A DIY Recipe Binder is an easy and practical way to organize all of your recipes–and to keep adding them! Free printables included.
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!
Affiliate links of products I used are included for your convenience. See my full disclosure here.
Easy Method to Organize Your Recipes!
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.
How to Organize Your Recipe Binders
I started out with three smaller binders, then switched over to two larger binders. But it really is personal preference, and how much room you have to store them! 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, but I do like having them mostly together.
With plenty of dividers and tabs, no matter how many binders you have, it makes it so easy to find and locate your categories and favorite recipes.
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 with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Canva.
- Dark Gray: 2f2f2f
- Light Gray: 6c6c6c
- Dark Pink: ff7996
- Light Pink: ffc4cc
- Dark Green: 7a9800
- Light Green: 7db400
- Thirsty Script Bold
- Century Gothic
If you don’t already own these fonts, you’ll need to download them first.
How to Put Your Recipe Binder Together
- White binders
- Plastic sheet protectors (I like heavyweight, matte, and non-glare)
- Scrapbook paper or cardstock (for tabs)
- White cardstock
- Laminator (this is the one I’ve used for years!)
- 2-inch circle punch (optional for tabs)
- Type up and/or print all of your recipes onto white paper.
- Slide recipes into plastic sheet protectors.
- Print the category pages, front cover, spine, and tabs.
- Slide the category pages into sheet protectors.
- Slide the front cover into the plastic sleeve on the front of the binder.
- Cut out the spine printable and slide into place.
- Use a 2-inch circle punch or scissors to cut out round circles for the tabs and laminate, then use double stick tape to adhere in place–leaving half on the page and half off.
- Place all of your recipes into appropriate categories.
Download Recipe Binder Printables
To download the files, just click on the files below.
I added the sample recipe page after several requests. I like to keep it very simple, and type them in a Word document, then saved to a Recipes Folder with subfolders for each category. The font size for the title is 18, and the text is at 14. I also do only one recipe per page, no matter how short it.
OR…download each of the pdf files below!!!
- Recipe Binder Tabs
- BLANK divider page (image file, for editing)
- Spine BLANK (image file, for editing)
- Breads and rolls
- Cover 1
- Main dishes
- Side dishes
- Yummy drinks
- Sample Recipe
- Crockpot Tab
- Frostings and miscellaneous Tabs