrilled to have my containers labeled! 

24 labels came in a pack, so I also used them to identify the contents of a few other baskets on my pantry's baking shelf:

And they were the perfect solution for identifying those spice baskets:

Even though the circular labels didn't work out, I'm loving the ones that did!  They look great, can change as we need them to and are super easy.  WIN, WIN!

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  1. Chalkboard labels are so amazing! I have already used them in three different places. I am on an organizing bend. Good handwriting too!

  2. OH Deme, I need to get some of those Chalkboard labels, being that we just moved and need to get some of those containers, we might as well do things right the first time.

    For those circular labels: I think they are geared for the spice jars you by with the twist off lids... BBOOO!

    1. So true Stacey - I was hoping I could make them work but no such luck!

  3. Deme- i love your chalkboard labels, too. I have a bit of a chalkboard fetish at the moment- I'll be in trouble when the trend wanes.
    I use a regular fine tip white paint marker for my labels. It won't smudge once it dries but can be easily removed (or, ahem, corrected- it took me a few tries to get my writing neat) with rubbing alcohol on a rag.
    If you want to write finely using chalk, I've found that sharpening it in the larger holed eye pencil sharpener does the trick.
    For really small printing, another blogger suggested a white ink pen but I found that it wipes off easily with water so it wasn't suitable in the kitchen for me. I'm washing/rinsing my hands so often that they are damp while handing my spices. I smudged too many this way.
    I found chalkboard vinyl at the dollar store (and stocked up) and find it useful to make custom sized labels for those small jars that the Martha labels won't fit.

    1. I saw the chalk with a sharper tip and wondered if it was worth it....didn't think to try sharpening them myself! The white paint marker sounds like the best bet, since mine have easily smudged too. And hello, chalkboard vinyl! Endless possibilities there :)


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