Creating a Recipe / Make-It Journal

A Guide for Organizing Inventions, Innovations, and/or Craft

4 min readNov 24, 2020
A light teal colored leather journal with compass on the cover and rainbow colored tabbed inserts is pictured.
Screenshot of the tabbed recipe journal from Amazon.

After reading and going back through recipes featured in The Green Witch book by Arin Murphy-Hiscock, and writing down recipes for homemade topical skin applications and tea blends I decided to get a book to keep my recipes. I went with the version pictured above for a few reasons. First, when I was growing up, my mom had a small custom sized binder that held all her recipes and it had tabs for the various types of foods like “main courses” and “desserts.” I used that book a lot. It was significant as it held family recipes and a couple that mom and me created together. Second, I liked the design of a binder with tabs. It helped flipping through the book to get to the designated recipe. This design also aided in protecting the pages. Third, the journal is devoted to home remedies and innovations — it will not get mixed up with recipes for meals. It is a book dedicated specifically to keeping recipes, notes on what worked and what didn’t, updates, pictures, ideas, and more. Eventually, this book will be something passed down to future generations to use.

For me, I went in specifically knowing what I wanted: tabs/tabbed inserts, bound, and pages/cards to write upon. I went to Amazon and did a search on “tabbed recipe book.” In finding material to fill the pages and get started, I have sourced from the following: The Green Witch book, The Herbal Academy, Joy Us Garden, and Natural Healers.

Handwritten recipe for Digestive Tea.
Digestive Tea recipe with my modifications.

Digestive Tea

My recipe journal is focused on home remedies. One of the first recipes I tried and has been successful is one for “Digestive Tea” found in the The Green Witch book as featured on the left. This tea is tried and true. It was good for equalizing the gastrointestinal system and restoring calm. I have made notes on what it was used for and date (not pictured here).

Handwritten recipe for Heaven in a Bottle — lavender infused oil.
“Heaven in a Bottle” recipe with modifications.

“Heaven in a Bottle” or Herb-Infused Oil

This recipe for “Heaven in a Bottle” has been modified by me as you can read the asterisked items at the bottom. Steps 1–3 have been applied. We are currently in the sun charging phase. It will be exciting to see how my version of this turns out in another couple of weeks. I was hoping for something fragrantly pleasant, as well as something that can be added topically to treat bug bites, skin irritations, dry skin, scars, etc…

Notes on how it turned out and things to do differently or make sure to include next time will be added to the back of this page.

Aloe Vera Shaving Gel

This final recipe was done yesterday and results have not been noted, yet. However, you can see that to the left I have included notes about the modifications my daughter and me made to the original recipe.

I, personally do not care for Aloe Vera as a product to use. I bought the plant to add to the ambience of the indoors and because it does have healing qualities, my family and friends can enjoy its use. The shaving gel recipe was really easy to make. My daughter enjoyed this recipe as she enjoys making and storing slime. Aloe Vera gel’s consistency reminds me of slime. The odor of the Aloe Vera is hard to stomach, which drove my older daughter away from helping us. It’ll be nice to find out if the CHI shampoo helped with the fragrance and odor control.


These are a few examples of how I got started and got organized. How you decide to create and organize is up to you. Maybe your craft has nothing to do with plants or skin care, but this story will help to inspire you on creating more and keeping focused. For me, focusing on greening the indoors and making use of the greenery has been a great distraction from the pandemic and overwhelming anxiety felt all around.

Two final notes I have are with the herb clippings I took from my Pallet Hanging Garden (see story on how to make your own), I am trying to re-sprout and pot more of the Peppermint and French Lavender. Some of the leaves were too tiny for dehydration. The additional note I have is in looking for tins to make a salve in the future I found some that come with wicks for candle-making. In documenting and capturing ways to create, it leads to new creations and new discoveries! Go forth and enjoy!




Librarian and Information Specialist by day. Queer writer of poetry, sensuality, personal experience, and health by night. Instagram @tolbert_on_medium #BLM✊🏿