Mini Album and Brag Books Template

Working on the Brag book Cover

Scared yet?

I have to say that this step took a long time for me to begin as I was feeling out of my comfort zone and just not certain if this cover will be what I wanted.

Take it from me, now that I have done the cover…no need to freak out! Follow my instructions or look up video instructions…lots of information out there and have fun, make mistakes and move on!

Step One: Make your cover

I first needed to buy medium density chipboard but I was not willing to make a trip to Micheals or wait for Ebay or Amazon delivery…LOL…sooooo I and went looking to see what I could substitute. I found stacks of very thick photo mats in my garage and cut it down to size (9 in x 9in ) with my Exacto knife. So far so good.


As I make each piece of this brag book, I am creating the digital templates AKA the Digital SVG cutting files and PDF files so that the next book will be a breeze. If you decide to make your own book from scratch, consider doing the same.

Step two: A Decision to make.

Now the decision was to lay the pieces out on one sheet of paper and wrap front, back, and spine together or wrap separately.

1, Here is an example of a cover wrapped in one sheet of paper (video at about 32 minutes in) This video is also a great resource for making a brag book.

2, Here is a video with an example of the pieces wrapped separately and joined. This is from one of my favourite brag book creators Jen of Eve

I am going to use method # 2 for a few reasons, but the main reason is that I want to make bigger albums and to find paper large enough to do a one-sheet wrap is not easy.

Cover, Spine and Binding cut

Here are my front and back covers and spine cut from matting material I am using 9 x 9 as my size. I did not use my Silhouette to cut these but you can use your machine with a deep cutting blade. If you want to skip all the measuring and just want the SVG files to cut , then subscribe and the message me: I want your Brag Book cover package and I will send the files for the cover and spine and the files for the wrapping.

Brag Book Cover and spine
“chipboard ” pieces for the book cover and spine

Here are the front & back covers, and the spine wrapping cut out. I used 12 x 12 sheets to fit the 9 x 9 cover size with a 1/2 inch tab allowance for glueing. Dollar store Bristol board works well and all you will need is one sheet

Here are the front and back of the cover with the cardstock wrapping glued on. The spine cardstock is not attached to top and bottom of the spine yet and will be attached next.


Everything is covered up and this is the finished cover and spine

If you want the digital cut files for the cover, spine and binding , subscribe to my blog and send me a request.

Next post: the page binding: found out some interesting information!

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Mini Album and Brag Books

What Size should it be?

What is Too small or Too big?

What is the ideal size for a brag book? In some of the tutorials I viewed, the brag book was closer to a mini album than a brag book.

Which brings me to another question I had as I sorted through the mass of material online: what separates a brag book from a mini album?  

As far as I can tell, its size and to some extent, complexity….by that I mean how many flips and flaps, pockets, tags, and belly bands an album has.

Another feature that brag books tends to have are different methods of binding the pages together.

As the name implies, brag books are made to showcase something you wanted to brag about … its used in business to showcase skills, testimonials etc and for the craft sector it would be used for a new baby, a grandmother/ father to have the grandkids photos in, weddings, travel memories and more.

If anyone has a true definition, I would love for you to comment below.

My goal

Is to develop all the components of a brag book in digital file format and PDF that can then be used interchangeably to create interactive, unique brag books easily with many different looks and feels.

I also hope to incorporate techniques I am not seeing in my search to give a WOW factor each and every time.

Back to size: there were a few page sizes I considered

  1. 6.5 in. x 8.5 in.
  2. 8.5  in. x 8.5  in.
  3. 5 in. x 7 in.
  4. 6.5 in. x 6.5 in
  5. 7 in x 7in

Sizes I Like

  1. I really liked the  6.5 in x 8.5 in.  size for a few reasons, first because it fit 8.5 x 11 in. cardstock, also it allowed for a potential of two  4 in x 6 in. photos.
  2. The 8.5 in. x 8.5 in.  fit 8.5 x 11 in. cardstock and allows for the 8 in. x 8 in. pads of paper for matting. Similar with the 6.5 in. x 6.5 in. page as it allowed for the use of 6 in. x 6  in. paper stack.
  3. I found a blank base already bound that is 8 in x 8 in, so if I use this pre-made book pages I will skip the steps for making the cover and pages and my files will be tailored for the 7 in x 7 in page clearance.

Binding methods looked at:

  1. Stack the deck
  2. Coptic stitch
  3. Hidden hinge (trade marked)
  4. Accordion hinge
  5. The popular method seems to be stack the deck, and I am researching if this is the method I will use. For my TUNNEL / SHADOW card, I used a version of the hidden hinge which I really liked.

My Pinterest board has pins for binding methods and for brag book ideas

The saga continues next post with making the digital pages.

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What feature do you love most in a brag book?

Do you have a true definition of a brag book to share?

Mini Album and Brag Books Paper

Making Of A Brag Book

At last, I have started the process of creating a brag book from scratch. I must admit that this has been a prolonged process because of how I do things:

My Thinking Process

  • I need to look at as many examples as possible,
  • Collect the ideas and then sort through them
  • Choose my favourite. 
  • A bit of procrastinating is involved and sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the information out there.
  • Eventually, I start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I get started.

Looking At examples

So the first step was looking at examples and collecting ideas : I pinned the ideas on Pinterest, great way to get organized! For those of you who want to start this process and are like me, here is my board Mini Album and Brag books

There is maybe duplicates as I did get a bit carried away! I also used youtube to look at tutorials online, there are so many amazing ideas on creating Brag Books!

Making Decisions

Once I finished looking at the examples,  I figured that what I liked most were brag books with templates pages that can be used in many ways.

Heartfelt creations was one such maker and another was Jen of Eve designs , both of these brag book creators gave me the sense that their templates can be used to create many variations of a brag book.

I liked that Jen of Eve design has templates that can be stored in a binder and when you are ready to make a brag book, you just have to photocopy the pattern onto cardstock and cut it out by hand. There are many who do not own cutting machines like Silhouette Cameo, Circuit, Brother machines etc. and SVG files would be useless.

With Heartfelt Creations, the brag book and all the inserts came precut and you just had to assemble and put your own matting and photos.

Decoration A paper

This is a good time in the planning process to look :

  • At what decorative paper you will use and what
  • Embellishments and images needed. I use free images from Creative Fabrica that are for personal and commercial use.
  • Who is the book for? I am going to make a brag book for a newly wed but the template will be adaptable for any type of brag book.

In my next post, I will start the actual process I went through to make my brag book digital file and PDF version.

Till next time,

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