Organizing: A Simple DIY Recipe Binder with Free Printables

free printable recipe binder

I’ve been working on organizing my recipes for years, but nothing I tried actually worked. I could rarely find a recipe without a great deal of frustration and often resorted to printing out yet another copy from the computer. It was quite pathetic. So a few weeks ago, I knew what my next organizing challenge was going to be: recipe organization!

Organizing Challenge

For this organizing challenge, I’ll share how I made a simple DIY recipe binder for organizing recipes. Anyone can do it – all you need are a few simple supplies and a little time.

I even created free printables for your DIY recipe binder!

Before and After

Before, I had recipes everywhere. On the fridge, in my recipe drawer, in my cookbook rack, in bins on my pantry shelves. Tons of cooking magazines. It was BAD. I didn’t even take a BEFORE picture.

But AFTER is much improved. All of my recipes are in one spot, with the exception of a few holiday cookbooks that I keep with my Christmas boxes. That cookbook rack belonged to my Grandma, so even though my binders are a little long for it, it’s not going anywhere. :)

organized recipe binders

I also organized my recipes with a new recipe box, but I’ll share that next week.


Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe binder:

(Note: the links below are affiliate links.)

recipe binder supplies

Free Printables for Your Recipe Binder Cover(s)

I have three binders – “Tried and True Baking”, “Tried and True Cooking”, and “Looks Delicious!” (for recipes I want to try.)

recipe binders

Decide how many binders you need. You can always change it later, which is one of the nice advantages to this simple DIY recipe binder system.

Print out your binder labels from my free printables.

Choose from:

There’s two pages to each printable. Tuck the first page into the clear plastic window of your binder. This is your binder cover.

Cut out the second page to fit into the side of the binder.


Recipe Categories

Write down what your recipe categories are.

My categories are:

Tried & True Cooking:

  • Appetizers & Beverages
  • Main Dishes
  • Beef
  • Casseroles
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Salads
  • Side Dishes
  • Soups & Sandwiches

 Tried & True Baking:

  • Breads & Muffins
  • Breakfast
  • Cakes & Cupcakes
  • Cookies & Bars
  • Other Desserts
  • Pies

You’ll need one divider for each category. Label each divider by hand or print out a free label for each divider. (I prefer printed labels to my handwriting; it’s much neater.) If you don’t have the Avery stickers (I didn’t), cut out the labels and attach them with clear tape.

You could put the dividers into your binders right now, but the clear plastic protectors for your recipes will stick out farther, making it hard to see your dividers. So I recommend placing each divider into a clear plastic protector.

recipe binder supplies2

You’ll need to cut space for the tab on the side. (For the bottom tabs, I cut straight down on the plastic protector and taped the top together so the divider won’t fall out.)

recipe binder2

Once you add all your dividers, it should look something like this:

labeled recipe binder

Add Your Recipes

Now, you can have fun adding your recipes!

While you don’t have to, I highly recommend using clear plastic protectors; not only do they make it incredibly easy to pop recipes into your recipe binder (no need to three-hole-punch them because the plastic protectors are already punched), but it really does protect your recipes.

organized recipe binders2

This system works; everything’s organized so nicely and I can actually find recipes again!
Give it a try; it’s easy and you can have your recipes organized nicely with this simple DIY recipe binder too!

I’d love to hear how this DIY recipe binder works for you – leave me a comment!

Remember, to stop by for next week’s organizing challenge: Organizing your recipe box!

Have you read these Organizing Challenge: Kitchen posts?

Menu Planning Made Easy {It’s Free!}
Organizing Spices
A Simple Frugal Solution for Organizing Tea

10 Free Printable Labels

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About the Author

Erika is a happily married mom with four energetic children. With a love for Jesus, photography, organizing, and encouraging other moms, she stays busy and definitely does not have it all together.


  1. It looks like a perfect idea to organize my stuff in my recipes. Thanks.

  2. I love this! This has been on my to-do list for a very long time, now. Thanks for the tips!

  3. latanya says:

    Thanks for sharing your printables!

  4. jdt1583 says:

    Great idea!

  5. Oh! I wish I was that organized! Want to come over?

  6. I LOVE this. I am always looking for new ways to organize “that drawer”. You know the one in the kitchen where I shove all the papers into, then I scramble looking for a recipe.

    • I totally know what you mean – I didn’t have a drawer, but I had a big plastic bin. I could never find what I needed.

  7. This is a great idea. I so need to organize my recipes.

  8. What a great idea! I need this. I’m planning on getting organized this summer and would love to give this a try.

  9. Oh, Oh! What great ideas. I can’t wait to return from vacation and give this project a whirl. My young adult kids have been bugging me for over a year to put together our fave family recipes in an easy-to-access form for them to each have copies. This looks great!

  10. This is great! I hate pulling a recipe out because they are everywhere! AWFUL MESSY!! Will be working on this!

    • I hear you, Melissa! That was me for YEARS until I finally tried this binder idea and I just love it! Let me know how it turns out!

  11. Thank you for the tips! Can’t wait to start making mine!

  12. Georgia Beckman says:

    I am SO going to do this! You’re a genius! My recipes are all over the place too. AND, they’re all stained & nasty looking, lol. Great idea putting them in the sleeve protectors which can easily be wiped off. YAY YOU!!!!!!!

  13. Thanks for the tips & the printables! I know what I’m doing tomorrow. 😉

  14. Stumbled across your post when looking for ways to decorate my binders. Basically did the same thing after spending WAY too much time trying to find a recipe.
    I did one additional thing. I have a # of recipes that are on 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 cards. I bought a bunch of coupon sleeves (found on clearance at Staples) & put the recipe cards in the pockets to include in the binders. Works like a charm!!
    Thank you for sharing!

  15. Debbie Welchert says:

    I love this idea. I have so many new recipes from pinterest that I need some place to store them and this is a perfect idea. My daughter would love this idea too so I will be passing it along to her too.

  16. Jane Ritz says:

    Oh, I’m so going to do this. This is absolutely wonderful.I am already thinking of different categories. Thanks for such a great idea.

  17. Did you ever post about your recipe box? If so, can you post the link? I can’t seem to find it. Thanks!

  18. This article has been flagged as spam, if you think this is an error please contact us. You can do this easily from the Word – Press Dashboard ‘ look for Tools in the left-hand menu, and select Export.

  19. OMG!! Putting the dividers in a page protector is GENIUS! Thank you! 😀

  20. michi314 says:

    I just completed the “Tried and True Cooking” and “Tried and True Baking” books. What a relief to be able to find and protect old family recipes. Thanks for the inspiration and beautiful templates :)

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