Holiday 2013 Handmade Gift Exchange Sign Ups!

handmade gift exchange

I can’t believe its already time for the Holiday 2013 Handmade Gift Exchange! YAYYYY!!! If you’re new here {welcome, welcome!!} this is one of the biggest online gift exchanges that happens twice a year. We give you the opportunity to meet a fellow crafter and the perfect excuse to get your craft on! There is no skill or cost requirement, that way everyone can participate! 

Handmade Gift Exchange

Welcome to the 9th Handmade Gift Exchange!! This bi-annual gift exchange has grown and changed so much over the past 4 years. Its always a pleasure to pair up crafters whether they are across the state from each other or across the world from one another. My absolute favorite part of this exchange is getting the emails from crafters gushing about how they were set up with the perfect partner and how they have a new crafty pen pal. I LOVE that! {and for the record, all partners are paired up randomly :}

Newbie Exchange

One change this time around, I added a Newbie exchange. This is open to anyone who has not previously participated in a Handmade Gift Exchange. I wanted to make it less intimidating for new exchangers. I would love to get feedback on Newbie group after the exchange is over :)


elfsterWe will be using Elfster once again to facilitate this exchange. Elfster and I have worked together for the past few years to meet the needs of this large online gift exchange. A huge shout out to Peter and the crew at Elfster for being so awesome! {if you have any questions about Elfster, you can email them at and they are happy to help!}

What is Elfster? Elfster is a social gift giving platform where you can communicate with your partner, ask questions, share likes/dislikes, and interact with other members of the gift exchange.

Gift Exchange Timeline

  • November 1-7, 2013- Sign ups.
  • November 8, 2013- Partner assignments emailed out.
  • November 8-30m 2013- Make a gift for your partner.
  • December 1, 2013- Deadline to mail a gift to your partner.
  • November 21-December 31, 2013- Show off handmade gifts you made and/or received.

*Please put these dates on your calendar right now!

  • After you receive your partner assignment via email on November 8, you will automatically be prompted to contact them thru Elfster. {please do so!}
  • In the past, there has been a Handmade Angel that sent gifts to those who did not receive a gift. I am in need of a new Angel, so if you are interested in sponsoring this, please email me!

HOW TO SIGN UP: To sign up, use the drop down menu at the bottom of this post. Please select the exchange that is right for you!

There are 4 different exchanges: USA, Canada, All Countries, and Newbie.

After you have signed up:

  • Send email invites to your friends through Elfster! {the more the merrier!}
  • Share something with the group {a crafting tip maybe?}
  • Jazz up your profile by adding your picture, blog, facebook, pinterest, etc.
  • Add items to your wishlist. **NOTE: Please use the wishlist as a way to communicate style and preferences to your partner! DO NOT purchase a gift for your partner from their wish list!!!!! Remember, HANDMADE GIFTS ONLY!

Partner Assignments

On November 8, 2013, you will get an email from Elfster with your partner assignment. You will be prompted to contact your partner, please do so! We would love for you two to become great friends!

*This is a Pen Pal style exchange. You will be paired up to exchange gifts with one person. So the person you make a gift for, will make a gift for you.


Reading this entire post BEFORE signing up is Mandatory!

If you have any questions, PLEASE email me at before signing up.

  • If you commit to participate in this exchange, you will be expected to: make a thoughtful Handmade Gift for a fellow crafter and have it post marked no later than Monday, December 1, 2013.
  • Make a gift for your assigned partner. Need ideas? Check out my Craft Tutorials or my Pinterest Board or browse previous exchange gift pictures:  Summer 2013Winter 2012, and  Winter 2011.
  • Take pictures of the gift you make! There will be a linky party  and Flickr group starting on Nov. 21, 2013 to show off your gifts. We’d love to see the gift you MADE and the gift you RECEIVE.
  • Have your gift post marked no later than Monday, December 1, 2013. {earlier is always appreciated!} 
  • If you own a handmade shop, DO NOT simply tell your partner to pick what they want from your shop! I ask that you customize the item for your partner {i.e. color, design, style etc}. This exchange is to promote handmade and friendships, not your handmade shop.
  • If at any time you are unable to follow through with the exchange, PLEASE email me ASAP!! I understand life happens and that some things are out of your control. I just ask that you send me a quick email so that I can make other arrangements for your partner.
  • I have absolutely no way of patrolling everyone’s participation….For the most part, people are honest and do their part. But, unfortunately, there are always a small handful that do not follow through. Those who answered the Summer 2012 survey, 88% said they received a gift.

Please tell your friends, family, co-workers or that crazy lady in line at the grocery store, about the Handmade Gift Exchange! I would love for you to blog, pin, tweet, or Facebook about the Handmade Gift Exchange to help spread the fun! Example:  

Like to Craft? Sign for the Holiday 2013 Handmade Gift Exchange hosted by @CraftaholicAnon #HandmadeGiftExchange

Please use the hashtag #HandmadeGiftExchange to join the gift exchange conversation! ….. and yes, I’ll totally retweet you :)
If you’d like a Handmade Gift Exchange button to show off, click the button below.

handmade gift exchange


Frequently Asked Questions

  • There is no skill level required. A handmade gift is always wonderful, no matter how technical it is!
  • There is no price minimum. If shipping costs are an issue, you can make a gift that is light weight and fits inside an envelope. Think cards, bookmarks, stationary, etc.
  • You do not need a blog to participate!
  • How will I know who my partner is? You will get an email on November 8, 2013 with your assignment.
  • What counts as Handmade? If you could sell it on Etsy, then you should be fine.
  • There is no official theme for this Gift Exchange. If you feel so inclined to do a Christmas/Holiday theme, go for it!
  • Can I make a gift from a kit/pattern? YES!! If you make any part of the gift, that’s perfect!
  • Can the gift be in digital form? No. You can create a printable or graphic for your partner, but please PRINT it off and send a physical copy to your partner. Part of the fun is actually physically receiving a gift in the mail.
  • I can’t participate in this exchange, but want to do the next one. Can I sign up for a reminder? Yes! Click here and enter in your email address.


There are 4 different Exchanges: USA, Cananda, All Countries, and Newbie. Use the drop down menu below to make your selection!

For future reference, here are the links to each exchange on Elfster:
USA Exchange

Canada Exchange

Newbie Exchange

All Countries Exchange

happy gifting!

Hi! I'm Linda, the craft addict behind Craftaholics Anonymous®, a craft blog. Crafting is cheaper than therapy, right? When I'm not DIYing something, I can be found taxiing around our 4 crazy kids or working out. Or shoe shopping... because you can never have too many shoes! Happy crafting! ♥

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  1. 1

    Thank you so much for hosting a handmade exchage, I tried to put your button on my blog, but it didn’t work, am I doing something wrong? thanks

  2. 2

    So fun! This is such a wonderful idea. I can’t wait to make a new friend!! Thanks so much for this.

  3. 3

    Looking forward to your gift exchange and meeting a new crafter buddy!

  4. 4
    Mary Curbow

    I can’t wait. I’m so excited.

  5. 5
    Laura G.Turcotte

    I would really, REALLY like to do this, but I am nervous. I participated last year, made my gift, mailed it, but never received anything. Was very disappointed. So, I really must think about attempting this again.

    1. 5.1

      Hi Laura,
      Perhaps you and I should exchange because the same thing happened to me.

  6. 6

    For anyone else using Chrome, the “next” button under the “Sign Up” drop down menu may or may not work for you. It seems to work just fine in Firefox, but if not you can simply click on the appropriate link listed below the drop down menu to go directly to the sign up page.

  7. Pingback: Holiday 2013 Handmade Gift Exchange Sign Ups!

  8. 7

    If I’ve never participated before, do I have to choose the “Newbie” version of the gift exchange? What is the difference?

    Thanks for organizing this! I’m SO excited!! :) :)

    1. 7.1

      Hi Maria!
      Nope, you can pick the Newbie or one of the country exchanges. Whichever you’re most comfortable in! :) I’m excited you’re going to join us!

      1. Rachael

        What is the difference between the “Newbie” exchange and the rest? In the blog post it says the newbie exchange is to be less intimidating, but when I looked at the pages I didn’t see any difference between them?

        1. The Newbie exchange is open to only new participants. Although if a new participant wants to join the other exchanges, that’s fine! There are many participants who have done the exchange for years, so I wanted to have a separate exchange just for new people so they didn’t feel intimidated by being partnered up with someone who has done it 5 times. Does that make sense?

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  10. 8

    Would it be ok to give one of my Etsy items for the gift exchange?

  11. 9

    I am so excited to participate in this gift exchange again this year. I loved my gift last year. :-)

  12. 10
    Jennifer C.

    Can I participate with more than one gift/partner?

  13. 11

    How fun is this going to be? So excited! I know exactly what to make. Looking forward to making a new crafty friend :)

  14. 12

    I am a newbie and am excited about the prospect of trying this.Do I need to create an Elfster account beforehand? Thanks and please forgive my ignorance :)

  15. 13

    I just saw your tweet about needing a couple more people for the gift exchange. I tried to set up an Elster acct. and there seems to be a problem with the site. I am interested in participating. Thanks!

  16. 14

    I did not mean to miss the deadline for this! Is there any way you need one more sign up? ;)

      1. Jennifer

        I some how missed the deadline too. I will be your partner if you still need one!

  17. 15

    Just came across your blog…love it!!! If you have someone without a partner…I would love to do this…even though it’s a week away.

    1. 15.1

      Hi Sarah! Shoot me an email at craftaholicsanon {at} gmail {dot} com. I might be able to partner you up with someone!

  18. 16

    I can’t seem to find the link for the linky party or the flickr group…has anything been started yet? Thanks! I am super excited for my partner to get her gift. Putting it in the mail today!

  19. 17

    Hi Linda,

    I just mailed my package today, so excited to see if my exchange partner will like it:)
    Did the posting on the Flickr group start yet? What is it called?

    Thanks so much for the infos!

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  23. 18

    Hi Linda,

    I am from Australia and super keen for the 2014 one.

    When does this start please?

    Warm regards,