Crate Paper's theme this week is Harvest Gathering, bringing to mind celebrations with friends, family, and, of course, plenty of food! Thanksgiving is the time of year when many of us pull out traditional recipes, some of which have been passed down through the generations on well-worn index cards or in much-loved recipe books. Thanks to the internet (and more recently, Pinterest!), recipe books seem to be a little less common these days, and as I looked at the sad stack of computer printouts of some of my favorite recipes that we make in our own kitchen, I decided that I needed to start a recipe album of my own!
This is an album that I want to be able to easily add to over time as my husband and I find new favorites to include, so I started off with a 6" x 8" binder and a set of divider tabs to make the framework for the book. The actual recipes will be protected by 6" x 8" sleeves, but the unprotected tabs are likely to get a little dirty over the years, so I started things off by painting each tab with several coats of black chalkboard paint.
You can see that I wasn't very neat with my painting at all, but that wasn't an issue since my next task was to cover these dividers front and back with some of my favorite prints from Crate Paper's Close Knit collection!
I decided to limit the decoration in the album to just the dividers both to make it a little less bulky and also because I'm not likely to feel like scrapping a whole 6" x 8" layout every time I want to add a new recipe to this book! I settled on six sections -- main dishes, side dishes, breads, slow cooker recipes, grilling recipes, and desserts. Most of our recipes seem to fall into one of those categories, but of course you can change them up to fit whatever suits your cooking style!
I added the name of the category to each tag with a white pen, and I also put together an embellishment cluster using chipboard, die cuts, Thickers, and lots of other embellishments from Close Knit. If you're a much better food photographer than I am, you could also add a picture of one or two of your favorite dishes from each category, too.
I wanted to make it as easy as possible to add recipes in the future, and my plan is to simply print them out and slip them into the 6" x 8" page protectors. Crate Paper's collections almost always include one or two fantastic grid or neutral prints, and I pulled out a small selection of them to print up my first batch of recipes.
Right now, I'm using a chipboard binder to hold everything, but I have a leather-bound book on order that should hold up better during actual kitchen use - the cover should be easier to clean off, at least!
My husband and I are looking forward to adding to this album in the years to come, and I can see it expanding into multiple volumes as we continue to try new things and find old family favorites to include.