In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

Recipe Organization

About a year ago I bought a cute new recipe binder for really cheap.  The problem is that the sections in this book did NOT work for me.  All the tabs were pre-printed, and there weren't any extra ones for me to add my own sections.  I knew I was going to have to come up with a better system... so I just started stuffing recipes into the book.  Stuffing. 

Awful, ain't it?   Looking up a recipe was a real chore.

This week, Toni @ A bowl full of lemons is challenging people to get their recipes in order.  And I decided it was high time to do just that. I am thrilled with my results.

The first step was to identify what sections I needed.  So I started off by listing the ones I could think of, and then sifting through my recipes to make sure they all had a category to fit in to.  I added a miscellaneous category for things that didn't deserve their own section, such as preserves, since I don't do a lot of preserving.

The sections that work for you could be very different from what works for me, but here are the sections I decided on:
  • Appetizers
  • Soup & Salad
  • Main Dishes
    • beef
    • poultry
    • veggies
    • pasta
  • Side dishes
  • Breads
  • Breakfast (with a sub section for muffins)
  • Dessert (with sub sections for cookies and cakes)
  • Misc.
I made the tab dividers and pages out of scrapbooking paper and cardstock.  I used some little scrapbooking embellishments and do-dads for decoration too.
    Each section tab has a corresponding picture on it.

    I was inspired by the recipe clippings books of old.   I wanted an eclectic gathered together look that would complement the various additions and food splatters it will acquire over the years.

    Each section includes a page protector labeled "Recipes To Try" so i can clip recipes and put them somewhere without having to commit them to a permanent spot in the book until i know that they are keepers.

    Now finding the recipe I need is easy.  And pretty too.

    Swing by A bowl full of lemons to see more articles on creating a functional and beautiful recipe binder.


    1. Love this! This looks very neat and organized! Thanks for linking to Don't Waste your Homemaking, hope to see you again!

    2. It looks MUCH neater! You did a great job getting them organized!

    3. Hi! I love your recipe binder! It looks awesome! My recipes are currently in a stack in the cabinet. I really need to find a system thats as cute as this and works for me. Thanks for sharing! :)

    4. LOVE your binder. I wish I could find one that cool. Maybe someday.

    5. Great job on the binder. Thanks for linking to We're Organized Wednesday. I'll be featuring this.

    6. Your binder looks great! I love how you gave it that 'collected over time' look and the picture for each divider. Cute!

    7. So organized--my binder is stuffed and overwhelming--needs to be redone. Thanks so much for linking up to Beyond the Picket Fence.

    8. Thank you for not putting everything in page protectors and welcoming food splatters to come! Beautiful book without too many dividers. Thank you for your wonderfully eclectic binder and the recipes to try pocket is brills!

    9. This is a great idea. I really need to do this with my recipes. Mine are such a mess right now!

    10. Thank you for this post, I LOVE your book. I blogged about your post for it inspired me.


    11. I did mine the other day and I couldnt stop reading it over and over..........I love the binder of yours, its beautiful.
      (I found u at

    12. I love that you incorporated a recipes to try pocket for EACH section. :)

    13. I have a recipe binder also with pre-made tabs and I really like your idea. I purchase specialty papers for my pages and print them on my computer. So that they coordinate with my recipes. I am going to make new tabs for my binder, thanks for posting!

    14. I am so hijacking your vintage page divider idea. (If I tell you, is it still hijacking?)

    15. This is one of those makeovers that feels really satisfying. Great job!

    16. I love seeing your binder! I was wondering where you found the great pictures that you used for each section? They are gorgeous!

      Now I'm inspired to get mine organized as well!!

    17. @ laurensmommy - I clipped the pictures for the sections out of various food and cooking magazines.

      I'm thrilled to have inspired you :)

    18. Thanks for the ideas, this is awesome!

    19. I have a three ring binder with the "magnetic" photo pages. I put clipped recipes and ones that I have written out on index cards in the proper section. When I want to use a recipe, I can take it out and use a push pin to pin it to the wall above my work area. This way I don't have a bulky binder taking up all my work space and I don't get (as much) splatter on my recipe cards!

    20. This is such beautiful and crafty recipe book!! Very good use of all of my scrapbooking stuff I never use anymore...

    21. I love what you've done. Where did you find such a cute binder?

    22. I am so in love with all your idea right now. You have even inspired me to take all my husband's great grandmother's clipped and written recipes and put them in a binder. Then make copies for Christmas presents for his family.

    23. Where did you buy your binder? I LOVE it!

    24. I love this!! Thank you for sharing.

    25. So inspiring, I think I'm going to try your strawberry muffin recipe as well :)


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