Cookbook Idea

Vivienne & VanessaDesign


This year was the first year where both my girls are not living with us. They are in school in Denmark and live together in an apartment. For Christmas, my husband and I are traveling to them to have their first Christmas in their home. For most of the year, I’ve been receiving messages from them (at all hours of the day) on “How do you make your lasagna, Mom?” or “What’s in your broccoli salad, Mom?” So I decided I would make them a cookbook of our family favorites. It turns out that it will be a series of books as I really didn’t have enough time to do ALL of them. So this first one is one with our most favorite dishes!

Most photobook printing companies print in variations of the 12×12 proportions, so you could do your layouts in that size. I knew I would do mine at 8×8. Whatever the case, you need to make the page 1/4 inch larger for the bleed, or the area where the company cuts the page. So, for 12×12, it should be 12 1/2 x 12 1/2 and then make sure you put 1/4 inch guides all around.

Wendyzine has a toolkit for this:

Create your pages in similar way to your regular photopages. Just make sure all your images and text fall into the center of the page and not on the edges. Also, create back and front cover pages.

Tips for doing recipe photobooks:

I ended up creating a 20 page soft cover book from my local Wal-Mart for about $15 each and it came out wonderfully! It was fast and easy as I didn’t have much time to send it out.

When you create the pages, plan the layouts to be left side and right side so that they go well together next to each other. You want to plan the font and the design to blend well.

I did upload the pages online and then picked up the physical book from the store but you could have it shipped to you if you had the time. The upload itself was pretty simple with a preview set up so you could see if there are problems.

The Oscraps designers have many fun kits that work well with cookbook designs. I used our (ViVa Artistry) own as well. Check the Shop by Theme>Theme/Occasion kits>Foodie or run a search with the keyword cuisine, food, or cooking.

I am super excited that I will be creating a series of these books for my girls. But I also am planning a cookbook with my mother’s and grandmother’s traditional recipes. I realized the last time I was at my mother’s house, while going thru old boxes, my grandmother kept a series of notebooks with her recipes. I realized my mother is not getting any younger and I don’t make ALL her dishes and have NO IDEA how to. What a book that would be for my kids!


  • I was delighted to read of your plans for personal cookbooks! My mother never owned a computer but she made me a hand written cookbook before her death over thirty years ago. I made photocopies for her grandchildren. That cookbook remains my very favorite of the hundreds of cookbooks that I have collected. I know your family will cherish yours also. Best wishes for your endeavor!

  • What a clever idea! This looks fun and a great collector’s piece!
    Re: that broccoli-cheddar soup, my family makes a ‘green rice’ which is about the same ingredients, except ours has rice. It’s a side dish at family gatherings! It is soooo good people ask for it!!
    Thank you for this!!

  • I bought the In My Kitchen complete kit because of your cookbook samples. I’d love to see the rest of your pages!

  • Sharon Calhoun says:

    Where were you 15 years ago? At that time I did not do digital scrapbooking and my father wanted me to create a scrapbook with family recipes for 3 sisters, a niece, and himself. At that time there were no paper scrapbooking supplies available except for a few stickers from creative memories. I ended up arranging some of the recipes by the holidays on which they were served and including holiday themed art. Can you imagine the work of doing 5 paper versions? Those have become treasures to those who received them. They know that the majority of our parent’s recipes are in one place for them. I highly recommend that this project be part of your plans if you have not already done one. It is especially easy now with digital scrapbooking and the supplies available to us. Thanks again for this blog.

    • viva artistry says:

      So sorry Sharon that I wasn’t around 15 years ago! That must have been a lot of work for you to do 5 sets in paper! I have two more books planned, one being my mother’s and grandmother’s recipes!!!

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