Magnolia Lane Creative Studio

Visual Styling and Fine Art Wedding Design

Modernizing A Vintage Spice Rack

One thing I notice on many wedding and gift registries are spice sets/racks. Every couple starting out needs a staple set of spices and seasonings to get their kitchen in gear. I love cooking and enjoy gifting kitchen related items from registries and spice racks are usually a part of my go to gift package for the bride. With multiple weddings this summer, I decided to get creative when I noticed a spice rack on my sister’s registry. I figured for about the same price as your average rack I could create a unique piece that could save counter space in her small kitchen and have a big impact on style at the same time.

So I set out on a thrift adventure to find an antique wooden spice rack that I could modernize and personalize. Spice racks can be so boring and bulk up countertops in small kitchens. So I knew I had found the perfect one for this project when I came across this cabinet style spice rack. It had a great door and featured beveled detailing on front and a vintage diagram of “Herbs & Spices — How To Use Them” on the inside.


With its large picture space on the outside and a latching door to keep all those spice jars out of sight and organized, I saw the opportunity for this to be transformed to something that could be both pretty and functional.


Knowing my sister’s kitchen style made it easy for me to envision modernizing this dated 1970’s style rack to work in her home. I chose a dark espresso wood stain and a paper that had a very classic laurel leaf motif but felt bold and modern. The pretty cream and gold color is balanced by the dark wood stain and keeps it elegant. I decided to edge one of the bevels in gold leaf to better tie elements together.

Supplies: thrifted spice rack, pretty patterned paper (like this), wood stain, sand paper, clear wood finish, spray adhesive, masking tape, tape measure, razor blade, liquid gold leaf



  1. Take apart cabinet and sand off old finish. If you have any areas that need to be taped off when staining/painting do so now with masking tape. I needed to cover the center image area so used newspaper and masking tape to cover.
  2. Stain or paint sanded wood with chosen color, I used 3 coats of stain and this process took about 3 days doing 1 coat per day.
  3. For extra detail, I decided to rim one of the bevels in the front of the cabinet with liquid gold leaf. (this is an optional step)
  4. Seal with a clear wood finish.
  5. Carefully cut paper to size needed and remove masking tape and newspaper to apply spray adhesive.
  6. Adhere paper to cabinet and smooth flat.

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For a beautiful and unique Bridal Shower / Housewarming gift, this project took about a week to complete and materials cost less than $40. To complete the gift, I’ll fill this cabinet with a starter spice set, like this one for a complete gift under $100.

A re-finished cabinet like this one could also be a perfect addition to bathroom or laundry room and used for storing essential oils or as a medicine cabinet.




DVF Inspired Painted Mantra Planters

Every year I look for new ways to liven up our outdoor space. Working with an urban balcony garden I look for small ways to inject newness  while adding cheer with pops of color. I love transforming this small space into our own secret garden. These hand painted terra-cotta are an easy way to add color and liven up an outdoor space. These pots make a wonderful focal point for styled spaces around your home, garden or office; they also make for darling inspirational gifts!


This Memorial Day weekend was the perfect chance for me to work this fun DIY project. My inspiration for this project came from the Diane Von Furstenberg (DVF) Spring 16 ad campaign. The bold colors and prints (and of course the dresses and accessories) are visually delightful! The prints are a rush of springtime joy with florals and foliage. They serve as an amazing inspiration for small planters paired with script of my favorite DVF inspired mantras. This DIY is a great way of easily integrating  and paying homage to your favorite designers and artists in your home space; create things that make you happy!

You can of course use any pattern or print that you find moving along with  the mantra of your choice. What are some of your favorite mantras and inspiring phrases?


Inspiration, Terra cotta pot/s, pencil, graphite transfer paper, masking tape, paints, brushes,  liquid gold leaf

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Step 1: Find imagery to use as inspiration then in program of your choice create a printable template for your favorite mantra or phrase (you can also choose to do this freehand if it suits you!).

Step 2: Place graphite paper under mantra template and use masking tape to secure on terra cotta pot. Then use your pencil to trace your mantra or phrase onto the pot.

Step 3: Remove masking tape to reveal lettering that you can now paint over. Paint your graphic onto the rim of the pot and trace lettering with black paint.

Step 4: Lastly once you’ve finished your rim design use liquid leaf to outline lettering (optional) for extra flare.

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