Organize Pantry Items with Ikea Jars and Chalk Paint Markers

I’m not going to lie to you. It’s a mess in our baking/spice cabinet. We have all of this stuff in different wares of tupper and unusually sized containers and it’s been driving me nuts for quite a while. First world problem, I know. But we have THREE containers of cocoa!!! THREE! This is madness. And something must be done immediately.

Enter Ikea’s KORKEN Jar w/lid. Not long ago my sister mentioned she grabbed similar jars of assorted sizes for pantry items at her new pad. So I stole her idea and here I am today making it my own. She can’t really be mad though, I mean she got a pretty sweet industrial pipe shelving unit out of me. Just have to take the good with the bad I guess!

Despite my constant jabs at Ikea and their “meatballs”, they have some pretty great jars. They come with rubber gasket to keep your pantry items air tight and happy.

While the Ikea jars are 2 legit 2 quit, their markers SUCK for writing directly on glass. Granted, they’re really meant to be used on the Ikea labels, but I want to write directly on the glass. I have needs too, Ikea!

Here’s Ikea’s chalk paint marker…pitiful!

So I grabbed these American Craft permanent chalk markers from Amazon. Here I am practicing on an old mason jar. One problem that I’m running into by writing directly on the glass is legibility. I think doubling the font weight will help with that, but keeping the handwriting nice seems to be an issue.

OH WELL! Let’s just give this a go.

The problem with trying to double the font weight is that when you go over the dried marker, it removes your previous stroke. It’s like…a nightmare!

I think next time I’m going to try these chalk paint markers as they seem to be much thicker. They’re also called “premium” chalk markers. So they must be good! Right?

Anyway, here I am using a wet paper towel as an eraser to rid the world of my terrible typography. Turns out these AC permanent chalk markers aren’t very permanent at all! That’s good though because I’m seriously unhappy with my current handwriting (dis)abilities.

I’m done with the word sugar. I’m moving on. It’s just not working out between us. I’m in love with coffee. As a matter of fact, I always have been! But it’s got no ride and still lives with its mom so I need to go pick it up.

I stole some paper from my toddler’s sketchbook to get a makeshift funnel going all up in hea!(up in hea!)

My favorite of the jars looks second worst! I was trying so hard, too! I was being very careful when doubling up on the text, which made this way too rigid. But…

By the time it was cinnamon o’clock, I started to get my act together.

And just when I was finally starting to feel like my old self again, brown SUGAR shows up! I’M CALLING THE COPS!

So at this point I just need to throw down some sans serif sweetness. It’s getting too late! I don’t want to miss my full house reruns tonight!

Close up of cocoa!

It’s actually good that the markers aren’t permanent so I can go back and re-write the ones that suck.

The jars look nice all filled up.

So my makeshift funnel broke while I was transferring flour.

Can dogs eat flour?

It was pretty inevitable…this situation. I can’t even cook eggs without making a mess!

I think the less you care about making the letters perfect, the less you’ll feel bad when your family members judge you. Try it sometime!


I was thinking I could leave these four out since we use them the most?

I changed my mind…

The KORKEN jars look good but the cabinet is kind of meh. HMM..

I put some cherry wood behind the jars to make them look nicer. I think it worked?

Anyway! This was a fun little weekend project that helped us organize our out of control pantry. Hopefully my sister comes up with another idea I can steal soon! What did you do to organize your kitchen? Do you have a sister I can steal ideas from? Mine may be tired of my nonsense…


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

August 25, 2015 at 10:08 AM

Awesome! I did soemthing similar a few years ago for my parents and found thhat the Sharpie oil based paint markers work WAY better for glass and cermics. They don’t wipe off after dried (permenant) and they are thick and opaque. Very easy to add font width or multiple layers (although I have yet to need a second layer).

For glass projects that can go in the oven, the Sharpies hold up well to oven curing. I only had discoloration once (bright red turned to a wine-meets-plum color), but I definitely left it to cure too long with the oven on before turning it off to cool.

August 25, 2015 at 04:08 PM
– In reply to: steph

Ah, great idea! I’ll have to try some oil based Sharpies and see how they fare. ACTUALLY permanent, permanent markers scare me though…not going to lie. I’m not sure I can handle that kind of pressure when I’m handwriting. Anyway! Thanks for stopping by Steph!

Lynn Gallantreply
December 29, 2016 at 09:12 AM

I really enjoyed your post and your great humour. Good idea.

December 29, 2016 at 05:12 PM
– In reply to: Lynn Gallant

Thank you Lynn glad you enjoyed it!

Tad Polereply
December 29, 2016 at 11:12 AM

Several years ago I put chia seed meal, whole chia seeds, flax seed meal, wheat bran and oat bran in QT mason jars and labeled the jars using blank mailing labels. They are always right where they should be and I know instantly what item I am grabbing, usually when I’m rushed. I keep different types of pasta in half gallon mason jars. Everything is visible and there is no checking a box to see which pasta is in which box.

December 29, 2016 at 05:12 PM
– In reply to: Tad Pole

Great idea! I love how easy they are to grab, use and close when I’m zipping around to get the girls ready in the morning!

Linda Buehlmann Bennettreply
December 29, 2016 at 02:12 PM

I used empty Folgers plastic cans. They can also be stacked on top of each other.

December 29, 2016 at 05:12 PM
– In reply to: Linda Buehlmann Bennett

Nice idea Linda!

Aleena Ericksonreply
December 29, 2016 at 02:12 PM

Dad is clever, crafty and CUTE to boot!

December 29, 2016 at 05:12 PM
– In reply to: Aleena Erickson


December 29, 2016 at 02:12 PM

Cinnamon?? Who would ever stock up that amount ? The idea is good though.

December 29, 2016 at 05:12 PM
– In reply to: joyce

It came in a really big container!

December 30, 2016 at 04:12 PM
– In reply to: joyce

We buy cinnamon in bulk. Fills a quart jar easily. Some people cook from scratch, some people have large families.

December 30, 2016 at 04:12 PM
– In reply to: akp

Yes!! We use it every morning in our oatmeal and for various baking recipes quite often!

Dave Valaikareply
December 29, 2016 at 05:12 PM

Couldn’t you have just remembered you had all that cocoa and stopped buying it? Or pour two half containers into one? Seems like a lot less work!

December 29, 2016 at 05:12 PM
– In reply to: Dave Valaika

YES!! Agreed.

December 29, 2016 at 06:12 PM

U were using chalk on Glass… Did U think to 1st put blackboard paint, THEN the chalk>>>?

December 29, 2016 at 06:12 PM
– In reply to: Darryl

Chalk markers, not chalk!

December 30, 2016 at 12:12 PM

Right Idea Darryl,
Chalk Board Paint in shape of cloud ( which is a real forgiving shape ) or oval if you are brave . The black Chalkboard Paint is Super Perfect because its just a blank Label you write on and choose ingredient It can change anytime !
Also the label on it will show up even with White Sugar and White chalk. Just Cool! Great Idea with Ikea I will have to go get some ! >>AJ

December 31, 2016 at 08:12 AM
– In reply to: AJ

I also take a substance out of it’s packaging and put it in glass… Most of the time I have taped the package to the glass jars… Usually a 1/2 gal canning jar or a Quart canning jar to keep any mixing instructions …BUT this fall I found a qt. of blackboard paint in Aldi’s, for this reason>>> Ikea is nowhere close>>>

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