Family Recipes
February 7, 2004 3:13 PM   Subscribe

I want to put together a family recipe book. Has anyone done this, and do you have any advice? Are there kits out there to help with this, or software? Or have you gone to Kinko's and bound it yourself? (If so, details would be welcome on what services they offered.) Spiral-bound would be fine, but I'm open to other styles. I want to be able to make a dozen or so copies without breaking the bank, and I have a good home computer setup if I can figure out how best to take advantage of it. I've already got the recipes typed in in MasterCook, a recipe format program. Thanks for any help!
posted by GaelFC to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
I know cafepress now does printing on demand in a variety of formats. Might want to check that out.
posted by madmanz123 at 3:21 PM on February 7, 2004

Best answer: gael -- you can get spiral binding or comb binding at kinko's. either one would work -- what you really want is something that lies flat. iirc, from when i worked at kinko's, comb binding is cheaper than spiral, but they were both 2-3 dollars each. just make sure you leave enough of a margin so that the holes for the binding don't run into your text. depending on how many pages you want, each book could easily be less than five bucks, including a nice clear cover.
posted by sugarfish at 3:24 PM on February 7, 2004

Anywhere near a university is likely to have places that offer a variety of styles, and will probably not be bank breaking, though really good binding might be expensive. (When I was getting my last thesis bound some places wanted £60 a copy for hard cover. Found £20 elsewhere, with £3 for nice soft binding.) Personally I wouldn't recommend spiral for anything that will get a lot of thumbing as it can get quite shabby but this may be better than ruining the spine which can be a problem with cook books.
Have you considered getting laminated single sheets with recipes printed on and having them in some kind of folder or filofax type thing; this would allow you to use just the recipe you want, to add to the file at later dates and to keep the thing clean.
posted by biffa at 3:25 PM on February 7, 2004

If you're looking for something cheap yet durable, consider a Duotang or something similar. However, it'll only lie flat if you don't have too many pages in it.
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:24 PM on February 7, 2004

Are there kits out there to help with this, or software?

If you have or are willing to learn LaTeX, there's a recipe class available on CTAN. This will probably produce very basic but publication-quality results.

Alternatively, googling reveals lots of recipe templates for Word, but then you'll end up with something looking like it was spat out by Word.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:25 PM on February 7, 2004

If you don't mind having a couple hundred copies, Morris Press does fundraising cookbooks. Then you could turn it into a fundraiser for cancer research, your local volunteer fire department, canasta club, whatever.
posted by gimonca at 6:39 PM on February 7, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks to all for the help! So if I just go in to Kinko's with pages of recipes and inquire about binding, they'll be able to offer me options? I haven't done that yet, but it may be my next step.
posted by GaelFC at 11:48 PM on February 7, 2004

Best answer: Gael, I did a family cookbook about three years ago and had twenty-five copies made and bound at Kinko's and got out for under $200, and the book was about 75 pages. The biggest expense was because I stupidly chose an odd-sized page, and that added mucho dinero to the final bill. Definitely check with Kinko's (or your locally owned purveyor of copying services :D) and I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, unless you're talking a couple of hundred pages of recipes.
posted by Dreama at 2:41 AM on February 8, 2004

If you've got the time, you could bind it yourself
posted by seanyboy at 4:09 AM on February 8, 2004

Just a hint if you are using either spiral or comb binding - the edge of the paper gets tatty fast if the book is being used a lot and the pages will start to fall out before long. You can solve this by running a strip of clear tape down the binding edge of the paper before binding it, which reinforces the edges.
posted by dg at 2:14 PM on February 8, 2004

Actually, for a cookbook, a three ring binder might be the way to go. I'm thinking that then you could take out the recipe you wanted to cook and magnet it up somewhere. I do that a lot with recipes I've printed off the internet. In my old house, I stuck them to the stove hood, in my new house, to the side of the fridge. I have a couple professionally produced cookbooks (Family Circle something or other) that came in three ring binders. If I was doing one, I'd get view binders and put some nice color art on the front, back and spine, and include a few sheet protectors, so the recipent could slip the recipe page in while cooking and it would be protected from spills, grease and such.
posted by Shoeburyness at 9:40 PM on February 8, 2004

I have seen a number of these family and church cookbooks. I think the 8.5 x 5.5 spiral bound work the best.

I doubt that you will get the best price from Kinko's. I would get quotes from several printers.

Given the small number of copies, these will be photocopied instead of printed. If you want a nice, thick cover you will have to splurge to have them printed.
posted by BobJordan at 5:46 AM on February 9, 2004

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