If you are as into herbal medicine as I am, storage of the many herbs you may acquire can become a bit of a problem at times. I have come up with many creative ways to store my herbs over the years. Though this has been through necessity, it often adds a more decorative touch to my kitchen and pantry as well.
The most obvious choice for storage is spice bottles that have been emptied. These can be cleaned out and reused, but there are many more decorative choices too. Some of these can even be more functional if you have a larger quantity of herbs to store. One good example of this would be kitchen canisters.
If you do not already use these, or already have items in yours, canisters of many types can be found in thrift stores, often for 50 cents to a dollar apiece, or in sets at a given price for the whole set. If you don’t like thrift store shopping, Wal-Mart may be able to help you out at a bit more expense. Personally, I prefer finding nice vintage pieces in thrift stores, and sometimes flea markets as well. In fact, I probably own at least 5 with “tea” emblazoned across the front. You can add decorative labels of your own as well.
When dealing with canisters, however, always be sure they have an airtight seal. I have found that some canister sets do not. Your herbs will not stay fresh in a canister that does not seal.
Another good item for herb storage is decorative tins. Cookie tins, candy tins, any tin will work as long as it closes tightly. Sometimes you will find tins close too tightly, but this can be remedied by running a piece of wax around the inside edge.
In addition to canisters and tins, large quantities of herbs can be stored in any wide mouthed container, as long as it seals airtight. I have used mayonnaise and pasta sauce jars among other things. These can even be made more decorative with a bit of decoupage, if you so choose.
For herbs in smaller quantities, there are many alternatives as well. Reusing baby food jars, medicine bottles, and even film canisters are a good idea. If properly cleaned, I have even used old perfume bottles when they have a wider mouth. These can be very decorative, and a cork or other stopper can be used if the original closure is not suitable, such as with spray bottles.
A little ingenuity, and sometimes a bit of elbow grease can go a long way when finding creative storage solutions of many different kinds. These can be as decorative as you want them to, or they can stay plain and simply be useful. Either way, be sure you at least label your herbs properly. Many herbs have similar smells, and it can get very confusing if you do not.
Source: Over 20 years of study and experimentation with herbs and other plants.