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Geocaching – 4 More Handmade Swag Ideas

February 15, 2019

As the title suggests, here are 4 more simple crafty projects off the back of my previous post from last July! (5 handmade swag ideas.)

I’ve only been geocaching for just under a year now, but the exchange of “swag” is one of my favorite parts about the whole experience, and it’s often an overlooked aspect by many cachers.

Personally it really makes my day when I find something thoughtful in a cache. This is why I love leaving a little something behind that I’ve made whenever I can.

To keep myself from spiralling into a crafty tizzy there are 6 points that I use to build my ideas around when creating swag for geocaches…

Each item must be:

  1. Small– Most caches are small and there needs to be plenty of room left for others.
  2. Fast – Have to accept the very real possibility that these things might be destroyed or not appreciated as intended, so the amount of time spent on them has to be reasonable.
  3. Inexpensive – For the same reasons, I’m not pouring a ton of money into the finished items.
  4. Sturdy – A high standard of craftsmanship is important to me in everything I make.
  5. Thoughtful – Is this something that would make me feel warm and fuzzy to find?
  6. Weatherproof – Zip seal jiffy bags are essential for protecting swag in most caches, especially in Scotland where everything is usually pretty damp.

 

So to avoid getting too long winded in this post… let’s get to it!

 

Keychains

 

The keychain style lobster claws that I used for this set of keychains were something that I had laying around in a pack of 10. I think it cost me all of £2. The spherical beads are big plastic swirly beautiful things that I bought on clearance years ago because they were so pretty, but I never had a project to use them for before now! The spacer beads are mostly antique bronze, and they cost pennies, but I happened to have them in my stash already. I strung them with the same black waxed cord that I use to make my sliding knot bracelets.


The 10 keychains took me about an hour to assemble while watching Netflix, and I sealed all of the knots with some superglue to make them extra sturdy. If I had to guess I would say that they cost about 30p each to make.

I attached each keychain to a brown kraft tag with a little hand written note and then put them individually into tiny zip seal bags to keep them safe and dry.

My penmanship is not the greatest, but it’s mine :)

 

Wire Wrapped Wrings

 

These are a lot of fun to make and they can be made very cheaply, however there are a couple ring making materials that I happened to have to hand that made the process a bit quicker and more precise.

All you really need to make wire wrapped rings is some wire, a bead and a cylinder to wrap the wire around. There are a million tutorials on youtube :)

Anyhoo… what makes it easier is to have a tapered mandrel (basically a tapered bit of wood) and a ring sizer. I dabble, what can I say? I hoard many random tools.


I spent a day making rings (it’s oddly addictive) and then once they were all made I sized them individually on the ring sizer so that I could include the rings exact size (UK size) on the tags.  Each ring took probably less than 10 minutes to make. it’s a very quick process, especially once you get past the learning stages of the first few. The beads, once again are ones I had to hand, but cost pennies.

Each ring probably cost about 10P to make!

I added in a little hand written message and have peppered these throughout caches all over Scotland.

I actually got some nice feedback on one of them when a lady messaged me that her husband had been out caching while she was home having a bad day and he brought one back for her which helped to cheer her up. How lovely is that? :)

The rings, attached to their tags are all packaged individually in little zip seal baggies to protect them.

 

Paperclip Bookmarks

 

This is a mostly store bought idea for those who want to do something cheap, and fast with minimum crafty effort!

I got the little metal paperclip bookmarks in packs of 20 from aliexpress. They cost roughly 5p each and there are a bunch of different designs. There are of course a LOT of ways to do paperclip style bookmarks so there is a lot of wiggle room for additional creativity with this idea!

Anyway, I had found a treasure once in a cache that consisted of a sweet little, hand written inspirational quote and a seashell in a baggie and this is sort of inspired by that idea. Finding short quotes to use can be a challenge sometimes, but I think it’s really nice.

 

All I did was attach the paperclip to the handwritten tag and added a bit of twine, then packed them all individually in little zip seal baggies. Very fast to assemble with a nice personal touch and super cute.

 

Recipes

 

My friend found a recipe in a cache once and when she told me about it I thought that is an absolutely spectacular idea! What a unique way to leave a random little piece of yourself behind! So I went about designing some small personal recipe cards that I laminated.

I chose two recipes that are special to me which I make often. I drew the pictures and wrote out the text for the front and back sides by hand, then scanned the paper in black and white to get them on my comptuer. (save as .PNG , not .JPG) from there I was able to dump the images into Microsoft word, and shrink them to a reasonable size for putting into caches.

 

After they were printed I cut the fronts and backs to size and stuck them together with a bit of double sided tape and then I laminated them so that they can survive in the caches (hopefully).

I was going to color them in before I laminated, but I thought that they looked pretty cute the way they were and I didn’t want to invest a ton of time in them. The best thing about this project is that it took me a couple of hours to do, but I can print these over and over as many times as I want and they are 100% unique to me!

I know that not everyone is as artistically inclined as I am, but this is an idea that you can do purely on the computer in microsoft, with clipart as well, so it’s something that can really be done by anyone with a tiny bit of tech savviness.

Well that’s my brain picked for now. I hope that I’ve managed to inspire someone, and happy caching! :)

Click HERE if you are interested in reading the other swag post with my first 5 ideas!

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