Welcome to SWAPS4Free,

where you can make them yourself, using my tips, tricks, printables, patterns, and detailed instructions.

What are SWAPS?

SWAPS Essentials

Basic Supplies

Buying Supplies Online

About Me

SWAPS by Type

SWAPS by Theme

SWAPS by Cost

SWAPS by Difficulty

Thinking Day SWAPS

Basic Supplies

 These lists will always be a work in progress as new possible supplies are found.

Free and Found Materials

Not everything has to cost you money. Here are some things you can use to make fun SWAPS for next to nothing.

Free Materials!

  • Paint chips
  • Floor samples
  • Carpet samples
  • Straws

Found Materials!

  • Rocks/Stones/Gravel/Sand
  • Sticks
  • Shells
  • Acorns
  • Tiny pine cones
  • Leaves

Recycled Materials

Things you should never throw away if you make SWAPS:
(Ask parents, friends, and family members to save them for you as well for faster collection.)
  • Altoids containers
  • Aluminum foil (only if it’s clean. End of the roll too short to use? Save it!)
  • Baby food jar lids
  • Bobby pins
  • Bottle caps – Don’t worry about it if they’re from beer. You’re going to spray paint or cover them anyway.
  • Bottle lids – soda, milk, juice, everything
  • Bread Ties
  • Bubble wrap
  • Buttons (Shirt ruined? Cut off the buttons before tossing!)
  • CDs
  • Coffee Stirrers
  • Communion cups (These can be purchased, but if your church will save the used ones for you, all the better!)
  • Corks
  • Craft foam scrap
  • Drink umbrellas
  • Drinking straws (Did the server give you too many? Or someone doesn’t use theirs?)
  • Dry pasta (Dinner kit expired? Don’t toss the whole thing!)
  • Dryer lint (No, I’m not kidding! Dryer lint!)
  • Empty thread spools
  • Fabric/felt scraps
  • Fancy sandwich spears of all varieties
  • Film canisters (Does anyone actually buy film anymore?)
  • Foam hair curlers
  • Key rings (Just the metal circle and/or the little clips)
  • Little medicine cups that come with liquid medicine.
  • Little wooden ice cream spoons
  • Marbles
  • Old jeans
  • Packing peanuts
  • Paper clips
  • Paper towel tubes
  • Pill bottles/tops
  • Plastic eggs (Even if you only have one half!)
  • Plastic spoons
  • Poker chips
  • Popsicle sticks (if you don’t want to buy them)
  • Puzzle pieces
  • Ribbon scraps
  • Silk flower, petals, leaves (These shed all the time.)
  • Single serve chip bags
  • Small plastic containers from gumball type machines
  • Soda can tabs – These can be used to make both simple and more complex SWAPS.
  • Styrofoam
  • Thin sticks (Perhaps from tree trimming or gardening. These have SO many uses and it’s nice not to have to go hunting for them all at once.)
  • Tic-Tac boxes
  • Tissue paper
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Wrapping paper
  • Yarn scraps
An important note: Don’t forget to rinse things (if used) so they’re not sticky or stinky when you go to use them!

Super Cheap Supplies!

Make SWAPS for pennies each with these Super Cheap Supplies


  • Dried Bean
  • Aquarium gravel
  • water balloons
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Coffee beans
  • Toothpicks
  • Dry rice