February 27, 2012

While waiting on paint to dry... Pantry Makeover

I spent 8 hours straight painting two dressers and H's bed Saturday. I was a little too woozy to post after that. Because I wanted to let the paint dry adequately before putting on the final glossy top coat, I decided to tackle an easier project and get reinspired. My pantry is UGLY!! In fact, if it wasn't a load bearing wall, I'd knock it out. Truth be known, I don't need one and we only eat items that perish quickly. Before, I had a cabinet in which I kept all my baking items because I bake a LOT!
So what to do with this big ugly room until I have the cash to revamp the shelving and wallpaper the back of the shelves? Because, you know... I'm gonna make it pretty somehow.

Here was my cheap and easy solution: I did some price comparisons between the Container Store, Target and Walmart and a few others in there as well. Where I might have bought something used, I needed several jars and I wanted them clean and in great shape because this would be storage for my food. I gotta draw the line with my thriftiness and germ phobia somewhere. Anyhow, I found that Walmart carries the EXACT same jars as the Container Store but for waaaay cheaper! I bought crap load of, gallon to pint sized, jars and a package of 2"x4" clear labels on clearance from Target for $5. Note: the same labels were $14 at Staples!

After I figured out what food I was going to repackage, I went of the www.avery/template website and printed a large oval with the words I was going to display on my jars. Originally, I wanted a vintage looking border and something ultra fancy, but I gave in to a simple oval because I just didn't feel like spend more than an hour on this project.

So, with labels in hand, I began peeling and sticking labels on all the jar... AFTER I WASHED THEM and cleaned the insides. But, since this is trial and error for me... I didn't like how you could see the rectangle a little bit so I peeled them all off and cut around the oval with scissors for a cleaner look. And ta-da!!! I think it came out looking awesome and I love my pantry now. Well, love is a strong word. I like it a whole lot more!

I even got a little label happy and made labels for my olive oil, grape seed oil and vinegar! And then... I started dressing up old containers I had like my Mom's plastic yellow flour container from the 70's and a few white jars I had for coffee, tea and hot chocolate. I'm telling you, labels make all the difference!

It's made cooking so much easier too by the way! I just whip my jars out and there's no thumbing around with flour bags and assorted containers. I also like how I can see what's getting low and what to buy next at the grocery in case I forget to write it down. The first thing I have cooked using the new jars is my faux buttermilk pancake recipe. Make this recipe just once, and no pancake will ever taste as good. I PROMISE!!!

"Buttermilk" Pancakes:
1 cup flour
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
(1/4 tsp salt or )1/8 tsp sea salt I use the sea salt
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1 Tbs melted butter
1 egg (slightly beaten)
1/2 milk (maybe a little less or more)
dash of vanilla extract

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and all the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Combine the ingredients and mix until they two are well combined. Add a little more milk if necessary. I like my pancakes thick so my batter is usually a little thick like that of cake batter. Bake on a greased griddle until both sides are golden brown and serve with Organic pure maple syrup! YUMMY!!!

So, while you are chowing down on a plate full of pancakes, let me entertain you with a few of inspiration pictures for my dream pantry!

I want a countertop and a few drawers in it just like here only I want it to be a butchers block top and large wire baskets to store fruit in in place of the wicker baskets. I'd also like the bottom shelving to pull out for easy access too.

These pull out shelves are what I have in mind and I'd love a wine rack and place to store my glasses. I'm thinking sort of like a butler's pantry in addition to a food pantry. I will need better lighting too.

This pantry is heaven! I'd just like the wallpaper in the same print but gray... beautiful though! I want the white shelves and wallpaper!

Did I mention that we are building a hidden walk-in pantry when we redo the cabinets? Oh yes we are! By the time we are said and done, the pantry may be my favorite room!

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