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. 

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’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.


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!

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!


The link to the free download for the free recipe binder templates isnt working 🙁 Nor does the free recipe binder artwork.


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 🙂


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.

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.


Really love your blog article and templates. I’d love to feature these on my website/blog, 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.


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!


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!

Judy King

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.

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!!


🙂 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).

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!


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



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.

Recipe Binder |

[…] For my sister’s birthday, I made a recipe binder for her with all of our family’s favorites from my mom, grandma, and a bunch that I’ve found.  While I was typing up and printing all of them, I decided I may as well finally make one for myself (something that had been on my to do list for a VERY long time).  They turned out really well!  The super pretty cover page came from Prudent Baby. […]

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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Friday Five – in the Kitchen |

[…] love trying new recipes and I was having a hard time finding a way to organize them all.  I found this idea on Pinterest that uses a binder with pocket folders and protective sleeves.  When I find a recipe I want to try, […]

Recipe Keeper | We Get Healthy

[…] Recipe Binder | Pretty Prudent – 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 …… […]


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