I saw a magazine article a while back that caught my attention, so I snipped it out and saved it…
The whole idea is that you get your girls to bring their best ‘donation’ items and you all swap stuff. It is a win-win: you were going to donate the items anyway, and now you and your friends saved money by getting some free stuff in return for your donation items.
I copied the article and made invitations out of tags. When I sent them out I included a photocopy of the article so guests could get an idea of how it would all go down.
The tags were $5 for 100 which I thought was a good deal. I just printed out the text on regular old paper, cut it out, and stuck it down with a couple squares of double stick tape. Oh, and I sent the invites out a couple months in advance so people could hold off on donating their best items and have something to bring to the party!
Here is a picture of my contributions set up before guests arrived…
I placed the brown paper (like in the article) where the items would be displayed around the house so everyone knew where to stick their stuff and what stuff was up for grabs.
So, here is a description of the whole swapping process. You bring, say, 5 items. You write a description on a tag for each one and attach the tags to the items.
Then you take five clothespins (one for each item you brought) and write your name on them. Now you shop! You go around putting your clothespins on the tags of the items you want to take home.
When everyone is done shopping, if yours is the only clothespin on an item’s tag, that item is yours!
But when, as above, multiple people want an item, all the pins are put in a bowl, stirred up, and one is drawn – that winner gets the item. The person who didn’t win gets their pin back, so they can go put it on something else.
As the guests arrived, I kept making announcements about how to tag your items and how to shop, so I did a really bad job at taking pictures! There were some great items, too! Better than I had hoped! Here is a tiny, random sampling…
A cool little bench I snagged from a friend’s mom. I didn’t know where I was going to put it but I loved it. It ended up fitting in Mark’s room perfectly and I piled books under it.
I snagged this chair from the same friend’s mom at a garage sale last summer! I never got around to recovering it and in the mean time, my plans changed and I didn’t need a chair like this any longer. Never fear, Leah is the new proud owner and I’m sure she’ll tell us all about it when she freshens it up. =)
And I snagged this flameless candle from… I don’t know who – I lost track!
So, I know, bad Tasha for not taking pictures during the party, but it was a success, if I do say so myself! Everyone seemed happy with the process and happy with their items! I have also been to a clothing swap party, and even though only 4 of us showed up, we still each came out with something and had fun. I would highly encourage you to try something like this!