Great Gift Idea – Create a Cookbook

how to make a recipe binder
We all have our systems for organizing and saving recipes, and I've always been an index card in the recipe box kind of girl until the internet became my primary source of new recipes. Over the past year, I've amassed quite a collection of recipes that were printed on full sheets of paper. For a while, I kept them in a folder, but when my collection surpassed 100 it was time to restore order in my kitchen!

The solution? I created a cookbook which was simply a 3-ring recipe binder with dividers for each category and clear page protectors. Here's how to create your own recipe binder, and I'm giving you 2 options. The first option is for the scrapbook queen, and the second option is for those who are not so creative or simply pressed for time.

Option #1 – get scrap happy!

Supplies: (the notebook, dividers and page protectors can be found in an office supply store)

  • 3-ring binder with a clear cover and spine
  • Dividers with tabs
  • Clear page protectors
  • Scrapbooking supplies


  • Design a scrapbook page for both the cover & spine and insert.
  • Decide on your recipe categories and make your dividers. You may want to get scrap happy and decorate each divider page. Suggested categories: Appetizers, Beverages, Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, Breakfast, Meats, Poultry, Seafood, Side Dishes, Cakes, Pies, Cookies, Misc.
  • Insert your recipes in the page protectors and put them in your book.
  • That's it, your done, and you've created a cookbook that can be added to over the years!


Option #2 – The Easy Way!


  • Purchase a Recipe Binder like the one below or choose from all sorts of options on Amazon including customized covers. In most cases, you will still need to buy the clear page protectors separately. This was the option that I went with, and the finished product is very professional looking.


  • When you go with this option, the work is really done for you! All you need to do is insert your recipes into the page protectors.

When my cookbook was complete, I thought…WOW this would make a great gift for Mother's Day, a bridal shower or even for a college graduate embarking on the real world. If you're giving the Recipe Binder as a gift, you could just print out a few of your favorite recipes to include and leave room for them to add their favorites.

Now, go unleash your inner Rachael Ray and create a cookbook today!


In full disclosure, this post contains affiliate links to help support The Budget Diet girl! My advice will always be unbiased and free, but free won’t pay the bills! Thanks!

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
12 years ago

I did the same exact thing! I used a 3″ binder. Now, I need another one!! I still don’t have enough room for all of my recipes. Have a great week!

Kimberly@Five Little Chefs
12 years ago

It seems so hard to get organized, but when you put it in a few easy steps it does not seem so hard.

Carla Karam
12 years ago

Love this idea!! I know the feeling. I already have a notebook… however I think I am going to have to move up to a 4″ binder! LOL!!

12 years ago

I love making my own cookbooks. I’ve actually bought scrapbooking cookbook kits and made my mom one-she loves it. I’ve also done the recipe binder for myself. Both are great ideas!

12 years ago

Stopping by from VB!
That’s a very cute idea!
Great for a mom-in-law who loves to cook!

12 years ago

Our recipe book is definitely getting unruly. My wife still clips and keeps paper recipes. As for me, I’ve gone digital and created my own recipe book using Searching through paper scraps was driving me nuts!

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x