What is a Swap?

I’m sure that you know that the term “swap” means to trade or exchange something with someone or something else. But how does that relate to scrapbookers? A scrapbook layout or card swap can be a wonderful way for us to find new ideas and make new friends.

Swaps are usually organized by the group leader generally known as the hostess. She gets to decided what (if any) the theme will be for the swap, how many people will participate, deadlines and anything else important to her particular swap.

The hostess can choose to do a swap with her local friends or host it online. One nice place to find swaps you can participate in is at Paper Crafts Magazine.

There are a few swap etiquette things that you should keep in mind if you choose to participate in a swap.

Always do your best work. You don’t want to receive anything that looks like it was thrown together and the last minute with uneven cuts or adhesive showing, so don’t send off something for a swap that isn’t your best.

Write the name of the swap on the outside of the box you are mailing to the hostess. Many hostesses host several swaps at the same time and putting the name on the outside of the box you mail to her will make her job in sorting everything out much easier.

Don’t flake out. If you commit to a swap, do everything you can to meet deadlines and follow through on all of your projects. Everyone in the group is creating things based on a certain number of people who are participating in the swap and if you don’t follow through, it lets everyone down.

Thank the hostess. It is nice to include something for the hostess. Maybe it is just a handmade card with a thank you note or you could give her a few of your scrapbooking goodies from your stash as a little thank you.

I participated in a card swap this past weekend that was a lot of fun. It was in connection with a class I took at a Creating Keepsakes Convention. We each brought 20 cards that we made (all the same design) and then traded them with 20 other people. So I came home that night with 20 different cards. It was a fast and easy way to have many new ideas.

If you haven’t tried a swap before, now may be the time to give it a try. If you’ve participated in several swaps, maybe you could try hosting a swap.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with swaps!