In Part 1 I covered how to be a good swap crafter. Now I want to talk about how to be a good partner and general participant.
As I mentioned in the previous post, the IG swap circle is really becoming a community. Makers and crafters from all over the world are coming together to share common interests and make beautiful things. It’s lovely to see!
But if you have been doing craft swap for any length of time you have probably run across a not so great partner…or maybe you have been a not so great one yourself without knowing it.
1) Fill out your entry form really thoroughly. Usually in a swap you have a secret partner – so the person you are assigned doesnt know you have them, and someone else has you. The mystery adds to the fun as we all try to figure out who is making something for us.
Unfortunatly, secret partners can also be tough. One of the biggest issues is that if the person you got assigned didn’t fill out their form well or didnt post a mosaic (or only posted a vague one) then you don’t have much to go on. And you can’t just come out and ask, because then they would know you have them.
So please, please, PLEASE – fill out your form well when you sign up. Don’t put your crafter in a tough spot. It might feel odd to ask for things or get specific, but it really does help. The person making a craft for you will be more excited if they are certain that you love the subject matter. So give them information to work with.
2) Post a good mosaic or Pinterest board. This goes along with the above, but is worth its own mention. Mosaics don’t take too long and there are a lot of apps to make them (i use PicStitch). Try to search Pinterest, Etsy, and other places to find things you like related to the swap theme. You can include actual crafts you like, things you like about the subject, or even art styles you like. It’s also helpful to add a little explanation. For example, this is my Pirate Swap mosaic.
I love all the things here and they all sort of have the same feel to them. I also added a description saying I love old world glamour of pirates, Calypso, and mermaids.
3) Stay active on the hash tag. Your swaps have a hash tag and you might have a team hash tag too. Follow it and check things out at least once a week if you can. One of the main reasons for this is that it is common to see someone post “this is an idea, what do you think” regarding a craft decision. They are hoping their partner answers! That partner might be you, so it’s worth checking the tag and helping people out.
4) Say Thank You. This really shouldn’t have to be mentioned, but it seems to be an issue on IG and in other swap venues. Say Thank You – and do it quickly. Most of us wait with bated breath for our partner to get the box, and we watch the tracking. When it says delivered and we dont see any response from you (ie, “I got it!” and “Thank you!”) it makes us feel not only worried (lost or stolen boxes) but also pretty crappy, like our craft wasn’t good enough.
If you are busy when you get the box, at least post a quick photo of the box (and stuff inside if you can) and say it was received and that you will post details as soon as you can. Then actually do it! It doesn’t take long to post a photo of the loot, say who you received from, and gush over it a bit.
Now as I said in the last post, this isn’t all there is to being in a swap. If we want the IG swap community to thrive we need to be actively elevating the way we participate in swaps. When in doubt, go a little above what is expected. Give advice or help to other crafters. It can be easy to get discouraged if you hear about a bad swap or swapper, but at the end of the day most of the community is honest and just loves crafting for others. Lets keep it that way.
From the Desk of MamaBice_Makes