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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
You can also print and cut out the spine cover, and slide it in the plastic cover. Easy!
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
To download the files, just click on the files below!