If you are a food blogger or have recipes to share, then there is a very high chance that your opt-in freebie is a recipe card. Because why not? You created these delicious ideas and want to share them with the world.
There are two ways you can go about making a recipe printable. Option 1 is to create a beautiful black card and option 2 is to create a card with your recipes already on it to be printed out. Both can work as a strong blog freebie.
Before Doing Anything: Do a Quick Pre-Sketch Brainstorm
Before heading on over to Canva, it is important to have some idea of what you want the recipe card to look like. Having a basic idea of what the design will look like, will make the creative process much quicker.
I recommend sketching out 1-3 ideas. This will help you figure out what you like best and help get those brainstorming juices flowing.
Two Recipe Printable Card Styles to Choose From
#1. Standard Recipe Card
This is going with the standard style which is usually a 4″ x 6″ card. The great aspect of the standard recipe card is that you can design it in multiple ways. Here are some quick examples.
#2. Full Page Card
Instead of limiting yourself to small design space, make it bigger to fit a standard printer paper size (U.S. Letter and A4). Stick with the common printing sizes, so that it’s easier to be printed in a typical home.
This works out great because it is easier for your subscriber to print and organize. All they would need is a 3-ring binder and sheet protectors (or a 3-hole punch). This means no cutting the printed pages or needing to purchase thicker paper.
How to Make a Recipe Card Printable in Canva?
Step 1: Choose the Layout
Before beginning the design process, choose the layout and orientation for your recipe card.
The most common card sizes to choose from are 3″ x 5″, 4″ x 6″, and 5″ x 7″. Don’t feel limited to use landscape orientation. Try switching it up with portrait.
Once you have decided the layout of your design, head on over to Canva. On the homepage, click the Create a design button in the top-right corner. Then choose Custom dimensions to add a specific width and height.
Before entering the dimensions, change the dimension size options from pixels (px) to inches (in). This has to be done first otherwise it will change your numbers when switching the dimension units. Enter the dimensions you want to use and click the Create new design button.
Blogging Tip: If you don’t like the orientation of your card and want to try a different one then I recommend resizing it. Click Resize in the top menu and a drop-down menu will appear. Switch the width and height. Click Copy & Resize.
This will give you the ability to look at the two different printables you created and see what you like best. Plus it prevents you from having to go back if you find you liked your previous design.
Step 2: Add Elements
This step is all about bringing your recipe card printable to life. For elements, I recommend using lines and/or shapes. These are the basic elements to use to craft the perfect recipe card.
Recipe cards don’t need a lot of because most of the space is meant to be written in with the recipe. Focus your design on what information is needed.
- Recipe Title
- Cook Time (optional)
- Prep Time (optional)
- Tips (optional)
I personally, like to start with figuring out the location of the line elements for the ingredients and directions. This allows me to get an idea of how I will use my design space.
When adding lines in Canva, the first step is to determine the line’s thickness. To make a line thinner you will need to select the line element and then move a corner inwards. This will make the line shorter, so to make it longer grab one of the sides and drag to the desired length.
Add as many lines as you want. There is no specific number. To organize the lines to be evenly spaced, Canva has a nifty tool that you can use. Select all the lines that you want organized and then click the Position button in the top-right corner. Select the Tidy up option and it will automatically adjust each element.
The only downside to this tool is that you can’t determine the spacing between each selected element but it does the job quickly. If you want a little more control over the spacing, then grab my super-nifty Alignment Tool from my Printables Kickstart Toolkit.
It is really easy to use and can make the design process go by much faster. All you have to do is upload the tool to Canva and then add it as a background image to your design space. Then when you are all done, delete the Alignment Tool from the background.
Creative Tip: To help make it visually easier to see the space you are working with, use a square shape to outline the recipe card. Then add the lines within the square shape. This will make it easier to see how the lines fit within the design space. Also, don’t forget to delete the shape (unless you decide to keep it) when you are done with it.
Next, add the text boxes to add the title and/or to insert your recipe.
The final element to add is graphics…if you want to add any that is. If you can’t find any graphics that fit your fancy, then don’t add any. Limit the amount of graphics that are used. Too many will make your recipe card printable feel cluttered and not pretty.
I recommend using a maximum of three graphics.
Not sure where to find unique and beautiful graphics? Check out my two favorite sites: The Hungry JPEG and Creative Market. For Creative Market, make sure to purchase the commercial license as you will be using it for commercial use.
Step 3: Save as PDF
Once you have finished adding all the elements you want, it’s time to download your recipe card. In Canva, click the download icon in the top right corner of your design screen.
For File Type open the drop-down menu and select PDF Print. This is the option that makes sure your download is high quality. Don’t do PDF Standard for any of your printables.
Then click the Download button and save the file to its designated folder.
Tips for Creating Recipe Card Printables
Tip #1: Make it Editable
Turn your recipe card into an editable one. Give your subscribers the ability to add their own recipes and it can be done with this free tool: PDFescape.
Check out this blog post where I show you how to use PDFescape to make your PDF editable.
It is the only free PDF tool out there (at least that I know of currently) that will turn your PDF editable and it is a simple way to elevate your freebie.
Tip #2: Add More Room By Using Both Sides of the Card
Most recipe cards have space for the recipe both on the front and back. And you can do the same for yours. It takes a little more work on your part but not much.
The nice bit about doing a double-sided card is that it gives you more room for your design. Now, instead of trying to cram everything into one little area (if using the 4X6 size card), you can spread out your design.
The additional work is creating a set of instructions. Write instructions that tell your subscriber how to print on both sides of the sheet of paper. It’s always best to assume that they don’t know how. It’s a small way to be super helpful and that you consider all parts to using your printable.
Tip #3: Use Minimal Graphics
Graphics tend to take up much-needed space, so I recommend limiting yourself to only use 1-3 for your recipe printable. Great locations for the graphics are in corners (for the design as a whole or specific elements themselves) OR as a border. Below are some examples found on Etsy.
Almost every card with graphics uses only one or two. There are a couple that use a cluster of graphics but limit them to the border.
Tip #4: Make a Set
Want to multiple different graphics? Then make a unique set that will help you stand out from others. The key is that the graphics or colors should complement each other. Keep the layout and the text the same. Not only does it mean less work for you but also a consistent look.
Final Thoughts on Recipe Card Printables
Recipe cards are a simple printable that can be made relatively quickly. They are perfect for the blog audience that loves to cook and eat food.
- Two types of recipe card styles: standard and full page.
- Take a quick moment to sketch out design ideas.
- 3 steps to making a recipe card printable: choose a layout, add elements, and save as PDF.
- 4 tips for recipe card printables: make an editable version, minimal graphics, use both sides of the card, and make a set (for a uniqueness factor)
Before You Head Out of Here…
Did this help you figure out how to create a recipe printable? Was there a tip or step I didn’t mention but that you use to create your recipe printable cards?
Tell me about it in the comments below or contact me right here!
Happy Days –
Hi, I’m CaitieJ. I’m a quirky lady married to the love of her life and raising two wonderful little boys. I’m also the nerd who loves everything about creating printables and opt-in freebies. This blog is all about helping fellow bloggers learn how to create unique freebies that will grow an incredible email list. Check out more about me and my blog right here!