One of the more interesting phenomenon in the online craft community is the popularity of ‘swaps’. People from all around the world sign up to send gifts to complete strangers and receive something back in return. I always think it is so interesting that the technology of the internet, which many reactionaries thought would be the end of the traditional postal system, is now being used to encourage old fashioned mail!
There are lots of different places to get involved in swaps of all different sorts, many involve a specific theme, and can involve sending finished crafts, craft supplies, purchased items, or even candy! These are just a few of the places you can find swap opportunities:
Back Tack – the mother of all swaps, wildly popular. Back Tack III is now underway and sign ups closed shortly after they began. The theme this time is softies, with some very specific criteria.
Swapmeet – A new addition to the swapping family, the site was set up to organize swaps of craft supplies. A new theme is announced on the 15th of every month.
Another Swapmeet site, run by purplepinkandorange.com – a monthly swap of items ranging from books, to mixed cds, to gardening items to crafts.
Craftster has a whole section on organized swaps, and a good system for those learning how to set up swaps.
Candyswappers set up by supereggplant
Color-rific swap-o-rama organized through flickr- each month a new color is annouced, and participants send a package of items in only that color, including one handmade item.
Project spectrum postcard swap – a color themed postcard swap
Postcard swap, which has been run twice by my little mochi
The also wildly popular secret pal gift exchange for knitters and crocheters. Now in its seventh round!
tea swap – a swap of teas from around the world. In this swap, teas are mailed to the organizer, who collects an assortment into packages to be mailed back to the participants.
Mini swap a swap for kids to participate in, run by mommycoddle (now closed)