Be Our Guest: Hip House Girl

Amanda of Hip House Girl knows her DIY. Her Salt Lake City home is like our dream come true: Looking for love, in a neat-o location, and perfectly (modestly) sized (okay, small; but who are we to talk. And don’t you know we love that?). She’s here today to share a nifty, simple project that only a can of chalkboard paint can solve. Proof again that paint can always save the day. (Or, you know, make the day a little cooler.)

Greetings, YBH readers! I was thrilled when Kim asked me to guest post, and even more thrilled when I realized I could post about something that was her idea in the first place!

A while back, I posted about my spice solution.

I went from this:

To this:

Already a big improvement, no?

However, those Sharpie-scrawled labels weren’t the best looking things, and that’s where Kim comes in. She left a comment on that post suggesting I use chalkboard paint to put little rectangles on the jars, and write the names of the spices with chalk. Genius!

I considered trying to make all of the labels the same size, but then quickly realized that I lack way too much patience for that sort of thing, so I just used blue painter’s tape to make rectangles that were hopefully pretty similar in size, but not exactly. I’ll call it my “artistic license”.

You will probably also notice that the blue painter’s tape didn’t do the best job of making a clean line. (It may have been user-error, but I’ll blame it on the tape.)

If I were to do this again, I might try Frog tape, or just swipe on a stroke of paint for an even more carefree look.

To get rid of the bleeding paint, I used the high-tech method of scratching it off with my thumbnail. My thumbnail got sore pretty quick, so now I just do a jar or two every time I think about it. So technically this project is still somewhat of a work in progress, but I’m gonna go ahead and call it “done” anyway.


I tried to seal them with polyurethane, but the chalk immediately dissolved into the liquid. Reapplication may be necessary at some point, but that’s part of the fun!

Thank you Kim for giving me the idea and also for giving me the opportunity to share it with your readers!

Thank you, Amanda!

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  • Michael - Innkeeper11.15.10 - 9:11 AM

    i love when possible ‘user’ mistakes can be blamed on the product.

    love this project! thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Danielle L.11.15.10 - 10:31 AM

    So glad you shared this post! I’ve been looking for a spice storage solution that has the ability to grow yet takes up minimal space in my tiny apartment.I’m thinking this just might work for me(with smaller jars maybe). Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Hip House Girl's brother11.15.10 - 10:37 AM

    First of all, the handwriting – is that Stan’s? The reason I ask is cause it looks like guy’s handwriting so it could be yours… but it’s legible, which is why I ask if it’s Stan’s handwriting.

    Second, for other readers – if you’re trying to make nice sharp lines you can’t use just any blue tape it has to be the blue tape that says “delicate surfaces” on it. Frog tape works too but I did an experiment once and the delicate surfaces blue tape worked just as good. And even with blue tape you still have to push it down real hard to get it to not bleed.

    Manda, perhaps you could take and get a can of spray lacquer to go over that chalk. If you’re not brushing or rolling it on, it might not smear and dissolve. Plus lacquer dries so fast it might not have time to dissolve & look crappy.

    K bye.ReplyCancel

  • kim11.15.10 - 10:55 AM

    Super cute! Where did you get the jars? I’ve been dying for a cute and functional way to store my spices…thanks for posting!ReplyCancel

  • RocketGirl11.15.10 - 11:08 AM

    What a FANTASTIC idea! And so much cuter than reusable labels (which I lovelovelove, but are not terribly adorable).

    Secondly, the rough edges are great, IMO–makes it look more homey.ReplyCancel

  • Kim11.15.10 - 2:23 PM

    Hi Kim! Looks like she used 1/2 pint Kerr jars, like these that you can find at Amazon:

    Hope this helps!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea B11.15.10 - 3:20 PM

    What a great idea. I love this. If mine weren’t already marked on the lid, I’d be grabbing the leftover chalkboard paint in my craft closet and going at the little bottles with vengeance.


  • Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons11.15.10 - 3:30 PM

    Too funny — I’ve actually been spraypainting lids to very similar jars (mine are recycled Naturally Fresh salad dressing jars) all morning. My spray paint finger hurts =( Thanks for the tip on the frog paint! I’m going to have to invest in a roll!

    Jenn L @ Peas & CrayonsReplyCancel

  • Amanda11.15.10 - 9:57 PM

    Your spice jars look so fun! I love that you can see the colors of all the spices now. Great idea from Kim, and great execution by Amanda! :)ReplyCancel

  • Daniel1.5.11 - 12:54 PM

    This looks nice. Really neat indeed. It kinda soothes the eyes when I catch a glimpse of something remarkable as this. The spices really stand-out looking like this. Great Idea! Thanks.ReplyCancel


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