How to Make a Recipe Organizer Binder

Organize your recipes in an attractive and practical way. Create a personal cookbook or design one for friends and family.

It’s easy to create a recipe organizer binder for yourself or as a gift for someone else. While there are recipe organizers you can buy, they lack versatility. In general, they contain only magnetic pages which don’t work well for full-page recipes. For the same money or less, you can design one that will organize all your printed recipes regardless of size. As an added bonus, recipes are organized in a way that works specifically for you.

To help you get started you can print off the free recipe binder printable that I've created for you.


Call me old-fashioned but I still have recipes on pieces of paper in my kitchen.  They would be on sticky notes, note cards, and random pieces of paper making up a giant mess in my cookbook cupboard and my kitchen counter.

Before I created my recipe binder I would write a recipe down and add it to my cookbook cupboard.  There wasn't a system in place it was just a lot of random papers stacked on one shelf and everyone in my family knew not to touch "mom's papers".  I had a method to my madness.

The method I had was waste 20 minutes trying to find that "recipe that I wrote down that one time" and hope for the best.  Needless to say, my system wasn't working.  It was time for a change and that's how this recipe binder came into existence.

Finding a recipe binder that works for you.

Recipes now come from many sources. You may have pages ripped from magazines or full pages printed from Internet sources. You may have traditional recipe cards or handwritten recipes on all sizes of paper.

Keeping track of them all can be difficult. You may have them stored in a box or shoved between the pages of another cookbook. Chances are they aren’t readily available when you want them and maybe showing wear from use while cooking. Collecting them in a binder will not only make it easy to find them but also easy to use while cooking.

Materials for Creating a Recipe Organizer Binder

All materials can be purchased at an office supply store. The number of pages needed for each binder will vary depending on the number of recipes you have to organize. Plan on including extra sheets of each kind to include future recipes you collect.

  • Binder-1 ½ inch size or larger. You can choose a decorative one which may come with its own set of tabs or a plain plastic binder which you can decorate yourself.
  • Page size sheet protectors
  • Magnetic photo pages
  • Set of tabbed dividers (if not included with binder)
  • Binder pockets
  • The free recipe binder (you can print off by clicking the button below)

A little pro tip for you:

Make sure you choose page sized sheet protectors and not regular sheet protectors. The regular ones are bigger than page size and will overlap the divider tabs. Other items you may need for putting together your binder include scissors, tape, and a three-hole punch.


Putting Together the Recipe Binder

First, start by doing a preliminary sorting of recipes to decide how you wish to organize your recipes. You can use as few or as many categories as you wish. Make sure you have enough tabbed dividers for the number of categories you decide upon.

Some suggested categories are:

  • appetizers
  • main dishes
  • side dishes
  • desserts

Or you could go a simpler route and use categories like:

  • breakfast
  • lunch
  • dinner

Another option could be more specific by ingredient type. Choose whatever works best for you and the number of recipes you have so that you will find the recipes you want when you need them.

Start organizing recipes by putting them in one of the two-page types you’ve purchased. Use the sheet protector pages for full page recipes from magazines or Internet sources. These will hold two pages, front and back.

organized recipe binder.jpg

If you have a two-page recipe, position the first page on the back of one sheet protector and the second page on the front side of another. This way you can open the binder to see the entire recipe.

For recipes printed on less than a full sheet of paper, arrange them on the magnetic pages. Make sure to leave enough space around the recipes so the plastic cover adheres to the page.

Next, put the pages into the binder according to your category system. Whether you mix the magnetic pages and the sheet protectors don’t matter. You may find it works better to mix them depending on how you want your recipes ordered, or you may prefer to keep all the magnetic pages separate from the sheet protectors. Whatever system appeals to you is the best one for your recipe binder.


Include extra magnetic pages and sheet protectors in each section for expanding your recipe collection. Also, include 2 to 3 binder pockets in the back of the binder as a holding place for recipes you’d like to try before including them in your binder.

Since I know how overwhelming it can be to put a recipe organizer binder together I've put a free recipe binder together for you.  In this recipe binder, you'll receive a cover, category pages, tabs, and blank recipe cards for you to print out and use for your own nicely organized recipe binder.

A trip to the office supply store and downloading the free recipe biner is all it takes to create a personalized cookbook for yourself or someone else. By using common office supplies, you can easily customize a recipe organization system that encompasses all your recipes regardless of source.