Create a book featuring favorite family recipes

by Susie R Posted on April 15, 2010

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Not long after my Christmas Recipe Book was featured on the Shutterfly Photo Book Gallery I received an email from a lovely lady in New Jersey.

She wrote that her 84-year-old mother-in-law had several favorite recipes which she wanted to incorporate into an photo book along with the history of those recipes.

But she didn’t want to type the recipes out. Part of the charm for her was that they retained their authenticity in the original handwriting. She asked for advice on how she could go about creating a hardcover photo book that her mother-in-law could give as gifts to her children and grandchildren as a lifelong keepsake.

(Image by SaraKaderly)

So I recommended that she scan the recipes and upload them as photos that she could pop into a photo book using Shutterfly premade templates. The recipe could be the largest photo on the page so it’s easily legible, with the history written beside it as the journaling. The opposite page could contain photos of family members with their beloved grandmother.

On the other hand, if you have the time and are feeling adventurous, you could try using digital templates (created with design software) like the ones that come with the Sugar And Spice kit and templates available at It’s almost as easy as dragging a photo onto a premade Shutterfly layout.

If you’re not familiar with how to use png templates, you’ll be glad to know that we provide free video tutorials when you purchase a png template set in our store. If you decide to give it a try, you might also enjoy these free videos on our website about how to upload and create a digital scrapbook photo album at Shutterfly.

Using premade templates will open a whole new world of photo book possibilities to you!


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Where's my photo?
  1. BarbaraJ Says:


  2. curicogirl Says:

    I really like the idea of a recipe book. I wish I had more of my family’s recipes on little sheets of paper cuz I love the idea of scanning those in! The authentic handwriting is just too cool!

  3. AnnAbbott Says:

    These books are always incredible to view in Shutterfly’s Gallery. I am so impressed by the work it takes to gather all of a family’s favorite recipes and put them together in a book. This really combines all the senses to make one incredible keepsake. From seeing the pages and recipes to remembering the sounds and smells of that food being eating at many joyous family occasions, these are top-notch books.

  4. conniee4 Says:

    I would love to do one of these for my mother-in-law. Love your ideas! Your article is perfect!

  5. shannonr Says:

    This is great and has really given me the inspiration/idea to create a recipe book myself. See, each year my step mother and I put on a Christmas Cookie Exchange and each person bring a recipe card with their cookie. Last year we discussed putting together a book of all the cookies that have been made so far. I think this year we just might put just take the plunge and create the recipe book. Thanks for the ideas :)

  6. Joey Says:

    I am a huge fan of the recipe books. I have been wanting to do one of my mom’s/grandma’s recipes and even some of my dad’s. They always say that their recipes aren’t nothing fancy. They are what we grew up with so I think it would be a great idea and I love the idea of scanning in handwritten recipes.
    I may have to persuade my family that this IS a good idea!
    Thanks for sharing and for inspiring.

  7. Badenn3 Says:

    This is neat. You should see the amazing things you can do with your scanned recipes at There is a recipe book that is wire bound or you could put it in a hard cover bound book. My dad is in the process of making some as speak.

  8. AnnAbbott Says:

    After thinking about how these books look so great and hold a bit of family tradition and history, I made my own “recipe” book. My husband is such a great cook he never measures anything! Thanksgiving we did a very traditional dinner with the kids so they could help out. I took pictures of the ingredients, prep and final dish as we all work together in the kitchen. It came out cute… very casual recipe book of Thanksgiving dishes….

  9. AnnAbbott Says:

    ooopsss.. Here is the right link to the book

more about Susie R

When I was ten years old my grandmother gave me a Box Brownie camera.To take a simple black and white photo all you had to do was point and shoot. It began in me a lifelong passion for photography which has only grown all the more with the advent of Digital Scrapbooking. Fast-forward from 1965 to 2010 and here I am teaching and designing for What I love about it the most is that I can make our family memories more beautiful and meaningful with a Shutterfly album. Now that I am about to become a grandmother myself for the first time, I feel like I’ve come full circle. My family’s bookshelves no longer groan under the weight of the old style photo albums that were so rarely opened. Instead they regularly pick up the beautiful, hard cover Shutterfly albums and marvel at seeing themselves in print. It gives me the greatest pleasure.

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