August 18, 2015 by tessaraewilliams
So you want to host a craft swap, eh? Got an idea, but not the know-how? Hopefully through this blog series, I’ll get all your questions answered about how to host your first craft swap!
I’ve asked four amazing swap hosts to help me with this blog series. Through their expertise, we’ll learn about all the ins and out of craft swaps, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. My four amazing co-writers are @sooo_charming, @nikanne, @lollypopstitches, and @TheLimeDropShop. Go follow them on Instagram now!
Next week, we’ll get into some details about prepping to open your first craft swap! But for this week, let’s just go over some basics about being a swap host.
What are some skills needed to run a successful swap?
- I’ve found you have to have the time to dedicate part of your life to the swap. You must be organised, you must be willing to answer all questions, no matter how silly or simple they may seem. You must be active and be seen to be actively looking after your swap. -@lollypopstitches
- Somewhat organized life. You gotta keep on track of people. Everyone can be forgetful at times, things/life happens and you have to stay on top of things. Mandatory check ins, mosaics, etc all help to keep the Swap Host sane and make sure everyone is on the same page and still participating. Don’t be scared to get tough and have to drop someone if said person is not checking in. -@sooo_charming
- You 100% need to be organized! Lists are your best friends. I personally love excel spread sheets. I can color coordinate and have lots of different information in one place.Patience is also important. You will always have new swappers and they will always have questions. I always encourage my crafters to contact me for anything and I always try to be prompt with my responses. Your crafters want to know that you care and that this swap they’re partaking in is a priority to you. Hosting a swap is a lot of fun, but it is a lot of work. Please make sure you’re ready for it before hosting. I’ve seen a few swaps go badly or even cancelled due to disorganization and bad communication. -@nikanne
- Organization is the #1 thing you need when running a swap! You need to make sure you can handle a swap. For your first swap I’d suggest only having about 30 people in it. This way you can control things a bit better. Don’t have a swap with 100 people as your first hosted swap. You will be stressed out trying to keep up with everyone. Make sure have the time to host a swap. You will receive many emails pertaining to the swap and you need to make sure you can keep up with them and the IG posts. -@thelimedropshop
So. If you take one thing away from this, let it be how important organization is! If you take two things away, let patience be the other. People will always ask you questions you think you’ve answered 101 times. Someone will always be late. Someone will always drop out of the swap. Patience in these instances is your best friend.
Advice for new swap hosts?
- Make sure you have the time to commit. Don’t think it’s fun and easy. Because it’s not. 😀 – @lollypopstitches
- If you’re stuck, ask other hosts. We’ve been there…hosting is a lot of work…it can be a big giant headache at times. So don’t be afraid to ask for help! -@sooo_charming
- Please just know that while it is a lot of fun, it is a lot of work, and can get stressful at times. Make communication a top priority and remember to make it fun for both you and your crafters =) -@nikanne
- Just be prepared. Make sure you have the time, patience and organization skills to host a swap. – @thelimedropshop
After hearing some words of wisdom for these swap vets, if you’re still interested in hosting a swap, stick around for more info in the coming weeks. I post every Tuesday!
- #finishedblockswap – hosted by ME! September sign-up for this monthly stash-busting swap. You’ll be making an 18-inch finished block (top, batting, backing, quilted) once a month. At the end of 12 months you’ll sash the blocks together and make a fun quilt! Info and sign-up here.
- #bnbpasstheballAutumn2015 – hosted by @bushelandbobbin. Pass the Ball Mason Jar Swap. This swap is Autumn-themed, and your package must include a mason jar. Ships in October. $5 donation. Sign-up here.
- #CDNhoopswap – hosted by @sew_conni and @creatingahome. Canadian-only hoop swap. Sign-up here.
- #blacksquareswap – hosted by @purplepoppyquilts. You will buy 3 yards of a black blender fabric, cut into 40 10″ squares, and send to host. You’ll receive 40 different squares back. Sign-up here.