A good cookbook is often passed down from generation to generation. However, before cookbooks were commonly used, many household cooks used recipe cards to write down their meals. If you have a collection of these cards or of traditional family recipes, then it is a good idea to keep them safe for posterity. One way that you can do this is to make a cooking scrapbook. You can make it on the computer or by using creative scrap booking materials. This article will tell you how to make a cookbook scrapbook.


  1. This usually depends upon the purpose it will have: functional, keepsake or gift for the family. The following are common formatting options that you can choose:
    • Purchase a binder or bound notebook with clear pockets and pages. This is the best format for a functional cookbook. You can gather recipes and place them in the clear pockets where they are protected from kitchen splatter. You can also lay a spiral notebook or a three ring binder flat on a counter surface for easy reference.
    • Buy a scrapbook from a scrap booking store that allows you to add pages to it as you continue to scrapbook recipes. This is best for a keepsake of family recipes. You may want to add the originally written recipes in pockets or glue them directly on the page. A keepsake scrapbook is less for kitchen use and more for keeping track of family history. You can use scrap booking materials, such as stamps, stickers, ribbons and papers to artistically show your family's cooking traditions.
    • Go online to a book creation website, such as Blurb.com, TheSecretIngredients.com or Shutterfly.com. These sites can help you to create a printed, professional book that can be a keepsake for all family members. Add recipes, photos, textured backgrounds and more to create a bound book. You will probably need to download a book creation software program in order to layout your book.
  2. Organize them in a way that makes sense to you. For example, you can organize them by date, by type of cuisine, or by the author of the recipe.
  3. Some good themes include a holiday recipe book, a summer recipe book, a baking recipe book, a simple recipe book or a family recipe book.
  4. No matter which option you chose for your scrapbook, it is likely to be used occasionally for cooking. If possible, choose a glossy paper that is easy to wipe off, in case of splattering.
  5. You should consider any cards that have passed down from generation to generation as priceless historical artifacts. Create a protective pocket or sheet from a plastic pocket or plastic page covers, and then rewrite the recipe on a new piece of scrap booking paper.
    • When you rewrite your recipes, you can use a computer, if your handwriting is not very good. The more beautiful the script, the more it will look like an heirloom book, even if you are just using a handwriting font on the computer.
  6. photos of the recipe creators, stories about the recipe or the person who wrote it, a shopping list at the beginning, collage elements from magazines, signatures and other decorative elements.
  7. Use decorations that have to do with the recipe, such as pictures of food, or elements that remind you of the person who wrote it. Use a three-hole punch and hole protectors and then place them in your binder.
    • If you are using book creation software, you will need to send it to the book creation website by uploading it. They will usually send a proof, which you should go over very carefully. Once they get your final approval, they will send it to be printed. Order as many copies as you want for yourself and your family. There are usually discounts for buying a number of books at once.
  8. Label the tabs and place them slightly apart, moving down the length of the book. This will give people easy access to different types of recipes.
  9. It is a good reminder for young or old of the recipes that have stood for generations. Leave blank pages at the end where they can add their own favorite recipes.
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Community Q&A

  • Question
    Is it possible to make a cook book with cardboard?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    You could make the covers out of cardboard, but you may want to reinforce or cover it with something stronger, to prevent breakage. The pages should probably be paper, though.
  • Question
    Where do you find the plastic pages with the holes and the plastic binder?
    Community Answer
    Community Answer
    You can find document protectors and 3-ring binders at an office supply store or discount store like Target or Walmart (in the school and office supplies section).

Things You'll Need

  • Binder
  • Spiral notebook
  • Empty scrapbook
  • Recipes
  • Photos
  • Computer
  • Book creation software
  • Stories
  • Ingredient/shopping list
  • Paper, stickers and/or stamps
  • Word Processing program
  • Printer
  • Plastic tabs

About This Article

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 14 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 105,170 times.
56 votes - 84%
Co-authors: 14
Updated: May 21, 2023
Views: 105,170
Categories: Food and Entertaining