DIYdiy projects

diy wednesdays: tea shelf

by Grace Bonney

recently, we’ve been exploring the amazing selection of loose leaf teas at our local hippie coop grocery store (oh, san francisco….). We’ve been collecting little samples of calming herbals, invigorating blacks, and exotic mixes of every plant and herb you can imagine. taking a cue from grandpa’s garage workshop, we put together a simple organized shelf where we can hang and display our current selection of teas and the cute accoutrements that go along with them.

happy tea time!
derek & lauren

CLICK HERE for the full instructions after the jump!

here’s what you’ll need:
a thin shelf (we used a white “ribba” art shelf from ikea that is about 21” long)
3 small glass jars
3 short screws
spray paint for painting jar lids (optional)
2 cup hooks
cordless drill or screwdriver


1. paint jar lids if desired.
2. using a small drill bit, drill a hole through the center of each lid.
3. measure, mark and drill pilot holes for lids and cup hooks on the bottom of your shelf.
4. secure lids and cup hooks to your shelf.
5. hang shelf on wall using appropriate hardware.
6. attach jars, hang cups and fill shelf with your favorite teas and accessories.


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  • Awesome! Thanks for this post. My grandpop used to organize his shelves in his workshop like this. All sizes and kinds of screw, nails and other doodads in little baby food or other glass jars with the lids attached to the shelf. Aaahh, nostalgia!

  • great project and very good looking. however, you should research storing different types of tea. most varieties shouldn’t be exposed to light.

  • I love this! I’ve been wanting something creative to do with tea, my husband works at starbucks and he brings home a box of tea every week, and they are really starting to pile up in my pantry! Thanks for all the great projects!

  • My Grandparents DID have thesa and I always wondered how he made them! And my Grandpa had everything that Sloeginfizz listed above, too.

  • What a wonderful idea! But I have to caution one thing… teas should be kept in a dark and airtight container, otherwise they go “bad.” Hard to believe, I know, but take it from someone who has a “tea problem,” you learn the mistake early…

  • this is awesome! my grandfather did the exact same thing with baby food jars mounted to a wheel and placed underneath one of this shelves so it could spin. simplistic geniousity!

  • Really neat! With regards to penelope’s concern, I wonder if putting certain teas in dark bottles would fix that?

  • Great idea! I bet it would work nicely for spices also…perhaps one could put a large label over the jars to take care of the light exposure issue.

  • My dad has nails and bolts and screws stored in jars like this. Love using the idea for a kitchen.

  • OOOOHHHH I love it! I need more decorative storage in my kitchen. I’m going to do one for tea and one for spices like Jenn P. suggested. Some super cute wallpapered labels and colorful lids to easily spot what you need/have on hand!

  • lovely idea!
    Just wondering, wont the jars spin when you try to open them if you just use one screw on the lid?

  • ugh! i’m kicking myself right now for recycling all of my daughters baby food jars! she’s one now and rarely eats food from a jar. but i’m totally going to do this in my kitchen. and maybe my shed too!

  • I would like to do this for the gazillion of beads and beading supply in my daughter’s room. She could use the hooks to hang up her scissors.

    I also really like the idea of a spice rack for the kitchen.

    My youngest is still consuming tons of applesauce out of baby food jars. I just used about 50 with candles for a party in our garden.

  • I love this idea. I built one this weekend using a bamboo shelf I got at Target for $10. I love the way it looks, plus it’s great having all my tea supplies in one spot. No more searching for tea balls just as my water is starting to boil.

    I’ll post pics in a follow up post!

  • I’m totally making this! I was trying to solve the keeping tea in a dark place problem while keeping the look of the jars and I have two ideas. 1) line the inside of the jars with dark tissue paper for appearance and wax paper or parchment paper to hold the tea. 2) (my favorite) paint the outside of the jars with chalkboard paint so that you can write what is inside and erase it when you change out the tea.

  • This is a great idea! I have a tiny kitchenette in my apartment, and I’ve been in desperate need of more storage space. This is perfect!

  • Hi great idea I created something similar as a spice rack using Schwartz refill jars, looks great in the kitchen, only thing might be worth putting two screws offset slightly from centre in the lids??? as after a while of tightening jars the lids will spin round a single central screw. Still great though

  • I finally made one! Love it love it love it! It’s up on my website. To address what Chris(UK) said, I agree – either use 2 screws or use some heavy duty glue around the lids – construction glue that can fill in gaps. That has worked so far.

  • You can pick up cup hooks from a local hardware store…
    I like the idea of a magnetic strip, sorta of like Alton Brown does in his pantry, then you could use metal containers which would solve the necessity for dark containers!

  • That is such a cute idea, but wouldn’t even begin to cover all my teas and paraphernalia, lol. I need an oversized pantry just to start! Catherine, I love the chalkboard paint idea!! What an awesome way to darken your jars and would work on my tincturing/infusing jars too!

  • I would use it for spices. Anyway, is it easy to unscrew them without toppling the stuff on the shelf?

  • Ok, I have a dumb question: how do you secure this type of shelf to the wall without using side brackets?

  • Thank you for this simple idea. It’s exactly what I’m looking for! 6 years later, you’re still inspiring people.