I’ve been doing swaps for about the last year maybe? Since last June. I’m going to tell you what I know about them. But I have to give a warning… They are addictive! So if you start, just beware…
I’ve had a lot of questions about the swaps, so I thought I’d tell ya what I know! And if you know more, please add comments below for others to learn from!
All the swaps I do are flickr based. You basically have to use flickr. Let’s step back a minute… How did I learn about them to begin with? I would scan flickr now and then and I kept finding amazing things people had made for this swap or that swap. I had no clue what a swap was, but eventually I put two and two together and realized that a swap is literally a swap! Hello!
So I started seeing a theme between some of these pieces I like and which swaps these artists were participating in. Most swaps require a good history of swapping. But you have to start somewhere, huh? So I wrote to the group administrators and told them I was interested in playing along, but I had no history…. They took a look at my flickr page and let me in.
Most of the ones I do, you have to be approved to join. And others you have to be invited. Of course, each swap has their own requirements.
How they work. All the ones I do are blind swaps. Meaning who you are making something for is not the same person who is making something for you. AND… The person you are making something for doesn’t know you are making something for them! So you can’t ask them directly what they like and what they don’t like!
If you can’t talk to them, how do you make them something that they are going to like?? You stalk them. Yep. No restraining orders here. The more stalking the better! When you get your partner’s info, it includes their likes and dislikes and all their social media outlets. Like their blog, their pinterest page, their flickr page, and anything else you want to share!
Now you have your partner. You can start stalking. But there’s another component to the whole swap thing… And that’s the fact that you really need to stay up to date on all the progress pictures being added to the flickr group for the swap. You are asked to comment on as many progress photos as you can. Why would you want to comment on so many pictures? Because you don’t know who your partner is. And your partner, more than likely, is going to post progress pictures with questions. And the more you comment, the more likely your end product is going to be perfect for you! You are answering questions and helping guide your fellow artists in making the perfect gift for you. And you are also letting your partner learn more about your likes and dislikes based on the comments you share!
Then you make something cool, mail it off and get a wonderful package in the mail just for you!
Most swaps also send little goodies with the main package. So be sure to know the swaps guidelines on that too! I didn’t realize that at first and almost sent mine out without the extra goodies!
So what swaps do I do? The two main ones that I have loved are the Modernista Homemade Swap and the Modern She Made Swap. I recently joined the Pretty Little Pouch Swap, that was a lot of fun! And I’ve also just started the Doll Quilt Swap and the Fab Little Quilt Swap.
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