Swaps are a great way to share your talents with others and to let others inspire you. Swaps are done by mail usually through web sites and Internet lists.
Basically, a swap is an exchange of finished handmade items tags or cards or products used in a technique like an exchange of fibers or stamped images. It can be a one-time event or done on a regular schedule. Note that the event is called a swap and the item being swapped is a swap too!
General Card Swap Set-up
- Someone needs to volunteer to coordinate the swap. In some swaps, two items will be made or given to the swap. One is sent to the coordinator for his or her efforts while the second is sent to another swap member.
- Pick the number of people you’d like to have for the swap. You can leave this open, but if just starting it’s best to have a small group.
- You can have swaps sent to the coordinator who will in turn mail out the swap to all participants OR once there is a list of participants, the coordinator will exchange all mailing information to each participant. A participant will be given another swap member’s mailing information so the swap can be mailed directly to a swap “partner”.
- Pick a theme, technique, or embellishment for your swap. You can also have swaps for materials used in cardmaking like having a fiber, ribbon, or cardstock swap. It’s your swap, you can get creative.
- Select a few deadlines or begin/closing dates. Have a date that the swap closes. In other words, no more people can sign up to participate. Let swap members know when the card should be in the mail and a gentle reminder a week before this deadline isn’t a bad idea.
- Follow-up to make sure all swap members got his or her swap. It’s a good time to ask how everyone enjoyed the swap and if there is any interest in a future swap.
- You don’t have to spend your last paycheck during a swap, but it is important that you put your best efforts into it. Make or swap something you’d like to get.
- Don’t miss any deadlines or due dates. What if everyone was a little late? The swap would never finish.
- If you are unhappy for any reason, contact the swap coordinator. Mistakes happen and not all swaps are created equal, just do your best to be courteous.
- If you have a question about anything, ask it immediately. Don’t know what MMM means? Don’t have a clue what a RAK is? Just ask and you’ll learn more about Monday Morning Mailings and Random Acts of Kindness.
- If doing a swap via the web (mail list, forum, user group), know the rules about if you need to post an acknowledgment or thank-you online.