Easy Girl Scout SWAPs

What's a SWAP?

Definition of SWAP:

  1. Simple Watchamacallit Attached with a Pin, or
  2. Special Watchamacallit Affectionately Pinned (Somewhere)

Girl Scouts make SWAPs to trade with other scouts at encampments or other gatherings. a SWAP is meant to be an inexpensive item, a fun or meaningful small gift of remembrance between old and new friends.


SWAP

It's the money you could be saving...
It's the money you could be saving...

SWAP Resources

Making Friends - Cool crafts for kids; many swap kits and ideas

Girl Scout Central - Basics about SWAPs and SWAP etiquette

Girl Scout SWAPs Gallery - SWAP Images and ideas.


How to Make a SWAP

Leaders can help their troop make SWAPs by setting aside a troop meeting for girls to make their SWAPs under supervision. It helps to put together all the materials necessary to make one set of SWAPS. Put the materials into a large gallon-sized Ziplock bag. This bag can then be reused to hold the completed SWAPs for transport to camp.

To make a SWAP, keep in mind that it should be less than 3" x 3" in size; the best ones being around 2" or so in size or smaller. For ideas, check your Girl Scout Council Resource Center for a booklet on ideas, or check the Internet. (See the Resources column at right for suggestions.) Also, look for crafts that can be inexpensively "miniaturized." The wedding/bridal sections of large craft supply stores are also great sources of inspiration.

Starry Night SWAP Materials

Materials needed to make Starry Night SWAPs.  The finished SWAP appears at the top of the image.
Materials needed to make Starry Night SWAPs. The finished SWAP appears at the top of the image.

Five Girl Scout SWAP Ideas

To get you started, here are five SWAP ideas that are mostly easy and fun to make:

1. Starry Night -SWAP-in-a-bag. Difficulty level: easy

Materials needed: Dark blue glitter, silver and gold stars, about 1/4" size, paper, pen, 2"x2" plastic zip bags, small safety pins, about 1.5" size, spoon.

Directions (for 20 SWAPs): Cut 20 paper squares about 1.5"x1.5". Write "Starry Night" or "Starry Night in a Bag" on each piece of paper. On the back of each piece of paper, the girl making the SWAP should write her name and troop number. In each bag, put: 1 square of paper, 1 teaspoon blue glitter, 1 pinch silver stars (about 4-5 stars,) 1 pinch gold stars. Seal zipper bag. Place one safety pin in top corner of zipper bag.

2. Birthday in a Bag - SWAP-in-a-bag. Difficulty level: easy.

Materials needed: short birthday candles, birthday glitter/confetti pack (available at party supply stores,) paper, pen, 2"x2" plast zip bags, small safety pins, about 1.5" size.

Directions (for 20 SWAPs): Cut 20 paper squares about 1.5"x1.5". Write "Birthday in a Bag" on each piece of paper, on the back, write girl's name and troop number. In each zip bag, put 1 square paper, 1 birthday candle, 2 pinches of birthday glitter/confetti. Seal zipper bag. Place one safety pin in top corner of zipper bag.

If birthday candles are long, you can either cut them down to fit into the 2x2" bag, or you can buy 2"x3" zipper bags instead.

3. I'm Thinking Chili's - Pin-style SWAP. Difficulty level: easy to medium.

Materials needed: small plastic chili pepper beads (often available as a beaded necklace, more common in party supply stores around Cinco de Mayo,) 2"x2" woodcraft squares, 1" size pin backs, hot glue gun, pen.

Directions: Hot glue one chili pepper bead onto one wood craft square. When dry (and cool) hot glue one pin back to the back of the wood craft square. Write "I'm thinking Chili's" under the chili pepper bead on the front of the craft square. The girl making this SWAP can write her name and troop number on the back of the wood square.

4. It's the Money You Could Be Saving With GEICO - SWAP in a bag. Difficulty level: medium.

Materials needed: green construction paper cut into 1"x6" strips, google eyes (40 eyes will make 20 SWAPs,) orange construction paper cut into 1/4" x 3" strips, white paper, pen, 2"x2" zipper bags, small safety pins about 1.5" size.

Directions: Accordion-fold green construction paper strips. This will be the "money" so consider proportion as you fold. Wrap with one orange strip, glue orange strip so that it holds the green accordion-folded paper together like a stack of money. Cut off any excess orange strip. Glue two google eyes onto the top of the "money." Draw $ symbols on money corners. Cut 20 paper squares about 1.5"x1.5". Write "It's the Money You Could Be Saving With GEICO" on squares. Place one paper square and one "money" with google eyes into plastic zipper bag. Seal bag and attach safety pin in one corner of bag.


Fly Swatter With Fly

Fly Swatter front, with fly showing
Fly Swatter front, with fly showing | Source
Fly Swatter back
Fly Swatter back | Source

5. Fly Swatter (with fly) - Pin-back SWAP. Difficulty level: medium-hard.

Materials needed: White and Black FIMO oven clay. One sheet plastic needle-point plastic, package of small 1/8" diameter craft dowels, about 3" in length, 1" pin backs , hot glue. Oven, baking sheet. (If craft dowels are hard to find, you can also use lollypop sticks cut to size, chenille stems cut to size, or wood skewers cut to size.)

Directions: To make flies: Take a pinch of black FIMO clay and mold into a fly "body" about the size of a watermelon seed. Take two very small pinches of white FIMO clay and press between fingers to make two small "wings." Attach wings to fly body. Press to get a good connection between the wings and fly body. Repeat to make 20 flies. Bake according to FIMO package directions and then cool flies.

To make flyswatters: Cut needle-point plastic into 1.5" x 1" rectangles. Hot-glue small dowels to one side of each plastic piece. Hot glue a pin back to the same side. This is the back of of the fly swatter. Now put a small dab of hot glue onto a fly and glue it to the front of the fly swatter.


More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

luv.poem 7 years ago

Cute! I like the starry night one, would be great for brownies and young juniors learning astronomy.


luv.poem 7 years ago

Cute! I like the starry night one, would be great for brownies and young juniors learning astronomy.


bevthebookworm333 5 years ago

I don't think the girls should put their names on the swaps, having the year and event is a lot cooler to look at then the specific girl. I love the Geico swap though!!!


Gabbygilby profile image

Gabbygilby 4 years ago from Minnesota

I am a GS leader and ALWAYS looking for SWAP ideas. I too like the starry night idea even though glitter drives me insane! The kids love it though and that's what's important. Thanks and if you have more ideas, bring them on!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working