A Better Salt Shaker

April 26, 2012

by Margaret Cabaniss

This is not a tutorial.

Seriously, this is way too easy to qualify as a project requiring in-depth instructions and how-tos — but it’s so flipping genius that I had to share it anyway. (And yes, I know I’m only talking about a jar of salt, but sometimes it really is the little things in life.)

I like buying those large boxes of salt to keep in storage, but I hate trying to fit them in my already-packed kitchen cabinets (or trying to pour any small amount from them); this trick I found in a recent issue of Cooks Illustrated (where else?) is a brilliant fix. It’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of project, so get ready.

First, get a small mason jar, a pencil, a knife, and a round container of salt (preferably one that’s on its way out).

Use the lid of the mason jar to trace a circle on top of the salt container, with the pour spout centered at the bottom. Use the knife to (carefully) cut out the circle.

Fill the mason jar with salt, then cover it with your cardboard circle and attach with the ring from the canning lid.

Look, I said this was going to be easy. Still: Awesome, right? I recently reorganized some cabinets in the kitchen, putting all my dry goods into matching glass jars, and it makes me happier than it probably should that the salt is now going to blend right in, and still be just as easy to measure and pour. This is organization (OCD?) at its finest.

What about you? Found any simple fixes or shortcuts around your house lately?

Images: Margaret Cabaniss

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1 Sharon @ Discovering April 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

So adorable! Everything is cuter in a Mason jar, right?


Margaret Cabaniss 2 Margaret Cabaniss April 26, 2012 at 12:24 pm

It totally is! I like opening my cabinets just to look at my matching jars now. Sigh.


3 Samantha April 26, 2012 at 10:30 am

Oh what a fantastic idea. I am definitely going to give this a go once my salt is empty! (I might even make salt dough, just so I can speed up the process. ha)


Margaret Cabaniss 4 Margaret Cabaniss April 26, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I may or may not have done the same thing, Samantha. Heh.


5 Heather April 26, 2012 at 11:49 am

I am confused by the direction to attach the cardboard circle with a band? What kind of band? Thanks for sharing!


Margaret Cabaniss 6 Margaret Cabaniss April 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Hey, Heather: The cardboard is attached with the ring part of a canning lid (they come in two pieces, the lid and the ring). Sorry if I didn’t make that clear! I’ll change it in the instructions…


7 Sarah D April 26, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Or you could buy one “disposable” salt and pepper set from the grocery store, and then keep refilling the salt container (they have three salt dispensing apertures on a rotating lid, one of which is a handy spout). I’ve been using the same cardboard saltshaker now for about seven years. It’s not as cute as yours, though.


8 Alissa Lively April 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

So cute! I bet you could cut out some cute wrapping paper to cover the white circle and make it even more fun. Thanks for the great idea, Margaret!


Margaret Cabaniss 9 Margaret Cabaniss May 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

Great idea! Someone do this and take a picture for us.


10 Alice C. September 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Just got this un-tutorial in your newsletter and it is simply GREAT! I’m gonna use the new spouted jar to store baking soda in the kitchen and bathroom. THANKS!


11 Emmce May 31, 2014 at 10:01 am

Pretty cool idea!


12 Karla April 15, 2015 at 7:56 am

What is it about us needing things to match and line up, label etc. I totally get this. And I’m very annoyed every time I look in my pantry to see it not doing any of those things!


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