Though not entirely unique, I made myself a magnetic spice rack inspired primarily by this one but with a few modifications.
Firstly, in the linked example the magnets are glued onto the underside of the small tins (called "watchmaker's tins"). I have two problems with this: one, it increases the dimensions of the tins and two, it would make the bottom unsturdy when placed on a countertop unless 3 or more magnets were used.
Another problem is that the spices themselves are stuck to a stovetop, which is bad for herbs and spices because heat funks them up. In her situation, though, the stovetop was the only magnetic surface available. She later used some of those magnetic knife holder things. I wanted the spice rack out of sight and taking up less room. The idea was to reduce the clutter of jars, bottles, tubs, and bags in the spice cabinet, not just relocate the mess to somewhere else in the kitchen.
To solve the first problem, I just glued magnets to the inside of the tins. I made sure to get a non-toxic glue (Gorilla Glue) and let it set/cure/dry before adding the spices to the tins. If one was still feeling wary, he could line the bottom of the tin with plastic wrap or tin foil to ensure nothing gets contaminated, but I'm not worried after examining the glue's ingredients.
For the second problem, I had to figure out how to mount the tins to the inside of the cabinet door. I experimented with something called "Adhesa-mag" from a craft store, basically a rolled up sheet of refrigerator-magnet material with an adhesive back. The tins barely stuck to that even when empty.
While at the hardware store buying the magnets (Home Depot had poor selection, Ace Hardware had a lot more magnets) I found some differently-sized sheets of metal for, well, I don't know what. They had aluminum and weldable steel in a few sizes that would fit on the cabinet door. Aluminum was prettier, lighter, and cheaper, but it's a non-magnetic metal. I had to go with the weldable steel which had a very powerful attraction to the magnets, but was kind of ugly with blotches of rust-colored imperfections on both sides. Stainless steel would have been the best, but there wasn't any.
Once the glue holding the magnets to the tin had set, I glued the steel to the inside of the cabinet door with the Gorilla Glue and used some packaging tape to hold it up while the glue set, then I started filling the tins.
Though I could probably recognize them by smell and definitely by taste, a lot of herbs have a nearly identical appearance. Pour some oregano, basil, dried parsely, and cilantro in an unmarked container and try to tell them apart. Go on, try!
I'd have to label the tins. I could make sticky labels with my label printers, but those would look too.. clean. I knew Sharpie would most likely smudge on the clear plastic windows on the tins' lids, I used a marker I own made for writing on blank CDs which are famous for hating Sharpies. To make sure I never got the lids mixed up after removing them, I drew a pattern of lines over the lip of the lids that continued onto the bottom of the tin, with a unique pattern on each lid. That way, if I was ever confused about which lid went with which tin, I could just make sure the marks on the lid line up with the marks on the tin.
I was initially concerned about whether one magnet would be enough to support the weight of a filled tin, but they hold up quite well (even with the kosher salt, the heaviest spice in use).
The total cost was $18 for 24 tins, $7 for the 8"x18" piece of steel, and $6 for 3 packages of 8 round magnets for a total of $31 (I'm not counting the price of the glue because I needed it anyway and post people usually have super/krazy/ultra/hyper glue around the house). Value-wise, I consider this a success as the cheapest pre-made magnetic spice rack on Amazon is $40 and only has 12 containers, which look tiny and the reviews say that the magnets fall off. Plus, that thing has a stand and would take up room. Boo.
If you already had a piece of steel lying around, it'd be even cheaper. If you just stole all the parts, it'd be a lot chaper!
With a system like this, I'll be able to buy herbs and spices in bulk instead of buying the small jars with screw-top lids and sprinkle holes, which will save a lot of money.
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