Something to Brag About

Instead of a little wallet photo, imagine the joy dear granny will have in pulling a little brag-book out of her purse to share with her friends at bingo night!
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As a mama, we have plenty to brag about—our adorable children of course! While its nice and easy these days to share pictures and cute anecdotes of our child with the click of a button over the internet in email or blogs, I still believe a handmade gift or surprise in the mail is needed from time to time—and not all grandmas are online!

Instead of a little wallet photo, imagine the joy dear granny will have in pulling a little brag-book out of her purse to share with her friends at bingo night!

A brag-book is any kind of little album or booklet with special pictures that can be lovingly looked at, and small enough to carry around in a purse or keep on a nightstand. As always, the sky is the limit—but here are three very easy and copyable ideas for you to flash your favorite snaps around in, even if you have never scrapbooked before!

IDEA # 1—pre-made album. Total time taken to create: 20 minutes (but you can stretch it out to a whole episode of Grey’s Anatomy!)

This is a nice and easy one for the beginner or pressed-for-time scrapbooker. Pick up a cute blank album from your local scrapbook or craft store, stick in some cute photos and pop it in the mail!

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Supplies Needed:

Small ready-made album (one pictures is by www.makingmmemories.com)

Photo Tabs

Pen

Scissors/Paper trimmer

Photos

Label stickers (optional)

Steps:

1. Crop/trim pictures to fit on pages.

2. Adhere pictures with photo tabs, varying placement for added interest.

3. Add simple journaling/dates directly to pages or on label stickers.

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*Extra ideas:

Get kids to write a message or draw a picture on some of the pages.

Order your prints in matte finish to prevent fingerprints showing on well-loved pages.

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IDEA # 2 - Pics in a bag! Total time taken to create: 30 minutes.

Sometimes you want to send a friend/relative a bunch of recent pictures. Instead of just sending them in an envelope—whip up a cute little pouch bag to slip them in. You can take it a step further and sew/bind the photos to create a little booklet.

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Supplies needed:

Felt sheets

Fabric scraps

Sewing machine

Hole punch

Ribbon

Tag (optional)

Steps:

1. Cut 2 pieces of felt approx 5x7 inches.

2. Cut or tear strips from fabric strips. Hold one piece and machine stitch end—keep sewing (straight stitch) as you scrunch the piece of fabric into a spiral. Use 2nd piece of fabric to complete the spiral circle, creating a flower.

3. Lay flower piece of felt on the other piece and stitch the 3 sides to form a pouch/bag. Messy stitching looks GOOD!

4. Hold 2 photos back to back and stitch together. Repeat with all photos you are using.

5. Punch hole in bundle of photos and tie with ribbon.

6. Add tag to the ribbon and slip bundle into the pouch.

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IDEA # 3—Mini photo sandwiches. Total time taken to create: 30 minutes.

So you’ve got a lot of pictures to share but you don’t want them to end up in a shoebox at granny’s house—nor do you want to invest the time or money on supplies to create a full-on album. This is the perfect solution for you—the transparencies are cheap as chips (you may even find an old box of them already in your office), and will protect the photos from cups of tea and cake crumbs!

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Supplies needed:

Photos

Paper trimmer

Sewing machine

Transparency sheets (from office supply store)

Hole punch

Ribbon or lace

Letter stickers/label stickers (optional)

Steps:

1. Crop all photos to 4x4 inches.

2. Adhere 2 pictures back to back.

3. Trim transparency sheets to 4 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches.

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4. Sandwich the 2 photos in between 2 sheets of transparency and use a zigzag stitch to sew around all four sides. (Repeat with all photos/pages)

5. Line pages up and punch 2 holes in the side, bind with ribbon or lace/fabric strips.

*Extra ideas:

Instead of photos on every page, you could mix it up with cute paper, kids artwork, journaling etc.

Add stickers or words to the photos before layering in-between the transparencies.

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The possibilities here are endless, so grab yourself a stash of your favorite kid snaps and start thinking about some ways to cheer up someone’s mailbox.

Of course, you may end up loving them so much that you forget to drop them in the mail and drop them in YOUR purse instead!

Enjoy!

—Emily J

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