More about Me and My History with SWAPS
Hi and welcome to SWAPS4Free! My name is Christina and I used to sell SWAPS kits on eBay. I absolutely loved what I did, but because of family commitments, including homeschooling my daughter, I was unable to keep up with the volume of sales and actually sleep a few hours every night. Since then I’ve had two wonderful and energetic little boys to add to the chaos of my life and so, though I’d love to reopen and give it another try, I truly don’t have the time and energy, let alone the space.
I loved creating new SWAPS and giving the classics a new and exciting look. I could spend hours just playing around with supplies and figuring out how to make cool things for tons of themes. I also spent a lot of time shopping around for the best prices for my supplies so that I could keep my kits cheap. I know scout troops have a limited budget, which was why I started making and selling kits to begin with.
Message Tent
The first of many SWAPS I designed
I’d noticed the auctions for SWAPS kits on eBay getting up to ridiculous prices because there was really only one seller at the time. I decided I would open a store with low prices so every troop could afford to have cool SWAPS without spending their entire budget. While I was open, many smaller sellers came and went, but my biggest competitor and I were going strong. Since I’ve closed I was very disappointed to see that not only did all of my original ideas and original poems find their way into her store, without my permission, but also that she has more than doubled a large percent of her prices.
I don’t believe that her near monopoly on the market is an acceptable reason to get greedy and charge such high prices. The profit margin on SWAPS kits is very good as it was, even with the rising eBay and postal costs, and I find it upsetting that troops now have to pay twice what they used to for the same kits, often for smaller quantities, because I’m no longer open as competition. It isn’t right and it isn’t fair, especially when my ideas are being used in such a way. After a lot of thought about whether I could find a way to reopen permanently to bring down prices to a reasonable level I found that I just can’t, but I can do something else. I can let troop leaders and parents in on my secrets.
Another early SWAPS design
I learned a lot about where the best places to buy supplies are as well as how to use cheap, or even better, recycled materials to make awesome SWAPS. I wrote a ton of short poems for baggie SWAPS and figured out all kinds of tricks. I decided to share all the knowledge I gained with you for free. I figured that if she could use my ideas to make money then I could certainly give them away!
I also learned a great deal about graphic design during the years when I was away from SWAPS, so you'll benefit from that as well. I'm redesigning a lot of items and creating dozens and dozens more. My updated versions look so much more attractive than my some of my originals (and hers, which she's still using, more than ten years later).

I hope that this page will become a well used resource for troop leaders who simply can’t afford to pay the inflated prices for SWAPS kits. 
My original  Friendship Seeds, from 2005
I will be posting the best places to buy supplies, downloadable files to make printable SWAPS easy and nearly free to make, the words to my original poems, and step by step instructions with photos and patterns to make all your favorite SWAPS on your own, no kits needed! Have you ever seen a SWAP that you wish you knew how to make? Chances are I’ll tell you here!
My upgraded version from 2016
It may take me a while to get things up and rolling, but I would love to hear from you. It would be very helpful to know what SWAPS you would like to see the most and feedback is always appreciated. Taking the step by step photos, writing detailed posts, and making how to videos will take a lot of time, but I think it is worth it for happy kids. (and less stressed leaders and moms too!) When we were open we sponsored a local Brownie troop and it was great watching the girls having so much fun assembling the SWAPS. It would be nice to hear from leaders and moms that use this resource. Let me know how well the directions and templates worked for you so I can make them as user friendly as possible and don’t forget to share this resource with other leaders!