The Crafters Anonymous Craft Swap

The Richmond Craft Mafia has developed a 12 step program to help you overcome your addiction to craft supplies. Their Crafters Anonymous Craft Swap, taking place in Richmond, VA on September 14th from 2 p.m.-5 p.m., will not only be a good time, but help fund a local non-profit organization

The thing about crafters is that we acquire our stashes with creative intentions. Sometimes it can be hard to let that go. I still see promise at the back of the craft closet. Projects I used to be excited about are getting stale though.

After browsing this event’s Flickr photos from last year, I’m delighted with the possibilities of the supply swap concept.  Just behold that mountain of fabric! I think I might be able to kick this hording habit after all. I mean, you’re basically just trading for more things to horde, but maybe you’ve honed in better on what you like to make since de-stashing

If you don’t happen to live near Richmond, consider following thier example, and start a swap like this in your area. You’ll be reducing consumption, and everyone involved will gain some fresh inspiration without putting a dent in their wallet. Consider where you might donate leftovers, or bundle and sell them to raise even more money for your cause. Maybe you could add a novelty twist, like pairing it with a book swap, or a coffee mug swap. I would think overwhelming people to clean out all thier closets by including clothing and the like might not be a wise mix with this. It doesn’t have to be a big to-do like a craft show, and given the prevailence of crafters online, using the internet as your primary marketing tool would be a cheap and easy way to promote. Piece of cake.  I want to leave you with a lofty Al-Gore-esque goal: Annual craft swaps within 50 miles of everyone in America in 10 years!

Written by Autumn Wiggins

This 2008 interview pretty much sums it up:

1. How would you describe yourself?
An oddly situated performer of thought experiments

2. Do you have any anecdotes about your work (how you got started, frustrating moments, or funny stories)?
At this year's Maker Faire in San Mateo, I gave a presentation on how the trend of green crafting can ultimately address the problem of consumption and waste. Dale Dougherty,the publisher of Make and Craft, later had a gift delivered to me, a staple bound book of poetry: Music Like Dirt by Frank Bidart. This is the last thing one would expect to take home from an event so focused on renegade technology. To my surprise, it was an existential reflection on the human need to make things that I now find myself going back to whenever I need some inspiration to look beyond the materials and processes of crafting.

3. What kinds of things do you do for fun?
In my spare time I enjoy amateur astronomy, outdoor adventures, collecting domain names, and hanging out at coffee shops.

4. What interesting projects are you working on right now?
I'm working to organize community involvement in upcycling, and have a few top-secret website projects up my sleeves!

5. Where do you live? Kids, pets, spouse, occupation?
O'Fallon, IL, a suburb (and I mean a totally typical suburb) of St. Louis, MO. Rather than moving to the more culture friendly urban environment, I am staying put and annoying the heck out of Wal-Mart by throwing a massive indie craft show(Strange Folk) in their backyard. I have a husband, Doug, and two sons: a 7 year old mad scientist named Jack, and 6 year old Max, who we think is an aspiring tattoo artist since he's so fond of drawing all over himself with markers. To pay the bills, I do freelance writing, mural painting, and website design, sell my handmade crafts, teach art classes for kids, and work part -time at a local coffee shop.

6. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently?
The concept known as "Cradle-to-Cradle" is a blueprint for sustainability that states everything we manufacture should be either biodegrable, infinitely recyclable, or intended to be upcycled. This is the basis for many of my ideas of how the crafting community can be more widely involved in solving the environmental crisis.

7. What is your favorite food/color/tool?
granola/green/sewing machine!


Leave a Reply
  1. Same concept as a garage sale, one crafter’s cast away’s become another crafter’s etsy item (smiles). I have oodles of quilting goods from projects gone-by stashed in my old toy box, but I’m not ready to cut them loose (no pun lol) yet. Nice article 🙂

One Ping

  1. Pingback:

Comments (Keep It Civil...)

Election Season Crafting!

None of your Beeswax