For as long as I can remember, I've been organizing my recipes with binders. I love the ability to categorize and easily flip through to see what I want to make. And the plastic pages protect the recipe cards and are simply wiped down when I splatter. Which I do. Because I'm a messy cook.
Over time, though, I had expanded to three binders. Sometimes I wasn't sure what recipe was in which one, and going to a bigger scrapbook-type one seemed too cumbersome. It also got costly over time as I had to continue purchasing more page protectors to hold the cards.
When I saw Shayna's DIY recipe box over at her blog, The Wood Grain Cottage, I was instantly smitten and I just didn't find one to purchase that was quite as perfect. So I sent the hubby a photo with the link to her instructions, and for Valentine's Day (anniversary....Christmas?? Can't remember!), he made it for me!
Mine is longer than Shayna's, I believe (hers looks closer to a square shape). I wanted to be sure that it would fit the depth of the open shelves we added in the kitchen, and I wanted to be sure to have lots of room for recipes so they could all be in one box.
Brad delivered and with extras, even! He was forward-thinking enough to add this handy piece in the back, so that while I was growing my recipe collection the cards would remain standing and not fall over. Genius! He also included dividers as part of the gift...alphabetical. Adorable, but I have been making fun of him because who organizes recipes alphabetically and not by category?!! Turns out, looks like Shayna did! He saw the picture and went with it. #mybad Sorry, hon!
I knew, though, that I wouldn't always remember just what I called a specific recipe, and when you aren't sure what to make for dinner, it's obviously easier to be able to thumb through a category of main dish recipes, so I wanted to go the standard appetizer, main dish, dessert, etc. route. With the suggestions from my Coffee & Crop girls and the help of my Pazzles, I cut these cute tab tops to put over the alphabetical tabs. To cutesy up the fronts of the dividers and add some color, I used a paper cutter to cut 4x6 cardstock pieces to put over the front. The tabs are doubled, front and back, and are adhered with glue dots.
I used my label maker with black lettering on clear tape to label each tab. I have more tabs than is typical but I wanted to organize the recipes as specifically as I can. In addition to the normal (appetizers, breads, breakfast, meat, dessert, drinks...), I also added meatless (for meatless main dishes), seafood, snacks, breakfast and lunch (because I like to be able to find different lunch ideas for school and for myself), and smoothies. I also have one for mixes/sauces, freezer meals, and will likely add one for those holiday meals that I just make once a year.
I also added a Martha Stewart metal bookplate (from Staples), because it's so cute, of course! I am not a fan of silver or nickel finishes, so I primed mine and painted them gold. The other two will be going on my new filing cabinet which I have to share with you yet!
I have a lot of recipes to add to the box still, but I'm glad to finally have the recipes from the binder transferred over, the labels made and the book plate on! It's functional now!