Team Work: Give the Gift of a Community Recipe Book

When I first started working for Shutterfly, creating my own photo book of recipes was something I had on my “Shutterfly products to make” list.  I was thrilled when we launched the All New Custom Path, and noticed the recipe book layout. I started compiling a list of my recipes, and mentally prepared for cooking each one so I could take a photo to include in the book. It occurred to me that the sharing aspect of Shutterfly could turn my project into a meaningful book gift for my mom. I could share this project with others, who could then in turn add their own recipes and creative touch to the book. A photo book compilation, if you will!

I composed an email to my mom’s friends and family members, letting them know about the recipe book idea and asked whether they’d be interested in helping. Once I decided what recipe to use, I took a photo of the finished dish and created my All New Custom Path project, using the “Favorite Recipes” layout. I knew that many people would not be Shutterfly experts, so I added a few different “Idea Pages” in to make it easier. With the project saved and open, I emailed it to the first person on the list by clicking the “Book” tab and selecting “Share Book.” In my email, I asked that they save the project to their account, and to share the project back to me when they were finished. I also suggested that they add a photo of themselves for fun. Once the project was shared back to me, I saved it to my account – and shared it back out again with the next person on the list. Rinse and repeat until the book is finished!

I’ll be honest, it took some time but it was worth the effort and the smile on my mom’s face when she opened the book. Many people took quite a while to finish their page, and a few others opted out. If you find your project short of 20 pages, you can always add in extra recipes yourself, or filler content such as pages with photos and embellishments.

Other great book project sharing gift ideas:

A book to the bride from her bridesmaids.
A book to the teacher from their graduating students.
A book to a co-worker who is retiring.


  1. says

    This is such a fun idea. You could do it with a cooking club too. How about mom’s home cooking for the newly on their own college student? The ideas are endless….

  2. BarbaraJ says

    The cookbooks are wonderful and after Christmas I am doing a Holiday Cookbook! You have some wonderful ideas and thank you for encouraging me to get started!

  3. says

    I love the recipe book idea. I host a cookie exchange party every year for the past five years. This being the 5th year I developed a recipe book of all the past cookies, though I kept the layout very simple everyone still loves it. Your idea of sending it around to others is a great idea

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