2021 ISGB Bead Swap for all members – signup now! 

The purpose of this bead swap is to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the fun of swapping beads and the relationships that can be forged with fellow members. Past year’s participants had a lot of fun, and shared in a little treasure trove of beads with their fellow ISGB members. 

In order to participate you must be able to make and submit by mail TEN beads that have been properly annealed, have no sharp/dangerous edges, and are sturdy enough to survive being shipped twice and worn by a new owner should they so desire. 

• In order to swap, you must be able to send U.S. funds by Paypal or a check that will be used to pay return postage. 

• You must be a current ISGB member or register for the conference to be eligible to participate. 

• You will be swapping in a group of up to ten members, lead by an assigned “swapmaster”. You will send ten beads, and receive nine different beads made by members of all different ability levels. The tenth bead goes to the swapmaster. 


SIGN UP by putting your name and hometown in a reply to the SWAP post on the ISGB Gathering page. There is only one spot to do this. The post is from Karen Crown and it says “Comment here to sign up for the 5th Annual ISGB BEAD SWAP, only the first 100 members to sign up are eligible.” 

• You will receive a confirmation that you are in the swap AND YOU WILL BE ADDED TO A PRIVATE FB GROUP CALLED “ISGB 2021 BEAD SWAP”! In that group you can ask questions and schmooze with other swappers. Swapmaster Coordinator Karen Crown will be on hand, and so will the members of the ISGB Board and ISGB staff. 

• You will be assigned to a swap group with a swapmaster who is a volunteer and ISGB member who is also not attending this year’s Gathering. 

• Participants will be randomly assigned to a group. You will receive the name of your swapmaster and info on where the beads should be sent. 

• You will be contacted by Facebook message and also email, using the information in the ISGB membership directory. Please take a moment to check that your information on file is accurate by contacting Karyn at the ISGB home office or by email (admin@isgb.org). 


Make ten glass beads. Most swappers are not “experts”. All that is required is beads you are pleased and happy to share. It isn’t a competition!! These can be ten of the same style, or ten different bead styles. 

• Package each bead individually in a little bag, wrapped very, very carefully with wrapping that can be reused, like bubble wrap, tissue etc. EACH BEAD should also be labeled with your name, contact info (like email, FB or website) and anything else you care to say. • All ten individually wrapped beads should then be packaged into one box 

*** In the United States, a Small Priority Mail box is a good example and what most use in the US to send and receive their beads. The small priority mail box is flat rate, so there are no surprises in cost, and the boxes are free. Insurance is included for value up to $50.00. You are also welcome to create a click and ship label, to send along with your beads for the return shipping and no need to worry about including a check or send money via paypal. 

It is your option whether or not to insure the package, how you send it is how it will be returned (so if you send payment for insurance, it will be insured coming back to you, too). Again, the small priority flat rate box is covered for value up to $50.00. 


• Mail the package to your assigned swapmaster to be received no later than May 20, 2021 2020.  PUT YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS INSIDE THE BOX SO THE SWAPMASTER KNOWS WHERE TO SEND YOUR SWAP BEADS! 

• If your beads are not received by May 20, 2021 they may not be included in the swap and returned to you. 

• The bead swap at The Virtual Gathering is being held Saturday June 12, 2021 with a special meet and greet for all participants.  We would like to be able to have as many people as possible receive their beads by that night! 

• At the same time that you mail your beads, send the swapmaster the amount of money you paid for postage, or include a click n ship label. They will use that money to send the swap beads back to you. You can send funds with no fee through Paypal, or include a check or money order in with your beads when you mail them. If you have any individual concerns please contact your swapmaster. 


The swapmaster will create packages of at least nine beads and send them to each participating member. The beads will be mailed out on or about May 26, 2021 (earlier if at all possible). Online virtual swap members should receive their beads so they may have them at the same time as those at The Gathering are swapping beads. (It is up to each swapmaster whether they include one of their own beads in the swap, they are already devoting plenty of time to this project, so they get swap beads whether or not they participate!) 

• When you receive the swap beads, open them, admire and fondle them, think about the work that went into making them and getting them into your hands. 

• Feel free to write to your fellow swappers and talk about beads, techniques, glass, and anything else. 

• Post in the post‐virtual bead swap thread that will be on the Facebook ISGB Gathering page after all of the beads are mailed out. Feel free to post photos of the beads you received. 


Although it is open to all ISGB members who are not attending the Gathering, we recognize that International members will be inconvenienced to a greater degree. This is on our radar screen, we are exploring ways in which this could be more accessible and affordable for all International members. This time around, all swapmasters are located in the U.S. (If you have a better idea for next year, we would love to hear from you – for instance, could ISGB members swap during one of the existing European or Japanese events?) 

• The swap groups are randomly assigned; there is no guarantee about the level of each participant’s ability. Try to have an open and receptive attitude about the beads you receive, it is not all about the beads, it is about the connections between members. 

• Only commit if you are confident you can participate. If you don’t send in your beads, you are disappointing your fellow members who will receive fewer beads. Maybe you have ten beads on hand right now? Why not set them aside and keep them as your swap back ups, in case life gets in the way? 

• Keep in mind, swapmasters are volunteers with their own lives, and some of them like chocolate! 

Meet your Swap Master Coordinator

Karen Crown

She  is looking for volunteer swap masters to lead a group and make this years event a success.

Don't be shy contact Karen Crown: karencrown@gmail.com to learn more

or sign up on the Facebook Gathering Page


  • May 1, 2021 JOIN the Bead Swap  
  • May 20, 2021 Participants mail beads to swap masters no later than
  • May 26, 2021 Swap masters mails beads to their assigned group
  • June 12, 2021 7:00 pm Zoom Meet and greet Hosted by Karen Crown.

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