How to Host a Craft Supply Swap

Craft Supply Swap: Creating a Theme

There are lots of crafts out there, and not all crafts appeal to all potential crafters. If you've ever been curious about which crafts are the most popular across the U.S., here they are. The numbers are based on millions of households participating rather than on the dollars generated for that craft segment.

  1. drawing (21.1 million)
  2. scrapbooking and other memory crafts (18.4)
  3. crochet (17.4)
  4. woodworking (16.8)
  5. jewelry making (14.7)
  6. card creation (14.0)
  7. floral design (13.6)
  8. cross-stitch (13.3)
  9. knitting (13.0)
  10. wreath making crafts (11.6)

A wide range of crafts is represented, and some big up-and-coming crafts like quilting and no-sew home d├ęcor don't even make the top 10. A scrapbooker or card designer may love the idea of receiving a few decorative stamps and colorful stamp pads in a supply exchange, but a jewelry crafter may think that type of exchange is a big waste of time if she only uses stamp pads to personalize her price tags. That's why it's important to research your guest list with care, especially if you have broad craft interests.

It's a good idea to have a few basic crafting categories (fabric, drawing supplies or yarn) in mind for the swap and make them clear from the onset. If you'll be hosting a swap that includes jewelry making and scrapbooking supplies, having plenty of participants in both categories is the key to success. That way, there'll be plenty of appealing items for everyone.

If you're a dedicated sewer, say, your stash will be made up of fabric, sewing supplies and notions. You'll also probably have a ready list of other quilting or sewing enthusiasts you communicate with regularly. Your sewing friends might be part of a club, training program or guild. They're the perfect pool from which to build a guest list for a swap. When reaching out, ask about a potential guest's other affiliations, too. Some may belong to other craft groups or have crafting friends who enjoy other aspects of the hobby. A few may also have relatives or co-workers who may be interested in participating.

If that sounds like a longshot, it's not. About 56 percent of U.S. households participate in at least one type of crafting project annually. The potential for finding likeminded, craft-loving candidates next door, down the street or in the cubby next to you at work is pretty good. Ask around. You'll be surprised to discover lots of folks you know share your love of crafting and have at least a few items they'd be delighted to swap.