7 Easy Steps to Creating A Recipe Binder

The article was originally posted on MilTribe here.

With the holiday season quickly approaching, you may be planning to spend a good amount of time in the kitchen. Are you the type of cook to always be looking for new and interesting recipes or do you stick to your tried and trues. Either way, it’s important to know how and where to find your recipes!

I LOVE to spend time scouring Pinterest for different recipes to try! I’ve also had a few great recipes passed along to me. The printed Pinterest finds and the recipe cards I inherited began to overtake my kitchen drawer; I needed a way to keep them organized.

By the way, have I mentioned that I am a lover of paper-crafting and all things scrapbooking?? You can check out my re-done craft room here.

I wanted to CREATE a system that really made sense for me in turn made me want to keep my recipes neat and organized.

After researching different ideas on Pinterest, I chose a simple and extremely functional option, a recipe binder. It has been an awesome addition to our kitchen and has made meal planning/grocery list prepping, a snap!


Here’s what you need:


Special additions:

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The great thing about a binder, is that you can totally customize it to your personality!

Step 1: Sort through existing printed recipes. Toss out any recipes you tried and didn’t like! They don’t need to take up space in your binder.

DIY Recipe Organization


Step 2: Determine how you want to categorize your recipes, do you prefer them by type of cuisine (Mexican, Asian, or Italian) or maybe by food type (soup, salad, entrée)? Whatever makes sense for you is how you should set your binder up!

Step 3: Print section labels. You can easily find pre-typed labels with a quick search on Pinterest. Or if you want to make your own, you can print blank recipe book tabs, like these.


DIY Recipe Organization


Step 4: Choose section divider style. You can print pre-designed dividers onto your white cardstock, hole punch, and put them in your binder. I like adding my own personal spin to things, so I chose scrapbook paper sheets that I associated with each category (i.e. the poultry section has a divider with chickens on it).


Step 5: Sort your paper recipes according to the categories you chose and insert each into a page protector. This will help ensure the longevity of the recipe sheet, as you take it in and out of the binder, and also protects it from spills.


DIY Recipe Organization


Step 6: File recipes behind each section divider you created and insert into the binder.


Step 7: Insert one binder pocket behind each section divider. This will hold any recipes that you’ve printed or collected but haven’t tried yet!

recipe binder


Remember when I said, you could customize it to fit your personality? I did that by adding a few “extras”. I created cute personalized label stickers where my hubby and I can each rate the meal. And a second label for additional notes. Such as if I had to use a different ingredient than what’s listed, or adjusted the cooking time by a few degrees/minutes.


DIY Recipe Organization


This project got me really excited to get my recipes organized! I hope it does for you too!

Leave me a comment and tell me what you did to personalize your recipe collection!




Melissa Rogers, Professional Organizer

With over a decade of experience in both teaching and management, it has been essential that I perfect my organizing skill set! The management of my classroom, and even my programs that I managed, depended solely on the systems I created and my ability to TEACH those systems to others. Since the beginning, I have always LOVED to put things in order! As a kid I would pull all of my mom’s shoes out of the bottom of her closet and line them up or pull all of the towels out of the kitchen drawer and refold them to match. I found it extremely satisfying when everything was in order. Bringing order to spaces is one of my greatest joys!
  1. zahra says:

    Interesting, definitely worth trying

  2. Simon Ponder says:

    This is awesome!

    I am kind of a messy cook, do you know of a way to seal them in plastic so that I can clean up my recipe cards after I am done slinging sauce around?

    • Melissa Rogers says:

      Simon, the page protectors are PERFECT for this! They are sealed on every side but the top, so should be difficult to damage. However, if you’re getting really crazy in the kitchen, you could laminate each of them instead! There are many at-home lamination options these days so it could be pretty simple!

  3. Linda Samuels says:

    Melissa- What a lovely way of organizing recipes! The sheet protectors are great! And what a fun idea to add a rating system and comment stickers. What I particularly love is that you actually USE the recipes that you save. I find that a lot of clients like collecting recipes, but rarely use them. I like working with a hard copy (like a sheet of paper or index card,) but I find that sometimes the younger audience prefers working directly with a digital file from their laptop or another digital device. I guess the key is being able to find and enjoy the recipes you love when you need them.

    • Melissa Rogers says:

      Yes Linda! We don’t keep the recipes we don’t like or never make! And I’ve seen both preferences as well, I prefer paper because I don’t want to damage my electronics in the kitchen and I hated having to keep pulling the screen back up if I went away from it for too long!

  4. Seana Turner says:

    My recipe binder is starting to fall apart. I’m trying to decide whether to keep all the paper or scan it and go digital. I sort of hate to lose the originals in my mother’s and grandmother’s handwriting, because that is part of what makes the recipe special. Great approach here:)

    • Melissa Rogers says:

      I understand the struggle, Seana! I just inherited a bunch of old recipe cards that my grandma wrote (pictured in this post) and I hate to loss that! I’m thinking of making a digital book for my mom and sister, but making a book with the originals for myself 🙂

  5. Janet Barclay says:

    This just might be the best system for organizing printed recipes that I’ve ever seen! I especially love your rating system and notes feature.

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