Creating a Family Cookbook

Category Gifts
Preserving and sharing tried and true family recipes is a fun and sometimes overwhelming activity. There are many considerations even after you have collected together all of the recipes. This is a page about creating a family cookbook.


Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

This is a photo for a handmade gift for the bride and groom. I have a niece who is getting married in May this year and I was trying to think of a different and unique gift to give her. I finally decided to make her a recipe book using recipes I had made and gathered over the last 45 years to go along with recipes I had gotten from my mother and grandmother in years past.

I purchased a 1 inch - 3 ring binder and 50 plastic sleeves. I made a decorative cover sheet to put on the front and back of the binder and filled each sleeve with a different recipe. If the recipe only took 1 page, then I could get 2 recipes in each sleeve, but some of the recipes took 2 pages so I would only get 1 recipe in each sleeve. When I was making the recipe sheets I included pictures of the different ingredients that the recipe called for on each page.


I told her I would continue to add recipes to it for her to try over the years. I will probably have to do it in books 2, 3, and 4, etc. since I have a lot of recipes I think she would enjoy trying.

Her fiance loved the cookbook as much as she did and said he is looking forward to trying making some of them, also.

Here are some of the recipes I included in the book:

Source: Kraft, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, All Recipes, and My Home

By Patricia Ralston from Houston, TX

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 4
Read More Comments

If your kid loves to cook, he or she will have fun making this book. You can make one general cookbook or several smaller ones for specific recipes, such as beverages, desserts, snacks, etc. The use of book clips is great because it allows you to add new pages at any time. Book clips can be found in any department or craft store (I found mine at Target). They are round, silver-toned, hinged clips with a clasp opposite the hinge. You open the clasp to add pages and close the clasp to hold the pages together. Have fun!


Crafting Time: about 20 - 30 minutes per page

What You Need:


  1. Cut several pieces of poster board to measure at least 7 x 9 1/2 inches. Punch two holes, in the same place, on one side of each poster board rectangle, so you will be able to assemble them as a book.
  2. With your parent's permission, choose a photo of yourself that you would like to glue to the cover of your cookbook, and set this aside.
  3. Decide on what to name your cookbook. This may depend on what kind of recipes you plan to put in the book. You can make one large book with recipes of all kinds, or several smaller books for snacks, beverages, lunches, or even craft recipes. Use markers to write your book title on a sheet of paper, or use different fonts, letter sizes, and colors on your computer to print your title out.
  4. Advertisement

  5. Cut out the words of your title and glue them to one poster board page, along with your picture. This will be the cover of your book.
  6. Decide on the recipes you want to include. If they come from a magazine, you may be able to cut them out, but ask permission first. If they come from a larger cookbook or some other source, type them on your computer, print them, and cut them out. You can also write the recipes by hand on regular paper and cut these out.
  7. Now, search old magazines, ones you can cut up, and look for pictures that at least look like the recipes you've chosen. Cut these out. You can also draw pictures of the foods and cut these out.
  8. Arrange each recipe with a picture on a separate poster board page. Glue the recipes and pictures in place.
  9. Put your pages together by threading a book clip through the holes in each page. You will be able to find book clips in the craft or office supply section of any department store.

By Marie from West Dundee, IL

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? 1
Read More Comments

I like to gather favorite family recipes and type them up in Word on my computer. I then print them off and place in clear plastic page protector sheets and put them into a 3 ring binder.

Family Recipes for a Great Gift

Comment Pin it! Was this helpful? Yes


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 8, 2004

I am trying to put together a recipe book for a family reunion. Does anyone know a company that would print them for a low cost?



By (Guest Post)
December 8, 20040 found this helpful

Try a print shop like a Kinko or Staples.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
December 8, 20040 found this helpful

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Debra in Colorado (Guest Post)
December 9, 20040 found this helpful

How about doing it yourself. Print a master copy of the cookbook and then take it to a copy machine and make your copies. You can print the covers on your own printer. Then take them to Office Max or to Kinko's and have them bind them with a plastic binder. It will cost about a dollar per book for the binding. Also remember to keep your master copy as you will find that you will get requests for your cookbook all the time.


From people who could not make the reunion, other people who just want a copy. I do cookbooks for my family every Christmas. I have 5 children and others who look forward to it each year. I hope this will help. You could also put them in a notebook and then pages could be added each year at the reunion. You could also add picture pages with family Members. Good luck and have fun!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
February 3, 20100 found this helpful

The best way to go about this depends on the quantity you want if you just want one or two Kinko's or your printer and binding yourself would be your best bet.

If you want up to 25-200 copies will help you get a professionally printed copy of your book for a much better price than Kinko's or printing yourself.


If you want upwards of 200 books give a try as they specialize in cookbook publishing and have many options to choose from to personalize your cookbook.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 12, 20170 found this helpful

hello try cookbook people..

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

December 6, 2016

Gathering all of your family's favorite recipes can make a great heritage cookbook. This is a page about making a heritage cookbook.

A handwritten recipe in a bound cookbook.

Read More... Pin it! Was this helpful? 1

Several years ago, I made a cookbook for my family and a few friends. Everyone loved it, and some even shared some of their favorite recipes. I was thinking of doing this again, but the cost was a little frightening for the paper and printing. Instead, this year I'm going to burn everyone a CD with the cookbook and family pictures. There are great Web sites that have free envelope templates that include templates for CD envelopes. I'll personalize each envelope, and I'm ready for any gift occasion that comes up, Christmas will be here before we know it!

By Bobbie G from Rockwall, TX

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Read More Comments


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 26, 2010

I am starting a project of a family cookbook to give to my mom for Christmas as she is a huge fan of cookbooks. I've already contacted several family members asking for their favorite recipes to use in this book. Does anyone have any ideas on how to put it together in a creative way? I know lots of you have some ideas for me. I love all the great ideas and tips I find here. By far this is my favorite web site and I visit daily. Thanks in advance for your help!

Belinda from Wingo, KY


Creating a Family Cookbook

I think all of the ideas in the feedback are just as great as your original idea. I like the scrapbook idea . But since these recipes are coming from family, how about along with the them, your family sends their favorite " old" photo. This would give mom, not only great recipes, but some great memory pictures of her family from yesteryear to add under the recipes and probably a few happy tears too! (08/20/2008)


Creating a Family Cookbook

I assembled a family cookbook several years ago for a family reunion. In addition to asking family members to submit recipes I also asked them to submit personal stories about food, cooking or favorite memories of their mothers kitchen. One uncle told about being a cook in the Navy during WWII and my dad told about scrounging for food when he was a POW in Germany. (08/20/2008)

Creating a Family Cookbook

I knew I wouldn't be disappointed when I asked you guys for help with my idea. I have wrangled a couple of relatives to help me with this and they are as excited as I am. We are going to use photos both old and new along with memories scattered through so that not only will Mom enjoy the recipes but she will also have the pleasure of taking a trip down memory lane any time she wants. You guys are awesome! I'll try to get a couple of photos to show everyone what the finished book looks like once it's completed. (08/20/2008)

By belinda

Creating a Family Cookbook

I'm making a cookbook for my grandson. I have typed the pages and put them into clear plastic sleves and then put them into a three ring binder. I have written on each recipe where it came from and if there are any extra tips for that recipe. Some are very easy ones and others are a bit more complicated. I also give credit to the person from whom I got the recipe.

I was sure to include his favorite recipes, meat loaf, banana pudding, chocolate cake, garlic mashed potatoes, homemade pie crust. I know he will not make all of these but maybe someday his wife will. (08/21/2008)

By Judy B. T. MO

Creating a Family Cookbook

I did a cook book several years back. I am including a shot of the Microsoft Clip Arts front that I used. You can find so many, it's not even funny. I am doing another this year. Here's some things I found that will make thing easier.

If you have recipes from family that you have to type in, you will need to reproduce them on Word, and that's fine. But, if you find things on here or on line that you also want to include, you simple cut and paste to the Word doc and create a folder titled "cookbook" or whatever you choose. Back it up onto a CD every week in case something happens to the computer.

Then, when you are ready to print out everything, do two things at once. First, there is a program in your computer that lets you list all the recipes in alphabetical order, which will help you find cakes, cookies, desserts, etc.

Then, when you are in the page you are ready to print, highlight the entire page and choose the font and size you want. You will no doubt have more than one recipe on each page, and it's fun to do one whole page in one font, another in another, or do each recipe in different ones. That way, the ones you pasted on you can change without retyping them.

Play around before you print, as Word has some amazing things you can do. I started mine out by telling everyone what my daughter had done in Sunday school when she was just 6 years old, and that was contribute to her class cookbook.


3 cups flour, add 2 scoops of water. Mix it into dough. Put in a pan, bake 35 degrees for 30 minutes. Flip it over and bake another 24 minutes. Add more flour and water. Put in bigger pan. Bake for 35 minutes. When cool, decorate with 65 cups frosting.

Something unique to begin with will make everyone smile when they open the book and memories of meals and dishes made by people they love will keep them smiling. Good luck!! (08/21/2008)

By Sandi/Poor But Proud

Creating a Family Cookbook

You can put stories and/or history along with the recipes. And, also, provide photos of people that submit the recipes along with other family photos. (08/21/2008)


Creating a Family Cookbook

What makes it special is the story-telling that should go with each recipe. When someone sends you something, call them back and get the memories with it. (08/21/2008)

By Kim Churchman

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

August 20, 2008

Does anyone have ideas on how to start a family cookbook? We have a blended family, with many adults and adult children. I thought it would be a great way to bring everyone closer if we put together a cookbook filled with family recipes. I have never done this before, and not sure where to start and how to finish it so that everyone gets a copy to cherish.

Maggie from VA


Creating a Family Cookbook

Why not go the Scrap Book way and get everyone to write down there favorite recipes? You can then assemble each recipe with perhaps an illustration or some related decoration under the persons name. If you do this using a loose leaf binder and polythene covers for each recipe it would also be easy to detach each page and work from it in the kitchen. (08/20/2006)

By Alan B Steele

Creating a Family Cookbook

This is funny. I was up half the night typing in my recipes for a cookbook I am giving as Christmas presents. They are all my favorites, but these are the ones everyone requests all the time. Every time a give a recipe they end up losing it. So I am planning on some kind of book that they will not lose track of the recipe. (08/20/2006)

By sandy

Creating a Family Cookbook

I started a family cookbook last year and it's a work in progress. The idea was to clear my shelf of all the cookbooks that have only a few recipes I like. Only the recipes that pass the food critics in my house make it into the book. I've typed the recipes and where they're from into my computer. If I have a picture, I glue it to the bottom of the page. The pages go in a sheet protector and then into a binder. I have index dividers to categorize the recipes. I also have a Table of Contents so it's handy to see what's in the book. One day, I will make copies for my kids when they move out on their own. (08/21/2006)

By tkehaulani

Creating a Family Cookbook

I just finished a family cookbook this summer. I started with a plain notebook and on each page put categories. Like beverages, cakes, muffins, cookies and so on. I went through all recipes I had and made a list of the ones I wanted to put in the cookbook. Then once I decided what recipes went in there I went through each category and sorted out all duplicates. For example: in the cakes I ended up with 7 apple cake recipes from 7 different people. I put each ones name with the recipe.

Then I downloaded a free office program like "open office" and began typing the recipes. In my documents I organized them by category. I'd work every weekend and do three or so pages. Then print them off and just stack them.

When that was done, I made 25 cookbooks of 75 pages front and back each. I purchases a machine from an office store, and a box of covers and spines, and put the plastic binder on. It takes a while but well worth it. A friend of mine did hers another way. She purchased 20 nice notebooks with blank front covers which she covered with spray adhesive and fabric. Then hand copied two recipes per page and decorated with stickers and ink stamps. She would do one recipe at at time and copied it in each book. She used those little index tabs and divided hers out. Good luck. its really a nice gift to give. (08/22/2006)


Creating a Family Cookbook

I started a family cookbook about 4-5 months ago and it's still a work in progress. I figured 6 months would be a good amount of time to complete the project...boy was I wrong! I would start by allowing a year to complete this huge project. Here's a list of things you may want to consider.

-coming up with a title and cover layout,
-table of contents,
-an introduction, explaining why the book was created, who it was created for, and maybe a little family history.

-stories, pictures, and memories to go with certain recipes,
- fun facts and tips to go with recipes,
- a family tree,
- holiday memories and pictures,
- geneology

-a few hand written recipes
- I added a dvd sleeve and made a slideshow of pictures, and favorite songs for every one.

One thing I learned is get everyone involved. Ask for other family members to contribute their favorite stories, recipes, and pictures. That way it's written by the entire family (10/17/2007)
Comment Was this helpful? Yes

In This Page
Crafts GiftsAugust 23, 2011
Pest Control
Summer Ideas!
Coronavirus Tips
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2020-07-10 15:37:14 in 1 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2020 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Add to PageAsk a Question