Do you love spending time in the kitchen and cooking delicious meals for your friends and family? Then you probably have tons of recipes scattered all over the place; some are on cards in your kitchen cabinet, others are printed out and stuffed in a drawer, and more are saved on random websites or emails.
Make sure to scroll down to download your FREE RECIPE BINDER DIVIDERS with 40 categories to choose from!
If that’s the case, it’s time to get organized! Organizing your recipes is the key to success. Not only does it make it easier for you to find the recipe you’re looking for, but it also means that you can save space in your kitchen cabinets by storing them all in one place.
In this post, we will teach you how to create the ultimate recipes binder!
Why You Should Organize Your Recipes
You might be thinking, “I already have so much to do, why do I need to create a recipe binder as well?” And honestly, you don’t have to! It’s not imperative to your kitchen’s tidiness.
However, if you have tons of loose recipes or a huge cookbook collection you hardly touch, and all the recipes are taking up valuable space in your kitchen, creating a recipe binder will save you tons of space.
Recipe organization will also make it easy to find your recipes when you need them. Instead of rifling through multiple crinkled pages from your cookbooks or sifting through a pile of loose cutouts, you can just look in one spot for all the recipes you need. This also helps if you have a lot of recipes online that you’ve saved!
TOOLS YOU’LL NEED
Making a DIY Recipe Binder
Making a DIY recipe binder doesn’t have to be hard! You don’t have to do it all once either. Take it slow and work on it whenever you can. There are also a few ways you can go about it.
In your recipe binder, you can either just accumulate all of your recipes that were written on recipe cards or loose pages. Then you can keep your recipe binder alongside your cookbooks.
However, if you have a lot of cookbooks and only use a few recipes from each one, you can also copy out your favorite recipes (credit the cookbook of course so you don’t forget where it came from!) and donate or give away the full book.
Then you’re only saving your favorite recipes or recipes you want to try! Narrowing down your recipes like this will save you tons of space!
What You’ll Need for Your Recipe Binders
The recipe binder supplies you’ll need are:
- A binder
- Page protectors or plastic sleeves for recipe cards (if desired)
- Recipe cards of some kind (you can do full sheets of paper you type up, buy note cards you write recipes on, free printable recipe templates, etc.)
- Divider pages (download my free dividers using the form on this page)
- Clear pocket for cards you want to keep aside for mealtime
- Labels with category names
- Your printed recipes
Once you have all of these supplies, it’s time to assemble your binder!
Before You Get Started…
Before you really start organizing your recipe book, there are a few steps you should follow.
Gather Favorite Family Recipes
First, gather all of your recipes, including those printed out, cut from magazines or favorite cookbooks, and recipes stored online. Go through them over the course of a few days or weeks and pick out the ones you or your family members like along with any recipe you think you will be likely to use in the future.
Rewrite the recipes for your family’s favorite meals, side dishes, and desserts onto your new recipe pages or cards. I like having all my recipes in my recipe binder all uniform, so I have an editable version of a recipe template that I use for my recipe book. You can do whatever works best for you though!
Declutter Unused Recipes
After you’ve got your recipes saved from your favorite cookbooks, online recipes, Pinterest board, and pages of recipes, donate, throw out, or give away the books and recipes you no longer need!
If you have a recipe or cookbook that you never use or don’t enjoy, you don’t need it taking up space in your kitchen!
Put Your Recipes in a Sheet Protector
Get those recipes you saved into page protectors, sheet protectors, or something similar. Kitchens can be messy places, so it’s best to keep your recipes safe in something waterproof and durable. You don’t want to spill anything on your recipes while you’re cooking!
If you don’t want to use sheet protectors, you can just use a 3-hole punch and punch the paper like I did below.
Get Your Recipes Sorted
Now that you’ve narrowed down your recipes, you need to sort them out! In the next section, we’ll go over a few different categories you can use for recipe organization. But to create an organized recipe book, you’ll want to separate your recipes into categories.
TOOLS YOU’LL NEED
Organize Recipes Binder in a Few Simple Steps
For a functional recipe binder, you need to organize your recipes in a way that makes the most sense for you! Here are some ideas for how to categorize or organize the pages in your binder.
Great Ideas for Categories in Your Recipe Binder
One way to get your recipes organized is by when you’d eat that particular dish. For example, your categories could look like this:
Another way to organize them would be:
- Main Dishes
- Side Dishes
- Baked Goods
That does give you really broad categories, so you could organize them in more specific ways or make subcategories within the broader subjects. Like this:
- Cakes and Pies
- Meat Meals
- Meatless Meals
Other categories you could make are:
- Recipes to Try
- Family Favorites
- Instant Pot
- Slow Cooker
- Air Fryer
- Freezer Meals
However you choose to organize your many recipes, make sure your binder makes sense to you! You want to be able to find the exact page you want when you’re cooking each meal.
You can also use tab dividers or divider pages to separate the different categories of your recipe binder so the pages are easier to flip to.
Make Your Own Index or Table of Contents
Before you put all of your recipes into page protectors, take a few moments and create an index for the entire binder. This will help you find recipes quickly and easily.
You can have your Table of Contents at the beginning of the entire recipe binder or at the front of each section – whichever you prefer! At the very least, keep a list of the recipes included in your binder so you don’t have to spend time searching through every page to see if a specific recipe is in your binder.
A recipe binder can really help when you are menu planning! You can keep a section in your recipe binder of recipes to try that you can pull from when menu planning.
Then, when you have your meal planning for the week all done, you can keep those specific recipes up at the front of your binder. Keeping a small section for things you will cook that week will make it easier to quickly find the recipes you need when you’re busy in the kitchen.
Making Multiple Recipe Binders
If you have tons of recipes and they won’t all fit in one binder, you can definitely have multiple recipe binders! You can use different colored binders to organize them by cuisine, meal type, or even season.
Even if you have multiple recipe binders, they’ll still probably take up a lot less space than all of your cookbooks. Plus, you’ll know the recipes you saved in your binders are family favorites that you will use often in menu planning!
Free Printable Recipe Templates
If you’re not sure what kind of pages you want for your recipe binder, downloading an editable recipe template is a great idea! That way when you find new recipes, you can easily transfer that recipe to the template and keep all of your pages in the recipe binder consistent.
You can also design a few different templates for different types of recipes you want to save (salads, main courses, etc.) and print them out as needed. Recipe templates often have space for ingredients, directions, and nutritional information.
Creating Your Own Recipe Binder
Making a recipe binder is a fantastic way to organize all of your favorite recipes. You can use recipe template print outs and make your own custom cover for your binders. Don’t forget to put your recipes in page protectors to keep them clean!
It can be time-consuming to make a recipe binder, but it goes a long way in keeping your recipes organized and easy to find. It will also make it easier to plan meals to cook because you’re flipping through a binder full of family favorites.
If you choose to make a recipe binder, I know you won’t regret it!