Last year Paperchase released a £35 advent calendar filled with stationery. I was very intrigued by this, however, I decided I really shouldn’t spend my student loan on an advent calendar. We’re now counting down the days to Christmas again and the only review I’ve found of that advent calendar was so negative the reviewer sent it back and asked for a refund. So today I want to look at the 2019 Paperchase stationery advent calendar and see if it is actually worth the money.
High-end advent calendars are becoming all the rage. When I was a kid you got a £3 calendar filled with Cadburys chocolates. If you wanted something fancier in your advent calendar you didn’t have much choice.
But advent calendars have come a long way in the last 15 years. You get calendars filled with Yankee candles, pop vinyl figures. Even a Zoella branded advent calendar which will surely annoy everyone with its £50 price tag.
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It’s been a long time since I last had an advent calendar. Growing up it was always part of the Christmas tradition that I got an advent calendar. But recently I haven’t felt the need for one. Yeah, it’s nice getting a little treat each day in the run-up to Christmas. But honestly, it got to the point where I didn’t want chocolate every day. Maybe that’s just part of growing up. Christmas isn’t this exciting time you want to count down to. Nowadays I’m much more excited about spending time with my family than I am interested in presents.
This was a very long-winded way of saying I don’t see the point in expensive advent calendars. I’m also now at the age where I don’t feel like I need an advent calendar. But I enjoy nice stationery and wanted to try the Paperchase Stationery advent calendar.
Paperchase Advent Calendar Review
Some thoughts on Paperchase
Before I go any further I need to confess. Paperchase is a shop I talk about a lot. But in all honesty, I don’t like their own branded stationery. This isn’t to say I hate Paperchase. Some of their seasonal ranges are nice. But they also make a lot of cutesy stationery with unicorns and rainbows and way more fluff than what I think is necessary.
I’m not saying this makes Paperchase bad in any way. They sell those items because people like and will, therefore, buy them. But I’m not one of those people. And they do still make some things which I love. Paperchase has an incredible range of greetings cards. I buy all of my greetings cards from Paperchase.
Their Christmas range is also fantastic. Bright colours aren’t something you’re used to seeing at Christmas but it makes for a really interesting selection of Christmas tree decorations. I love how they carry those same themes through to wrapping paper and other related elements.
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I think what I like about Paperchase is the branded items they sell in-store. I used to buy my Moleskine notebooks from Paperchase. I’ve stopped doing that now more because of Moleskine rather than Paperchase. I also recently came across the Mildliner highlighters in a local Paperchase store. Something I didn’t think was available in the UK.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that while Paperchase is a great place to buy stationery. Some of their products are better than others. In the past, I’ve written about the Paperchase study planner which was so strangely designed I couldn’t figure out how or who would use it.
I have tried to not be too critical of the Paperchase stationery advent calendar but I’m not sure how well that has come across.
About the Paperchase stationery advent calendar
The Paperchase stationery advent calendar costs £35 and can be bought online. You may also be able to buy it in-store but I haven’t seen it in any of my local shops. If you are thinking about buying the advent calendar I would highly recommend you sign up to the Paperchase ‘treat me’ scheme. You get a £5 voucher for every £50 you spend so you will be almost there with this purchase. You also get free next day delivery which saves you another £3.
The box has been designed nicely. It’s bright and fun. Its has a Christmas tree design on the front of the box with each present inside representing a window on the advent calendar. One thing I would say is that while the advent calendar is very nice to look at. It feels a bit cheap. The box feels very light for the £50 of stationery items it contains.
I will mention this later but I feel Paperchase could have done a better job on how the box was constructed. On the outside, it looks nice but some of the stationery items didn’t stay in place in the plastic part of the box. I should add this could be down to how the box was handled during shipping. But a few time I opened a window on the advent calendar to find there was nothing behind that window.
Yes, the item was still in the box somewhere. But if you paid £35 for an advent calendar only to find out that there was nothing behind some of the windows in the calendar you wouldn’t be happy.
The stationery advent calendar costs £35 and Paperchase claims it contains £50 worth of stationery items. It should be noted that one of these items is a £5 voucher for Paperchase which I think is a bit of a cop-out. But I thought I would do a breakdown of the cost of everything in the advent calendar.
Note: I couldn’t find some of these items on the Paperchase website so I’ve had to estimate based on similar items.
Greetings card £2.50
A7 Dots lined notebook £2
A7 2020 diary £5
£5 gift voucher £5
A7 notebook £2
Pastel binder clips £2
Shark stickers £1.25
Flamingo stickers £1.75
Mini felt tip pens £3.50
Washi tape £3
Dino Eraser £2 (discounted from £3)
Snowman & Reindeer erasers ???
Star sticky notes £2.50
Clear multi ballpoint pen £2.50
Monkey ballpoint pen £3.00
Cat ballpoint pen £3.00
Pink bullet tip pen £1.00
Purple bullet tip pen £1.00
Pencil with eraser £1.50
Gold gel pen £1.50
Geometric ballpoint pen £3.00
*Not accounting for the unknown price of reindeer and snowman erasers.
So the value of the items in the advent calendar does work out at almost exactly £50 which is quite good. But some stationery items are much better than others.
First of all the greetings card, which is one of my favourite things from the advent calendar. Paperchase does a fantastic range of greetings cards and I love this one in particular. This is literally the perfect card for my sister. Yes, she is the millennial everyone is complaining about with their avocados instead of a mortgage.
I loved the metallic silver washi tape. A few years ago I bought a very similar copper washi tape from Typo. I’ve only just recently came across it again but I used that washi tape constantly while I was in college. Sometimes you have to be careful with Paperchase because they sell paper tape rather than washi tape (yes there is a difference) but this silver tape is really nice.
I also loved the pastel binder clips. I know it might come across as being a random item to include in an advent calendar box but they are nice. This is also one thing I use regularly at university for bookbinding. I’ve been meaning to buy more so I’m very happy that I don’t have to now.
You’re probably going to think I’m a kid for saying this, but I loved the dinosaur erasers. They don’t look anything like the picture on the Paperchase website but I think they are really fun.
I said earlier that I felt like including a £5 voucher was a cop-out. Seeing that it is one of the highest value items in the advent calendar I feel this even more. Basically what they are trying to do is get you in-store to spend even more money. I feel that its a cheap trick getting someone to spend even more money after they paid £35 for an advent calendar.
I also felt like there were far too many cheap pens. That might be a bit mean, I like a nice pen and none of these are what I would call nice pens. They aren’t even the sort of pen I would use if I needed a pen. There were also 9 pens in the advent calendar. Meaning over a third of the items in the calendar were pens. There was a decent enough selection but 5 of those pens were black rollerballs. It seems a bit unnecessary considering you can only use one pen at a time.
Honest feelings on the Paperchase Calendar
I think the problem with the Paperchase advent calendar is similar to the Zoella advent calendar. This is a high-end calendar. It’s £35, that’s a lot compared to the £3 Cadbury calendars I grew up with. But you also have the problem that I, an almost 30-year-old person don’t feel the need to have an advent calendar. Even if it is an advent calendar full of stationery.
You also have the fact that almost none of the items in the calendar are things I would go out and buy. Some people my age are probably different and would love the things in this calendar. But I feel like these particular stationery items are more targeted towards kids.
But most kids don’t have £35 lying around to spend on an advent calendar. So Paperchase is trying to target the parents. But then you have the problem that £35 is a lot for an advent calendar. Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone, especially if you have kids. You don’t need to be spending that much money on an advent calendar.
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Especially one which has been badly designed. Some items fall out in transit. I didn’t even mention the packaging on the binder clips which had been almost totally destroyed, from what I’m assuming was the binder clips rubbing against the packaging.
Paperchase knew that some items would move in the box so they tried to prevent it. But it has been done in a very hodgepodge way. One set of stickers had been glued in place but the other wasn’t. Creating an annoying problem where I couldn’t get at an item because a set of stickers was in the way.
When you pay £35 for a calendar you expect it to be well made. Or at least well made enough that it doesn’t fall apart during delivery. I kind of understand why the other blogger sent back their 2018 advent calendar. This 2019 wasn’t quite as bad, but I would still expect more for that sort of price.
I do like the idea of a stationery advent calendar. Almost all the items in this calendar can be bought on the Paperchase website. Admittedly it would be much more expensive. But you could buy some fun items and make your own advent calendar. That’s if you don’t mind spending anywhere from £30-50 on an advent calendar.
I’m not going to say the Paperchase stationery advent calendar was terrible. Because it wasn’t, I think it just wasn’t for me. If I was 10 and got an advent calendar full of stationery I would love it. That’s if the calendar arrived in one piece and had something behind every window. But then again I really doubt my parents would have spent so much money on something like this.
But what do you think? Do you still buy advent calendars? Would you spend £35 on a stationery advent calendar?
I feel I should just mention this because of the amount of stuff in this post I probably wouldn’t use. All the stationery items I don’t keep are donated to a local primary school.