Organzing a Pile of Recipes into a Cookbook

Not too long ago I watched my Mother and Sister struggle trying to find a recipe. They both find and tear recipes out of magazines or print them from the internet. Then they would be made, reviewed, and stored in the bread holder turned recipe hole of no return.

My Mom is such a reviewer of food when we eat its ridiculous. She literally turns into Guy Fieri saying things like, “The moistness of this chicken is just unreal! Do you taste the rosemary? I used it in the marinade!” she loves a good hearty review to justify keeping the paper version of said recipes.

Anyway, all of the sheets of paper just got thrown together to form one huge pile. If you flipped through them you’d come across a breakfast panini sandwiched between an apple pie desert and chicken sliders. It was a mess. I wish I took some before pictures but unfortunately I did not. Just picture a bread container like this:

Recipe Holder

Only filled with at least 150 loose papers filled with recipes. This is how it actually looks now, and basically all of these recipes are ones that are not used as often and most are my grandmas old books filled with handwritten recipes. We just dont do it like that anymore 😉 -lol-

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literally, look at this thing! It has to be at least 50 years old!

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How awesome is it though? All in my cute little 97-year-old Grandmas handwriting!

 Obviously I did not want to get rid of or alter these books in any way. They are the only things that did not get filed away into my Organize-The-Recipes-Execution.

Supplies needed to organize recipes into a cute book:

1.) Binder

-This is the exact 1 1/2 inch binder I used


2.) Binder Sheet Protectors

-Like these from Office Depot. 200 for only $14.99! That is the best deal you will get!

Sheet Protectors

3.) Binder Dividers

-You may have to alter them so they stick out further than your Binder Sheet Protectors. What I did was slit a hole in a Binder Sheet Protector where the index of the Binder Divider is, then stick the Binder Divider inside the Sheet Protector and pull the index through the slit. This is so your labeled index will hang out FURTHER then your Binder Divider Sheets. You will see what I mean if you make this)

binder divider

4.) Cute paper for the cover of the binder

-I used a dark blue chevron print because I’m obsessed!-

First things first:

-Some of these recipes were in bad shape. Still readable just wrinkled and folded. Therefore, I took it upon myself to make a photo copy of each and every recipe. This made them all very clean and easier to put into the binder.

Then I decided on how I was going to group these recipes, here is what I came up with

-Side Dishes



-Sea Food






*you can’t see this tab in the picture because it started a new column so it’s up top behind the side dishes tab*

*also, we make a lot of Shrimp dishes. We had enough recipes to give it its own column, this makes it even easier to find specific recipes when you need them!*

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Here you can see how the Labeled Index Tabs work best when they stick out further then the Protective Sheets.

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I printed out the name of each index tab and slid it into a Protective Sheet

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This is what most of the copied pages of recipes look like

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My mom has stuck more recipes in as she finds then. I left an extra 3-5 Protective Binder Sheets in the back of every section to easily add recipes as you acquire them. Keeping everything organized and neat!

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I then inserted a Label for the binder. I just named it “Cookbook Binder”, but you can name yours anything you want 🙂

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And now we have a perfectly organized recipe book! 🙂

The sheet protectors are the best part of this because now you can cook and not worry about ruining your recipe. They are all protected and easy to clean if need be!

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Now, the binder resides next to the recipes old home all nice, organized, and even cute!

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