Make Your Own Photobooks

Make Your Own Cookbook:
Creating a Wonderful Family Recipe Book

Want to learn how to make your own cookbook? I'm guessing you'll soon find that the process is a lot easier than you might think... and the final result prettier and more professional that you might have hoped. Today, making a family cookbook is easier than it's ever been, and the resulting cookbooks look just as nice as anything you might pick up at your local bookstore.

Why make your own cookbook? Well, a homemade family recipe book can be a great way to record your family's favorite foods, favorite moments, and favorite memories together. After all, some of the best memories in a family are made around the dinner table. Creating a family cookbook is a great way to honor that.

Read on for some great tips on creating family cookbooks... you'll also find a few great links to other pages on the site that will really help you put together a wonderful homemade cookbook.

Creative Family Cookbook Themes and Ideas

cookbook-smilebooks.jpg If your family is anything like mine, you've got a treasure-trove of favorite recipes that different members of the family are known for. And for most families, celebrating that is theme enough!

But if you're looking for a creative way to arrange a family cookbook, or want to give people a laugh, there are some great ideas out there for themes to use when you make your own cookbook. Some of my favorites are:

1. Family Vacation Cookbook: A cookbook full of recipes from a special family vacation (along with lots of great vacation shots and stories!). Or a compilation of vacation photos over the years (spanning decades, if you want) with accompanying recipes.

2. Two Eras in Time Cookbook: Half of your cookbook should use favorite family recipes from, say, the 70's, along with old family photos and favorite memories. The other half should highlight today's favorites, along with photos of what your family's like now.

3. Cookbook to Honor a Family Member: A beloved family member hitting a special birthday, or recently pass away? Assemble all of his or her best culinary creations into a cookbook... with plenty of photos!

4. Wedding Memory Cookbook: Recipes from your wedding reception's buffet dinner can make for a really fun themed wedding memory book. And the resulting cookbook can make a great thank you gift for anyone who helped out. Check out this page for some more great ideas for wedding memory books.

5. Battle of the Sexes Cookbook: Got one of those families where both the men and the women love to cook? Pit them against each other by devoting half of the book to the men's recipes, and half to the women's.

For a ton of tips on choosing recipes for your cookbook, visit "How to Make a Cookbook"

Organizing a Homemade Cookbook

Once you've collected the recipes you're using, you will need to organize them so that your friends can find their favorites. Generally, cookbooks are divided into categories of food including:
  • Appetizers and Snacks
  • picaboo-cookbook-easter.jpg
  • Soups and Salads
  • Pasta or Meatless Dishes
  • Meat Dishes
  • Seafood Dishes
  • Vegetables and Sides
  • Accompaniments (breads, etc.)
  • Desserts
  • Drinks
Consider the theme of your book and choose sections that make sense for your recipes. When you make your own cookbook, you really can think outside the box, if you want... you don't have to create a cookbook in just one way!

For instance, an historical cookbook might be arranged by the date particular recipes started showing up on the family table (a kind of family tree or family history cookbook), or even sorted by special occasions like July Fourth, Christmas, and birthdays.

Using Photos in a Homemade Cookbook

When you make your own cookbook, there are several different ways to get it published, which you can read all about at How Do I Print My Own Cookbook? But the easiest is to use a photo book publisher.

These companies, ( is my favorite for recipe books) can publish the text of your recipes and family tidbits, but they can also give you a lot of flexibility-- and make it very easy to add lots of wonderful photos, which is the best way to make a family cookbook really special.

The best part? These photo book publishers offer templates and background images to make this process easier. Like this one from Picaboo:

All you do is select a cookbook template, play with backgrounds and colors, add your recipes and photos, and send off to print.

What Photos to Use in Your Cookbook

When adding family photos to your cookbook, you have lots of options. You can put a picture from the family reunion on the cover, or honor Mom with a smiling tribute photo right up front. Limit your photos to one or two per page if you want to give your book a "real" cookbook feel, or you may risk overshadowing the recipes with pictures. Want to make your own cookbook/family memory book? Then go nuts with photos!

Special Tip for Getting Food Photos for Your Cookbook

You probably have lots of great family photos set aside to use when you make your family cookbook But you may not have food photos handy for your cookbook.

One of the hardest parts when you make your own cookbook is getting photographs of the food! While you don't need photographs of every dish, it does help to have some bright, full-color photos of food to give your cookbook a professional feel. You can request photos from family members, make and photograph the dishes yourself, or... cheat!

Use Recipe Sites and Photo Services: Photo hosting sites like, as well as most major recipe sites (like or have thousands of fabulous food photos! All you've got to do is search for a recipe/type of food like the one you need, and email the photo poster for permission to use his or her recipe in your family cookbook.

It's free (almost everyone will say yes, I promise), and it's a heck of a lot easier than taking all those food photos yourself!

With everything on this page and on my other cookbook pages:

How Do I Print My Own Cookbook


How to Make a Cookbook

You've got everything you need to make your own cookbook! So get assembling some recipes, put together your favorite family photos, and visit a site like for the template, tips, and everything you need to create and print a family cookbook.

Go from Tips and Help to Make Your Own Cookbook to the Make You Own Photo Books Main Page.

Shop Smart with Customer Reviews!

There are so many great photo book printers out there that it can be difficult to choose the right one. Our own in-depth Photo Book Reviews here at MYOPB definitely help...

But we also have pages and pages of user reviews and experiences. From Picaboo Reviews to Shutterfly revies, to reviews of smaller photo book printers... let our visitors help you decide!

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