An Invitation to the Handmade Joy Exchange

About five years ago, when I was still new to blogging and my creative journey was near its beginning, I had an idea for a joyful exchange. I imagined handmade bits and bobs created with love, wrapped up in joyful packages and sent around the world. I imagined beautiful little creations of hope traveling across the country and over oceans. I imagined mailboxes glowing with joy and love and hope.

For three years I hosted the Handmade Joy Exchange (read about it herehere and here) and bits of handmade joy were posted with love and traveled around the world.

crochet, roses, tea, handmade, crafts, cozy, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

And then the exchange took a little break. My Mission was still that of beauty and joy, but I couldn't figure out how to fit the exchange into what I was doing.

watercolor, painting, swatches, color, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Until now.

This year, with all the stresses of news headlines continually filled with hate and violence and messages of exclusion, I think it's time to fight back with joy and beauty and love.

fabric, butterflies, surface pattern design, Summer Bliss Fabric Collection, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

And so I'm sending out an invitation.

joy, love, exchange, handmade, creativity, swap, made by hand, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Of creativity and joy and love.

colored pencils, art supplies, colors, inspiration, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I sent an early invitation to my JoyLetter subscribers on Sunday and within minutes of sending the email I had people signing up.

Won't you join us, too?

craft supplies, thread, colors, inspiration, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

What's involved.

The Handmade Joy Exchange is now closed. Thank you to everyone who signed up!

1. You have until February 23rd to sign up for the exchange. Simply email me your name and postal address (and website/blog if you have one).

2. On February 24th I will assign the swap partners. It's not a direct match, so your package will be a surprise!

3. Make something by hand with joy and love. It can be anything you're inspired to create.* In the past creations ranged from crochet pieces to paintings to jewelry to sewn pieces to collages and on and on (take a look at the past exchanges for inspiration if you're stumped, but don't feel at all limited by them or by the photos in this post!). Take a photo of what you create and send it to me so I can share it later on my blog.

4. Get your Handmade Joy into the mail no later than March 17th.

5. On April 21st I'll publish a celebration post concluding the exchange, sharing a photo mosaic of all the Handmade Joy creations and linking to blog posts by anyone who wants to participate in a blog hop celebration of the exchange.** One thing I learned from past exchanges is that getting all the packages where they're supposed to go in an international exchange like this can take a LONG time and that's why I'm allowing five weeks from mailing to blogging.

herbs, lavender, flowers, harvest, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Please let me know if you want to join the exchange. And if you know someone you think would be interested, invite them along, too. The Handmade Joy Exchange is open to everyone.

yarn, craft supplies, colors, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I hope I'll be hearing from you soon!

Keep the faith and enjoy your weekend.

*I've had questions about monetary value and I understand the concern behind the question, but I'm not going to limit it. Many of the people who created pieces for the exchange in the past do not sell what they create and don't value their creations in this way. Be generous and give what you feel moved to give.

**If you have a blog and would like to participate in the blog hop, simply write about your experience and share photos of what you created and what you received. Plan to post it on or slightly before April 21st and send me the link to your post so I can link to you.


  1. I would love to join in this year Anne! I am looking forward to participating in spreading the joy. I can't wait to find out who my swap partner will be! :)

    1. Hooray!! So glad to have you join us this time around, Simone!!

  2. Me too, please sign me up!! I haven't participated in a swap since I received your beautiful Queen Anne's Lace print (I can't remember what you call the technique). ❤️

    1. Yes, that was so long ago. I think (if I remember correctly) that little wallhanging was a cyanotype (sun print). I really enjoyed putting that together!! :)

      Delighted you want to join us!!

  3. Hi Anne. I would love to join in. Are you going to share our partners website or Instagram account with us? Just so we can see what that person may like, what colors they are attracted to, etc.

    1. Yay!! I will share websites/blogs/instagram accounts if the person has any of the above. It's great to get an idea of what the person is like in order create something special just for them.

      So glad you're joining in!

  4. As I've told you, Anne, I would love to participate.
    I also love the way you described this as a way to fight back the stress all around us with joy and beauty and love.
    Thanks for doing this, Anne. xo

    1. Delighted to have you participate in the exchange again, Judy!! Hooray!!

      The world always, always, always needs more joy, beauty, love and hope!

  5. Replies
    1. Yay! I almost wrote something in this post about how none of the responses to the newsletter that came back minutes after my sending it out were from my mother! :)

  6. I would also love to take part :-)

  7. Thanks to Shamav, I read your invitation and I will be happy to participate.

    1. So glad to have you join the exchange, Anne-Flore! (I'm not sure who Shamav is! But glad you found out about the exchange!!).

  8. I hope I am not too late. Would like to be added!

  9. Wow! I can't believe I almost missed this! I remember how much joy this brought me 5 years ago. I got to know your mother through her blog and a few other lovely bloggers! I'm living on another continent and have 2 more kids now! I'd love to join in again!!! :)

    1. So glad you joined us, Ishrat!! :)

    2. I just discovered your lovely artwork and blog and I just wanted to say that I love this idea and I'm sorry I missed the swap! I'm looking forward to reading your posts and seeing more of your work:)


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