Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recipe Scrapbook Project

Recipe Scrapbook

So many of my favorite memories revolve around food:
  • rooting in the “candy cupboard” at Grandma’s house
  • sitting at the 50s Formica table sampling Great-grandma's egg custard
  • learning fractions with Mom using recipes to make math more fun
Many of those memories found their way into a recipe scrapbook that I gave to my Mom as a gift last Christmas. The book highlighted the women in my family (they do most of the cooking!) and the recipes that tell my family story.

As my mom leafed through the pages on Christmas morning, her eyes welled up with tears. For a moment I felt bad that I had made her cry, then I realized she was touched by the memories. It is going to be a hard gift to top.

I started the project during Art Every Day Month last November, but I never shared the finished product here on my blog. With the Christmas gift-giving season almost upon us again, I thought it would be good time to give you a closer look at the project in case you want to make one of your own.

Great-Grandma and her Fried Fudge

The Project Overview
Each page or two was dedicated to a different woman beginning with my great-grandma and ending with my niece and nephew. Okay I cheated a little and included a couple guys: my nephew and my brother. Here's a look at the elements I chose to tell each of their stories.

Family Photos
Old photos played a big role in the scrapbook. I scanned in my favorites and printed them out so that I could cut them out in interesting shapes. I’m not fabulous with PhotoShop so I did everything “old-school” scrap-booking style.

I also scanned in some of our recipes, like the old ones in my great-grandma’s handwriting. I typed up other ones that weren’t so visually interesting.

Family heirlooms made up the other major visual element . My sister and I each photographed things we had inherited that were iconic to us, things like Great-Grandma’s china, a Pillsbury Doughboy doll, and the plastic Kool-Aid Cho-Cho-Cherry mug we used at Grandma’s house.

Written memories along with the visual ones accompanied each woman. I typed up a little blurb including favorite food related memories.

Including the Kids
My sister staged a photo shoot with the grandchildren baking. We included a “recipe” that my niece wrote in her 6-year-old handwriting. Of course the kids didn’t know why they were doing it because kids have a hard time keeping a secret.
Next Generation of Bakers: my niece and nephew

It took a lot of thought and planning, but everything combined beautifully to make a wonderful gift.  I hope this inspires you to try your own. What handmade projects have you given as a gift?


  1. What a great idea and a fun family project!

  2. This is really great. I love projects like this. For my niece's first communion I made her a scrapbook that had in it a handwritten letter from each member of immediate and extended family and pictures of her and the family member whose letter was attached next to it. Since we are multicultural, she had letters in a few different languages! I think a gift like that can be carried with a person for a long time.

  3. What a brilliant idea, a friend of mine is doing something similar for her daughter for Christmas and I think it's amazing.

  4. That is such a wonderful project!
    I am stopping by from the Hump Day Hop and proud to say that I am your 100th follower!

    Would love to invite you to follow us back to our blog at Just Married with Coupons

    Have a fun Hump Day!

  5. What a beautiful gift... My eyes welled up with tears just reading this post... so I can imagine your mom had a reason to cry. I make a family cookbook every so often... but this is truly amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  6. What a wonderful memory book! This is so special. I enjoy making different kinds of books and this is inspirational. And of course the Pillsbury Dough boy always makes me smile.

  7. A lovely project...very nice! One of these days I will have to get all the family recipes together too... here in Italy, food is definitely a big deal!

  8. This is a big project and a precious one :-)

    I have always wanted to do some kind of my mom's recipe book but never get to it :-(

  9. Oooooooooooooh this is a great gift idea! I've been part of two cookbooks now: the Cup of Comfort series cookbook and the MISS Foundation's MISSing Ingredients book. Both were fun -- I think the MISS book had more meaning because all the contributors were remember someone they loved who had died. It was heART-Full, you know? It would be fun to take the altered cookbook idea into MISS Creation Station as a way of extending the "re-member-ing" we were doing with the print book. Hmmm?? Thinking on that! Thank you for the inspirations!! Miracles, k-

  10. Marie - what a beautiful and special gift! I love how you included the handwritten recipes (most of our have those great food splotches) and the one written out by the granddaughter. You can just feel of the love and care you poured into "Sweet Memories" (perfect title!). It is no wonder your mother adored it so much. :D

    Thanks for the great idea! Although it is too late to do that for this year, I will definitely look forward to making something along those lines for next Christmas.

    I'm so glad you shared the link with me!

  11. Looks awesome! I love projects that bring out the crafter in the cook!


Ooh,a comment! How delightful.


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