Fun Storage Ideas

by Susan on February 12, 2012

I buy a lot of stuff in bulk. Actually, I buy everything I can in bulk. I also like to store in glass. I keep my glass storage containers in my pantry in the dark to maintain freshness. Nuts and some grains that I grind fresh live in the refrigerator.

Here’s the part that drives ne nuts. I am good about getting the bulk items in glass to store, but very bad at labeling. I have spent countless hours wondering if something was spelt or wheat, which flour I ground and put in the container or if the beans I am looking at are cannellini beans or navy beans. 

I have been dabbling a lot these days on Pinterest in the DYI section. Since I love doing crafty things, it is a haven for new ideas. I have seen “chalkboard paint” used in numerous ways. People dip wine glasses in it so you can write you initials on your glass, the interior of frames are painted so people can make really cool blackboards, and some people actually paint it on sections of children’s rooms walls to make a permanent chalkboard. 

I hadn’t used chalkboard paint in any projects yet, but got completely inspired the other day when I could not determine what was in one of my jars. It hit me, why not paint the tops, so I can just write what is in the jar on them. The best part is I can just wipe the top clean and write fresh when the jar gets a different ingredient! Not something I can do with labels. I was off to the hardware store to get supplies!

This is an amazingly simple project. All you need are your metal lids (cleaned well), a sanding sponge (to rough up the lids), a sponge brush and the paint. I used latex because I am messy.  It is so simple. Just lightly sand the lids, paint on 3 coats of the chalkboard paint (letting it dry for a couple of hours in-between coats) and most importantly, let the tops cure for about 3 days before you write on them. If you don’t, you will not be happy.  Just ask me, I was a bit impatient with the first one.

I love my jars so much that I went out and found some chalkboard labels to put on the front of the jars, too! Martha Stewart has just released a line of very fun office supplies at Staples. She has them in her collection. I found these jars at Target. 

I would suggest hand washing. Happy Painting!



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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria February 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

What an awesome idea! I have the same jars except my tops are glass. Hmmm…. I wonder…. =)

Thanks for sharing!


Meg February 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm

I love this idea!!! super cute!


Coco February 12, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Great idea! I’ve been pondering a way to label without the hassle of switching out for new labels each time.
I just have one question: How do the chalkboard labels hold up during washing??
With gratitude.


Susan February 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I have no idea. I haven’t washed them yet. I will hand wash.


Amber February 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Adorable! What a fun idea! I’m also a huge fan of jars. I have a wonderful Natural Foods Coop down the street and purchase just about everything in bulk (from shredded coconut to dates)! In fact, I just made some raw carrot cake cookies and purchased everything in bulk!! :-)

Thanks for the great DIY inspiration.

Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday!

Be Well,


KellyB February 12, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I love glass containters. I just cleaned out my pantry this weekend and have lots of bulk items not labeled. I always think “oh, I’ll remember what this is”.


Raw Antonia February 13, 2012 at 6:13 am

This is a sweet idea! :) But won’t the chalk get accidentally wiped off when you maneuver the jars? I don’t know how i do it, but even ink gets rubbed off when i handle my jars. I used a permanent marker on my latest batch of jars and now i always have to use each jar for the same thing. Gets quite annoying. :)


Susan February 13, 2012 at 8:56 am

Isn’t that the beauty of these? You can just wipe it clean and relabel!Chalk isn’t permanent so you can re-label as much as you want! That said, I haven’t had trouble with it smearing. I guess it is how you grab the jar. :-)


Ronda February 13, 2012 at 10:01 am

Where do you purchase your bulk items?


Susan February 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

Local coops, on-line, many different sources. Cheers!


Deb February 13, 2012 at 10:48 am

This is such a great idea !!! Love it…. thanks for sharing 😉


bitt February 13, 2012 at 11:04 am

first, I was at a raw potluck this weekend and somone made one of your recipes. it was delicious! you were there in spirit.

i love chalkboard paint. i want to paint more stuff with it. i also used magnetic paint on a cabinet. that was fun until I spilled it everywhere.


bitt February 13, 2012 at 11:05 am

ps: raw antonia–permanent marker washes off glass! try it!


Libbi February 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

I just pinned this onto my “organization” board. Great idea! And thanks for the heads up about the new products at Staples!


Jessie February 13, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Susan… what an excellent idea. Very clever. Thank you for sharing.


Maralyn February 14, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I love this idea! Where did you find your cool square jars? I have been using flower shaped post it notes and sticking on the tops of my lids. This is so much better! Thank you for sharing!


Susan February 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm



Elizabeth February 14, 2012 at 10:04 pm

What a spectacular idea Susan, but then again you always were very creative and that’s what I’ve always admired about you. This will be the next paint I work with for fun!!


Karen Faivre February 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Bloody brilliant! I’m going to have to do that in my never-ending quest to get organized!


Rosella February 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, Susan! What’s your user name on Pinterest? I’m always looking for interesting new people to follow, and judging by the recipes on your blog, I’d guess you have pretty good taste 😉

Also, since I’m contacting you anyway, I thought I’d ask about raw cashews. I’d heard that cashews were poisonous raw, and I did find some sites saying just that when I tried to find out more. Those sites were mostly q and a sites, though, so I don’t know how credible the information is. Plus I’ve seen cashews called for in numerous raw recipes, so someone’s gotta know something I don’t. Do you know anything about raw cashews possibly being poisonous?


Susan February 17, 2012 at 9:05 am

The cashews that you can buy to eat have been processed to remove urushio, the substance that you are referring to. Note that many of the raw nuts we buy are not truly raw. Many have been steam pasteurized. You can find raw cashews at Navitis Naturals.


cate - yogahealer February 15, 2012 at 9:29 pm

wicked groovy.
chalkboard paint.
who knew?


Martin Matej February 17, 2012 at 4:11 am

This is really great idea! Thank you very much :-)


Sheila February 26, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I bought an inexpensive label maker. There are many different colors of label tape to choose from and you can vary the font styles. The labels stick really well and won’t come off when the glass jars are washed. When a jar is empty, I give it a good rinse, let it dry and then add the same ingredient . The jars looks very pretty, neat and organized.


isabelle April 4, 2012 at 7:35 am

I like the idea and I will try with my jars. Thank you


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