2015 Secret Valentine Exchange!!



Last year, Ute and I teamed up to host a Secret Valentine Exchange, loosely based on a Scandinavian Secret Santa tradition called Julklapp. We had so much fun with nearly 40 participants (read the recap here) that we’re bringing it back for 2015! For this go around of the craft/sewing swap, we’re getting started a little earlier to give everyone more time.

We’re keeping things pretty much the same as last year: once you sign up, Ute and I will assign folks (Ute and I will also be included in the swap). You’ll get helpful information on the person who will be receiving a gift from you via a little questionnaire we’ve drafted, but your recipient will be in the dark in terms of your identity. Like the previous exchange, we’re striving for casual and easy, and the gifts need not be sewn, though we figure most of you will want to give your sewing machines a whirl. All that matters is that the gifts should be handmade. In the spirit of reduce/reuse/recycle, we ask that you use materials you already have on hand. We don’t want this to be an expensive project for anyone.

Almost everyone was willing to ship internationally last year, and we had a lot of international folks. To make the pairing easier, for this year, we’d like to make a blanket rule of participants willing to ship internationally. I personally found it thrilling to send a package off to India! The gifts should fit in a medium to large-ish envelope and be fairly light to keep shipping costs manageable.


Oh, and no need to have a blog or any online presence to participate, just in case you were wondering. The whole experience of making, sending and receiving handmade gifts via snail mail was absolutely wonderful last year, though of course it’s a blast to share the process online too.


I made new tags for this year (they come in aqua and pink), and the process is easy peasy:

1. Download this questionnaire, fill it out and email secret.valentine.exchange@gmail.com to sign up by January 9th.

2. We’ll take care of assignments and send out the Secret Valentine info to all participants by January 16th.

3. Make something fabulous and ship it by February 7 (if you’re shipping internationally, you might want to add a few extra days). Don’t forget to download the tags here! And we’d love it if you could upload your creation to the Secret Valentine Exchange Flickr account here (you can see the lovely projects from last year). Shhh, don’t reveal who the gift is for though! If you’re on Instagram, use hashtag #2015sve. Fun, fun, fun!

4. Receive your Secret Valentine gift!

We can’t wait to see who signs up!! Are you in? Please feel free to contact me or Ute with any questions here in the comments section or at secret.valentine.exchange[at]gmail.com. We’ll also announce the exchange on instagram and you can find us there too (@ute_ig @sanaeishida). So excited!!



34 thoughts on “2015 Secret Valentine Exchange!!

  1. It´s on! Yay! I am so excited and can´t wait to see who will sign up! Thank you for doing this again with me, Sanae! I´ll hop over to IG now!

  2. I love the idea! Thank you for organising this! I didn’t read your blog a year ago, so didn’t know about it then, but I’ve just sent in my questionnaire for this year! (:

    1. Fantastic, Annika! We had such a fabulous turnout last year, we’re excited to see what everyone comes up with this year 🙂

    1. Hi Jillian! We don’t expect anyone to make more than one gift, though in actuality, the numbers varied. Some people made one item, and others handcrafted several small gifts. The idea is to have fun and we’re not too strict about rules. One thing to keep in mind that the heavier/bigger your gifts, the more it will cost to ship. 😉

      1. I definitely want to do this! Does the form need to be printed and completed? It doesn’t look editable? I don’t have access to a printer, so may not be able to submit by the 9th. What would you prefer me to do, I don’t want to miss out!?

    1. Lisa, you’re clearly way more technically savvy than I could ever hope to be — I’ve never even heard of Google forms! 🙂 Must check that out…maybe we can convert the questionnaire responses into it. Thank you, and I’m excited that you’re joining!

      1. Go to Google Drive, New -> Google Forms. It saves all the entries in a spreadsheet. No need to download and email anything!

        1. Awesome, thanks for this info Lisa!! Maybe we can still incorporate it somehow this year. My brain is trying to do the impossible and try to wrap around how that would be done ;-).

  3. So stinkin’ excited!!!!! There was just no way last year when we were getting ready to go to China to get our son. Thank you for organizing this again!!! :o)

  4. I loved it last year, and I kind of forgot about it, so when I saw the title of your post it was like a little gift in itself! Can’t wait to join. In again!

    1. Good luck with school, Tracy! Ute and I are planning to do it again next year, so we hope you can join then! 🙂

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