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Prudent Baby

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

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.

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Blogger Jessica said...

oh if I were this organized I might actually want to cook more often. Thanks for the download!

January 26, 2010 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I've done this EXACT thing with my recipes! It's so similar, it's scary. Your divider tabs are way cuter though.

January 26, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger Jaime said...

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.

January 26, 2010 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Jaime said...

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.

January 26, 2010 at 8:46 AM  
Blogger Vone said...

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)

January 26, 2010 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Michelle Greene said...

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!

January 26, 2010 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

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.

January 26, 2010 at 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Adventures in Dressmaking said...

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!!

January 26, 2010 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

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!

January 26, 2010 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Kekibird said...

This is a great idea. I'm just starting to cook and could use a system. A binder with plastic covers is a great idea.

January 27, 2010 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Anna said...

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... :)

January 27, 2010 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Princess of Power said...

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!

January 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM  
Anonymous MD said...

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!

January 27, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Claire said...

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.

January 27, 2010 at 6:52 PM  
Blogger PumpkinFreckles said...

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.

January 27, 2010 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger mergenzi said...

Beautiful! Green would be fabulous!

January 27, 2010 at 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

January 27, 2010 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Claire said...

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.


January 28, 2010 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger Lovely Little Nest said...

Very cute! What about a binder template in grey? :)

January 28, 2010 at 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

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


January 28, 2010 at 8:29 PM  
OpenID semicrunchymama said...

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!

January 30, 2010 at 2:01 PM  
Anonymous molly said...

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.

January 31, 2010 at 4:51 PM  
Blogger Miss Tiff said...

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.

February 8, 2010 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Tamara said...

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

February 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger ~ Evielena~ said...

I looove this!! This is on my project list. Thanks so much for sharing.

March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

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

March 28, 2010 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Timmi said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one weird about my recipes I do the same thing!

January 28, 2011 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

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.

February 6, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Ana @ Don't Fear the Ripper said...

I just wanted to thank you for these awesome printables! I have my recipes organized in ugly binders and these are perfect to make them look prettier. Thanks!

March 1, 2011 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

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.

April 19, 2011 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

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

April 20, 2011 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Jacinda said...

Yes Heather! Was thinking of household & garden versions!

April 20, 2011 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Excellent!! I will be anxiously waiting for both! Thanks, Jacinda!

April 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Jessica (The Bluestocking Society) said...

Love these binder cover templates! I just printed some for myself and will be printing more for Christmas gifts. This is a great site.

May 11, 2011 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

I can't download any of the artwork. Was wanting the pink cover.

May 11, 2011 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger Jacinda said...

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!

May 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Perez said...

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

May 23, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Brenbren said...

Just wanted to let you know I featured your recipe binder at

June 9, 2011 at 10:03 AM  
Blogger Canoncowgirl said...

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 ;-)

June 23, 2011 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Jacinda said...

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

June 23, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

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

July 7, 2011 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger NatalPlumb said...

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

July 25, 2011 at 6:09 PM  
Blogger isaac and jenny said...

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!

August 17, 2011 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Melissa C said...

Having trouble the the download :( 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?

August 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Jacinda said...

Hey Melissa-looks like there's an issue with Google Docs right now. I can't even get in to it. Check back in a bit.

August 26, 2011 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Rene' said...

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!

September 2, 2011 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger breanna said...

thanks for such a great project! I've shared it here:

September 19, 2011 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

Saw this pinned! I literally have an identical system that I posted about a couple of months ago! =)

September 22, 2011 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger DebiK said...

I've been working on something similar for about a year now to give to each of my adult 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.

September 26, 2011 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger trinkka said...


November 25, 2011 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Lindsey said...

Are the templets still avaliable?

January 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger kk said...

I couldn't get the templates to load when I click the link :o( ARE they still available??

January 12, 2012 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger ~MMS said...

Have the two most recent posts here received an answer, because I don't see one and I would like to know about the templates, too. I found this site recently when I went searching online for recipe organization ideas. This one looks like it has a lot of potential and I keep coming back to see if there have been any updates.

January 18, 2012 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Jacinda said...

They are all there when I click so I'm not sure how to help. They do not display properly in google doc but download them to your desktop and you should be good to go!

January 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Junassicpark said...

I made a recipe binder very similar to this when my husband was pre-transplant and his diet was very strict. It really helped as cooking is not my favorite. I gave that binder away and then found that I wish I hadn't. I've started a new one, though. My husband is 3.5 yrs post transplant and doing great!

January 25, 2012 at 3:20 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

Thanks for the post, can't wait to make my own!

January 28, 2012 at 8:49 PM  

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