June 2, 2015 by tessaraewilliams
You are super excited about a swap. You follow the hashtag religiously. You pine over all the amazing crafts being made. Then the day comes where you’re happy mail finally arrives! You open it up and… you are less than enthusiastic about what you find. Sometimes, it happens. Hopefully not often, and hopefully not to the majority of people in craft swaps. But it does happen. Before you go off on your partner, I want you to stop and think if there’s something you may have done to lead to this.
Me?! How can you blame me for not liking my gift?!
Let’s start with the sign-up form. How thorough were your answers? Did you just fly through it and convince yourself you’d be more thorough in an Instagram post? These forms are how the hosts pair you. Personally, I try and match people with similar interests, and if you don’t have a lot on your form, I have to just throw you in somewhere. So you may get paired with someone who isn’t ideal for you. When asked what you’d like to receive, many people write “anything”. But would you really like to receive anything? REALLY? Again, being more specific here helps your hosts pair you properly.
I filled my form out perfectly!
Next, let’s talk mosaics. Like, did ya make one? :p Often, mosaics are a better way to get a feel for your partner than the form answers alone. Let’s say I’m your partner and I want you to make me a Kevin Smith-themed craft. If you are not familiar with Kevin Smith, you might not be very pumped you got me as a partner! However, if I make a mosaic showing who he is and why I’m such a fan, that could possibly light the spark to get you going on ideas. Click here to learn how I make my mosaics.
I made a mosaic!
If you’ve done everything within your power to be 100% clear about what you’d like to receive, you’ve done your part.
As a maker, I’d like you to think about these things as you’re putting your packages together.
- Give yourself time! It is often obvious when a craft is rushed. Time crunches lead to stress which lead to mistakes! If the craftsmanship is less than you know you are capable of, consider slowing down, or starting over. Swaps are meant to be the best work you can put out there. You are sending to people who don’t know you, so they will judge you based on your efforts. If you can’t make the proper time commitment, consider not joining any more swaps. Also, when everyone gives it their all, everyone is happier! If you gave it 100%, then you receive a gift that looks like they gave it a solid 50%, you’ll be frustrated!
- It’s perfectly acceptable to use swaps to teach yourself new skills. Sure it won’t be as perfect as someone who’s been doing it for years, but as long as you give it your best effort, that’s all anyone can ask of you. 🙂
- No one joins a swap just for the extras. Sure they are a nice gesture, but you can’t hide a shoddy gift behind some fat quarters and clover clips! Are you padding your gift with extras to compensate for a less-than-great gift? This may be a time to reconsider what is most important in swaps (hint: it’s not the extras!)
- Here’s the most important advice I can give: your gift should be made SPECIFICALLY for your partner and their interests. Personally, I’ve had only one experience so far where I wasn’t happy with the package I received. The gift was well-made, and the extras were nice, but I felt as if the gift itself was truly not made for me. It felt as if it was just something they had laying around. Sure it fulfilled the requirement of the swap because they sent something, but it had nothing to do with any of the things I said I liked in my sign-up form. Strive to make it obvious that this gift was made with your partner in mind.
And now a moment to brag. :p
I sent out two swap packages last week and they arrived to their new homes yesterday! I’m very happy with how they turned out.
#spoilthebirthdaygirlclub June Birthday Girl! She said she liked Anna Maria Horner and Heather Ross. I’m not versed on my AMH, but I happened to have some voile squares I’d been given as a gift, and they worked perfectly for this Curvy Clutch! The lining inside is the yellow crickets from the Briar Rose line by Heather Ross. Also gave her some Briar Rose FQs and some local hot sauce, cuz she likes hot sauce. ;p
This was for the #onehourbasketswap2. My partner listed several designers she liked, but I was only familiar with Cotton and Steel. The idea behind this basket is that from one side it’s in black and white, and from the other side it’s in color. I thought it was a fun idea, and it turned out nice. Forgot to take a picture of the complete package, so the extras are missing.
Onto the open swaps for the week!
- #WinnieThePoohSwap – hosted by @the_geeky_knot (name twins!). Sign-up here.
- #squishyfaceswap – This swap is about dogs with squishy faces! IE Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, pugs, bulldogs, pitbulls, etc. Hosted by @happimadkewpie. To sign-up, find the post about the swap and comment with your email.
- #monthlybdayswap – hosted by @alyoungblood144. Looks like February is the only month left, so if your birthday is in February and you’d like to join, comment on her post about the swap!
- #downtonabbeycraftswap – hosted by @tabelite25 and @bee_flake. Sign-up here.