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Etsy Community Projects: Self Portrait Thursday

Mar 4, 2008

by sarawearsskirts handmade and vintage goods

The Etsy Community is constantly dreaming up new ideas.  Some of these ideas are for improvements on the site, some are inspiration for getting out of a creative slump and some are just plain fun ideas  for projects to work on with or get to know other members of the Etsy Community.

This is a series spotlighting Etsy Community Projects initiated and run by the Etsy Community.  Many of these projects originate in the forums and some happen completely there.  Some involve mailing packages to other Etsy members, some involve posting on other sites, like Flickr.  All are fun ways to interact with other members of Etsy, be it for a short period of time or on a regular basis.

If you’ve ever wanted to put a face to an Etsy username (or avatar), you might think Self Portrait Thursdays is the best thing since sliced (handmade) bread.  Each week, you can find a thread in the Etc. Forum titled "Self Portrait Thursdays" or "SPT" (and usually followed by that week’s date).  Anyone can post in these threads with a link to a photo they’ve taken of themselves and posted online.  Many users prefer to post their self-portraits on Flickr, as Flickr allows its users to leave comments and notes on the photos posted on the site, which is a fun way to interact with other participants.  Portraits posted in Flickr can also be posted in the Etsy Self Portrait Thursday pool, which makes it a snap to find other participants in this weekly activity. 

Where did Self Portrait Thursdays come from?  It started in 2006, when Etsy sellers Tinymeat and Mamadelic fell madly in love but lived in very different parts of the country. It’s a very sweet story, actually.  I asked Mona, of Mamadelic, to give us the whole scoop on this fun weekly project that’s open to the entire Etsy Community. She says, "We started making sure that we sent pics to each other every Thursday. We started tagging the pics with "self portrait thursday" and "spt" and next thing we knew, other people were doing it!"


How did it evolve into the forum phenomenon it is today? "I created a pool for people to add their pictures to. Next thing I knew there were hundreds of people in the group and it had taken on a life of its own. People take it upon themselves to post in the forums that they’ve added their picture and I get the idea that many look forward to adding new ones. I especially love it when people do theme pictures! Those are fun! I love that people are still participating in it now even though Mikey and I don’t post pics very often. I do go in and look at the group all the time."


Mikey and Mona are now together in Portland, growing their handmade business, so they don’t contribute self portraits as often as they used to, but you can read more about their Etsy Love Story.  You can browse through over 150 pages of Etsy Self Portraits in the Flickr Pool.  Here’s a list of other Etsy Flickr groups we’ve noticed, as well.

Are you organizing a project within the Etsy community, outside of an Etsy Team?  Mention it in the comments below!

Lion Lettuce Wallet - Mopa for Tinymeat
Lion Lettuce Wallet - Mopa for Tinymeat
Little Golden Girls
Little Golden Girls


  • heidiburton

    heidiburton said 9 years ago

    Cool article... and I took part in SPT a number of times, only now realising it's an Etsy thing and that it grew from the love of two people! Thought with that many participants it was a general Flickr thing hehe. It's so great to see the faces (or hands, feet, etc) behind the Etsy names, really brings the community together :D

  • heidiburton

    heidiburton said 9 years ago

    Here's my Valentine SPT :D

  • belleslettres

    belleslettres said 9 years ago

    in honor of this you should check out this treasury:

  • wittyworkshop

    wittyworkshop said 9 years ago

    I'm doing a series on my blog about creative minds (up to this date, they are all Etsyans): If anyone wishes to participate, drop me a line or convo me... all details on my blog!

  • hobbledehoy

    hobbledehoy said 9 years ago

    I love SPT!

  • girlsavage

    girlsavage said 9 years ago

    Spt is great! there is also the everyday life of etsy group, which is a fun one!

  • lpdesigns

    lpdesigns said 9 years ago

    I love SPT! I don't do it every week, but I love seeing the pics from everyone. :)

  • SecretLentil

    SecretLentil said 9 years ago

    I love SPT! It's such good fun to play with my fellow etsy-ers ... as well as a reminder to brush my hair and get dressed at least once a week.

  • artkitten

    artkitten said 9 years ago

    I will be there as self portraits are a big part of my art :)

  • Art2ArtColorado

    Art2ArtColorado said 9 years ago

    this was nice to see!

  • Lumenesense

    Lumenesense said 8 years ago

    Hello everyone. I am new to Etsy and was looking for a rockin forum to join so hopefully this is is.

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