Swap-Bot Madness!

I have taken a small hiatus from blogging this week to immerse myself in my latest addiction Swap-bot! When I first heard of Swap-bot I thought it might be something for people into swap meets and that sort of thing. But really what I have found is that it is an amazing community for artists to get together and share their works of art with one another or materials. Actually, that is just the tip of the iceberg but that is what I am loving the most about it.

Basically, you search for swaps on their site and find one that you think you might want to participate in. When it’s time to “start swapping” a robot picks partners. You get their address and you prepare a work of art, package, book, whatever it is you are swapping and you mail it. For example, tonight I put together what is called a parcel themed “Frog” for a girl in Alabama. To keep it fair, the person who sends to you is different from who you send to. My package is actually coming from Canada. Woo-hoo! Here is what I put together for my froggie parcel:

I hope she likes it! I try to tailor it to the person I am sending. For instance, I probably wouldn’t have put this particular parcel together for a 60 year-old.

Yesterday I received a large package full of snacks. Inside the package were even some Fair-Trade Chocolate Covered Gogi Berries! They were delicious! It is a gamble and you never know what you are going to get but they do have a rating system in place and anyone who has not met certain requirements can be banned from swaps and Swap-bot in general. I’m sure what they refer to as “flakers” do exist but so far I haven’t been flaked on. Regardless, if I am flaked on I will continue to swap. I wouldn’t let one bad apple spoil this great thing I have discovered. They also have “angels” in place to send out replacement swaps when flaking does occur. The whole system is really just brilliant!

In the beginning, I  signed up with Swap-bot g because I wanted my son to get some fun mail every now and then and to help him learn geography but really it has sort have turned into something I do for myself as a sort of therapy. I have discovered something called ATC cards and every night I work on a little 3.5″ x 2.5″ work of art using various themes. The fact that the theme is chosen for me takes the work out of it for me. The coming up with the idea has always been the hardest part of the creative process for me. I found this site helpful when learning how to make an ATC:

Art in your Pocket

Here are the ATC’s I have made so far that I am most proud of:


Most of the ones I have received have included more than one element, but I am kind of liking my “2-D” colored pencil creations.

When I was a kid, my grandma had these giant light-blue garbage bags full of light-blue envelopes with stamps still attached that she had saved from when she worked at Banker’s Life Insurance. A lot of the stamps were international and I remember spending hours on the collection. I would cut the stamps, soak them to remove them from the paper and then arrange them nicely in my journal. Andrew and I are going to do the same with the international (and probably domestic) stamps we get via Swap-bot. I can’t wait!

Check out Swap-bot if you are into sharing, crafting, drawing and snail mail. Here are some of the swaps I am currently involved in to give you an idea how varied it is:


  1. mwq
    Posted March 29, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Wallflower Wonderland….I was the lucky recipient of the Peter Rabbit atc you made for the Swapbot swap..He’s lovely.

  2. Posted March 29, 2010 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Aweee thanks!! Isn’t Swap-bot fun?