Scrapbooking: How to Host Your Own Crop
What is a Crop?
If you're a scrapbooker, then you're familiar with the term "crop." For others, I'm not referring to the verb, as in "to crop something," but the noun, as in "I'm going to a crop." Crops are essentially scrapbooking parties. It's a great way to get people together to get some layouts completed while talking, eating, and having a good time.
Your local scrapbooking store most likely hosts crops on a regular basis. You are allowed to use their (non-disposable) supplies, such as trimmers and die-cut machines and they usually provide discounts on the supplies they sell during the crop. Sometimes there is a base fee to attend a crop, but some crops are free. It just depends on the individual business.
If you like to entertain guests and get some scrapbook layouts completed at the same time, why not get your friends and family together and host your own crop? If you don't know a lot of scrapbookers, feel free to invite friends who have other hobbies, such as knitting, crocheting or cross stitching. They can work on their projects while you work on yours. It's really all about making time to work on your hobby and have fun sharing ideas.
Here's how to make sure your crop is a success:
1. Choose a date, time and location.
Try to pick a date and time when others will be able to attend without having to weigh other obligations. Check with your friends first to see when they are available, for the best turnout. Decide a beginning time and an ending time so that you're not stuck with lingering guests long after you're ready to call it quits.
If you don't want to host the crop at your own home, then consider gathering at a community room, church, or other places with plenty of room and tables for you to work.
2. Invite your guests.
After you chose a date and time, you can call your guests or send invitations. Your invitations can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. You can simply send an e-mail, a preprinted card, or even make an invitation with your scrapbook supplies. If you want, pick a theme to set the mood of your gathering and continue the theme throughout your crop, from the invitations to the napkins. Ask your guests to bring supplies to work on several layouts (paper, photos, adhesive, embellishments, etc.)
3. Prepare your set up.
Wherever the location, make sure you have enough table space for each of your guests. If you're hosting at your home, use a long table, card tables, or even tray tables, in addition to your dining room or coffee tables. (You may have to borrow an extra card table from a friend.) Each guest should have at least enough space to spread out their supplies a little bit. Your guests will each also need a small trash bag for scraps. You can use small waste baskets or simply grocery sacks.
To make your crop even more fun, you could have contests in which you provide small prizes to the guest who finished the most layouts, who is scrapbooking the funniest topic, or even who did not finish a single layout during the crop.
4. Snack Attack!
Non-messy or greasy finger foods are the best for crops. (No one wants oily hands when working with paper.) Provide something sweet and something salty, such as pretzels and M&M's, and ask each guest to bring a small snack as well. You can serve alcoholic beverages if you want a fun "girl's night in," but remember too much alcohol and scissors do not mix!
No matter what snacks you're serving, plan to keep all food and drink away from the work area so that no one's project gets ruined! Let everyone know up front about this expectation.
5. Share supplies.
Besides getting to spend time with your friends and family, one of the best aspects of hosting a swap is sharing each other's supplies. There are a number of reusable items that everyone can take advantage of using while you're together. Whether decorative scissors, a die-cut machine, or a computer full of pretty fonts, these supplies are renewable and everyone can share them. Just keep in mind your guests will most likely only be toting around the supplies they need to work on the layouts they are currently working on, so they may need to borrow more from you.
Another twist is to have each guest bring some supplies that they want to get rid of, and trade amongst yourselves. Every scrapbooker has some stickers or paper they will never end up using that someone else could get use out of.
6. The next crop.
So your crop was a success! (Maybe you did more talking than scrapbooking, but hey, it was fun!) While you have a captive audience, see if any of your guests would like to host a crop the next month. That way, you can create a reoccurring monthly crop night in which you alternate houses.
Hosting your own crop can be fun and rewarding. Having time set aside to work on your hobby as well as spend time with friends and family is worth planning a get together. It can be as elaborate or simple as you want it to be, just remember to have fun and scrap away!