DIYdiy projectskate pruitt

monday diy special: kate’s menu binder

by Grace Bonney

[hi guys! i’m so sorry for the delay on kate’s project. my blogging schedule got all mixed up when i was in salt lake so we’re going to post kate’s project from last week today, as a special monday diy treat]

hey everyone! i am back with another organization helper for your kitchen (and your tummies). this one might be a little controversial (who has the time to do this?! isn’t this a little too organized?). but i must tell you from experience that when we have people over and decide to order out, they are genuinely mega-impressed with this organized little binder. plus, every time we flip through it, saving ourselves from rummaging through a drawer of papers to seek out the elusive pizza menu, our stress level decreases. trust me, it’s worth the effort to make this binder if you get take-out with any regularity. if you don’t order out very much, i salute you and your cooking skills, and i also encourage you to use this method to store online recipes or those clipped from magazines, which also have a knack for crowding our drawers, getting lost, and making us feel messy! i hope this project is of use to some of you. have fun! – kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


1. three ring binder
2. clear binder storage sheets (these come in packs at office supply stores)
3. tab divider (you can also make these from manila folders or card stock)
4. notepad
5. hot glue
6. envelope
7. folder (or piece of card stock)
8. sewing machine (for fabric binder cover, optional)
9. inkjet transfer sheet (for binder cover, optional)
10. canvas (for binder covering, optional)


1. binder $2
2. clear sheets $5
3. canvas $2
4. inkjet trasnfer paper $10 (for five sheets)


1 hour (including time to make cover)


for binder:

1. place all your menus in clear protective sheets and sort by any means you like: proximity, cuisine type, price, etc.

2. write categories on divider tabs and organize all sheets into binder.

3. take a folder or a piece of card stock and punch holes to fit in binder. take the cover off the notepad and glue the back of the notepad to the folder. this is for taking orders!

4. glue the back of the envelope to the folder as well. this is for your eating out receipts so you can keep track of your spending.

5. place the folder at the front of the binder.

for the binder cover:

1. lay your binder out on a piece of canvas and trace the outline.

2. cut the canvas to have a 1.25″ hem on the top and bottom edges of the binder outline, and a 5″ allowance on the left and right sides.

3. fold the canvas 1″ down at the top and bottom and sew them. then fold the 5″ allowances in and sew them at the very bottom and top of the folds. this creates sleeves for the binder cover and back to slide into.

4. print out your design on transfer paper (you have to print in mirror image so when you iron it on it will be facing the right way) and iron it onto the fabric according to the transfer paper instructions.

5. peel off the transfer backing to reveal the image, then slide the binder into the cover sleeves.


Suggested For You


  • Yes, I have my take away menus in a folder like this. I never realised it was a revolutionary idea! No wonder my friends always snicker at me when I pull it out.

  • Very inspiring to make one of these, but so hard to actually get myself to make it! I like the receipt tracking, since adding it up at the end of the year can be a big shocker. Makes me want to learn to love my own cooking no matter what. :)

  • Yay! This is just the inspiration I needed to do this… I’ve been thinking about it for years but never got around to actually doing it… goodbye pile of menus in our bread basket ;)

  • Although for us NY-ers we have menupages.com, I am more tempted and inspired to print out the menus from that website just so I can make this binder. It’s so much more convenient having hard copies around anyway because you can’t pass a computer around!

  • For those that think the organized binder is a bit more than they can handle but still want a cute place to store take-out menus, I used a box I found at a craft store and just painted it to look like a “cookbook” titled “Our Family TakeOut Menus” on the spine. (This could also be printed and covered instead of painted). The menus all go in the cute box so they’re easy to find and look cute on your shelf with the cookbooks for those days when inspiration just isn’t striking!

    (A pocket for reciepts could also be added to the inside cover of the box if someone wanted – I track all my expenses online (love Mint.com), but it’s always an option!)

  • LOVE IT! I have mine in a drawer and they are constantly falling into that no man’s land section of the drawers. Like the idea of keeping receipts, not only to track spending but to remember what you ordered the last time. Maybe make some notes if it was good or not!

  • Very cute!
    We have a no-frills one at home: a 3-ring binder with menus (hole-punched) in alpha order. Regardless of how it looks, it’s a wonderful thing to have for us and for guests.

  • Sadly, there are only two restaurants in my tiny town that do takeout, and one of them is Dominos. So I won’t be making this any time soon, but it’s a cute idea!

  • This also makes a great housewarming/welcome to the neighborhood gift. I made one for some friends who moved to my neighborhood and included a gift certificate to my favorite restaurant.

  • Completely awesome. You could also use this to keep coupons handy. You could either put any coupon you have for the restaurant in the sleeve itself, paper clip them onto the top, or stick them in the back with the receipts. No more, “oh, don’t I have a coupon for this somewhere?