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Recipe Binder Labels

Hi Pals! Wishing you a happy February day.

If you are a regular reader, you know I recently undertook a major unclutter of our home. During the Unclutter Your Nest and Lighten Your Load Boot Camp I endeavored to touch every item in our home and decide if I found it beautiful or useful.

If not, I decided to send the item to someone who would find it beautiful or useful, a lá Marie Kondo. It was a great exercise and one that had me remove in excess of 1000 pounds of stuff from our home. The boot camp may be officially over, but I am still examining the remaining items in my home through that lens. 

One area of my kitchen that needed a hard look was my collection of cookbooks.  I have always been a sucker for cookbooks.  My family typically gifts to me one or two great cookbooks each Christmas.  Sitting in front of the fire in my den, after all the gifts have been opened, in the midst of all the wrapping and boxes, perusing my new cookbooks is one all-time favorite Christmas day tradition.

To that end, even if there wasn’t a specific book on my wish list, I’d find one so that I could have that experience….not sure what that says about me.

However, the end result is that I had accumulated WAY TOO MANY cookbooks, which begs the question…[can you use the term ‘WAY TOO MANY’ and cookbooks in the same sentence?  I guess that will have to be one of life’s many unanswered questions, but for the purposes of this post, let’s assume that you can and let’s also assume that I did have too many.

I did go through my cookbooks and reluctantly let some go to find homes who will find the recipe that they’ve been pining away for and that will become new family traditions for them.  And even though I still use the internet and my digital recipe files more and more, I kept a good number of cookbooks just for that one special recipe or because I really love the photography.  

A quick, easy and attractive method to organize recipe binders in your kitchen. Create these recipe binder labels using Word or another word processing software. | Organization

In addition to all my cookbooks, I have several binders of recipes collected over many years.  In this age of Pinterest and digitized versions of recipes, I still enjoy plopping open my binder with Asian recipes and finding the email with my friend Karen’s recipe for Beef and Broccoli.  She served this dish at our Supper Club several years back and seeing that email immediately takes me back to that oh so fun night.  However, in the re-examination of everything in my home, these kinda caught my eye and asked for just a wee bit of my attention.  At some point along the way, the label for ‘Entrees’ met up with some water with obvious and unfortunate consequences.  And with a 19- and 16-year, the recipes I had in the ‘kid meals’ binder for ‘best toddler finger foods’ and the like needed sorting.  I set out to clean out some of the recipes and update the recipe binder labels.

How I updated my Recipe Binder Labels:

This was such an easy project to give them a fresh new look.  I have seven binders and wanted to spread some words across the 7 binders.  As kismet has it, ‘recipes’ has 7 letters!  That was easy. I could’ve stopped there, but I brainstormed some more and came up with

my best


I figured I could add the category within each binder on the bottom of the label.

my best

I created a document in Word with 3 columns on each page as I wanted the single letter on each page to fill the spine.  I ended up using a size 100 font in Cambria, lower case, for the big letters and a size 28 font in Good Vibe, lower case,  for the categories.  I had a couple of dry runs and then printed the letters/words on card stock.  The card stock made it much easier to slide them into the spine pockets.

So, what if you don’t have 7 binders?   Here are some options I noodled:

3 binders:


4 binders:







5 binders:



A quick, easy and attractive method to organize recipe binders in your kitchen. Create these recipe binder labels using Word or another word processing software. | Organization

Do you have recipe binders that are languishing away in a drawer or cabinet somewhere?  Spiffy them up with recipe binder labels and let them join the rest of your cookbooks.  You know, Marie Kondo would tell you that they’ll feel much better if on a shelf rather than in a dark drawer!  This was such an easy, immediate gratification project…my favorite kind!  Rather cleans up my cookbook shelf…a quick facelift.

Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today.

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Until next time…


Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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  1. lynn you’ll be proud of me–in our great purge, I got rid of MANY gorgeous cookbooks I never once used…And I have this huge tub of recipes I’ve torn from magazines/newspapers over the years. I organized them into folders according to what type they were, so *some* of that is organized, and in the meantime each time I use one of those I enter them into my computer, then they go to my iPad Word files so that I’m trying to ultimately digitize as many recipes as possible. I still have a lot of cookbooks, but i only saved the ones I use and sometimes I just want to open the book and use that to cook vs my iPad. My recipes are not in any particular recipe app–I’d researched a few years ago and hadn’t found one that suited my needs, but that would probably be ultimately the easiest thing.
    Oh I also have taken recipes I like the most and pulled them up online, copied into text edit doc (to strip things out of them for transfer to Word) and then put them in a Word doc–all part of my effort to be somewhat more organized 😉

    1. Hello dear friend,
      I’ve got to admit my curiosity that we did not experience the apocalypse as a result of you purging your cookbooks…has me a bit concerned that it’s in the offing. Better get my affairs in order.
      That being said, it is a bit cathartic, isn’t it? And, like you, I’m all about digitizing right now. Got the greatest little scanner for Christmas…for receipts and such. My goal is digitize all receipts each week…wish me luck on that.
      Keep up with getting rid of the clutter…remember, the fewer things you own, the fewer things you will have to tend.

      Hugs and Kisses…Lynn

  2. What a clever idea Lynn! I like to organize, but my kitchen cook books and collected recipes, and believe me, there aren’t many, are in a horrible state! I have them in a basket, cause I like baskets and many recipes are just printed on paper in that basket. Really not that great! This would be a real challenge, getting binders and organizing them neatly like you did! Love the idea! Maybe I’d feel like trying new dishes more often like this! Have a great day Lynn, it’s almost Sunday, and not saying that because of VD, but WD, lol!

    1. I’m right there with you on the WD v VD thing! What a romantic way to spend the evening, right? You are such an organized gal, I think it’s funny that your recipes are all in a basket! But whatever works for you…if that’s your organizing weakness then I’d say you are doing pretty darn well.

  3. A very sleek way to organize them Lynn! They look bright and cheery and in order. I hide mine in a cabinet because there are pages stuffed inside, and others falling out. I seriously need to get organize them. You are so unbelievably organized and on top of things!

    1. Oh Mary, of course I only show you the organized stuff!! Though my recent purge has left me with many fewer unorganized spots…if you just toss the whole unorganized lot out then BAM…you’re all of a sudden organized! Love how that works.
      Big hugs coming your way!


  4. Lynn I really should just scan them all rather than creating word docs for them. Oh well, at this point whatever works, right? And yes, it did not even make the earth move when we got rid of all those tons (literally) of stuff. it’s nice to purge

  5. Lynn, I have 6 3-inch binders of recipes that I rarely use anymore since I save everything online now. I keep thinking I’ll get rid of them, but haven’t gotten the courage. Maybe now I will. Thanks for sharing on Your Inspired Design.

    1. Hi Carol, I couldn’t part with my binders…too many good, old recipes in them. I’ll probably digitize them someday, but until then…gotta keep the binders.

      Wishing you a happy Wednesday, LYnn

    1. Those recipes passed down through the family are the most special ones. The mom of one of my girlfriends hand copied their family recipes into a small binder and gave it to my girlfriend when she married. Such a treasured gift and one that I’m determined to give my kiddos. And while I do get most of my new recipes online, I love knowing if I open my binder at a certain location, I’ll be pretty close to the recipe that I’m looking for. Wishing you a happy day, Lynn

  6. What a great idea! It sure makes a big difference, and it only took a bit of ingenuity and a printer. Brilliant! I have too many cookbooks too, on top of it I love Pinterest, way too many recipes and not enough time!

    1. It really was a very easy task and now they have just a nice, clean look. I’ve come to accept that culling my cookbooks will be a lifetime event as I can’t restrain myself (or my family) from buying new ones. Could be worse, right?


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