DIY Recipe Binder

A DIY Recipe Binder is an easy and practical way to organize all of your recipes–and to keep adding them! Free printables included.

DIY Recipe Binder

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!

How does it work?

DIY Recipe Binder: 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.

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

 DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

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.

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

I now have three binders!  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, so I tend to go with the thinner ones.  Each binder is organized by like categories, making it easier to file and remember where recipes are.

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

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.

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

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!

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

 You can also print and cut out the spine cover, and slide it in the plastic cover.  Easy!

DIY Recipe Binder | Free Printables |

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.

Here are the colors I used:

Dark Gray:  2f2f2f

Light Gray: 6c6c6c

Dark Pink: ff7996

Light Pink: ffc4cc

Dark Green: 7a9800
Light Green: 7db400


Thirsty Script Bold
Century Gothic
Century Gothic is my own font ( you can use their fonts or yours), so you’ll need to have that downloaded on your computer before you start.  It’s a free font!!

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.

Recipe Binder Files (zip file–all-in-one)

OR…download each of the pdf files below!!!

Recipe Binder Tabs 

BLANK divider page (image file, for editing)

recipe book spine

recipe book spine BLANK (image file, for editing)

recipe binder breakfast

 recipe book appetizers

recipe book breads and rolls

recipe book candy

recipe book cookies

recipe book cover 1

recipe book desserts

recipe book holidays

recipe book main dishes

recipe book salads

recipe book side dishes

recipe book soups

recipe book yummy drinks

recipe book crockpot page

recipe book frostings

recipe book miscellaneous

Recipe Book Sample Recipe

Recipe Book Crockpot Tab

recipe book tabs frostings and miscellaneous


DIY Recipe Binder and Printables

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  1. Would you be able to post a blank binder spine or possibly make the spine pages with the different cover names? It would be nice to be able to see which binder I’m grabbing right off the shelf! Thanks!

    1. Hi, Katie! I didn’t do the spine titles, because everyone groups their books differently. I might do them down the line, though, if I’m getting requests!! :)

    1. The spine printables are there too! At the very bottom of the post, I list all the different files you can download, and the spine titles are near the top–three or four down. xoxo

    1. That’s actually a recipe a cut out from a magazine! I might create one in the future though–thanks for asking!!

  2. In serach of making a recipe cookbook, I came across yours. Love it. As for the tabs, you mentioned you laminated and used doublesided take to stick them to the index pages. Wondering how well using the doublesided tape works, does it hold up? Please advise as I’m wanting to make the cookbooks for family for Christmas. Thanks in advance! Happy Crafting!

    1. Hello, Terah, welcome!! I’m so glad you found me! :) The double stick tape has been holding up really well for me–I’ve had no issues at all. However, you could always use hot glue instead! Let me know if you have any questions!! xoxo

  3. Oh my gosh!!!! This is AWESOME. I am a college student and I was searching for a cute recipe book to take back to school with me after Christmas break. I will be using this to make my first recipe book and redo my mom’s for her! Thank you!!!

    1. I am so glad, Makenzie!! This will be perfect for college…and for your mom!!! xoxo

  4. Thank you so much for generously sharing these templates! My granddaughter and I are making a recipe book for her right now! Would it be possible or too much trouble to get a Table of Contents?
    Thanks so much!

  5. I am working from my iPhone as I don’t have internet at home for my computer. I downloaded your files. But for the blank ones for the binder to put my own title and I downloaded picmonkey. But it just seems to want to access my photos. And the downloads are not with my photos. They are saved in iBooks.
    Also can you please send me the recipe starter also. I love your choice of print for the cookbook. I am not that computer savvy but do ok for Ann old lady. Thanks.

    1. Hi, Cathy! I’m not sure you will be able to do it on your phone. Do you have access to a public library? They let you use their computers for free most of the time, and it might be worth a visit.

  6. I have never posted a comment on a blog before, but after seeing your beautiful recipe binder pages I knew I had to! I am making scrapbook recipe binders for my mother in law and sister in laws, with recipes in everyone’s handwriting. I was going to design my own category pages, but decided to do a quick google search to see if I could find any I liked online and came across your blog. I am forwarding this to all of my crafty friends and will include your blog info in my gifts!

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much! What a lovely compliment! I’m honored to be the first blog you commented on, and I’m so glad you found something you loved. It’s such a fun gift idea—I know they’ll love it, especially handwritten. So thoughtful!! xoxo

  7. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’m finally starting that family cookbook that I’ve been meaning to do for years, since I’m the only one who has what few recipes were written. Did you mention what type of paper you print on? I’ll need to make at least a dozen cookbooks. Thanks so much for all the helpful ideas!

    1. Hi, Sherry! I printed everything on white cardstock, and the recipes on white paper. Good luck with your family cookbook…such a fun project! xoxo

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