SWAPS (Special Whatchamacallits Affectionately Pinned Somewhere)
I had to create 200 SWAPS for the Girls’ World Forum in Chicago and I was really befuddled as to what I should do. I have been to events before where the SWAPS were cool, but they just sat in a bag after I got them and I never did anything with them. I wanted to do something that could be used and still have meaning. I decided to make friendship bracelets and trust me it was not a quick process.
First I needed to decide on a design- I chose a simple embroidery floss bracelet with a Shrinky Dink charm that said “I AM A GIRL GUIDE FOR CHANGE GWF 2012.” I bought the supplies and got to work.
I started by labeling the Ziploc bags with my name, website address, and country. Then I made little information sheets about the colours I chose for the bracelets; red and white for Canada, green and gold for the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Eskimos, red and teal for the Stop the Violence campaign, and pink, orange, blue, green, and red for the girl branches of Guiding in Canada.
Then I got to work on the charms (which was the most fun I think!) I used the template on the Shrinky Dink packages to get the right sized charm and then I traced 200 version of it, cut them into strips, hole punched them, got a few blisters and then started designing.
I wanted the symbols on the charms to represent me so the pictures were things like trefoils, maple leafs, butterflies, owls, and trees. I am very proud of my little charms. :)
The next step was shrinking them down to the right size so I got the toaster oven out and shrunk them! It took a bit of trial and error, but I think I can call myself a master Shrinky Dink-er!
The most time consuming part of the whole SWAPS expedition is the actual bracelet making.
When I first started they were so intricate and pretty with different kinds of braiding and knots, and then as the trip loomed closer and closer I started to panic and just did simple braids and twists that still looked pretty nice (or at least I think so!) I was doing them everywhere- in the car, at home, camping with friends, in the movie theatre, on the airplane to Chicago... but I did it! I made 200 friendship bracelets for my SWAPS and I am very pleased with myself.
I have quite a few left over so I am trying to decide what to do with them. I might keep them as a part of my prize packs for joining the website- or I might keep them for a future event- or I might send them to Sangam as part of the program to sell them in the shop there.
So that is my experience! I hope if you have to do SWAPS for something you will have as much fun as I did and hopefully this helped a bit!