How to Participate in a Swap

Swapping art can be a fun way to connect with others, because you can create something special and receive something special in return. Who doesn't like surprises in the mail? In order for these swaps to run smoothly, we have set up some guidelines to help you learn what's expected of you and what you can expect in return. We hope these guidelines will make our swaps an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

  • To sign up for a swap, join the Swap Art group by visiting the group's main page and clicking "Join Group" in the upper right. On the main page of the Swap Art group, you can see the 10 most recent discussions, but if you click over to the group's forum, you'll find ALL the swaps, past and present. Find the swap that you want to join and click on it. Add your name and address by typing in the Reply box at the bottom of the page (do not click the "+Add" button in the upper right because that will create a whole new separate discussion which the swap host might not see).

  • If you want your mailing address to remain private, write "private address" in your post, but remember that it's up to you to get your address to your partner(s) when the list is posted.

  • If you sign up for a swap but you're unable to follow through for any reason, let the swap host know as soon as possible so that you can be removed from the list. We understand that unexpected circumstances can arise that prevent people from following through, but it's respectful to let the host know - and to let your partner(s) know, if they've already been assigned - so that other arrangements can be made.

  • Follow all the directions posted by the swap host regarding theme, size, medium, and deadlines.

  • Keep track of the swaps you have signed up for, as well as the names and addresses of your swap partners. Some people keep track by bookmarking the swap they sign up for, or putting it in their favorites. Others keep a Word file where they copy and paste the link for the swap along with the details, and the names and addresses of their swap partner(s). Find a system that works for you, because ultimately it's your responsibility to keep track of these details.

  • Remember that swaps are about sending ORIGINAL art via snail mail, and not copies, prints, or digital files.

  • Please put a lot of thought and care into the piece(s) you create, just as you would hope that your swap partners will put a lot of thought and care into the art that they create for you.

  • Most people prefer that the host assign partners randomly, so don't pressure the host into assigning you a specific partner.

  • After you receive art from your swap partner(s), take a photo of what you received and post it in the thread. If you are unable to do this for any reason, please contact the person privately to thank them and let them know you received their art (or you can post this publicly in the thread and describe what you received). Either way, it's important to acknowledge and thank the person who sent you the art. 

  • Please allow 6-8 weeks after the mailing deadline to receive art from your partner(s) if they are being sent by international mail, and 2-3 weeks if they are being sent from within your country. If the art still hasn't arrived by then, contact your partner(s) directly to inquire, because they may not realize that you haven't received the art. Occasionally things do get lost in the mail so your partner(s) will appreciate hearing from you. If you contact your partner but you don't hear back from them, let the swap host know, so that the swap host can investigate and/or ban the person from future swaps.

  • If you have any general questions about swapping, please ask in the Swap Art Group and someone will be happy to help you. If you have questions about a specific swap, ask the swap host.


New to the site? Check out our Guide to Getting Started.

Please take a moment to read our Member Guidelines. Thanks!

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