Summer 2014 Handmade Gift Exchange SIGN UPS!

handmade gift exchange

Yes, I know I am starting this a few days late this year, but we moved last week…. And let’s just say NOTHING {seriously, nothing} with the move went as planned. So I sincerely apologize if I messed anyone up starting the Handmade Gift Exchange a couple days late, but life happened over here and it just wasn’t possible!

I am so ready to get this Handmade Gift Exchange party started!! If you’re new here {welcome, welcome!!} this is one of the biggest online gift exchanges and it is loads of fun! This exchange gives you the opportunity to MEET a fellow crafter and the perfect EXCUSE to get your craft on! There is no skill or cost requirement

Handmade Gift Exchange

Welcome to the 10th Handmade Gift Exchange!! This bi-annual gift exchange has grown and changed so much over the past 4.5 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 at random. :)

There are 4 different exchanges:

USA Exchange

If you live in the USA and have participated in a previous Handmade Gift Exchange, this is for you!

USA Newbie Exchange

If you live in the USA but have NOT participated in a Handmade Gift Exchange, this is for you! {The USA exchange is the biggest, so I split it.}

CANADA Exchange

If you live in Canada, this exchange is for you!


You can live ANYWHERE {including USA or Canada} to join this exchange. If you sign up for this exchange, you may have a partner in another country, but its not guaranteed. Partners are done randomly so it is possible that you may end up with someone from your own country.


elfsterI am 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 

*Please mark these dates on your calendar right now!

  • June 4-8 – Sign ups.
  • June 9, 2014 – Partner assignments emailed out.
  • June 9-30 – Make a gift for your partner.
  • July 1, 2014 – Deadline to have gift postmarked to partner. {Snap a picture before you mail it!}
  • June 20-July 31, 2014 – Show off handmade gifts you made and/or received.
  • After you receive your partner assignment via email on June 9, you will automatically be prompted to contact them thru Elfster. {PLEASE do so! Getting to know one another is not required, but very highly encouraged!}
  • In the past, there has been a Handmade Angel that sent gifts to those who did not receive a gift. There will not be an Angel this time.

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! {note: you may only sign up for 1 exchange}

There are 4 different exchanges: USA Summer 2014, USA Newbies Summer 2014, Canada Summer 2014, and All Countries Summer 2014. {see above for descriptions.}

After you have signed up, you can: 

  • Send email invites to your friends and family 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**.

WISH LIST FEATURE: The wish list tool is a way to communicate your style and preferences to your partner! DO NOT purchase a gift for your partner from their wish list!!!!! Remember, HANDMADE GIFTS ONLY! Let me repeat, DO NOT BUY AN ITEM FROM YOUR PARTNER’S WISH LIST!! 

Partner Assignments

On June 9, 2014, you will get an email from Elfster with your partner’s info. 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 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 Tuesday, July 1, 2014. {Early is always appreciated. } Please mark July 1 on your calendar!
  • 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 June 20, 2014 to show off your gifts. We’d love to see the gift you MADE and the gift you RECEIVE. You can also use #HandmadeGiftExchange to show off your gifts.
  • 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!! Believe me, 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 Summer 2014 Handmade Gift Exchange hosted by @CraftaholicAnon #HandmadeGiftExchange

I just signed up for the Handmade Gift Exchange! Want to join? Sign up: Host: @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 to grab the code.

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 June 9, 2014 with your partner’s info.
  • 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 in July 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 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

USA 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. 2
    B Lawson

    The Canada link is taking me to the past winter exchange. Do you have a link for the summer one? :). Thanks! :)

  2. 4
    B Lawson

    Never mind! I got it to work from the drop down menu. :)

  3. 5

    Hi. I clicked on the USA Newbies Summer Exchange in the dropdown menu and clicked ok and it took me too a blank page. I did that a couple of times with no success. Did I do something wrong? Thanks :)

    1. 5.1

      That happened to me too – on my tablet but when I tried on my PC everything was fine.

      1. Hi Linda. I was able to sign up alright so I am in but I wasn’t able to drag the Elf It wish button to my bookmark bar. But I guess it really doesn’t really matter since we are suppose to make homemade gifts for our partner anyway. Maybe the site is still a little buggy this AM. :) Hey, it’s Friday after all. ;)

      2. Linda, I went back just a few minutes ago to Elfster and I was able to add that button to my bookmark bar. I am all set. Have a very lovely day :)

  4. 6
    Yvonne Candis

    I love all crafts but especially quilting

  5. 7

    So I’m a newbie. I’m looking forward to this. Can’t wait til tomorrow!

  6. 8

    I tried signing up but the All countries exchange always brings me to the canada exchange site. Could you please helo me?

    1. 8.1

      Hmm, that’s strange. If you didn’t get signed up, please email me at CraftaholicsAnon{at}gmail{dot}com and I’ll manually add you!

  7. 9

    Awe. Shucks. I signed up a day late. I wish I had known about this earlier. I would LOVE to be a part of this exchange.

  8. 10
    Ann Sargent

    Hi – I had lots of trouble RSVP-ing and signing up for this, especially with the Elfster site. The process seemed not to be working correctly for mobile phone users. (?) Once I set up my Elfster account I thought that I was signed up for the Craft Exchange, but I didn’t receive an email with the name of a partner. Just tried again a few minutes ago, and I think this time I was “Accepted.” Will I have a partner after all? Thanks for replying!


  9. 11

    I’m writing this at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, June 10. I didn’t receive an email with a name yesterday (June 9). Is there something more I should have done? Thank you, Linda! I’m really looking forward to this!

    1. 11.1

      Names were drawn yesterday around 2pm ET. If you didn’t get an email with your partner’s info, please let me know!!

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  11. 12

    Hello Linda! I signed up (actually the first person to sign up!) for the gift exchange and didn’t receive any notice of who my partner is. I just got the email about the linky party, but have no partner to give to. Did I miss something? Hopefully it’s not to late. Thanks so much, Cara Taylor

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  13. 13

    I think I missed the deadline to post the photo–I was hoping my exchange buddy would take a better one, but I haven’t heard from her at all. So, I made her a crepe paper lilac and a cherry blossom card. I made a vase from an empty glass mini Maple syrup bottle I got at a restaurant. I covered it with Washi tape. I apologize for my horrible photography. They look much less blurry in real life! The photos are on the Flicker site – don’t know if this will link:

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