Friday, May 29, 2009

Creating a Cookbook for a Wedding Present

Take chances! Make mistakes! Get Messy! 

While Ms. Frizzle was referring to field trip adventures on the Magic School Bus, around here those statements apply to the first of the month. Yes, June will be here on Monday and it is time for Firsts on the First. 

Playing along is easy. Just post about something you've tried to make, from scratch, for the first time (or choose a post from your archives) and add your link to the Mr. Linky at the bottom of the Firsts on the First post on the first of the month, Monday. In honor of the upcoming Firsts on the First, I am reposting the first (and only) time I created a family cookbook for a wedding present.  Creating something like this was taking a big chance, but it turned out well.  A year and a half later, reports are  that the happy couple uses it frequently. 

I don't knit. I don't sew. I don't stamp, scrap or create anything that would be considered art. The extent of my creativity is cooking and gardening. The only reason I tell you this is to emphasize that you do not have to be crafty or particularly creative to make this project.

Awhile ago my family put together a family cookbook for a cousin's wedding gift. The creative part was completed by my brother's wife, Delilah. When I heard that my husband's brother was getting married, I thought someone on his side of the family should put a family cookbook together for this new couple. I tried to get someone else to do the creative part, but there were no takers. It was up to me to put it together.

First I gathered recipes. I got recipes from the groom's and the bride's side of the family. I sorted them by type then typed them up in Word. So far so good, but now the part that pushed my comfort zone; putting it all together.

My super talented sister in law, Delilah, had given the kids their own box of scrap book supplies for Christmas a few years back. There was still quite a bit of card stock left, and by making each section of the cookbook a different color, I did not need to purchase any more.

My mom had purchased a package of different scissors, paper punches and texture makers for the kids to use also. I borrowed them. The only things left to buy were the scrap book itself and a craft glue stick. I spent about $15.

I made a small header for each section. Printed the recipes, cut them out and glued them to the card stock. Then added a bit of decoration, and slipped the whole thing into the protective cover. For one section I just used a fancy font and printed it onto the card stock. That section sure was easy!

In the end there were twenty pages of recipes from various family members. It came together rather nicely. It is simple, and far from perfect, but I am hoping that the sentiment behind it will make up for the cookbook's aesthetic short comings.

I really liked the sections being different colors. I think that will make the cookbook easier to use. In addition to using different colors I also used different design. Remember I am not that creative? It hurt my brain to come up with new ideas for each section. Some of them I was less than thrilled with.

The first design, shown here with the yellow pages, (click on the images for a larger picture) was the one I liked the best. If I do this project again, I will stick with the same design, but in different colors for each section.

I used recipes from family members, but certainly you could use recipes from co-workers, friends or even just your own. Another idea I had, after the fact, was that it would have been nice to include some stories with the recipes. A few words about the recipe, about the bride, the groom or about the person contributing the recipe would add a lot to the cookbook.

Creating a cookbook is a very frugal, yet thoughtful wedding gift. You do not have to be crafty, artistic or talented. If I can do it, so can you.



  1. I am working on a similar project for my husbands family...we will see how much participation I get from all of them...I do not mind the creative part, but I may have to outline what I need from them...

  2. Oh how handy would this be as a wedding gift!, great idea!

  3. Here from Margaret's Ramblngs. What a great idea this is!

  4. I put together a cookbook for a friend. We had a shower for her and in the invite requested everyone e-mail or snail mail their favorite recipe(s), even if they were unable to attend the event. We were lucky to have both the groom and the brides family attend and the book came out great with little stories and memories that were included. The brides went into a 3 ring binder type of cookbook and a copy was made with a card stock cover and copies for all the guests. It was a good gift for both the bride and guests and not too expensive of a project.

  5. Where can I get this cookbook?

  6. What a great idea!!! really wonderful blog. keep it up..

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