Your crafting knowledge at the beginning of Red Dead Redemption 2 is pretty limited but you’ll soon be finding different recipes that will increase what you can make. Just because you find a recipe card for new crafting items, doesn’t mean that you’ll learn how to make it automatically.
When you do find new crafting recipes, you will need to go into your inventory satchel to look at the recipe before you’re able to use it. Simply open up the satchel by pressing right on the d-pad and then go to the documents tab. Once there you will find a section for recipes pamphlets. Select this and then you can examine the list of recipes that you have. You can look at them one by one to learn the recipe.
Once you’re looking at one recipe you can quickly go to the next one by pressing right on the d-pad. Quickly cycle through all the recipes to learn them and then you can use them at camp to craft these new items. After reading the items, if you’ve unlocked a new recipe the game will prompt you to let you know that you’ve learned a new recipe to use while crafting.