How to Host a Mug Swap

Last year, I was fortunate enough to participate in a mug swap held by the wonderful Riley Clay Designs. It was a blast to receive my person’s info and seek out the perfect mug for her all the while waiting to see what was in store for me! I was ecstatic when I received a lovely handwritten note along with a can of “Mama’s Boy” Coffee from Georgia and a matching mug. The coffee was delicious and the thought put into just what to get me made my heart happy. Below I’ve outlined a way to host your very own mug swap – be it through social media, a group of friends, or even at work!

      Where to begin.

Let’s talk numbers for a minute. Before you get in over your head, think of a reasonable number of participants that will not overwhelm you as the host. Remember, you are in charge of assigning who gets who and insuring all the information is passed along as needed. You’ll also be answering any questions that might be asked concerning the swap and for some, fifty people is pushing it. Start with 10-20. You’ll be able to easily manage the information and insure that everyone has a great time.

Once you have your participants, you’ll want to get deadlines and a time frame in place. Don’t expect everyone to send their’s out early, expect the very last minute. Your initial email should include dates and information needed from everyone. I suggest two weeks from the first email should be your send date for the mugs. It allows enough time for busy lives and any issues that may arise. If you’re planning for it to end near a holiday, have the send by date a week before the actual holiday day.

What to ask.

It’s so much more personal to have a mug chosen especially for you. In the email sent you, ask the following questions so each person has some knowledge of their recipients likes and dislikes. Here are some examples:

  • Are you a coffee or tea drinker?
  • What do you absolutely love?
  • Anything you truly dislike?
  • Favorite hobbies/shows/etc?
  • Favorite color?

After all your information is collected on each participant, you’ll want to create a spreadsheet to keep everyone organized and to send the correct info to each sender. A wonderful group of ladies introduced me to Elfster, however, and that’s how I’m organizing ours this year.

Elfster is a wonderful tool that allows each of the participants to sign up and receive a random recipient. It’ll keep track of who has who and if anyone has not responded to the exchange. I prefer this method as it saves you from an extremely tedious email chain that can get quite swamped. It’s a free tool and takes minutes to set up and organize your swap!

Original post on November 29, 2014 on www,


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