DIY Spice Jar Labels

It might seem a little strange that even though I don’t have a working kitchen (or even really the hope of having a working kitchen anytime soon) I just had to do something about my spice rack situation. And technically it’s less of a “rack” and more of  a “bunch of stuff in a box or maybe on a pantry shelf” which looked kind of like this. DSC_1191 I actually really liked the glass bottles with corks when I got them years ago, but the corks make horrible lids, and the labels I hand wrote for most of them were either crappy or gone. The rest of the spices were in mismatched jars or containers, and the whole thing was basically one big mess. I’m the kind of person who likes to have things I use often out in the open, and this just wasn’t going to do. Luckily I stumbled on some inexpensive clamp-top glass jars at Crate & Barrel (12 for $15) and instead of putting it off any longer I bought some jars, made some labels, and ended up with this… DSC_1180 A slight improvement, right? For the labels, I started with a little inspiration from this pin on Pinterest. I wanted the labels to be useful and a little funny. The garlic label, if you can’t read it, says:


Use with wild abandon in sauces,

meats, marinades, or mixed with

butter for bread or pasta.


Treats infection, keeps vampires

and kissers at bay.

  You can see I included culinary uses as well as “traditional medicine” uses. You know, just in case the zombie apocalypse happens and I can’t get my hands on any Tums. I did my research and laid the labels out in InDesign… labels_layout I wanted to print them on brown Kraft paper, and I found a roll (in the style of wrapping paper) that had some interesting texture, however it was a little too curly to run through the printer. I cut it down to 8.5×11 size, and about five minutes after I stuck it under a heavy book to flatten I ran out of patience, then remembered this long forgotten “tool” I owned. In the laundry room. DSC_1173 Yeah. That’s right. I haven’t ironed a shirt in over a year, but I’ll be dammed if I didn’t bust the clothes iron out to flatten my kraft paper for spice jar labels. Probably I need to reexamine my priorities… uh, later. The iron-on-low trick did work to get the paper flat enough to run through my printer, and after some trimming I had these: DSC_1189 The real question I had when planning this out was how on earth to stick the paper to the jars. I actually looked for “sticker paper” which is what they use for beer labels and such, but I couldn’t find it at my local craft store. What I did find was this thing… DSC_1167 A sticker maker! (And somewhere deep deep inside, my five year old sticker-collecting self gives a squeal of joy.) This one was $12 at Michael’s and I used a coupon which brought it down to something like $8. They have different sizes but this one will make stickers up to 1.5″ wide which was perfect. Just put the paper in the top and pull the “sticker” on the bring it through. DSC_1168 A little rubbing… DSC_1169 And a DIY spice jar label is born! DSC_1170 DSC_1171 The printing did bleed a little bit in some places, but overall I’m really happy with the way they turned out. (Also you can see my “cropping” skills suck, which is probably why people shouldn’t use paper cutters after midnight, but I think it adds to their rustic charm. Or something.) DSC_1177 Now I just have to fill all the jars up. And then find myself a kitchen to cook something in. (Update: I found one.) UPDATE (May 2013): These labels, bless their spicy little hearts, have become quite the internet sensation. I’m thinking about getting them their own agent (one of the Nuggets might be up for the job) in the meantime, I’ve provided two downloadable files below, if you’d like to make your own version of these spice jars.

  • Printable PDF – Almost any person with a computer should be able to view and print this, but it is not editable.
  • Adobe InDesign File – If you have Adobe InDesign and want to edit or make your own labels, you can download this file. (InDesign is not a cheap program and it doesn’t come automatically installed on a computer– it is not Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader– so if you are not familiar with it, you probably won’t be able to edit this file.)

So, here’s the deal. I’m totally happy to put these out there so that you can use them… I just can’t provide any type of technology, software, or design support for the files. Because, you know, a girl running a farm by herself can’t spend all her time on the computer. I mean, somebody needs to hug the donkeys.) Even though I can’t personally email the files to everyone who asks I hope at least the pictures in this post provide some inspiration for you to create your own!

174 Responses

  1. I’m in grad school and have no time, but I LOVE those spice jars. Would you sell them on Etsy? Pretty please?

  2. Those are adorable!!! I’ve wanted to turn my spice cabinet into open shelving, but hesitated because I thought it would look messy. Your spice jars may just be the solution!

  3. I LOVE these. I love to cook & have many, many spices. I’m totally stealing this idea. I have a couple of magnetic ones that hang on the wall for easy access, but I’m going to do this with the ones in the pantry. Have you ever ordered from Love them!

      1. That’s a new site to me Kelly, thanks! We have a Fresh Market here that sells spice in bulk (well, in plastic bags)which is great for this kind of thing… but is decidedly NOT cheap. I’m totally going to check this place out.

  4. Any chance you would consider making the original(editable file) available? so as to make more labels for spices not listed? i have a lot of spices beyond the ones listed.

  5. I’m a little behind on my Google reader, but just wanted to say I love this! I also love how you are able to tackle projects big and small with the same level of quality and attention to detail…go Kit!

  6. I love this idea! I have one question, though: when you open the tops of the bottles, the lid falls off to the side, right? When a bottle like this is empty, does it stay upright with the lid open? I’m worried that the heavy lid will cause it to fall over.

  7. Hi! I totally love the whole idea especially the labels. Is it possible if you could send me the labels on my email. Thank You!

  8. Pingback: DIY: Spice Jars «
  9. I was interested in making these labels but the link is no longer available. Im still interested in making them if you could send me some more information on how to get the labels it would be much appreciated thank you for your time Ellen.

  10. Thank you! I love these! I don’t cook but I love the way they look and I’m going to change out the spices in my cabinet even if I don’t use them… they look great!

  11. These are fabulous (love the mix of the antique charm with the quirky humor) and so glad to hear they are holding up well! I have to echo some other commenters- I wish these were for sale. I guess I will have to get in touch with my (almost non-existant) crafty side to try to make them on my own.

    Thank you so much for providing the editable file for InDesign as I have some spices you did not include. I don’t have the font you used, but I’ll find one to make due.

  12. I’m part way through this project, but have a dozen or so spices that aren’t included in your template. I don’t have InDesign, but do have a different program – could you tell me what fonts were used on your labels? Thanks so much.

  13. I love this idea! I am going to do this for my kitchen and this will also makr awesome gifts! Thanks!!!

  14. Wow, these are SO COOL! Thanks for providing the files for free. You’re awesome!

  15. Hey! I found this today while looking for lables for these exact jars!! Wondering if you’d be able to send me your indesign template (I have an older version of it than you do and can’t open your indd file). Can you export and send it to me in .idml format? It’s under File > Export… choose Interchange (.idml) Would be so appreciative! thanks!

  16. These are genius! I am redoing my spice drawer right now. Thank you for making printable file. Can you tell me the name of the font you used in InDesign? Thank you!

  17. I just purchased those spice jars and popped onto pinterest to figure out how to label them. I found your blog, but the link to the original pinner w the labels is broken. I get the sad 404 Error message. What to do?

    1. Nevermind. I haven’t had my coffee yet this morning. You have the file right there at the bottom of your post.

    1. See the link for the InDesign file at the bottom of the post Nicole. Feel free to download and use that if you have Adobe InDesign!

  18. I just came across your post on pinterest and OH MY WORD, this is exactly the sort of thing I’ve been looking for for months now!!! Thank you SO MUCH for providing your awesome labels for free and all the information about the jars and the label maker! I just ordered the jars and I’m excited to get this project going!! Again, Thank you for making this available for us! 🙂

  19. Where did you find the cute “facts” that you have at the bottom of these labels? Any specific site or did you know all of those little extras? I have a few more labels I want to make and I want to make them look like yours! 🙂

      1. That’s what I ended up doing yesterday! I made a few more spice labels, not sure if you want/need them or would like to share them with others but I can email them to you if you’d like me to! 🙂

        1. Oh, yes. I have an additional 19 spices that I need to make labels for. Can you email me yours?

        2. I would love to have a copy of those Spice Jar labels too, if you still have them! (I know it’s been quite a while since your comment was posted…)

        3. I am in love with these! Please email them so I can give these to my chef hubby for a super inexpensive and wonderful Christmas present!

  20. I also LOVE the labels! I clicked on the link to download and it took me to google docs to sign into your account… could you send me the link or pdf? I really LOVE the labels and am excited to use them!

  21. Hello! wanted to thank you for sharing your DIY spice jars with us! I just ordered the jars and printed up a 50% coupon for michael’s (to purchase the sticker maker).

    I do have a question for you, would you be able to send me an email with the labels attached? I want to change a few things on the labels and for some odd reason it is not allowing me to change your labels after I downloaded them… Thanks again! -Erika

  22. I would love the added labels you did! I’m redoing my entire cabinet of spices with this design. These are PERFECT!! Thank you so so much

  23. So, I totally loved these when I saw them several months ago and I wanted to make a batch for my own kitchen. I didnt have indesign, so I laboriously trudged through making these with photo shop.. ugh! I made mine a lil different with actual medicinal uses and the latin name of the spice. The labels came out really cute! I recently lost my job and since I am a single mom whose in school, thought I would put a few up on ebay and see if they got me anywhere. Im still debating on containers, but I’ll probably end up using the same ones from crate & barrel cause theyre really cute, but since theyre oval, doesnt it make storing them take up a lot of space?

  24. Your labels are terrific. Can you email them to me in PDF format that I can edit, add to. I grow herbs and would love to use these. Thank you.

  25. Would you consider printing these on the sticker paper and selling the labels? I already have beautiful naked spice jars and would love to purchase the labels!!

  26. Hi, I really liked what you did with the spice jars. I can’t find the link for the template though and was wondering if it is still available.

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