Someone (I'm not going to say who, but you know who you are!) asked me to put together a collection of Indian spices. Of course, these are not the type that you would casually stroll into Safeway and pick up one evening.
After much careful considerations and researching, I decided that it would be most cost effective if I just make a magnetic spice rack myself. I saw this Instructable on how to make a magnetic spice rack. So I ordered the tins from Specialty Bottle.
They were the 4 oz watchmaker tins.
With fancy clear lids.
I also ordered these rare earth metal magnets from Lee Valley. I got the 1/4" x 1/10" which could hold up to 2.5 lbs. There was much debate because I certainly would want the spice filled tins to be able to stay attached to a metal surface, but I also wouldn't want the magnets to be so strong that when someone grabs for a tin, only the lid would get pulled off while the tin is still stuck and spice disaster would pour forth. I decided to go with the 2.5 lbs one because one can always add an extra magnet to help if it turns out that the one magnet is too weak.
I washed and dried all tins, lids, and magnets.
I actually went to Jai Ho Indian Grocery a couple of weeks before and got a load of spices! People thought I was crazy when I threw these on the counter.
Anyway, back to the tins. The instructable direction said to glue the magnets to the tin with super glue or epoxy but I did neither of those. The magnets stuck pretty well to the tins themselves so I just put a magnet inside the tin. I think others were concern that the magnets would turn lose and get lost in their spices which they will end up cooking or ingest. However, since the magnets adhered well to the tins and would not come off unless I pry them loose with force, I do not think accidental ingestion would be a problem. This way, I wouldn't have to worry about the safety of epoxy or super glue in the spices or have the magnets be obvious by glueing them on the outside of the tins.
After a magnet was added to the inside of each tin, I filled them all with the spices.
I made a key for the spices so I can make the recipient of this magnificent spice collection guess which is which. Mwhahaha!
I tested them out by putting them up on my fridge! They were so awesome, I want to keep them for myself.
I made labels for each of the tins and stuck them on after each was sniffed and guessed.
What a fun project. I still have spices leftovers, so I think I'm going to make myself a collection, too!
Edit: There are several possible ways to do this. I believe Alton Brown did one where he used velcro instead of magnets.
1. Use velcro like Alton Brown. Get some velcro sheets. Cut and glue one side to the tins. Glue the other velcro part to a sheet of plywood and mount them on your wall. Or you can also glue the other velcro sheet to the inside of your cabinet door.
2. If you don't want them on your fridge door, you can make the magnetized ones as usual. Get a nice sheet of stainless steel and mount it on your wall or the inside of your cabinet door.
3. You can also stick them on your stove hood if you have one and only if you are tall enough to read/reach for them. If you are a stumpy macshortpherson like me, forget this idea. I do not recommend sticking them on your metal oven door (if you have one) because the heat from the oven while cooking will mess with your spices.
4. Altoids tins can also make nice spice tins if you want to be cheap and collect those. My friend, Nur, just sent me a link to Delicious Days and it looks like Altoids tins would work well if you want to go with that idea.