How To Organize Recipes: Our Best Tips and DIY Tutorials

Alivia Whitaker | September 28, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

If you want to know how to organize recipes we've got all the tips and tricks on how to do it!  Follow our guide below for "how to organize recipes" ideas and DIY tutorials.

How To Organize Recipes: Recipe Box

Nothing is more classic or functional than a traditional recipe box.  Recipe boxes come in a variety of sizes and shapes but are generally used to store filing card-sized recipes in an easy to thumb through format.

The advantages of a recipe box are:
  • It's efficient - all your recipes in one place
  • Easy to thumb through
  • Doesn't take up much space
  • Easy to alphabetize
  • Can be placed on the counter
  • Can be very decorative

DIY Recipe Box

Making Nice In The Midwest outlined a simple recipe box DIY on their website.  They said,

"Making the box is super easy, and can be fun to do with older kids, too! It just takes a little time to wait for each coat of paint to dry. But if you’re like me, you can always find little things (like Pinterest dusting the house) to fill your time between coat drying sessions.

Here’s what you will need:
  • wooden recipe box (I found mine at Joann & used a 50% off coupon!)
  • primer or gesso
  • two sister colors of acrylic craft paint
  • artist’s paintbrush
  • tacky glue
  • three-dimensional letter stickers (I used Subway stickers from American Crafts)

1.) First, arrange your word (“recipe”, or you can get creative here) on the front of the box, making sure each letter is spaced well. Then pull up each letter and glue it to the box. You don’t want to rely on just the sticker’s own adhesive since this box might get manhandled throughout its lifetime.

2.) After the glue has dried, prime all of the areas of your box that will receive paint- the letters included! I ended up needing two coats of gesso to cover up the letters completely. This part is important because you want the paint to last forever. (Note: I liked using gesso as a primer, because it was thick and could be globbed along the edges of the letters, making sure no gaps or cracks would appear between the letters and the box.)

3.) After the primer has completely dried, it’s time to paint! I always like to paint the darker color on the bottom and the brighter or lighter color on the top. Objects just seem better visually weighted when you order the colors this way. You can choose to use painter’s tape to help keep the paint where you want it, or you can just be a meticulous painter. It’s up to you!"

How To Organize Recipes: Recipe Binder

A Recipe Binder is another great option to organize recipes.  Most recipes these days are found online and using a recipe binder allows you to simply print out any recipe you like and add to the binder.

The advantages of a recipe binder are:
  • Easy to add recipes to
  • Easy to create
  • Can add any recipe no matter the source
  • Great for online print-outs
  • Accommodates different sizes of recipes

How to Make your DIY Recipe Binder:

Living Well Mom outlined a great Do It Yourself tutorial for a recipe binder. Find it below:

"Once your recipe binder pages are printed, you can start putting it all together. For the edge of the binder, choose your favorite graphics page and cut it to fit. Then carefully slide it in.

Next, insert the cover page into the clear pocket of your binder.

I highly recommend laminating the cover and category pages as this gives it more protection and stability. Plus it will help your category pages stand out better compared to your regular recipe pages.

Once you laminate the pages, just trim the extra from around the edges and slide each category page into a sheet protector.

Then, cut out each of the recipe tabs that you’ll be using and fold them in half. Insert them into a laminating pouch folded, then laminate.

Cut each tab from the laminating sheet, leaving just a little around the edges. This extra step will help ensure your beautiful recipe binder will last for a long time!

Next, line up each tab according to how many category pages you have.

Carefully hot glue a small line at the very edge of each category page. (Your category pages must be inserted into a protector first.)

Now we’ll get to the really fun part – putting the category pages into your binder…

Now just add your recipes! You can slide them into the clear protective sheets (my recommendation) or simply use a 3-hole punch to add the recipes directly to your binder.

It’s completely up to you. I prefer using the protective sheets because I tend to be pretty messy when I cook, but you may not need them.

And that’s how you make your very own DIY recipe binder!"

How To Organize Recipes: Recipe Bookshelf

Chances are, you already have lots of recipe books that won't fit conveniently in a box or binder.  If that's the case the best course of action for you in how to organize recipes is to create a recipe bookshelf.

Advantages of a recipe bookshelf:
  • You can fit any size recipe book on the shelf
  • Accommodates existing cookbooks
  • Is visually appealing
  • Can be used for dishes and other items besides books
  • Creates extra space in the kitchen

How To Create A Recipe Bookshelf

Love and Renovations detailed on their site how to create your own open kitchen shelving which would be perfect for recipe books.  On their site they said,

"We bought nice, chunky 2×12 while we were there and had them cut it down for us – we originally thought we might do two different sizes of shelves, but once we tried it out by holding it up to the wall we decided to go with the same size shelf for both. We went with 30″ for the shelves, purely because it was what felt right when we held up our tape measure with a few different options.

Once we got the wood home, I gave it a nice rubdown with some Danish oil in the “natural” color. It’s meant to just bring out the natural tones of the wood and I love how it highlights the pretty veins and imperfections. It really brings the wood to life, as cheesy as it sounds, and was exactly the look we were going for.

After we let the wood dry completely (it only takes about 30 minutes before you can wipe off the extra oil, then 8 hours before you actually use it), it was time to put ’em up! To install the shelves, all we did was screw the brackets into the studs on the wall (this is why the shelves are slightly off-center on the wall – we wanted to make sure they were nice and sturdy!), and then set the wood on top and screwed it into the top part of the brackets."

We hope this guide has helped you decide how to organize recipes and will help keep your kitchen functioning well!

In addition, you can visit Keylock Storage Blog for more interesting articles about organization and lifestyle: