Host Your Own Dang Craft Swap – Part 3

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December 8, 2015 by tessaraewilliams

Before we jump into the post, I just wanted to mention that I’m selling some pouches and wallets! You can use the code “holyguacamole” throughout December to get 20% off! The code works in both my Spreesy store and my Etsy store. Watch my Spreesy store later this week when I’ll be adding Harry Potter, Charley Harper, and Heather Ross wallets!


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 will talk about the programs you’ll likely use to organize your swap.

I use Google Forms to create my sign-up forms. With Google Forms, all the information sent in will be collected in a Google spreadsheet, which can be downloaded to your computer, or edited online if you’re comfortable with Google Drive. Things to include in your form include:

  • Name
  • Instagram Username
  • Mailing Address
  • Email Address
  • Would you be willing to ship internationally?
  • Any allergies pertinent to the swap?
  • What would you like to make?
  • What would you like to receive?
  • Anything you would not like to receive?
  • Any ideas for extras?
  • Anything else you’d like the host or your partner to know?

You could also add questions that have to due with your theme. In Google Forms, you can add questions that are multiple choice or short answer, along with other types. Take some time to explore Google Forms and Google Sheets (their spreadsheet app).

  • I didn’t know what google docs/forms were until I joined another swap. I used google docs to create forms and export all the information into Excel and then manage my swaps with my fancy excel set up. – @lollypopstitches
  • Google forms all the way! Everything is super simple and right in front of you. For me, it’s the best data collector I’ve found. -@nikanne
  • Google Docs is a pain in the butt, but I do use it.  It does help when it’s a bigger swap to keep track of everyone involved.  I have had people email me for a form as well.  If it’s a smaller swap, it’s easier for me to do that. – @sooo_charming

The best way I’ve found to let people find the sign-up form is to place the link on your Instagram profile. It’s a good idea to use the short URL. To find the short URL for your form, click Send in the upper right corner of your form’s Edit page, then click Link, then check the Shorten URL box.

You will be able to close your form from receiving any more submissions once  you reach a number you’re comfortable with. 

Once you’ve gotten all your participants’ info, it’s time to get partnering! Personally, I like to read through everyone’s information first. It helps me get an idea of the people who will be in my swap, and helps me later when partnering. I like to try and pair people based on similar interests, or if someone requests a certain type of craft I want to pair them with someone who can do that. However, the most important thing to remember when partnering is location. If someone asks to only ship domestically, try to honor that. Conversely, if you have one participant from another country, find someone who is willing to ship internationally, so that you don’t have to worry about that person later.

  • I partner up those that cannot post internationally first. So I know they are sorted. Then I just match people up after. – @lollypopstitches
  • My first people to knock out are those with allergies and those who are international and do no want to ship internationally. Next all the international shippers, so that I now have them covered. I normally have a “anything you want or do not want” section in my questionnaire and I try my best to pair everybody up according to their response. Once I get down to the “I would love anything” people, I try to make sure to partner them with others who do different crafts than they do. – @nikanne
  • If they ship internationally they get put into a separate group than the ones who do not want to ship internationally.  Then I make sure to look at allergies and try and pair people up that way.  Only because you don’t want to send someone something who is allergic to cats when you are a crazy cat lady yourself.  My cats LOVE to sit on my projects and make it difficult for me to do anything.  So there could be a stray hair or two on it from my beastie to  -@sooo_charming

To partner people, I make a copy of my spreadsheet that contains everyone’s information, then I rearrange the copy when pairing partners. I’ll use this new spreadsheet when sending partner emails later.

  • I have an Excel spreadsheet set up, a dashboard sheet with a quick list of people’s names, IG names, email address, location, who they’re sending to/receiving from, have they sent, tracking numbers, and check ins. Other sheets in excel just contact the raw data extracted from google forms. I work in IT so I’m all about keeping data in spreadsheets haha! – @lollypopstitches
  • I keep everything organized in different cells on excel. I have Columns for the crafters, who they are crafting for, the person crafting for them, and then each check in date and ship date. I also use a lot of color coordination so that I can see things more easily and quickly. @nikanne
  • I have everyone written down in a notebook by name, IG name and email address – PLUS all their info on the Excel Spreadsheet.  Keeps everyone in front of me and me on track!  – @sooo_charming

Once you have everyone partnered up, you have to send out emails letting giving participants their partner’s information. Julia at Stars and Sunshine has a great tutorial about using Google Mail Merge to send out swap emails.  

Next week will be the last post for this blog series. I hope it’s been helpful so far! Next week we’ll talk about wrapping up your swap.


#animemangaswap – hosted by @raeosunshinepets. Ships in March. Sign up here.

#parksandrecswap – hosted by @finneganandfox.  The theme is the show Park and Recreation. Ships in May. Sign up here.

#narniacraftswap – hosted by @sewlikejune. This swap is based on the Chronicles of Narnia series. Ships in April. Sign up here.

#disneyquiltswap – hosted by @thelifeofahappyginger. Opening soon.

#GLSswap1 – hosted by @drowsyaurora. This swap is through Facebook at the group Geek Lover Sales. The theme is geeky TV shows.



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