Cooking DIY Recipes

How to Organize Recipes in a Binder

You will feel so much more organized when it comes time to cook for your family if you have a recipe binder. Follow these tips to start yours today!

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Tired of having to search through a disorganized pile of loose papers or saved websites in search of a recipe you know you have somewhere?

Stop wasting time searching and get right to the cooking by using these tips to organize recipes in a recipe binder!

create a recipe binder

Organize Recipes for Good by Creating a Recipe Binder

A recipe binder is a simple project that will help you feel much more organized when it’s time to cook. Especially if you take the time to set it up in a way that is most useful for you.

It doesn’t need to be expensive. But I do encourage you to make your recipe binder attractive. You can create and print a custom cover on your computer. Or even just by a pretty binder to use. You’ll enjoy it more if you give your recipe binder a dash of your personality.

How to Organize Recipes

As with any DIY project, the more organized you are at the start of your project, the easier it will be to make something you love.

These are the supplies you’ll need to start organizing your recipes in a recipe binder.

A 1”, 2” or 3” binder

Consider how many recipes you have and make sure you allow room for your recipe collection to grow when you’re choosing your binder size.

Meadowsweet Kitchens Create Your Own Collected Recipes Cookbook - Turquoise & Grayrussell+hazel Bookcloth Signature 3 Ring Binder, Peony, 10.75" x 12russell+hazel Patent Mini 3 Ring Binder, Dew, 7” by 9” (28794)bloom daily planners Binder (+) 3 Ring Binder (+) 1 Inch Ring (+) 10" x 11.5Samsill Fashion Color 3 Ring Storage Binders, 1 Inch Round Ring, Assorted Colors May Vary (Blue Coconut, Dragon Fruit, Blueberry), Bulk Binders - 6 Pack

If you plan to add a cover to your binder, choose a white binder with a clear pocket you can slip the cover into.

Sheet Protectors

Look, the kitchen gets messy!  Sheet protectors let you not worry about getting stuff all over your recipes while you are cooking.  

Better Office Products Sheet Protectors, 200 Piece

Just wipe off the pages in your recipe binder when you are done!

Dividers for Recipe Binder Categories

Dividers are essential so you can organize your recipe binders by categories.  

Avery 8-Tab Plastic Binder Dividers with Pockets, Write & Erase Multicolor Big Tabs, 1 Set (16177)Avery 16130 Big Tab Write & Erase Durable Plastic Dividers, 8 Multicolor Tabs, 1 SetCardinal OneStep Binder Dividers, 52-Tab, Customizable Table of Contents, Reversible Multicolor Tabs, Numbered 1–52, 1 Set (60118)Amazon Basics 3 Ring Binder Dividers with 8 Tabs, Pack of 6 Sets

We’ll give you some examples on what you can start with in a bit.

Recipe binder printables (optional)


There are any number of recipe binder printables available online both for free and for purchase. Printables will give your recipe binder a more polished look. And can make putting your binder together easier if you decide you want to use them.

Your Recipes!

Of course, you need all of the recipes you want to organize.  Like many of you, I keep a ton of recipes right in my head.  Creating a recipe binder is a great time to write these down so you can share them with friends and family.

How to Make a Recipe Binder

Now let’s talk about how to make your recipe binder.

1. Choose the Recipes to Include in Your Recipe Binder

If you have a pile of loose recipes to organize you have probably been collecting them for a while. Before you include them in your new recipe binder, sort through the recipes.

Throw out any recipes you know you will never use. Or those recipes you made and didn’t like. Save the recipes you enjoy and will actually use to put in your binder.

Recipe Binder tabs

2. Create Dividers for Your Recipe Sections

Decide what your recipe categories will be in your recipe binder and create a divider for each category.

Recipe Binder Categories

Here are some categories you might use for your recipe binder.

  • Appetizers
  • Soups & Salads
  • Chicken Dishes
  • Seafood Recipes
  • Snacks
  • Lunches
  • Breads
  • Desserts
  • Slow Cooker Dishes
  • Instant Pot Recipes
  • Freezer Meals
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner Entrees
  • Holiday Favorites
  • Drinks
  • Family Favorites
  • Smoothies

And of course, you may have some special recipe categories of your own. This is your recipe binder so choose the categories that make sense for you.

3. Start Making Your Recipe Binder

Now is the fun part. Start sorting your recipes into categories and placing them in your recipe binder. Be sure to put your recipes in sheet protectors so you can easily wipe them off if they get spilled on.

use a recipe binder

Share the Recipe Binder Love

Once you start using your new recipe binder you’ll love how easy it is to find what you’re looking for when you cook for your family. And other people will love it too.

A recipe binder makes a really fun gift for a grown child moving out of the house for the first time. Or for a wedding shower gift, or even a new baby if you fill it with easy to make recipes that a new mom can make.

Consider creating recipe binders to give as gifts to family and friends and include a few of your favorites recipes along with the supplies for them to add their own.

recipe binder

About the author

Elizabeth Voyles

Elizabeth Voyles (@evoyleswrites) is a freelance writer and blogger specializing in parenting and organization topics. In between writing gigs, Elizabeth loves hanging out with her husband and their two young daughters, binge watching shows on Netflix and reading trashy romance novels.

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