Turning a Family Cookbook into a Recipe Album

Many people create photo albums of vacations or wedding photos, but albums can also be used to encapsulate and share priceless family treasures like recipes. Cookbooks can span generations and are a special way to preserve memories made in the kitchen or gathering around a table with the people we love. We recently made a recipe album for a client who had a recipe book that was made by her mother and grandmother. Over the years, they cut and pasted recipes from magazines and newspapers as well as adding handwritten recipes. Our client wanted to share this treasure with her kids, nieces and nephews as a Christmas gift. We were able to preserve and replicate their recipe book for her family members to enjoy and continue to pass down to future generations. This was an extremely thoughtful and sentimental gift as well as a creative way to share a part of her mother and grandmother’s legacy with more of the family.

Preserving the Book’s Character

Our client’s top priority was preserving the character of the original book. We started by scanning each album page, and we made sure to keep any smudges, stains, or discoloration intact. With other albums, we will straighten images or touch-up “imperfections” in the original copy that may be caused by time and deterioration. However, the imperfections on these recipe pages demonstrated that this book was well-loved and used often. The imperfections were what made this book special, and we are happy to tailor any edits to accomplish the goals of each individual client.

Page Design

Some recipes were loose in the book, so we added a new page for any loose clippings. We also had to unfold some pages that had been folded or tucked over time, making them unreadable in the scanned version. We then added a background to standardize the format and sizing of each page. Typically, when someone publishes a cookbook, the recipes are organized in categories, but the recipes in this book were added as they went. To help people find the recipes they wanted, our client’s mother created a table of contents that we added to the beginning of the book.

Cover Design and Other Personalizations

For the front of the book, we wanted to keep the original cover, so we used a scanned photo of the original title and design. However, we added the names of the creators over the scanned image to honor their legacy. Our client also wanted to add a handwritten dedication for each recipient, so we added a lined page for her to write a personalized note in each book. The back also has a photo of our client’s mother with her grandchildren during a “cooking day” they spent together which was a very sweet and personal addition for the album recipients.

Getting Started

We know each family has their own story to preserve and share. You may already have a family cookbook that is only available to one family member, or you might just have a collection of loose recipes. Picture This Organized can both replicate an intact recipe book or help you create a new book of gathered recipes to share with loved ones. Whatever the project, we would love to help you preserve those treasured memories. If you are interested in a new album project, contact us to get started!

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