Whether we collect recipes to actually one day cook the food that is featured, or simply because we like to look at the pictures, we all eventually run into the very real problem of limited shelf space for our cookbooks. When this happens, you have to make the very tough choice of retiring a few old favorites to make room for new tomes, or in my case, getting rid of my stack of old Gourmet magazines (sad!). 

Once I decided to cut the food glossies from my collection, I realized this would be a great opportunity to give them each one last flip-through, and to clip out the recipes I might want to revisit. I was further inspired to reorganize my recipe binder which up until this point was just a 3-ring binder with clear sleeves stuffed with pages printed on white paper, or torn out of magazines. 

Having always wanted to try scrapbooking but never knowing what to scrapbook about, this seemed the subject with which to try. I wanted to create a journal that was both functional, and pleasing to look at. Here are 5 tips from my experience in recipe scrapbooking.

Midori MD Notebook

1. Start with a blank book

There are many recipe journals on the market with gorgeous covers, and thoughtful spreads, with boxes for ingredients, directions, etc. These are great if you're writing your own recipes, or transcribing other recipe, but if you're scrapbooking, start out with a simple blank notebook that will allow you the freedom to alter the layout from page to page. Be sure to pick a book that lays flat, like the Midori MD Notebook which is available with blank pages, of it you like some guides to keep things neat, grid and dot grid work well.

2. Coordinating washi tape

Washi tape uses a special adhesive that allows for clean removal from any surface, even paper, so if you stick something down and then change your mind, you can easily peel and re-stick the tape to adjust the placement. Washi tape also comes in a wide range of colors, patterns, widths, and designs, and they can serve as accents throughout the book. I like to stick with just two or three styles that complement one another for a cohesive look. Choosing one or two neutrals, plus a more "fun" design gives you options for embellishing and coordinating your spreads. 

3. Use an adhesive roller

For this exercise I would opt for an adhesive roller like the Kokuyo Dotliner, or similar. Glue sticks can work, but they are very tacky and don't glide on smoothly. You're likely to accidentally crumple your paper with a glue stick whereas an adhesive roller rolls the glue out in a thin, even layer with no mess. Highly recommend for this. 

4. Invest in a paper cutter

A book of clipped recipes from a variety of magazines can be haphazard, visually. One thing that helps keep things pleasing to the eye is making sure you have straight edges. Sure, you can achieve this with a sharp pair of scissors, but a paper cutter will be neater, and faster.  

Recipe Scrapbooking

5. Get creative with layout

A recipe book can be tricky to lay out. Some recipes fit on a half-page while others require a two-page spread. And when these recipes are clipped out of magazines, or printed off of a website, there's even less uniformity. This final tip is to get creative and lean into the inconsistency. Don't be afraid to turn the book sideways to fit an extra wide page, or take a clipping that protrudes the page and fold and tuck the portion that won't fit. These layouts can be the most unexpected, and delightful.

The next time you rifle through your recipe box, think about starting your own recipe scrapbooking project. The result will be a fun, dynamic book of recipes that you will enjoy returning to again and again.  

February 08, 2024
Tags: how-to