Free Printable Recipe Cards

Back in the day before internet, recipe cards of all colors, sizes, and handwriting filled our family recipe binder. Some were readable, while others were filled with scribbled text of family and friends. Although that binder still houses some of these ancient writings, it also now houses a plethora of Arial 12pt, computer printed recipes. Considering I have a internet based food blog, I can’t complain too much about how the internet has lessened  ol’ fashioned paper recipe sharing. But, there’s something about having a tangible, handwritten recipe that makes it feel all the more personal.

Free Printable Recipe Cards | Perfect to attach to a gift!

To demonstrate this shift in information transferring, let’s refer to this example where Sally asks Betty for a recipe she just loved at the last family gathering.

Sally calls up Betty on her wall-mounted corded telephone.
Says, “Hey Betty, can you give me that recipe for those Chocolate Brownie Cookies you brought to the 4th of July?”
Betty whips out her 10 pound recipe binder, flips to the recipe, and asks Sally if she has a recipe card on hand to write down the recipe.
Sally gets out her recipe box and pulls out the stack of blank recipe cards.
One ingredient at a time, Betty reads off the recipe, while Sally scribbles away.
Sally thanks Betty for the recipe, reminds her of their coffee date on Wednesday, hangs up her phone, and gets back to watching the latest episode of Full House.

Sally texts Betty on her iPhone 5000.
Says, “Omg. I loved those Chocolate Brownie Cookies you brought 2 the 4th. I seriously 8 like 5 of em. Can you send me the link to that recipe?”
Betty Googles the recipe, copy and pastes the link, and texts it back to Sally.
Sally responds, “Thx soooo much! Bookmarking this! Let’s set up a Skype date soon. I miss your face.”

Free Printable Recipe Cards | Design Eat Repeat

And just like that, the recipe is transferred. Let’s also mention that when Sally goes to make the cookies, she sets her iPad 6000 (which I’m sure will be released anyday now) on the counter and reads the recipe from there. She saves the recipe to her online recipe box and gets back to watching Honey Boo Boo. (Which is obviously the 2013 equivalent to Full House. Kidding.)

Free Printable Recipe Cards from Design Eat RepeatDownload

Well, I didn’t plan to go off on a full-force tangent about 1990 vs. 2013, but I just think it’s crazy how much technology has changed every aspect of our lives. It really does influence every part of how we communicate & share information. When my internet was down last night for a few hours and I couldn’t look up a recipe, I about died. But then, I whipped out my little white smartphone, and all was well again. When I bake, 8 out of 10 times, you won’t see a cookbook on the counter. Instead, you’ll see my laptop. And as soon as the cookies are in the oven, you won’t see me setting a wind-up kitchen timer. Rather, you’ll see me setting the timer on my phone with a few taps of a finger. All I know is that if this much has changed since the time I was born, I cannot imagine what conveniences we will have in another 20-ish years. I’m crossing my sore-from-typing fingers that one of those conveniences will be a automatic laundry folding machine, but then again, isn’t that what kids are for?

So now I’m curious. Does anyone actually use recipe cards anymore?

Download the Matching Striped Notecards

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  1. Debbie Bard says

    Ohhhh thank you for the great printable recipe cards. The colors are so happy and sunny and will go perfect with a BBQ gift basket I am making up in Lime, orange, turq and yellow!

    I do have just one question though….How do I get the backside striped design for printing? The pdf download only has one page (front side).

    • says

      Hi Debbie! Those striped cards shown with the recipe cards are actually matching 3.5 x 5 folded cards from Sunday’s post. But I can see how they appear as backs! You inspired me update the document to include that optional back side, as that is a great addition! If you check out the link now, you will see that option! :)

      • Debbie Bard says

        Thank you so much! You ROCK! that is really sweet of you to include the back of the cards. Can also use it for envelope detail to.

        Call me old fashion but I prefer a recipe card in my hand any day when cooking or preparing a recipe. Even when I find a great recipe online, I write it out on card (if time permits) or at very least I print it off.

        My oldest son has always called me about recipes I used in his favorite dishes growing up. I am writing each recipe out for him.

        I cherish (handwritten) recipes that belonged to my grandmother. If we don’t continue to use written cards future generations will have none to cherish. How could we cheat them of that?

        I found a great post using (original/vintage) handwritten recipes to create tea towels by scanning/printing on fabric. (

        Handwritten recipe cards have a place in our hearts and in our lives! just saying…. lol

        • says

          I agree 100%! It makes me sad that handwritten recipes are becoming a thing of the past – and that future generations won’t have those tactile notes to remember their family members by. The digital age is great, but it definitely cuts back on these types of things.

          I love love love those handwritten tea towels! What a great idea – thanks for sharing! That might have to be my next project :)

          Thanks for stopping by, Debbie!

      • Diane says

        These are cute recipe cards. I thought Debbie meant having lines on the back of the recipe card so you can write the rest of the recipe on the back. Most recipes won’t fit on the front of one card. Is it possible to get a pdf download to put lines on the back of the card?

        • says

          Hi Diane! I don’t have plans to create more free designs for this project, but if you send me an email I may be able to fit in a custom request in January. Thanks for stopping by & have a great holiday!

  2. says

    Oh my gosh it’s so true. Except that I remember my mom would lose recipes a lot so really it’s better for our family that we can store everything on a computer and upload it for sharing via Google Docs

    • says

      Yes, the internet is a great storage system! I literally wrote down a recipe I made up a few weeks ago, and LOST the paper! If only I would have typed it up, I wouldn’t have this problem! Haha

  3. Lydia says

    Yes!!! I do use recipe cards!!!

    I’m in the process of getting all of my family recipe’s onto cards in fact! I am so excited you posted these so I have another option!!

  4. Victoria says

    My mom died two years ago at the ripe old age of 96. As I was going through her things I found her recipe box. I treasure those handwritten cards. I love the ones she carefully wrote out probably to share and the ones she “scribbled” and annotated for her own use. While I like being able to centralize and organize recipes online they, of course, will never have that personal touch like the handwritten cards. I feel sad that future generations will have very little of anything in their loved ones handwriting – you can tell so much about someone by looking at their personal handwritten notes, etc.

    Thank you for the cards – they are beautiful.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing this, Victoria. I definitely agree that future generations will be missing out on these types of things. I love handwritten things, which is also why I like to send snail-mail. Means so much more than an email!

  5. says

    I’ve been wanting to start writing out recipe cards for a while now, I think I’ve just been waiting for a pretty design. But now I’ve found yours, so I think I can finally start. Thanks so much!

    • says

      You’re very welcome, Sophie! Enjoy the cards & if you decide to print them out – send me a pic! I love seeing the printables in action!

  6. says

    Love these! Yes, I still use paper recipe cards! For myself and to send friends my favorite recipes! Thanks so much for sharing these with us!

  7. says

    I just found your site via these cards- I love them! I still use them and always bring a few when I take a dish to a party. Thanks so much for sharing, I’ll be linking to these.

    • says

      Thank you! I’m just like you in that I usually just write my recipes on scratch paper or notecards – but I think these make recipe sharing even more fun :)

  8. Gerri says

    I love, love recipe cards & handwritten recipe books. My mother wrote her recipes in little paper booklets which were given free from the Farm Supply stores. I have started giving my daughters handwritten copies of her recipes and mine each Christmas. I gave them Heirloom Recipe Books (Hallmark) and love adding to their collection each year. I have also included pictures of my mom cooking. Thank you for the printables as these cards are harder to find each year.

    • says

      What a neat story. I love that you copy the recipes to give for gifts. Recipe cards definitely seem like a dying art. One that I can’t stand to see go!

  9. Mhairi says

    I know most of my friends think I am crazy but when I find a recipe that my kids like I am carefully writing them – by hand into a big book for each of them (I only have two children).
    I have my great aunts recipe book and I love it for the writing as much as for the recipes. Hand written recipes seem more special and valuable somehow.
    I hope that when my children are having families of their own that these books will be a special part of their kitchens and lives.
    I am also getting other people to add their special recipes as I remember so that there is a real family feel to the books.
    Thanks for the cards. I will definitely be using them to write out recipes for friends from now on.

    • says

      Yes, yes! Handwritten books are so much more meaningful. I love that you take the time to copy the recipes for each of your kids. With the digital age, I’m afraid a lot of kids aren’t going to have these personal, handwritten books when they are older. Those recipe books will be something they will always cherish.

      Thanks for stopping by & sharing that with me!

  10. deborah says

    I do! I do! Use recipe cards that is, thank you for these! I’m 29 but prefer the old school method of writing them down and keep them all in a tin box. Reminds me of my grandma.

  11. Angela Yates says

    Hi, I love these recipe cards… I’d love to get the font for something else I’m working any, please could you let me know how I can find it?

    • says

      Hi Angela! The cursive font is actually just my handwriting that I digitized. So unfortunately, it’s not an actual “font” :)

  12. says

    I still use recipe cards. I have pinterest boards filled with recipes, but I keep my favorites in a binder, on hand written recipe cards.

    • says

      I need to get better at WRITING my recipes down, instead of just bookmarking them. Years from now, we probably won’t have our Pinterest boards, but we will have the cards that we took time to write.

  13. Peggy says

    I love your recipe cards and yes, I still use them. A few years ago I made a family recipe book for my 88 year old mom and siblings. Thank goodness she had all of the recipes cards she collected from her friends, parents, and siblings. We’re talkin’ a long time ago on some of these! We had a wonderful time going through each card, remembering the recipe (did we really like it?), the cook who gave it to her, occasions when we ate the recipe (if we remembered). Each card represents a piece of history – my history – my family history. That’s something you don’t get with a digital recipe. Each cook’s handwriting, the grease and sauce stains, their comments – all are wonderful mementos of a different time.

    • says

      I loved reading this comment, Peggy. The little handwritten notes & stains that come on old recipe cards are all part of the story. They really are like a time capsule from years past. I want to get better at writing down these recipes, so that I have a tangible copy years from now. You’ve inspired me to get this started!

  14. Ashley says

    HA! actually, I’m 25 and recipe cards are all I use. I can’t stand looking at the Ipad while baking. I may get a recipe from technology, but I have to write it down on my trusty cards before I start! My girlfriends love to pick on me for it. I’m also anti-kindle. Don’t get me started;)

  15. says

    As a family we are purposely “going back in time” on some things (not all) because my husband and I feel our family became reliant on electronics and it makes me sad. But that is a whole other issue! Though some things I won’t give up is blogging and uploading youtube. So yes I do use recipe cards to finally answer your question!

  16. Stacey says

    Thanks so much for the cute cards! When I open it, it says it needs a password. I might be blind, but I don’t see the password anywhere…?

    • says

      The cards should not require a password to open/print in Adobe Acrobat. (It does require a password to edit or open the file in Adobe Illustrator to prevent alterations.) If you are still having trouble, feel free to email me and I can send you the PDF that way!

  17. Ruth B says

    Thank you for these printables!! they are so cute! I Iove recipe cards! It seems more special when a friend writes the recipe down in her own handwriting. Then every time I make that recipe, I see her handwriting & think of her.

  18. says

    I must say, “I about died” of laughter & relation, reading the commentary around the photos LOLOLOLOLOLO THANK YOU for sharing

  19. says

    Yes I totally do, I have a chest, filled with index cards. I believe that even though we are in the modern world, some things need to be keep classy. Books i will read on my Ipad but for some reason I love the feel of cooking/baking books and I kinda like the thing of the handwritten index cards. A great way to keep you favorite recipies. :D

  20. says

    :D I do not use recipe cards and haven’t seen anyone use any lately. But these look delicious! Thanks for sharing such beautiful stuff for free! I am going to share them on my blog too!

  21. Abigail says

    I love this recipe cards!!! Im getting really into cooking and I want something cute to put all my favorite recipes on. Do you think there is any way you could make matching recipe tabs to match these cards?!?! I am such a organized freak and I need to find a good/cute way to find certain types of recipes fast!!

    • says

      Thanks Abigail! Glad you are finding them useful! I can’t guarantee that I will have time to create matching tabs, but I will definitely keep them in mind for future projects! xo

  22. Mary Taylor says

    Yes! I use recipe cards all the time. I don’t want a computer in the kitchen with all the oil and flour and spills around, nor do I want my fingers operating the expensive machinery while coated with butter or Crisco. I never have to worry about whether I have an internet connection, corrupted file or remember in which file or site I stored it. I make my own cookbook with recipe cards or full pages for more complex recipes! I haven’t noticed any friends or family actually cooking using the computer as one would a printed cookbook. They may look for a recipe, print out a few recipes, but seldom does the machine make it to the kitchen. If they like the finished product, it gets saved in the trusty recipe box or a cook book they’ve created for their special recipes. So your creative efforts have not been wasted. I’m doing up a set for family and friends. Thank You!

  23. Heather says

    My grandmother passed away years ago. My aunt took all the handwritten recipes my grandmother had collected over many many years and had them made into a book. The recipes in the book are all in my grandmothers handwriting. I’ve taken the book out from time to time just to be able to see her writing again. However, I have never made any of her recipes out of fear of some wayward splatter of batter obscuring the beautiful handwriting. I want to say thank you for the beautiful simplistic design of these cards because I am printing as I type and very soon I will get to sit down and transfer those recipes to cards. I’ll be smiling and crying with remembrance.