I've been there: You don't want to toss that abandoned, half-knitted scarf, and that extra fabric from that one project doesn't match anything else you have in the works. Well, waste not, want not! Grab a group of fellow DIYers and artsy folk, and swap your supplies for new-to-you ones. Here are our tips on how to host a fun, successful craft swap:
I hosted a craft swap earlier this year, and here is what worked for me:
Spread out. You'll need a large table or area (the floor works!) to make room for the stuff to be swapped. Having it all in one big pile is daunting and hard for multiple people to search at once. If you're strapped for space, consider baskets or bins so guests can sort their swap donations into categories for easy browsing.
More is more. You're having a craft swap because you probably have too many supplies! Think of it like an outbox: you can always reclaim your donation if it's still on the table (but you probably won't want to, anyway). As the host, padding the swap table with extra stuff means everyone finds something they can put to good use.
Have a project. Pair your swap with a "crafternoon" activity. Have guests bring PhDs (projects half-done) to work on, or have the supplies on hand for an easy, trendy craft (like our jute-wrapped vases). Set up a station separate from the swap table for working on projects. Have a basket or section dedicated as a "project pantry" with basic supplies like glue guns, scissors, and acrylic paint for people to use for their crafts.
Refreshments! What's a gathering without food and drink? It's totally fine to keep it simple and snack-y, but it really ups the "party" feel, so don't skip it. We decided not to serve alcohol (glue guns + scissors + public event), but use your best judgement!
Donate the leftovers. Whether you're doing the "give one, take one" method, or a more lax, free-for-all style, you'll probably have some stuff remaining at the end of your swap. Goodwill and other thrift stores will take fabric, buttons, and many craft supplies. Or, consider giving remaining materials to your favorite teacher, school, or children's program.
Have you hosted a craft swap before? Share your tips!
(Images: Tara Bellucci)