How To Make a Recipe Binder

I tackled my first done! project this weekend.  It”s been on my mental list for a while and it finally made it to paper.  I completely revamped my recipe binders.  I wanted the binders to have a cookbook look to them, so I purchased these covered binders from Target.  I like having three main binders – Family Cookbook, Baked Goods, and Holidays.  I switched up the categories a bit and created cute coordinating dividers (if you like the look of the dividers and want some guidance, I put the whole thing in my shop as a Recipe Binder Kit).  So today”s post is a tutorial on how I made my binders (maybe it”s on your list this month, too?).


toss old recipes that you haven”t used or don”t sound good anymore
gather your recipes that you have saved on your computer or tucked away somewhere
decide on a binder – get one (or more) that have a little extra room
decide on your categories/themes – make cover sheets or dividers to keep everything separated like a cookbook
the kit in my shop has 33 different categories and if you celebrate a holiday or two that isn”t listed, just ask – I”ll add that to your order for free!
three hole punch of plastic sleeve – how will you keep your recipes?  I like plastic sleeves because I can wipe them clean
add category tabs – you can purchase divider pages with tabs, but I like to make my own with my label maker.
To secure the tabs to the plastic sleeves I attach the label ( I like clear label tape so the cardstock color shows) to cardstock, cut out the cardstock and attach with a piece of clear packing tape to cover the front and back (this makes it more sturdy).
assemble categories and recipes
the kit in my shop includes a sheet to write down recipes in your cookbook to remember – I love this because it jogs my memory of recipes to make, try, or toss
put your binder in an easy to use place
use it!
So that”s how I made my recipe binders – if you want to make one (or 3) like them, check out the Recipe Binder Kit in my shop.
UPDATE:  I’ve updated this kit and my how to here if you’re interested!



  1. I use a recipe binder and I’d never go back to cookbooks again. Takes a little work but once you have your basic recipes in the binder, you’re set. Then you can add the really good ones that you find along the way. Everything in one nice, neat place! I love it.

  2. What kind of labeler do you have, and do you like it?

  3. I did this to my binders this weekend–my colors were for different meal types (Crock Pot, Freezer, Quick Fix, and Make Ahead). Many recipes fit more than one of those categories. Mine are broken into Main Dishes, Dessert & Seasonal, and Everything Else (breakfast, breads, fruit, sides, non-food stuff like playdough, etc.).

  4. I did this last summer and I love it!!! The only thing I would add (cause I had a problem printing off too many recipes and then I couldn’t always remember if our family liked it that well, etc.) so I only put our favorites in and now only new favorites go in. I also make a copy for my daughter to go in a binder of her own with our family favorites when she gets married someday. =0)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great post! The recipe binder has been on my to-do list for a while. I even got the same style of binders at Target. How did you attach your custom labels? Thanks for help!

  6. I pulled out all my recipes today that I’ve clipped from magazines over the years. Will be tackling this project tomorrow after a quick trip to target!

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  8. Just wondering what kind of recipe template you use. Am looking to re-type a lot of mine but can’t find a template to use!

  9. You have such great tips on putting one of these together. I linked back to you in a post I did on organizing cookbooks and recipes. Thanks again!
    Neaten Your Nest

  10. I did this a few years ago & loved it. I went printer crazy & put all sorts of stuff in there that sounded good to me (but no one else will eat it). So, this put me in the mood to have a binder purge party and go for round 2!

  11. I love your ideas. I will have to incorporate them into our recipe binders. Our binders are a hot mess that we have to dig through every two weeks, as we make our menus. From there we move them into a separate binder, that is the ‘holding place’ for the two week menu recipes. Having the main binder organized will make finding recipes,putting them away after we have used them or as we find new ones much easier.

  12. Kirstin Spindler says:

    Love having my recipes in binders though I have some I havnt tried. My goal is to try recipes and take out the ones we dint like. I too plan to make copies of favorite recipes to give to the kids!

  13. I love this recipe binder idea. What software did you use to create the pages?

  14. I love fonts and I love the one you’ve used in your sheets. Can you tell me the name of it please?

  15. Very nice! I love the colors of your binders and covers. Super cute. Here’s how I organized mine:

  16. I love your editable recipe template from your Etsy store and your binder tutorial here. I was previously using several notebooks and binders, and shelves full of cookbooks. It was exhausting to try to quickly remember where the recipes I wanted were located among the various locations. It has taken some work…and is still a work in progress, but I am cutting down on the cookbook clutter and all my favorite recipes are being compiled in three binders. Thank you!

  17. Forgive me if this is a dense question but can you also use the binder to reference favorite recipes from cookbooks? Or is the binder just for recipes that you have obtained from other sources?

    • I keep a favorite recipe page in my binder to reference favorite cookbooks and I will also photocopy often used recipes so they’re in my binder vs. looking it up.

  18. Becky, love the tips here! I used them to make my own binder and blogged about: Thank you for sharing!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Great idea but I am wanting to put together a binder with recipes that my mom used and want to keep in her hand writing. Any ideas.

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