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.Β 

My categories are:
ENTREES (I think that I will break this down further in the near future… chicken, pasta, beef, etc. or Mexican, Asian, Italian etc.)
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


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.




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.


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.


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)

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!


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.

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!!


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!


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… πŸ™‚

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!


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!


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.


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.


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!


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.



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



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!


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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


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!

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


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 πŸ˜‰


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


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


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

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!

Melissa C

Having trouble the the download πŸ™ 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?


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!


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.


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 πŸ™‚ 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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