Announcing the DIY / Local Swap!


Bookish Valentine was 98% fun. Folks received good gifts and most of the response was over overwhelmingly positive. HOWEVER, I did have to spend some time chasing people down and one person was screwed out of getting a valentine (ahem, me). Being a perfectionist I considered throwing in the towel on swaps. I wanted everyone to be 100% happy with no bumps of grumpiness. Well, that’s not life. In my resolve to focus on more joy and less grump I’m going ahead with my swap plans.

My I humbly present the DIY and Local swap.

Attention: Please read on EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT CRAFTY… TRUST ME

Who Can Participate?

Please sign-up only if you are able to send a package. I will not be able to send replacement packages to those who do not receive their swaps. Also, since I’d like to keep this small and inexpensive this swap is for the United States only. If you did not send your package for the last swap you will be unable to participate in this swap. Sorry not sorry. This swap is not just for bloggers this time. I am opening it up to any participant who has a blog, tumblr, twitter, or instagram account. I will cap the event to 50 people, but you just need to have some method to share the swap you receive with others.

What Do I Send?

Multiple folks have said that they will not participate because they are not “crafty”. You seriously don’t need to be a person who crafts to participate. Hence the “local” part. Please avoid Etsy, and seek out the DIY in your community. I’d like to take this time to share some swap ideas for folks who are skeptical:

The “You are More DIY than You Know” box: do you make a mean chai-spiced granola? Include a bag of granola with a recipe card. Maybe you like making your own cocoa or spice mixes, too. That can go in as well. Oh yeah…. and you have a packet of seeds because you love to garden… throw it in. And you did make crafty bookmarks with your kids last week, maybe one of those will work. Oh HAI, look at that cute handmade lip balm thing I pinned ages ago and never made. Let me make that and put it in the box. WHAM… you have a box.

The “Locals Only” box: I’m going to use local businesses in my community as an example. A journal made from vintage books from the local charity bookstore, a bag of coffee from the independent coffee shop, a bar of goat milk soap from the farmer’s market. Oh yes, and then there is stuff I can get from my FRIENDS who are crafty: a small sketch from my husband, a handmade card from a friend, a crocheted coffee coozie from a coworker. BOOM… you have a box.

The “I Want to Support my Swap Partner’s Craft Hobby” box:  Let’s say you discover your person loves to sew softies and scrapbook. Make a box of supplies! Cute buttons, vintage bed sheets from the thrift store (washed and dried, of course), stickers, ephemera, glue. VIOLA… you have a box.


Boxes should be about $25 in value and have roughly 1 to 5 items. You may only get one item, but that item must be of a $25 value. Five items would allow you to pick up small local creations or supplies.

When: The goal is for everyone to have their swap items mailed by Thursday, April 30th so that folks will receive packages by the first or second week of May.

How do I sign up? Follow the steps below!

1. Email figandthistlebooks (at) gmail (dot) com by Wednesday, April 1st at 11:59pm with the answers to the following questions:

  1. Full Name and Address (I will be storing all information in my gmail account and emails will be deleted by March 1st. I promise to not share your information and to respect your privacy. However, I – obviously — will share all information sent with your valentine).
  2. Blog URL, twitter handle, instagram account, etc…
  3. List your favorite crafty hobby (painting, scrapbooking, knitting, sewing, etc….). If you don’t think you are crafty, then put that down. Personally, I think everyone has a least one artistic or crafty talent hidden away, but no pressure.
  4. List a few things about you that would help your person shop. For example if you like coffee or prefer tea, or you don’t like chocolate, or if you have an allergy or are vegan. Pretty much a free for all of how little or much information you want to share.
  5. Lastly, include any questions, comments, or important information.

If you do not include the first four items you will not be in the book swap. I’m not chasing people down for info. I am a lazy.

2. You will receive your assigned Valentine by Saturday, April 11th if not sooner. Get to shopping and packing and aim to have your packaged shipped no later than Thursday, April 30th. After you mail your present, email me at figandthistlebooks (at) gmail (dot) com with delivery confirmation.

Social Media: When you receive your box let me (and everyone else) know! Rather than emailing me that you’ve received your swap I want you to use your favorite social media (Instagram, Twitter, etc…) with #DIYSWAP15. Also feel free to blog or vlog about your swap. Don’t forget that I’d love to see what you’re sending your valentine as well. Maybe snap a pic or tweet with #DIYSWAP15 to show any boxing, wrapping, shopping, and fun you are having with the project.

Okay, I think that is everything. Feel free to put the image up top on your blogs or various social media outlets. Let’s make this an awesome DIY swap!



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