Recipe Binder


I’m not very organized by nature but this recipe binder system works very well for me and a few others, including Jaime, so we thought we would share. My husband started this binder before we were even together (he’s a keeper) as a way to store all the random recipes that he collected here-n-there but I have taken it over and added a few features.

Click thru to read more about our Recipe Binder and Free Recipe Binder templates.

By your request, we have a bunch of new color options available for you to make your own Recipe Binder. Check out our Free Recipe Binder Artwork in a rainbow of magical kitchen organization fun!


Here are my thoughts…


I just added tabs. These from office depot are pretty cute.ย 


My categories are:
APPS/SALADS
SOUP
ENTREES (I think that I will break this down further in the near future… chicken, pasta, beef, etc. or Mexican, Asian, Italian etc.)
BREAKFAST
DESSERT
BASICS
LIMBO (Up to now I’ve used the inside pockets for recipes that haven’t been tested yet. They stay in limbo until you try them out. If they pass the test, they get their own sleeve.)
– I might also add a Thanksgiving tab since these recipes are currently stored in an old FED-EX envelope in the cupboard. See, not very organized by nature.


I suggest storing your pages in clear plastic sleeves. It protects them from splashes and allows you to add random clippings. The only downside is that it will push your pages out further than your tabs. To solve this, I also put the tabs in sleeves with a small slit in the sleeve to allow the tab to peek out. But then your tabs stick out further than your binder edge. HA!

Here are some of the random ways I use my pages…

Newspaper and Magazine clippings


Recipe website printouts with notes


Handouts from cooking classes


Cute husband-written recipes


Photocopies


Recipe cards and box-back recipes


Recipe booklets from kitchen gadgets


We’ve also included the cover and spine inserts as a free download. Get the Free Recipe Binder Templates here.

by

82 Comments

Jaime

i'm so glad you posted this. it made me realize what i was doing wrong with my recipe binder. i had the recipes in those notecard-size sleeves and it doesn't work because I have to take the recipe out to see the whole thing so it gets dirty/sticky or i lose part of it. starting over with your gorgeous downloads! am i allowed to request a color? if so, I request orange. if i could pms color match it to my mixer you know i would.

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Jaime

oh btw, i just want to say that the LIMBO section is so KEY. when jacinda told me about this system years ago that stood out to me. a recipe does not make it into the actual binder of family recipes until it has proven its worthiness, otherwise the binder never gets used because you start associating it with a pile of unfinished projects and you never open it.

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Vone

I got a recipe binder for a wedding present with a bunch of recipes from family and friends. Great present but there were too many categories – like is it in chicken or casserole. So I've been planning to reorganize it but haven't yet. I think I might just start a new book with recipes that I've actually tried and leave that one for the limbo ones. I love looking at and print off new recipes but don't always try them.
Ok this might be my Feburary project (Jan is getting the house ready to sell, only 9 days to finish everything up – blah)

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Michelle Greene

Such a pretty organizer…makes me want to go through and organize mine….if you ever do have requests for colors I would LOVE Red..but the one you have made is gorgeous!

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Julie

I do this also with binders and sleeves from Costco. I have three so far that are jam-packed. I need to start a fourth. I mark recipes with a star if it was a hit and with any changes I made.

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Adventures in Dressmaking

Very cute! I started a recipe binder when I was 18 or 19 and had grand ideals of typing all the recipes in Word with a specific typeface and everything, and only archiving recipes I had tried… it didn't last for more than a year or so, but I still use the binder and just use clearview page sheets and simple clear (colored tinted) tab dividers from Dollar Tree. It's not too exciting. But I loooove the free recipe templates you linked to! I will have to try them!!

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Carolyn

Thanks! I have a very sad unorganized recipe binder that I was just looking at yesterday with the thought that I needed to really fix it up and make it functional. Your suggestions are just what I need to do–but much cuter than I would have thought of!

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Anna

I JUST did the same thing with all my random recipies. They were overflowing in a pile in my cupboard. I recycled an old binder which felt nice to be able to reuse! My kitchen is a grey/blue so if you're up for it… ๐Ÿ™‚

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Princess of Power

Love it! Our kitchen cabinet was overflowing with handwritten scraps of recipes, whole sections of newspapers with recipes, etc. I cut them out, glue sticked the little ones on a piece of paper and slid it all into the plastic sleeves! Whole page recipes from magazines and the paper got their own pages. I even bought those same tabs! Love it!

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MD

Good reminder to clean mine up. I was wondering what to do at my next crafting night, and here it is! No more sad, stained white binder – here comes fun, funky arty one!

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Claire

I've put recipes in plastic sleeves in a binder for a while…but there has never been any organization. I love the LIMBO idea! I'd also suggest: FAMILY – for beloved family recipes. I have an annual minor panic attack when I think I've lost Aunt Eleanor's Christmas cookie recipe.

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PumpkinFreckles

I love your take on the recipe book. I have four-4 binders full of recipes. Granted, one is smaller and only contains Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes, because I don't want to mess around during the holidays looking through 3-huge binders of recipes. I have another tip for you, we also took a 5th binder and organized our take-out menus. We used dividers with pockets(to hold take-out menus and coupons) and separated them according to food type (i.e. Italian, Mexican, Japanese) and used a spreadsheet printout in the front sleeve with our go-to places for a quick list of phone numbers. I have gotten lazy about my recipes and keep meaning to re-organize them, so maybe your post and a pack of the pretty file folders will inspire me.

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Anonymous

I also would like to request orange (and brown?) I know that makes me sound like I have a super 70s kitchen, but I don't care! Go orange!

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Claire

These are great! I have a binder, but it is not organized and certainly not cute!

As a color request, I would love a hunter green.

Thanks!

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Stephanie

I need this badly for my recipes! I would love a template in grey or green.

THANKS!

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semicrunchymama

I just saw this featured on One Pretty Thing, and had to come check it out. I'm so glad I did! My collection of recipes is so horribly unorganized, this just may add some sanity back into my kitchen!

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molly

I totally have the same system! Works great. I would just add one other thing to your idea. If you cook on a counter top that is right under a cabinet, you can put one of those 3m command strip thingys on the inside of the cabinet door. That way you can hang the recipe at eye levely right where you are working.

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Tiffany

Found this on one pretty thing, don't know how I missed it the first time. great idea. if u only saw my junk drawer full of recipes. thanks for sharing.

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Tamara

This is one of my favorite things!! Next, project …can you all creat a binder idea for Important info for a babysitter??? Just a thought

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Marie

This is how I've been organizing my recipes for years — I feel so organized ๐Ÿ™‚ Wish I was that organized in other areas of my life ๐Ÿ™‚ But I don't have pretty covers for it so thank you for the templates!

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Stacey

I'm just wondering… The tabs that you got at Office Depot. Are they big enough that the sheet protector doesn't "hide" them? I bought some tabs but you can't see them cause the sheet protectors are larger than the tabs.
THanks for the Idea of the Binder Recipe Book! I love it. I am working on making mine this week.

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Crystal

This is great! I always have intentions of organizing my recipes…but never do it. I'm going to take time this week to get it done.

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Heather

Gorgeous! I printed the aqua set for my new aqua binder. Now I just wish you had printables for a HOUSEHOLD binder. Any plans?

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Jacinda

Hi Kim-It should work. Give it another try, maybe from a different computer? The art doesn't display properly in google docs but once you download it should look good!

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Mrs. Perez

Walmart has the tabs that you can stick to something so that it can be the divider so maybe stick it to a sheet protector that way they can all be the same and maybe they wont stick out further then the binder and if you stick it to a sheet protector you can customize the inside of it with a cute design

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Canoncowgirl

Really cute! Though for some reason the pattern wasn't showing up for me in the download, just one lonely pattern square. I'm handy in photoshop so I made it work, but just thought I'd mention it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Jacinda

Hi Canoncowgirl! once you download it should all appear. Not sure why it does that in the preview window in google.

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Katie

I'm a little late to the party but do you still have the templates available for download? Love your cover!

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NatalPlumb

I love that your recipe book looks like a beautiful journal full of clippings and handwritten notes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Really sweet. Thanks for the inspiration!

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isaac and jenny

I'm also a little late to the party, but was wondering if you could design some type of fillable full-page recipe card? I want to be able to save all my recipes electronically due to space constraints…but all the fillable templates I've found are hideous…all of your stuff is so precious!

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Melissa C

Having trouble the the download ๐Ÿ™ I have Google Docs and it is telling me: "Sorry you don't have permission to view this document". Is there a way to get permission?

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Rene'

I made something like this a few years ago and I love it!! Over time It got so disorganized and full that I decided to branch out and make one for desserts and main dishes etc…I like using the baseball card holders for some of my smaller recipes/ recipe cards.. Great way to stay organized!!
Great Post!

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DebiK

I've been working on something similar for about a year now to give to each of my adult children…recipes they grew up with, recipes from their grandparents and aunts,etc. Some are computer pages, but some are copies of the original recipe card in that person's handwriting. I am including pictures of some of the dishes too.

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Shannon

I’ve been doing this for years. If you want the tabs to stick out past the page protectors, use the tab dividers with pockets in them, they are wider to accommodate the page in the pocket.

The printables are cute ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m a nerd, though, and designed a custom binder on Zazzle and waited until they were half-off for Black Friday. I love it!

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suzanne

I’ve been doing this for years, too. I keep it simple though and have one binder for “recipes” and have dividers for appetizers, main course, vegetables, breads. I love making desserts so I have a separate binder for just those and have it divided into cakes, cookies, etc. Mine aren’t as pretty as yours with the file folders as dividers and the lovely graphic on the front, but I use the plastic protectors like you do to keep the recipes safe and to store odd sized recipes.

I use binders for outside ideas, decorating ideas, crafts, holidays, etc. It helps to keep my magazine collection light and I can always easily find what I am looking for.

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Daisha

hey, just wanted to share~ they also make clear pockets for photos for 3 ring binders. i put my recipe cards in and you can see both sides. just another way to store those family cards sent down the tree. love the templates!

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R A Bailey

this is very similar to my own ‘Keepers’ cookbook – it is so handy for making notes – I randomly keep a cooking journal and can add menu options for the recipes and wine pairings, etc so I don’t have to recreate again. I also have a section labeled – Tips and Good Stuff to Know – ingredient substitutions, baking pan sizes and modifications – kinda a catch all, but necessary when I cook!

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Renee

The link to the free download for the free recipe binder templates isnt working ๐Ÿ™ Nor does the free recipe binder artwork.

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Sue

Tried the link, too. The google doc popped up but the background of the front page was only one square instead of the whole pattern. Loving the idea, hoping this helps so we can use your wonderful work ๐Ÿ™‚

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Jacinda

Sue, if you download that file it should all look good. But the other colors are still missing for some reason. We will figure it out. I might have to track them down on another harddrive.

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Melissa C

I’ve been doing this for years too, except I prefer to use those magnetic photo pages, works perfectly for those odd size recipes, and cut out ones.

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dlm

Really love your blog article and templates. I’d love to feature these on my website/blog http://www.deliciouslifememories.com, which is dedicated to creating your own recipe binders. May I include some of your photos and a link so readers can find your templates? Thanks for such a great post and all the effort you put into those templates and adding the various lovely colors.

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Lori

Hi! Just printed out my lovely yellow recipe binder cover, and so excited to get organizing! I was just wondering how I might find the printable for the cute little matching piece that goes in the spine of the binder- it was not included in the printable that I saw in Google- didn’t know if I needed to look somewhere else for it. Thanks so much!

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Rhetta

Hi!I was wondering the same thing as Lori.I was looking for the piece for the spine.I can’t wait to get started on this.Thank you!

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Judy King

Hello,
I love your templates for the recipe binders. The colors are gorgeous! Do you know of a way that I can edit the font and text? I would like to make some binders using different last names on the front.

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Jennifer Lee

Thanks for this amazing post! I’ve been trying to get my recipes organized for awhile now and your cute templates were just what I needed to motivate me. I was wondering if you have a template that is able to be edited in the ‘recipes’ text section. I want to use the design for the pages dividing my sections (chicken, beef, desserts, etc). Please and thanks!!

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Whitney

๐Ÿ™‚ this is what I do. Except, for tabs, I use binder tab dividers with pockets. I use the pockets for my “limbo” items. Then, they too are organized into entrees, desserts, etc. I love using sheet protectors because you can easily slip in a recipe (no running around the house searching for a hole punch) and they protect your recipes from food splatter. It is also great because you can move the recipes around (I like to keep family favorites at the front of each section). Also, I keep a pen in my binder to write notes on any of the recipes. Thanks for the print outs (I did the yellow and peach).

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Meagan S

I use a really similar system and love it. I have things divided by category, and I use the divider pages to cross reference page numbers of recipes from my favorite cookbooks. No more flipping through and searching for those tried and true recipes!

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Sonya

Can someone help as I’m having a hard time trying to print, The links aren’t working for me am I doing something wrong? It prints the whole link page, I really like the covers and would love to organize my recipes

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Erin

Hi,

I up-cycled a huge 3.5 heavy duty binder a friend was throwing away for my massive recipe collection. I’m not a crafty person but I used scrap booking paper I ran through the printer for the front and back covers. I used tabbed file folders as my dividers. I printed all of the recipes and created an index since some recipes could be cataloged as pasta or chicken. Once or twice a year I print the updated index pages.

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Mary Williams

I just had to write because I always use the same white chicken chili recipe, and every time i print it, i tell myself i need to put these recipes somewhere….yup, the same recipe!!!

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