Thursday, June 3, 2010

Recipe Book Makeover

We love to cook, so needless to say, we get a lot of cooking magazines. Food & Wine, Saveur, Bon Appetit, Real Simple… They’re all great, we get so excited when they come in the mail. The problem though is that they start to pile up, everywhere. Getting 4 a month is a little nuts, and we don’t have the heart to throw them out because of all the wonderful culinary treasures hidden inside.

In an effort to clear out the magazine clutter, we recently started slowly going through the magazines and cutting out each recipe we remotely thought we would want to make sometime. We then taped them to some 3-hole-punched paper and stuck them in a plain black 3 ring binder we had laying around from our college days. This was very functional, and we’re glad we’ve started this cataloguing of magazine meals. However, the plain black notebook just wasn’t doing it for me, so like all boring and plain things in my life, I felt it needed a little Mod Podge!

Recipe Book Makeover

For this project, I ran down to Paper Source for some inspiration. Luckily, I found it! I stumbled upon this awesome paper. It’s bright red with light blue ladles, pots and pans, and French scrawled words all over it. It was so colorful and delightful!

Edited Recipe Book (2)

I then found a coordinating plain blue paper, and a wonderful Bon Appetit stamp. Originally I was looking for a stamp that said something along the lines of “Recipes,” but when I saw this I knew it was perfect because I should be able to use the Bon Appetit stamp for more than just a recipe book. I’m thinking dinner party invitations are in my future!

I then got my items home, and grabbed a bright red ink pad and my roller.

Edited Recipe Book (1)

I started by stamping the Bon Appetit stamp on the blue paper.

Edited Recipe Book (3)

Edited Recipe Book (4)

So flat and boring, I think we should emboss it! If you missed my tutorial on embossing, you can check it out here.

Sprinkle some embossing powder on…

Edited Recipe Book (5)

Shake it off, and use the embossing tool to finish. I then took the opportunity to paint a coat of Mod Podge directly on the blue paper. Set aside to dry.

Now you can turn your attention to the actual book.

Grab the paper, and start cutting out pieces to fit on the front, back, and spine. The key is to measure so that there is just a hint of border peeking out behind the paper. Since a 3 ring binder is kind of funny shaped on the edges with the heat sealed plastic, and the edges of the spine are bumpy, it’s just asking for trouble to attempt to cover the whole thing in its entirety. You’re better off working around the difficult spots intentionally.

Edited Recipe Book (6)

Paint a coat of Mod Podge (matte) onto your notebook.

Edited Recipe Book (7)

Then place the paper where you want it, and roll from one edge moving out to remove all air bubbles. If you don’t have a roller, you can use your hands, but it’s hard to make sure all bubbles are accounted for. If you Mod Podge often, or really want a perfect end result, I recommend picking up a roller. The one I’m using is actually a pizza dough/pastry roller, which I think I bought online for a whopping $5.

Edited Recipe Book (8)

Edited Recipe Book (10)

Continue to Mod Podge the paper to all sides, and stand up to dry. Leave at least 1-2 hours before putting a top coat on.

Edited Recipe Book (11)

Once you’ve let it dry, paint the top coat on. I chose to use a wide foam brush because I could get more coverage than a smaller paint brush.

Edited Recipe Book (12)

Again, stand up to dry.

Edited Recipe Book (13)

While you’re waiting, go grab your stamped-and-Mod-Podged blue paper. Cut it to a size that you would like to go on the front of the book as a sort of label.

Edited Recipe Book (14)

Then cut another piece of paper to go behind the blue piece, as sort of a frame to separate it from the background. I chose to use the red paper I used for the background, and flipped it over so I had just a plain red to go with.

Mod Podge the red piece to the book, wait an hour, and to a topcoat of Mod Podge. Then Mod Podge the blue stamped-and-already-Mod-Podged to the red piece. I chose not to then do a topcoat because I had already used Mod Podge on the top.

Edited Recipe Book (15)

Let it all dry, and you’re done!

Edited Recipe Book (16)

Now my magazine recipe book looks so much cuter in my kitchen!

Edited Recipe Book (17b)


  1. Katie, this turned out GREAT! I love the color combo. I love Paper Source ( OK, let's be has paper in the name!)

  2. Lovely as always, Mrs. P! You and Mod Podge continue to be an unstoppable crafting force.

  3. This is SO cute! Love the colors and a great way to stay organized!

  4. Cute and creative! Thanks for linking up @PonyTails&FishScales!

  5. Absolutely love it, Katie! Veeeery cute!

  6. bonk... I could have used this last week when I wanted a new recipe folder.. and went to target and bought one!!!! sigh GREAT STUFF

  7. it looks great :)

    i'm a new follower from the treehouse :)

  8. This is awesome! Found you over at SITS. I just bought Modge Podge for the first time but have still not used it. I create photo scrapbook pages online through the Heritage Makers website. I've been meaning to take those and stick them to 8x8 or 12x12 tiles. You are inspiring me. I'll be back to your site.

  9. That is adorable!! Thanks for sharing step-by-step instructions.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! Come enter my baking giveaway.

  10. WOW this is so nice! The print is fantastic.

    Have a great weekend. I found you on follow me friend.


  11. That is one AWESOME idea. Thanks for the wonderful turorial. :)

  12. Torn out recipes accumulated in a box - Check
    Old, re-usable binder - Check
    Paper & Embellishments - Always
    Inspiration - Missing until now -Thanks!!

  13. what a fab idea! i just may do one this weekend! will have so much more room in my cabinet without all those magazines & their recipes! lol! i hopped over from mod podge rocks and am so glad i did! you have a fabulous blog and i just had to become a follower! hugs!

  14. Wow you are crafty. Great job with that recipe book. I'm jealous since I am definitely crafty challenged.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest. Have a wonderful weekend. Hope you don't mind if I poke around your site. :)

  15. I love this idea and will need to get busy cutting and pasting so I have an excuse to make such a cute recipe book. Thank you for sharing. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  16. Great work - I still can't bear to throw out my cooking magazines, and am trying to work out a way to catalog the recipes so I can find the ones I like.

    Thanks for stopping by Cook Clean Craft. I'm already a follower!

  17. I just modpodge covered some marble composition books but wanted to know how to cover the plastic I know!!! thanks for the tutorial

  18. I followed a link at Mod Podge Rocks and found your wonderful tutorial. Love the look and such a great idea. Great recycling idea too.

  19. I love it! It sort of like a menu book too in one of those fancy restaurants. Clever idea and I love it!

  20. I am trying to come up with a fabulous personalized wedding present for a dear friend. I think we have a winner here!

  21. This turned out fantastic - Love the paper - super cute! Thanks so much for joining the Sunday Showcase Party! I greatly appreciate it. Hope you are haveing a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  22. I also get a ton of magazines in the mail every month and started collecting recipes. I also hated the look of my binder - great idea!

    I'm stopping by from Creations by Kara. Have a great week!


    Come check out my WW Linky Party!

  23. I just found this on Mod Podge Rocks! Thank you 1,000 times for making this detailed tutorial for making all my ugly binders stuffed full of recipes beautiful! Let the edges be! What a concept!

    And I am happy to find you! More recipes for more binders no doubt!

  24. WOW! you are goooood :) thanks for linking up again at MMM!

  25. Great idea. Yep... my cookbooks are well worn (loved) as well. Love how yours turned out.

  26. Oh super cute! :) Found you on Saturday Soiree! :)

  27. Turned out great! How fun, thanks for sharing :)

  28. Revamping my recipe collection is at the top of my list, and now you have me revved up and inspired!

  29. That is such a great idea!! love the paper you used!! Visiting from
    come check out a great giveaway going on at my blog this week;)

  30. THat is so cute. I love the colors. I'm hosting We're Organized Wednesday and would love for yo uto join the party. You can add your link through Saturday. There's a giveaway too. Hope to see you there.