Spice Shelf

After moving in with my partner, we had a sub-optimal situation in the cupboard where we were keeping all of our spices.  Jars vary in height and size, and the small ones would get lost as they inevitably migrated to the back.  So, I decided to build a small shelf to help mitigate the problem.


Step One:  cardboard prototype

It’s often beneficial to do a first mock up of an idea in cardboard to test size and functionality.  I ended up making this shelf 6″ x 6″ x 12″ to fit in the cupboard we have.


Step Two: digital design file

I use Adobe Illustrator for most of my graphic design work, so recreated the layout to prep for laser cutting the pieces for the final shelf.



Step Three: laser cutting!

Thanks to the BTU Lab, and the wonderful laser masters, the design cut out nicely!


Step Four: assembly

Cheep plywood has a large degree of variability in thickness and texture, which means that the extremely exact laser doesn’t always cut all the way through, but nothing that a little sandpaper and an x-acto knife can’t handle!

After a quick sanding of all the edges, the pieces fit together so snugly that I didn’t need any wood glue.  This is one advantage of using wood, it has a bit of give to it.


Step Five: Install

Fit perfectly and allows the small spices to remain visible.  An added bonus of this design is that the open layout allows for storage underneath the shelf for less commonly used things.


Project Review

Overall, very happy with this project and getting good use out of it.

Supplies used:

  • scrap cardboard box
  • measuring and drawing tools
  • xacto knife
  • Adobe Illustrator (here is my PDF file if you want it)
  • Universal Laser Systems laser cutter
  • 1/4″ plywood
  • sand paper

Potential Improvements

I’m pretty happy with it as is, but maybe a coat of varnish or stain or paint could improve the final appearance.  I would like to make a three-shelf version in the future.

Link to Indestructible 

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