DIY Recipe Binder with FREE Printables!

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About ten years ago, I went through my stacks of cookbooks, and file of saved recipes I had printed or had received from others.   I took out all of our favorites, typed them up, slid them into sheet protectors, and put them into a binder. That Recipe Binder changed my life.  Yes, I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.  It saved me so much time and effort when it came to cooking and menu planning, and at the same time streamlined and organized all of my recipes. The idea of a recipe binder is nothing new, and it’s been around for a long time, but that says something right there…it’s still around because it WORKS!  I’ve had to change binders a few times over the years, and just this past week, my current ones needed a makeover.  I use them A LOT, and they were in sad shape.  So…I’m sharing them with you, plus all the free printables you need to make your own DIY Recipe Binder!

Easy DIY Recipe Binder | free printables |

How does it work?

I type up my favorite, tried and true recipes–the ones that I gather out of all my other cookbooks and from other sources–slide them in sheet protectors, and the place them in binders under a specific category.  I love the sheet protectors, because as I’m cooking, if something spills on it, it’s easily wiped up, and the recipe isn’t ruined. I don’t always type them up–if I get them online, I usually just print them out and place them in the binder.

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

 DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

At the back of each of my binders, I have a pocket divider. This is where I put any new recipes, and recipes I want to try, then if we like it, I slide it into a sheet protector and keep it in my binder. If we don’t like it, then it’s easy to toss.

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

I now have three binders!  You can either have more of the smaller binders, or less of the thicker ones. I don’t like my binders to be too big, so I tend to go with the thinner ones.  Each binder is organized by like categories, making it easier to file and remember where recipes are.

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

I LOVE them.  Seriously, it is worth the time to type up your recipes, I promise! When I first started, I just did a few every day until I was done, so it wasn’t too overwhelming.  Now, it doesn’t take too long to add a new recipe, and it’s super easy to maintain.

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

When I just re-did my binders (which were in sorry shape), I created fun printables for the cover, spine, each category, and the tabs. AND…I’m sharing them with you!  Just download the files, and print!  Make sure you look at the print view before printing–I had to make some small changes to my margins so it would fit the best on my paper.  I ended up with a small white border at the top and bottom of each paper, and I just trimmed them off. They were only about 1/8 of an inch, so not too much.

The tabs are actually circles, and I have the text at the top of the circles.  Just print on to your choice of scrapbook paper or cardstock, then use a 2 inch circle punch to cut them out. I laminated mine so they would last a long time, and used doublestick tape to attach them to the back of each category page—making a cute tab!

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

 You can also print and cut out the spine cover, and slide it in the plastic cover.  Easy!

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

You can download all the printables below. I also included a blank page, so you can add your own text.  The easiest way to do that if you don’t have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, is to head to Pic Monkey, where you can edit photos and create printables for free!!  Once you save the blank image file I’ve included below, open it up in PicMonkey.  On the left hand side, there are all the tools you need to add your desired text. Chose the text icon, and you can choose the fonts you want, plus change the color. I’ve included the colors and fonts (see below)  I used, so you can match them.  Once it’s finished, SAVE it immediately, because once you close the page, your work will be gone.  It’s easiest to print it as a pdf file, so if you have Picasa or another pdf converter, save it as a pdf file before printing.  If you need to print it as a jpg file, then insert it into Word as an image, stretch it to the size you want, then you can save it as a pdf in Word before printing.

Here are the colors I used:

Dark Gray:  2f2f2f

Light Gray: 6c6c6c

Dark Pink: ff7996

Light Pink: ffc4cc

Dark Green: 7a9800
Light Green: 7db400
Thirsty Script Bold
Century Gothic
Century Gothic is my own font ( you can use their fonts or yours), so you’ll need to have that downloaded on your computer before you start.  It’s a free font!!

To download the files, just click on the files below!

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About Simply Kierste Design Co.

Kierste is a blogger who shares her love of all things DIY. She is the mother of six, and focuses on simple ideas and projects to make a house a home! When she's not chasing around two sets of twins, a teenager, and a baby, she's working on a project, training for her next race, reading one of her favorite books, or baking something with chocolate in it.

87 thoughts on “DIY Recipe Binder with FREE Printables!

  1. thanks SO much for this cute recipe binder project! I am a foodie and have had issue for YEARS with cookbooks, recipe files, boxes, etc. I recently made a binder, but didn’t have a good divider system. I already printed out the tabs and am gonna go laminate them NOW :) What a wonderful gift, thanks!

  2. Seriously, last night I was thinking (as I was looking at a pile of recipes…) that I need to get my act together and make a book. So happy to see this today! Thanks so much for the inspiration and motivation!

  3. Hi, do you have a saved format that you use for typing your recipes?? That’s my biggest problem with getting started on a project like this. :(

      1. Kierste, I have just found your blog–thank you so much for sharing these! I have stacks of printed recipes, torn magazine pages, and pieces of paper with recipes scribbled that I have committed to get into a system. My first step has been (ruthlessly!) culling the “collection”, consolidating our usage notes (edits, additions, adjustments for serving sizes, etc.), and organizing stacks by type of recipe and by whether they’re “done” or “try”. I had not considered re-typing them but now see the benefits: standardized size, cleaner presentation, easy edits, consolidated space. Could you please also send the sample recipe page to me that you sent to Stephanie? And also possibly the crockpot tab that you sent to Kristina C?…or post those here? Thank you again!

      2. Could I possibly receive a sample recipe page layout as well? I’m not sure how to get that part started either haha

  4. I am so excited! I have been in the process of putting my own binder for too long, but was holding off b/c of some things that I didn’t like and was looking for a better solution. You provided some great solutions. Thanks!

  5. I LOVE all of the printables that you made and can’t wait to start organizing all my recipes in one place!! Is there any way you could make one for crockpot recipes?


  6. Thank you for the free printables!! I have been needing to do this for years and now I have the motivation from looking at your system:)

  7. Been using the binder system for years. It is a no fail. Started updating 6 months ago but couldn’t find covers that were a “grown up” cute. Found yours & exactly what I was looking for!!! Thank you for including a blank page & offering these to readers!

  8. I just made a note book for meal planning and had the recipes in the back. Thank you so much for the cover page. I’m going to use it as a divider and place it right before the recipes.

  9. Would you mind sending me the Crockpot label link, too? Thanks for the cute idea & printables!

  10. Hello Kierste,

    I love your printables. I have printed out the recipe binder pages. I would like to print out the blank binder page and was wondering how can I type in my own words…like…..Frostings. I would be so appreciative if you could help me with that.

    Thank you so much,

    1. Sure! Go to, then upload the blank binder file. Use the text tool (on the left sidebar) to add your desired text. In the post I listed the colors and fonts that I used, so you can make them match!! Let me know if you have any other questions!! xoxo

      1. Thank you Kierste, but I did not understand. I went to, but just did not see what you told me to find. I am not computer smart lol, but ty for replying to my post.

        1. That’s okay! I can give you more details.

          Go to, and at the top of the page it will say “edit”. Click on it, and then it will bring up a box for your to browse and open the file–wherever you saved it on your computer. Once you open the file, it will open up an edit page, with a left sidebar that has “tools” you an use to make edits and changes. Click on the “Tt” icon, which stands for Text. You can choose your font, then click “add text” at the top. It will open up a text box where you can change the size of the font with a slider bar, and the color of the text. The color of the text is represented by a number, and all you have to do is replace the number with one of the numbers that I gave you. Repeat as necessary. Once you’re done, save your file to your computer, then you can print it!

          let me know if you have any more questions!!

  11. I LOVE your recipe book printable!!! I only have one request-I tried to find and make my own( computer STUPID! ) I would like a Miscellaneous page for the cookbook-ie-sauces, gravies, etc. HELP, please???

      1. Thank you so much! I was actually wanting a binder PAGE that says Miscellaneous too :) If you could be so kind, thats the part I can’t get to work for me :)

  12. THANK YOU! I’ve tried 2-3 different times and still couldn’t get it! Really love the recipe book and your “school” things! Gonna do those for Grandsons :)

  13. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING! My husband and I have recently changed the way we eat and I have been using more and more recipes that I have found on the web. Those recipes have been stacking up on a shelf and it is time to get organized! I love that you have supplied a blank divider page! I was wondering if you would be able to share a blank book spine as I will have multiple binders and would love to be able to tell which binder I need to dig into at a glance. Thanks again for sharing this!

  14. Kierste, thank you so much for offering this for free to readers! You’re right, the printouts are super cute! I can’t wait to make my binder (like beyond excited…). *sigh* it’s the little things in life that make me excited haha. thanks again!

  15. Kierste, Thanks fo much for sharing! I need to declutter and this is perfect for me. Be blessed!

  16. I’ve just been introduced to your site! What a talented lady–thanks for sharing! My question is what you do with your cookbooks. When I go to my cookbook shelf with the goal of tossing those books that only have a recipe or two that I like (and have reprinted on the computer), I get all nostalgic and there they stay. What do you do?

    1. I actually don’t have very many cookbooks. I’ve always gotten most of my recipes online. However, I do have a few from my childhood, and a few from my grandmother, and those I will keep forever. I keep them on my bookshelves, with my other books!

  17. Kierste, Thank you so much for sharing the printables! They are adorable and way beyond my scope of making things nice! I have used my recipe binder for years and am updating, cleaning out and making more binders instead of the big heavy one I have.

    1. Melissa, I’m so glad you love them, and you are very welcome! It sounds like you have many wonderful recipes, and I think you’ll love having several binders instead of one big one. Good luck and have one fun!!! xoxo

  18. Thank you Kierste for the cookbook binder page! I have more cookbooks than I know what to do with lol. Now I can go through them and find just the recipes I want and convert them to one book! Love it!

    1. You are so welcome!! And yes–that is the tricky part! But you can definitely have more than one book–I do! I have three right now, and they are divided by category. So don’t worry, you can still include all of your favorites. :) Thanks so much of stopping by!!! xoxo

  19. These are perfect! The only problem is that the blank spine template is a jpg rather than pdf, and it’s not included in the all in one zip file. Is there any other way for me to get the blank spine? Thanks in advance, and also thank you for sharing these!!

  20. I just found your blog and I’m so glad I did! I love looking on pinterest for new recipes to try and needed a way to store all of my recipes!! Thank you for the DIY Recipe Book!!

  21. Would you be able to post a blank binder spine or possibly make the spine pages with the different cover names? It would be nice to be able to see which binder I’m grabbing right off the shelf! Thanks!

    1. Hi, Katie! I didn’t do the spine titles, because everyone groups their books differently. I might do them down the line, though, if I’m getting requests!! :)

    1. The spine printables are there too! At the very bottom of the post, I list all the different files you can download, and the spine titles are near the top–three or four down. xoxo

  22. In serach of making a recipe cookbook, I came across yours. Love it. As for the tabs, you mentioned you laminated and used doublesided take to stick them to the index pages. Wondering how well using the doublesided tape works, does it hold up? Please advise as I’m wanting to make the cookbooks for family for Christmas. Thanks in advance! Happy Crafting!

    1. Hello, Terah, welcome!! I’m so glad you found me! :) The double stick tape has been holding up really well for me–I’ve had no issues at all. However, you could always use hot glue instead! Let me know if you have any questions!! xoxo

  23. Oh my gosh!!!! This is AWESOME. I am a college student and I was searching for a cute recipe book to take back to school with me after Christmas break. I will be using this to make my first recipe book and redo my mom’s for her! Thank you!!!

  24. Thank you so much for generously sharing these templates! My granddaughter and I are making a recipe book for her right now! Would it be possible or too much trouble to get a Table of Contents?
    Thanks so much!

  25. I am working from my iPhone as I don’t have internet at home for my computer. I downloaded your files. But for the blank ones for the binder to put my own title and I downloaded picmonkey. But it just seems to want to access my photos. And the downloads are not with my photos. They are saved in iBooks.
    Also can you please send me the recipe starter also. I love your choice of print for the cookbook. I am not that computer savvy but do ok for Ann old lady. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Cathy! I’m not sure you will be able to do it on your phone. Do you have access to a public library? They let you use their computers for free most of the time, and it might be worth a visit.

  26. I have never posted a comment on a blog before, but after seeing your beautiful recipe binder pages I knew I had to! I am making scrapbook recipe binders for my mother in law and sister in laws, with recipes in everyone’s handwriting. I was going to design my own category pages, but decided to do a quick google search to see if I could find any I liked online and came across your blog. I am forwarding this to all of my crafty friends and will include your blog info in my gifts!

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much! What a lovely compliment! I’m honored to be the first blog you commented on, and I’m so glad you found something you loved. It’s such a fun gift idea—I know they’ll love it, especially handwritten. So thoughtful!! xoxo

  27. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’m finally starting that family cookbook that I’ve been meaning to do for years, since I’m the only one who has what few recipes were written. Did you mention what type of paper you print on? I’ll need to make at least a dozen cookbooks. Thanks so much for all the helpful ideas!

  28. Love these. quick question. How do I add my specific title to the editable file?
    Thank you!

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