swapping states + how to create a state box

Today I am super excited to team up with Hayleigh from Young Cosmopolite to show you all how to create a state swap box! I know some of you are probably asking "What is a state box??" Well, it's a gift box with items from your state, such as food, handmade items, etc. Once you pack your box up, you send it to someone who will send you a state box back! I'm from Tennessee and Hayleigh is from California, so there is quite a different culture when it comes to food and other goods. I wanted to explain everything I added to mine and also give you tips of your own if you ever want to team up with someone and create a swap box. These can also be international! I think this is such a great idea- let me know if you are going to try it out! In addition to showing what I added, I will be sharing my reaction to what Hayleigh sent me! Be sure to check her post out here all about her experience.

// Food //

When I think of Tennessee, I am reminded of all the delicious foods found here. While I couldn't send Hayleigh all of the Southern comfort foods I wanted to (like BBQ, fried chicken, and sweet tea) I still wanted to send her some Tennessee-made treats. The first advice I have for creating a swap box is adding foods from your region. So, research a bit about foods created in your state. Moon Pies and Goo Goo Clusters are both created in Tennessee, and they are some of the most delicious treats! Find a couple non-perishable treats (from your region or state of course!) to include in your box, just like what I did. 

// Local Items //

This next step is a bit trickier. A lot of the local items in TN are crafted items that are either out of budget for a state box or too big to send. So, I decided to shop at a local boutique in town that only sells southern-made items. I recommend doing this especially if you are having hard time thinking of what to include. I saw these adorable Y'all socks that were made locally. They added the perfect southern touch but were also something that could be used over and over again, not just sitting on a shelf as a novelty. I also included a candle titled "Smoky Mountain Morning" because I live very close to the Great Smoky Mountains. The candle reminds me of the scent of the mountains after it rains in the morning- a misty forest essence that is so special! 

// Extras! //

If you're on a budget (like we were!) you might want to consider adding a couple little items to round out your package and make it feel like the package has more "substance". When I was shopping at the local boutique, I found this adorable Dixieland postcard and a Tennessee pennant. Postcards are a great way to add a little **insert state here** flair to the package. You can even write a note to the person you are swapping it with. I told Hayleigh all about the charm of Tennessee: the football, comfort food, and people. To go along with the Tennessee Vol spirit (our state's college football team- ps we have the best fanbase!) I included the orange Tennessee pennant so Hayleigh can put this on a bulletin board and be reminded of Tennessee when she sees it. I suggest adding little extras such as postcards, pennants, flags, and/or stickers that come from and depict your state to make the package even more personal. 

// the final touches //

I included a notecard explaining all the items I chose (why I chose them and their history/explanation). This way your recipient knows exactly what they are receiving and why you gave it to them- it makes it more special when you know the reason something was picked out! Next, I packaged everything up with lots of tissue paper to create a cute box for Hayleigh to open. Make sure you package everything securely enough so nothing breaks/spills/etc. I then closed up the box and gave a little decoration on the outside with a Sharpie! 

 // what Hayleigh sent me //

I was so excited when I received my box from Hayleigh. She drew drawings all over the box with state animals, flowers, etc. So thoughtful! Because I can't control my sweet tooth, I dug into the Ghiradelli chocolates before I had a chance to snap a photo of them. Hayleigh mentioned that the San Francisco Ghiradelli shop is not too far from where she resides, so she goes there occasionally (but she did mention it was a bit of a tourist trap- so I guess I need to make a stop there when I'm out in Cali some day soon!). She sent my favorite Ghiradelli flavor- milk chocolate caramel, as well as dark chocolate and sea salt dark chocolate. Yummy!

Hayleigh also sent an Itunes giftcard because she is near Silicon Valley. I love music, so I am excited to use it.

In addition to the chocolates, I received yummy Rusty's surfer chips which Hayleigh said were delicious with guac. And she was right! I ate the entire bag in one sitting (oops!!) I also received a Cliff Bar, which Hayleigh says is because the Cliff factory is close by to her house! I love Cliff bars so this was a treat! I also nibbled on the Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, which Hayleigh states that her college gave out because the factory wasn't too far away either! 

Hayleigh also included this anchor charm from a local boutique she used to shop at all the time. I love anything nautical- so I am so glad to have this to remind me of my friendship and California!

Hayleigh also included her favorite Disney princess pin, Ariel. California has everything, including Disney Land! I can't wait to showcase this pin on my dorm bulletin board, but until then it will reside next to me with the Little Mermaid statue in Denmark. 

I am so happy to have experienced a state swap with Hayleigh. It was so interesting to learn a little about the culture of Cali but also show the culture of TN to a friend. 

I hope you all enjoyed! Where are you from? What foods and items are popular where you live? Leave me a comment below! 

As always,


  1. I LOVE the things that Hayleigh sent you!!! CALIFORNIA looks like a great state to visit! What a thoughtful package she sent!

  2. This is such a fun idea, I would love to do this sometime! And writing joint blog posts about it makes it even more fun, you two are so thoughtful and creative!

    xx Jocelyn // lifeinaleotard.com