Welcome to the Handmade Paper Swatch Swap 2021

Donna Lilborn will be hosting this year's swatch swap.


Every year, papermakers the world over send a swatch swap host samples of some of their latest, greatest papers, along with the recipes they used to make them.They pull a small number of sheets of each wonderful paper and cut them into 2″ x 3″ swatches. You can send up to 3 different samples (and their recipes.)  In addition, they optionally submit a set of covers for swap books. The samples are collated into sets, glued onto printed pages, bound and returned to the papermakers for their enjoyment.


In a new approach from other years, the host will send a .pdf of a blank customized book page to each papermaker, and each papermaker will print the established number of pages, glue their swatches to their page, and submit the pages to the host, along with their covers. The host will then make a book of all the pages and then send everyone a beautiful book of everybody’s swatches – and the recipes – in return. See some pix of previous books.



  two pages from the 2019 swap 


  1. SIGN UP: You will sign up in 2 phases. First, submit your contact information and pay the registration fee. At that time you can also submit some words of wisdom, if you want. Registration closes on October 20, 2021. Then, after you have made your paper, you return to the sign up form and submit the name, fibers, and recipe for each swatch, and words of wisdom if you want.
  2. PRINT AND PASTE: You will receive your page, created just for you, by e-mail, by December 1, 2021. Print that page and paste your swatches on it. Then mail the pages, along with any covers you are submitting, to be received by January 20, 2022.



  • Please submit only paper swatches that you made yourself. They may be of any fiber. Pages that include a swatch of, say, decorated industrial paper, or altered handmade paper made by others for purchase will not be included in the swap.
  • Swatches measure about 2 x 3 inches (5 cm x 7.5 cm). They will be mounted on the page in portrait orientation. Slightly smaller are OK. Pages that include larger swatches will not be included in the swap.
  • Swatches cannot be thicker than 1/16 inch (1.5 mm)
  • Up to 3 different sets of swatches, per participant. Just one set is totally OK!
  • Your handmade paper can be made of fibers processed by you, industrial pulp, or recycled, or a combination of all the above. You can add inclusions but no live seeds, perfumes or glitter.
  • Submit as many covers as you are able. They should be the same size as the pages you submit. Please aim for sheets of paper that are of a consistency and strength to be covers for a book that will be opened and closed multiple times and handled with much love. Thin or more fragile paper may be glued to a stronger paper, even if industrial paper. Also make sure any inclusions are firmly attached.
  • Please write your name and the main fiber(s) on what you would consider the back side of each cover sheet. A well glued label or piece of white paper is quite OK for this.
  • The number of participants establishes the number of swatches needed. The minimum number of participants is 40. If fewer than 40 people register, the swap will be cancelled, and all fees returned. The maximum number of participants is 80. Registration will close early if 80 register before the deadline.
  • The number of swatches per set ultimately is the number of registrants plus 15. One each of your swatches are pasted to a single page. The 15 additional pages submitted are for errors in counting or handling, and for creating books to be sold to collectors or libraries in order to underwrite some of the costs of this endeavor. So, the maximum number of swatches of each kind you might need would be 95.
  • You will know the number needed on October 22, 2021


  • The fee this year is $75 USD. This includes shipping of the final book to anywhere in the world. PLEASE NOTE: the fee is not refundable, except if the swap is cancelled. If you submit pages that do not meet the rules, the fee will not be refunded, nor will your page be included.
  • There is an additional option to send your swatches only, and pay to have your page printed and the swatch(s) glued to it. The fee for that is $25 USD for one swatch, $37.50 USD for 2 swatches and $50 for 3 swatches.
  • Pay your fee (s) after you have registered. You may pay via Paypal, by using the store below, or by money order or bank check in U.S. dollars, payable to Donna Lilborn. I am sorry, my bank does not accept Venmo or Zelle.


Ship your submissions to:

Donna Lilborn
139 Federal Street
Florence, MA, 01062
Questions? I will be posting updates as I have them to the hand papermaking swatch swap forum .
Please check the forum for the answers to questions you may have.
If its not answered there, please ask your question there, for the benefit of others.

for personal communication, email me.


Please share the news of this swatch swap with your papermaking friends!