Week #3 Challenge (Recipe Binder)

February 13, 2011
{Creating a Recipe Binder}

My challenge for you this week is to create your own “recipe binder”.  Every since I created my first binder, I have been collecting recipes from the internet, library cook books, magazines, etc… All I have to do is either print them out from online or photo copy them on my printer.  Then I hole punch them & add them to my binder. Its a lovely thing to have.  Mine is very custom to my family and our culinary preferences. I LOVE trying new recipes.

I created my binder cover in photoshop. I love strawberries, so thats what I choose as my cover.

No more messy recipe cards.

I created labels in word and printed them out. You can also use a labeler.

I used teal scrapbook paper for the base of my custom cover page.

I have the following tabs in my recipe binder:

Raw Food
Main Dishes (also post it tabs on top for chicken, beef, soup, casseroles)
Dog Food (We like to make treats)
Crock Pot

*I keep a pencil pouch in the front to hold my index card recipes.

Yummy Cake Pops are a favorite in my house.

I LOVE testing  Pioneer Woman recipes… 

When Im feeling a health kick coming on, I turn to my 7 Day Diva Detox.

I even created a custom spine for my binder.

The back is cute too!

Here are some of my binders.  I keep a binder for EVERYTHING!!!  

Medical Records
Food Storage
Home Management 
Household Documents
Pet Records
Insurance (House, Car, Life)
and many more.

I now store my Recipe Binder on my counter in my cute Dove basket.

*You can see the blue “post it” tabs (for sub-sections) within my binder, in the picture above.

Here is a basic Recipe Binder cover to print out and use if you like. (Click on the link)

You will begin to see the benefits of having a “Recipe Binder” in future challenges
 (hint: meal planning)! Give it a try. You may just like it.

If you are joining the challenge this week, grab a button & link up your blog! 


55 comments on “Week #3 Challenge (Recipe Binder)

  1. Becky says:

    You are so good with those notebooks…my recipes are mostly in cookbooks so I don’t have a lot of recipe cards laying around. I love how organized you are!!

    Becky B.
    Organizing Made Fun

  2. Robyn :) says:

    That’s really nice!! If I didn’t already have something I would definitely print those out to use!! I like strawberries, too. And the color combo is really pretty 🙂

  3. Lisa Staples says:

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse of your binders. You’ve given me a lot of great ideas! I love how organized your are.

    Also thanks for the binder cover link! I just put it on my recipe binder.


  4. TeeBLiterary says:

    Oh Im definitely doing this one – I also love keeping binders for everything! I cant wait to get started tomorrow on a new recipie one….thanks for the inspiration and motivation!


  5. Merely Me says:

    Your binders are so pretty!!! I love reading your blog and was more than totally inspired by your 21 day challenge… I’ve added your button to my blog…..


  6. Great inspiration here! I have a bunch of old family recipes left to me when my sister-in-law passed away, many of which came from my mother-in-law. I love binders too, and I am now inspired to create a lovely family keepsake for my 2 nieces. I have added your button to my blog.
    Jo at Squeaky Clean!

  7. Pammy pam says:

    Omg i DO thisM i have two right now! Maybe i will link up…

  8. simplify411 says:

    Your binder is lovely – I wonder if you will someday share your food storage binder with us?

  9. Your so organized and it looks so pretty! But I’m sticking with my recipe cards. There is just something about a well loved recipe card covered with stains of love. My grandma and mom have passed some on to me and I cherish them 🙂

  10. Stephanie says:

    I’m excited to do this weekly challenge. The last two, I didn’t bother with, because they didn’t really seem up my ally. I made a recipe binder many years ago for my mom for Christmas, she still uses it today. I’ve been collecting recipes and now I need a place to put them all. Thanks for the challenge!

    PS. I also have card holders for 4 x 6 cards that I’m going to use for my recipe cards! Can you tell I’m excited?

  11. Your binder is lovely! I did some of these a while back, but one was not enough, so I created a series of binders: Main Dishes, Vegetables, Soups and Bens, Breads Pizza & Pastas, and Everything Else. If we have a recipe that has become a favorite, I type it up using my Mac Pages program and add it in the notebook in a plastic sleeve. The rest that I’m experimenting with just get hole punched and added in as is.

    Since my post was written a while ago, I just added your button to the bottom of my sidebar. Hope that’s okay! It will probably get seen more there anyway! Love your challenges!!

  12. Jackie Koll says:

    Thank you for sharing your cover templates – I love them; my kitchen decor is strawberries! When I saw yours I was going to try and figure out how to make something similiar and you saved me so much work 🙂 Can’t wait to get this projected started!

  13. Katie says:

    I love this idea, I use several binders myself for my recipes. It makes your stock of recipes custom to what your family will use rather than having many cookbooks cluttering up a shelf.

    I’m curious, what is the food storage binder?

  14. Ms Jeannie says:

    Ok I feel like a dork.. where is week 2 challenge? I dont think I did that one yet and was wondering where I could find the post for it…

    But besides that I think your recipe binder is very cute and vintage looking… (which i really like).. I cant wait to see what others do with their imaginations.

  15. Toni says:

    I will share the food storage binder in an upcoming challenge. Stay tuned!!!!! 😉

  16. I love your binder! Thanks for the printable! I’m going to use it!

    Stop by and enter the Shabby Apple dress giveaway at All Thingz Related!


  17. Thank you so much for posting this as the challenge. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. I can’t wait to get started!
    Jennifer B.

  18. Jenn says:

    question re: binders. do you have a filing cabinet? or do you do binders instead? just thinking about how i organize things…

  19. Toni says:


    I use both for different things. I’m very organized with my paperwork. 😉


  20. Kia says:

    I shared my recipe binder here http://blog.kia-glitz.com/?p=968

    The linky widget seems to have gone awol.

  21. Kelli says:

    YES!!! I need this because I am always looking for a recipe. I can’t wait to complete this challenge!!!

  22. Kelli says:

    Ooh, I’m going to link my Kraft Foods binder and then my main one when I finish it.

  23. Oh man. I’m really loving the idea of a binder. Just seems easier. I have recipe cards in a recipe basket. They are nice cards, with plastic covers; but you are making me want to make a pretty binder. no, I will leave well enough alone, right? LOL. I’ll find something else to make a pretty binder for…maybe a blogging binder!

  24. I just discovered your blog a few months ago, and I am loving it! I am getting so organized, and clean! Thank you so much for all your fab ideas! I can’t wait for the meal planning and the Dave Ramsey posts. LOVE BOWL FULL OF LEMONS!!!!!!

  25. Chardell says:

    Would you mind doing a post on your food storage binder? I would love to know how you keep it organized.



  26. Chardell says:

    Oops, just read the other comment that you already plan on sharing your food storage binder with us in the future. Thanks.

  27. Rhiannon says:

    i have been saying i need to do this forever!!! ok motivation to get er done!

  28. Laurabee says:

    Your binder puts my overstuffed and overflowing recipe box to shame!
    I think I need a binder or two!:)

  29. Ren says:

    Fabulous collection of recipe cards! You have spent much more knowledge for the colour combination of this cards. Keep it up….

    Recipe cards

  30. I would LOVE to link my post, but your Linky isn’t working right now! Check it out here:


    Thanks for all the FABULOUS challenges & inspiration! I LOVE how organized I am getting! 🙂

  31. Toni says:

    Thanks Michelle, just tryagain in a Little bit. It’s being a pain this week! 😉

  32. Candace says:

    Thanks for posting your printable. This is the most adorable thing I have seen in a long time!

  33. Chandeen says:

    I just came over from IHeart Organizing and I love your blog. I hope I can get a post on my recipe binder before you close this link party. We’ll see.

  34. Courtney says:

    I just finished my binder today. I L.O.V.E. it!!! Thanks for the inspiration. Seriously, looking at that and my home management binder makes me happy. Anyway.. I’m loving your challenges. I also am very inspired by your other binders and may be working on some other projects soon.

  35. Jackie says:

    OMG! This is what I needed to read! I started a binder but I didn’t break it down by tabs. I can’t wait to reorganize it!


  36. Casey says:

    Your binder looks great! I don’t cook much myself, but my mom loves copying down recipes and she keeps them in an old, cruddy looking binder without much organization. I’m thinking something like this might be a great Mother’s Day gift to her. Thank you for the inspiration!

  37. Sandra says:

    Better late than never!!! Thanks for giving me the kick in the pants to get this done!! Just one challenge behind, but I’m ready for the next one!! Have a great weekend!

  38. Laura says:

    my fiance and I REALLLLLLY need to set one of these up!

    thanks for posting!


  39. Jill says:

    Do you have a post with information about your Medical Binder? My husband and son have Eosinophilic Esophagitis and this means all kinds of paperwork and things to keep track of. I’m not the most organized person so I scour blogs like yours for help. My son has 3 different doctors, gets medical food from a home medical company, we have a high deductible insurance plan and and HSA. If you could direct me to a post you have already done or post something that would be wonderful. Thanks.

  40. SweetWahine says:

    I cant wait to do this. Thank you for helping me be inspired to organize! <3

  41. Liz Slater says:

    I’ve had my recipes in a binder for a whole and it’s so much easier than a box. I also printed out a list of tried and true recipes and have that on the front cover to make menu planning easier.

    Any new recipes go in the inside front pocket. If I make it and we like it I hole punch and file it. If a recipe sits too long in the pocket and never gets made, I toss it. I also put the most recently used recipes in the front of each section, which helps me remember what we haven’t had in a while.

    I look forward to checking out your other tips since you’re obviously a binder liver like me 🙂 I really need to make a household binder, not sure why I haven’t yet


  42. I realize this was posted over a year ago, but just ran across this post from a link on someone else’s blog (sorry I don’t remember which). I am starting to use a binder system and wondered what you do/did with your recipe cards when you converted to this system. Did you type them up, then put the printed version in your binder or some other way? Thanks for your help! Love the blog.

  43. Sonia says:

    I keep my recipes in page protectors. I pop out the recipe I need and if it gets dirty I just wipe it clean before putting it back in the binder when I’m done. Here is a picture of mine. Not as pretty but it’s in order at least.

  44. Sarah says:

    I organized my moms 10+ years ago in HS into photo album type binders, they’re now tearing at the seems. So, I know what her Mother’s Day gift will be this year! I’ll probably have to still use photo inserts to keep the cards. I know she won’t want to discard 4 generations of recipe cards. But maybe this will help preserve them some, & definitely reorganize them all! …& if the card disintegrates she won’t lose the recipe all together.

  45. Anonymous says:

    What size binder do you recommend?

    • Rachel says:

      It’s really a personal preference. I’m not a big recipe person so I would use a smaller binder. But, someone who loves to cook and is constantly finding new recipes to try may want a larger one. Go with what works for you!

  46. Jessica Black says:

    Pioneer Woman is amazing!! I love her recipes.<3

  47. Erin says:

    What is the Food Storage Binder? I am thinking it is maybe freezer contents/food retention guidelines? If so I would be interested in learning how you manage this. I am looking for a efficient system for this

  48. Lori says:

    I started making family recipe binders when my son got married. I made the first one as a shower gift for my daughter-in-law so I could pass along some of our traditional family recipes and some of my son’s favorites. I used a pre-made binder similar to this one:

    It was such a hit that I have since made one for each of my daughters, two of my nieces when they married and finally one for myself! If I knew which family member the recipe came from, I included that under the name of the recipe when I typed it up. They treasure having their great-aunt’s cheescake recipe, grandma’s christmas fudge, etc. The first one is the most work because of the typing, but once they were saved on my computer, the next ones were a breeze to make. Each of the recipients have LOVED receiving such a personal gift. My single nephew even asked if I would make him one–so he’s getting one for Christmas 😀

  49. Wanda says:

    Mine was started a few weeks ago but this has inspired me to take it to the next level. Would love an idea of a special way to incorporate my mom’s handwritten recipe cards. On another note, the OCD in me kindly requests you flip the labels on the pink and brown binders 🙂 they all need to be the same direction….unless that’s a visual trick you use to differentiate some of the binders??????

    • Lori says:

      For the handwritten recipe cards, you could use those clear page protector type pages that are made for photos. I haven’t looked in awhile, but I think they come with different sized pockets per page. HTH

  50. Corinna says:

    Oh this is so great. i like your site and I’m very happy about your super ideas for organizing and get more time. But what is this with the challenge? What is to do? Is there a deadline? Have I to post some pictures or so on ?? Thanks.

    • Rachel says:

      The challenge was from a while ago. Now our readers work through the challenge on their own time, at their own pace. There’s n oneed to post pictures anywhere but feel free to stay in touch via email if you need more accountability.

  51. Naomi says:

    I have a recipe binder that is organised into seasons for main meals, which makes it easier to meal plan according to what is in season and therefore what is cheapest and freshest in each season

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