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How To Make a Splatter-Proof Recipe Binder

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A couple years ago I got sick of the huge collection of recipes I had in different locations throughout my house.  A file in the filing cabinet marked “recipes.”  A couple binders with uncategorized hole-punched recipes that were falling out and splattered with batter and grease because I used the recipes so often.  A stack of them on my computer desk.  Fed up, I finally made a binder to keep my favorite tried-and-true recipes in.  The ones I make over and over again and want easy access to.

My friend, Teri, has a binder very similar and I just copied her idea to create my own.  I recently made a starter binder for a friend’s housewarming and took some pictures of the creation process so I could share this idea with you.

Supplies:

1 Presentation View Binder
Transparent Page Protector Sheets
Adhesive Index Tabs
Recipes printed on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper

For this project, I like to use a binder that has a transparent sheet over the top so you can put a “Title Page” inside of it, of your own design. Using page protector sheets to hold the recipes works well for recipes you use often, because the clear plastic protects the recipe. If you splatter it, you can just wipe it clean before returning the recipe to the binder.  It is also more durable and the holes won’t tear as easily as a paper with holes punched in it.

First, write your recipe categories on the paper tabs that come in the index tabs box. Most everyone will use different categories, depending on the type of recipes they use.  For instance, I not only have a “Desserts” category in my own, but also divided desserts into three subcategories: cake, pie, and cookies.  These are the basic categories you might want to include, adding more if you need to:

Breads
Breakfast
Appetizers & Snacks
Soups & Salads
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Desserts
Etc. (for beverages, condiments, etc.)

Slip the papers into your tabs and then arrange them in the order you want them to appear in your binder. Put enough page protector sheets in the binder for all the tabs. Remove the backing from the first category you want to use and slip it over the side of the first plastic sheet at the very top, then squeeze so it sticks.

These are quite easy to remove if you mess up or want to change how high or low the tab is positioned, so don’t fret if it’s not exactly how you want it. Gently pry it off and adjust it. Repeat the process with the remaining tabs, placing each one on the sheet below the last and a bit lower on the side so it shows beneath the tab before it. Soon you will have a binder that looks like this:

If you like, you can create title pages for each recipe category, as I did. I searched for images using Google, then copied the ones I liked into a Word document and used the same font that I used on the front of my binder to type the category title below the photo.

To create the title page, I did the same thing and searched for a picture I liked (I remember searching for cooking related coloring pages and liked the old-time feel of the one I chose). For the side title, I printed it in a Word document in landscape format in the middle of the page, then folded it to fit the pocket, and with much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I finally managed to get it in. It is difficult to get a paper in that tight spot, so you definitely want to use a folded paper for its sturdiness, or cardstock.

All that’s left is to fill the binder with recipes!

I have this slow cooker enchilada chile recipe posted here.

I put my blank page protector sheets in the front of my binder, before the recipes so that when I want to add a new one, I slip it in, then put it in the correct spot in my binder. I give each recipe its own sheet to make it easier to alphabetize them, therefore they are easier to find, but eventually I will have to start putting two recipes into each protector sheet (one facing forward, one backward) so that it doesn’t get too thick.

That’s about all there is to it! Very simple and quick.  What system do you use for organizing your recipes?  I also have about a million and a half saved to my computer into folders with different recipe categories!

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

19 responses »

  1. Great idea! I finally made something similar a while back in an effort to take control of the countless recipes and cookbooks I have. I have a book like this, and also a hanging file with recipe clips and copies I want to try…along with the many, many recipes I have saved on my computer. I am about as organized with my pictures….which isn’t very…lol It’s a work in progress….always!

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    • I was just thinking of you as I went to bed last night, Renee. I realized I hadn’t seen any posts from you in a while and I was hoping everything was OK. So I’m glad to see you are! :) I totally understand–when you cook as much as we do, the recipe collections can get out of hand!

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  2. this is great!
    should do that, too, definitely!

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  3. That looks lovely. How about publishing a cook book. :) I will definitely buy it. :)

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  4. I really need to do that. I have recipes stuffed into kitchen drawers, some in cupboards and a ton on my computer! I was just looking at my countertops yesterday thinking how many recipes are sitting there too. Way too much clutter! Guess I have my weekend project cut out for me!

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    • I know it takes an effort, but it’s so easy to make and you won’t regret it. It has saved me tons of printer ink b/c I used to have to reprint them b/c I couldn’t find them! lol

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  5. I finally caved and made a binder of recipes I wanted to try. It was getting harder and harder to find anything when I was planning menus – I had no type of organization and the Boss was getting a bit tired of all the things I make *without* recipes. So I got a binder, came up with my classifications, and punched holes in all the recipes I printed off the Internet. I scanned in the tiny off-the-label recipes and made them bigger so I could read them. Then I punched holes in the copies. I didn’t go for the sheet protectors but that’s my personal thang from years in the corporate world.

    Now, when I try a recipe, I give it a big green Sharpie checkmark (or two, if we really like it) and put it back in the binder. If we don’t like it, I toss it.

    I will admit to a pile of recipes waiting to be hole-punched and put in the binder, but that won’t take too long when I make up my mind to do it.

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  6. I love your organized binder! I need to organize my stuff at some point–I have so many saved and printed out from years past, but now I rely so much on the internet that I don’t access them that often. (of course, that doesn’t mean I intend to throw them away! =)
    By the way, I just read your testimony on myspace. I’m so glad you have it posted. You brought me to tears, and I loved how you described the reason that you didn’t fall completely apart when your dad was in the hospital–because you were leaning on someone stronger.

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    • Same here-I use online recipes 90% of the time. But when I make a recipe, I print it off and then if I know I’ll be making it again, I pop it in the binder so next time I don’t have to reprint it. Love. Thanks, Jenna, you’ve made me think about that testimony and I think it’s something I’d like to share here on this blog. I think I will.

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  7. This is just ‘slightly’ off subject…but for someone looking to just get all of their recipes in one spot I came up with a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself). I have six kids who are now mostly out of the house and on their own that were constantly calling with “how do you make….”. Then the next time they wanted to make it…they’d call again, because of course they’d lost the scrap of paper they’d scribbled it on. If you have kids and/or family and friends that always want your recipes…find a church, organization, or someplace that’s putting a cookbook together (usually for a fundraiser) and copy down all of your recipes and submit them. Trust me, they’ll be thrilled that someone went through all that work to make their cookbook better. Little do they know that they’re actually doing YOU a favor because now that your recipes are all nicely printed and bound… you can either just buy some of their cookbooks to give out as gifts or direct someone to where they can purchase the cookbook at. Plus they’re not only getting YOUR recipes but dozens of other peoples too. It’s a Win Win for everyone!

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  8. I have a binder just like this! Daniel and I received it from his Aunt (his mom’s sister). It’s great! I can take a page out of the binder, while leaving it in it’s page protector, and not have to worry about getting it messy! Great idea!

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    • I forgot to mention that I also have about 10 other cookbooks sitting beside my binder. These are family, church, school cookbooks that have our family recipe’s inside. Like Cookie said, we try to keep in mind the recipes that aren’t in a cook book that we already have and when someone is making a new book, we submit those recipes. I put a little sticky note tab on my favorites, with a little note of which recipe it is, so that I can read over them before I start looking through the entire cookbook, if I’m looking for something particular.

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    • Yepper, that’s what I do. Very handy. :) What a nice, thoughtful gift. Hope she gave you some favorite recipes too.

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  9. I love this! i started one similar before I had a blog but it started to get really thick. Now I just keep them online or on my blog. I love how pretty yours is with the pictures though. :-)

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  10. Pingback: What I Eat When You’re Not Looking « Veronica's Cornucopia

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