Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reduce, Reuse, Organize

Let's be honest, it's quite comical that I'm about to share an idea about how to organize something.  Organization has never been my strong suite.  Don't get me wrong, I actually prefer to have things organized, it's just I have a lack of motivation to actually get whatever it is that needs to be organized, well, organized.

But when I can make something cutesy to organize stuff, I'm all over it.  And these chalkboard jars are the thing my cupboard needed.

I usually buy all my grains from the bulk section of the grocery store.  I can never quite remember the grain to water ratio needed to cook the grains.  I think I remember but always have doubts, "Wait, was it 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water, or 1 cup?!" Then I always end up googling it to make sure I remember correctly (and good thing I check, half the time I'm way off).

That's why I love the chalkboard lids of these recycled glass jars.  I just write which grain is in it and the corresponding grain to water ratio.  And since I use my rice cooker to cook all my grains I didn't write a cooking time on mine. But if you use a stovetop to cook your rice and grains, you could easily add the cooking time to the lids as well.

These are super quick to make since you're just painting the lids.  It took me a couple months of saving up my glass jars (and my sister's - thank you!) until I had enough to fit all my grains.  

I picked up a little pint of chalkboard paint at my local DIY shop (there's a chain here in CA called the Do It Center) for $10.  And I have tons leftover that I am planning to use in an upcoming project - stay tuned!

Once all your jars and lids have been thoroughly washed and dried, lay them out on your work surface.  Get your paintbrush and chalkboard paint ready.

Paint all your lids.  Follow your specific paint's instructions for adding additional coats.  I ended up doing a total of 3 coats.  The yellow lids especially needed that third coating.

Once set for 48 hours, write on your lids with chalk.  Label and organize it up!

You could use these glass jars to store anything really, Ryan stores his whole, dried chili peppers in one of the smaller jars.  The options are endless, enjoy organizing!


  1. Finally a use for all the glass jars I save. This is fantastic! I never could figure out how to disguise the different colored lids and make them all more or less uniform looking. Thank you so much!

    1. Glad you like it! I'm getting tons of use out of them so far. :)

  2. How do you wash the lids? Dishwasher or hand wash? Does the paint stay on after repeated washings?

    1. I would check the type of chalkboard paint you use, it should specify on the can how to wash painted items. For mine, I handwash and I haven't had a problem yet with it coming off. I did, however, have some paint scrape off on one of the lids when it came in contact with a knife...oops. Nothing a new coat of paint won't fix though! :)

    2. Thanks for answering! Now I know I should try this out. I use at least a jar of tomato sauce a week and usually just recycle the jars. But now I can use them to organize all the bags of grains in my pantry. Thanks for the idea!

  3. This is a great idea! I think that I would rough it up with either steel wool or sand paper. This might help the paint help stick to it better and possibly stop the knife scratches.