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Recipe Cards

Martha Stewart Living, October 1999

Long after the recipe has been committed to memory, you still treasure the yellowing card on which it was written in your mother's or grandmother's script. One way to protect these heirlooms from kitchen spills and smudges is by laminating them. Laminating machines run from $150 to $250, but you can also buy self-laminating sheets, which are less expensive and simpler to use. Place a recipe between two of the sheets, seal smoothly, and trim any excess plastic from the edges. To hold your recipe cards together, punch a hole in the upper left-hand corner of each card, and slip them onto a large binder ring (available at hardware stores).

Comments (19)

  • waldenlou 21 Feb, 2009

    Yes I'm in agreement too, if you truly want to preserve the actual card or notes from grandma, don't laminate. You'll need purchase archival tissue, boxes etc.. If want you can scan a copy and laminate and then preserve the original.

  • SuzT 21 Feb, 2009

    I have to agree with MelissaSmith. I too am an archivisit and this idea gave me chills. It may be a great way to preserve your current recipies cards, but please don't use it on your heirloom cards! Not only is it irreversable, it will actually make your cards deteriorate faster. Instead, you can use acid-free plastic postcard sleeves (usually around 100 of r $10), which will preserve your treasured cards better and possibly cheaper.

  • singingwonderbut 18 Feb, 2009

    You can get a cheaper laminator machine at wal mart and it works just fine too.

  • tcw61 17 Feb, 2009

    I bought laminating machine some years back. I figured I'd never really use it. I am here to tell you, it will be one of your best investments!!

  • LidiaC 16 Feb, 2009

    my Xyron has a cartridge that laminates (the 510 model)

  • Rupee 16 Feb, 2009

    I also place those grocery store recipe cards into small and cheap photo albums with the clear pockets. I've preserved my mother's handwritten recipes though using archival quality scrapbook albums.

  • contributors_marthastewart_com_lindibaby 16 Feb, 2009

    I use clear plastic contac you can buy just about anywhere. I put it on both sides and the recipe cards are sealed quite well. I make a lot of pretty cards and this works just great! Be careful as it sticks to itself rather easily. Trim when done.

  • contributors_marthastewart_com_lindibaby 16 Feb, 2009

    I use clear plastic contac you can buy just about anywhere. I put it on both sides and the recipe cards are sealed quite well. I make a lot of pretty cards and this works just great! Be careful as it sticks to itself rather easily. Trim when done.

  • Mfosterjeweler 16 Feb, 2009

    I scan my recipes into Excel and create a directory- this is a table of contents- so if I need a recipe for Chicken- there they are Voila! Also meals 1~2~4~6 Etc. Also categorize Chinese/Italian/Atkins/South Beach/ weight Watches. Then I have them neatly organized on the PC. Takes awhile to set up- but once it's done It's Done!

    Regards,
    Mfosterjeweler

  • DeniseCarlton 16 Feb, 2009

    Maybe one could make a colored copy of it on heavy duty paper and save the original.

  • LYC 16 Feb, 2009

    I purchased a laminator years ago and laminate all of my recipes, as well as many other things, and file them in a recipe box behind their appropriate categories. Smudges wipe right off. I also print lots of recipes that I find online. Glue them to 5 x 8 index cards, laminate them, and file them in my recipe boxes.

  • MelissaSmith 16 Feb, 2009

    I am an archivist and this is one of the worst things you can do when trying to preserve an ancestor's handwriting/recipe. Laminate over time produces acid and destroys the paper itself. So, unless it's something you want to throw away, I wouldn't suggest this as a method of preservation.

  • MelissaSmith 16 Feb, 2009

    I am an archivist and this is one of the worst things you can do when trying to preserve an ancestor's handwriting/recipe. Laminate over time produces acid and destroys the paper itself. So, unless it's something you want to throw away, I wouldn't suggest this as a method of preservation.

  • k-9 16 Feb, 2009

    I understood that laminating was actually NOT good to preserve documents--it was harmful! I thought I read it Martha Stewart Living!

  • missesbozo 16 Feb, 2009

    i did this a LONG time ago, and it is so helpful!. you can use a laminating machine at a kinkos for really cheap. also, my family gets together on saturday morning, looks through the cards and decides what they want to have to eat that week. no more of me asking what they want to eat, and them responding, "i dunno, what can you make?".

  • craftygal63 16 Feb, 2009

    Recycle Christmas Cards, Valentine Day, Birthday Day Cards, etc., they make great recipe cards and they hold some sentimental value as well. Besides they are pretty and great fun.

  • bdouglas2 16 Feb, 2009

    If a laminating machine is unavailable, I have used clear adhesive shelf paper as a good second choice. Just lay the cards on the clear paper and cut out. Repeat for the other side. We've also used these for maps we use for hiking to prevent water damage.

  • JoanneMcD 16 Feb, 2009

    Even better - color code them -- yellow (appetizers), blue (main courses), etc.

  • sonja1978 16 Feb, 2009

    I think this is a great idea. especially if teaching a young child to cook as you can just wiipe them clean after use. I just can't believe that a laminating machine cost so much in the states, in the UK you can get them for between n n 15, and n n 50,