DIY Recipe Storage with Vintage Recipe Cards

My grandmother was a recipe collector.  I don’t have memories of her spending hours in the kitchen, but she was always collecting recipes.  Don’t get me wrong, she had some stellar “go-to” dishes that I can’t imagine life without.  Most of them were made during the holidays… Tom & Jerry’s, Divinity, Depression Fruitcake… but some of them were just every day things like Open Face Salad. The truth is she worked outside the home and when I spent my summers at my grandparents, she was always quick to play Yahtzee or cards with me instead of being in the kitchen when she got home from work.  I liked that about my summers with her.

My Grandparents |

However, when she passed away several years ago, my mom came across all of her recipes.  Many of them were torn from newspapers and magazines, but my favorites were those that she took time to write out in her beautiful handwriting.  I made sure to get copies of those for my own little collection.

Speaking of my own collection… frankly, it’s a hot mess.

Collection of Recipes |

I keep my cookbooks to a minimum, but I continually find myself collecting recipes that girlfriends have emailed me or items from Food Magazine that look SO amazing.  But these clippings don’t really fit in a traditional recipe box.  They are starting to take on a life of their own and it’s time to wrangle them in.

Last week, I made a trip to IKEA to pick up a set of their KNUFF boxes.  I searched several craft stores and container supply and there’s nothing truly like the KNUFF containers.  They come in sets of two for $9.99.  They are sturdy and (my favorite) customizable.

KNUFF Boxes from IKEA |

Before I could prime the box, I taped off the interior.  I like the natural wood finish for the inside, but I have something unique planned for the exterior.

Prepped Magazine Box |

In my prep, I was sure to cover the holes too.

Taped and Covered | Once everything was taped up, it was time to prime.

Primed Box | Storypiece.netThen came a few light coats of black spray paint.

Painted Box |

For the next part of this project, I color copied one of my grandmother’s recipes.  My plan is to create a decorative border from the antiqued cards that are in my grandmother’s handwriting.  Of course, I didn’t want to destroy any of her original recipe cards and they copied beautifully onto a heavy card stock.  I also picked up Washi Tape and these decorative frames.

Decorative Accents |

Before applying my copied recipe cards, I marked a 1.25 inch guideline around the bottom of the KNUFF box.

Mark Guidelines |

I then applied the copied recipe cards with Mod Podge and sealed the whole box off with a top coat.

Applied Antiqued Recipe Cards |

Using leftover chalkboard labels and my chalk marker, I was able to make a title card for the inside of the wood frame.

Kitchen Storage with Vintage Recipe Cards |

I love having a larger box to put all me random recipes in… one that can stand up easily next to my cookbooks.  Tyson loves that life is a little more organized in our home.

Vintage Recipe Box |

Do you have a special memory of your grandparents that makes you smile? What about a family recipe that has been passed down through the years?  How do you contain recipe clutter?

DIY Recipe Storage with Vintage Recipe Cards

This project was made with love and is being included in Victoria Elizabeth Barnes‘ link-up party.  To check out all the other well loved projects or to share your own, you can visit Victoria’s site here.

**Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. PamPam says:

    I love this idea. Very clever and pretty at the same time. You’ve actually given me an idea to make large tray necklaces with handwritten recipes from the women in my family. I’ll set them in resin. Ooooo…I have to go to my studio!

  2. Stacey says:

    Mod Podge is magic! I love this, Danielle. The handwritten recipe wrapped around the basic black looks too cool. A great way to personalize an otherwise “plain” box. Richie would love it if I would get THIS organized. He’d faint!
    Such a creative lady, you are!

    • Danielle says:

      Thank you! So I may have used chalkboard paint to actually get the basic black look. If I hadn’t sealed the whole thing, you’d be able to doodle on the box which would be so fun too. 🙂

  3. Victoria • Restoring our Victorian says:

    SO loving this. You win for the most love… seriously. Plus, the cards look real. Does the modpodge give them an antiqued look? I see the stuff referenced everywhere, but I have no idea what it actually does.

    I Pinned something that you would love (although, true to form did not follow through on going to the actual site) it was a dishtowel (I think?) that they somehow printed their grandmother’s handwritten recipes on… Although, I guess then you have a dishtowel you can never use.

    • Danielle says:

      Thank you… I love winning! I did actually see the pin of the dishtowels, which was really really neat! The Mod Podge is a clear glue that kinda adheres and seals whatever you put it on. The actual cards were already yellowed naturally. Thankfully, the color copies captured it all perfectly.

Comments are closed.