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Scrap Your Recipes

Scrapbooking and stamping are great for photo memories, but they're also the perfect application for recipes

You'll find plenty of books on the subject of creating cookbooks and many encourage you to use scrapbooking and stamping materials. This is an excellent way to preserve favorite family recipes and makes for a fun project. The cookbooks may be for you to use and the pass along or they can be done in multiples for specific family members.

Recipe scrapbooks can be wonderful gifts for Christmas, weddings, a first apartment, and simply a way to remember special moments in the kitchen with Mom and Grandma. There are a few simple considerations in creating recipe albums.

It helps to be minimally computer savvy. A color printer and scanner are essential to any cookbook production. In general, you may find some wonderful food-stained original recipes, but these should be copied for passing along; keep the original pieces tucked safely away from light, air, and pests. The local copy center can be an asset if you don't have the equipment at home.

In addition, some page layout skills may be helpful. Look into inexpensive, easy-to-learn software programs that will help with creating some fun pages. Also, clip art and stamps are great additions. (If you're an experienced scrapbooker or stamper, you already know the basics.)

Next, you'll need to decide the focus of the album. Do you want to categorize, such as appetizers, main meals, side dishes, etc.? Or do you want to focus on a very special or elegant dessert book, for instance?

Check hobby stores for specialized recipe albums or order through an online retailer. Once you have determined the exact size, then you can go about laying out pages and recreating recipes. Even if you have Great-Grandmother's handwritten recipe for banana cake, it should be re-formatted for readability. Scan a copy of the original and include it next to the easy-to-read version.

When re-typing recipes, don't use fancy fonts for the main copy. Choose a font that is easy to read: Times or Times New Roman are standard fonts. They are called "serif" fonts, which means they have little "feet" sticking out at the bottom of the letters. These create flow for the eyes, making complete words more reader-friendly. (Note that non-serif fonts such as Arial - as used in this article - are recommended for easier reading on a computer monitor.)

Some scrapbookers will recommend using embellishments. Brads, buttons, and other raised materials add bulk and may not be practical when incorporating laminated or plastic encased sheets. In fact, the plastic report sleeves, while not as "professional" as other types of materials, will protect your hard work and encourage cooks to actually use the recipes, knowing they're safe from spills and splats.

These are just a few basics to consider when taking on a recipe scrapbook project. It does take time and it's important to be accurate for every recipe. But there is no end to the fun you'll have creating treasures for friends, family members, or for yourself.


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