One of the things I love doing every so often try some new stationery subscription boxes. This is not a regular occurrence but its enjoyable to get some new stationery items through the post. One of the reasons why I love stationery subscriptions is that I will find new items I would never normally come across.
A few years ago I got a canvas pencil case in a Stationery Selection box. It became my everyday pencil case as I downgraded from the makeup bag behemoth that I was carrying around. This pencil case was not something I would go looking for, but it has become one of the few organisational items I use every single day.
Over the years I have tried several different stationery subscription boxes. Some are better than others. So today I thought I would share some of my favourite stationery boxes.
My Favourite Stationery Subscription Boxes
Papergang is probably one of the best stationery boxes you can subscribe to if you live in the UK. This is a monthly subscription and they send out lots of paper goods like notebooks, planners and greetings cards. Occasionally they will include other items in their stationery boxes such as posters, coasters, and even one time a pair of scissors which I use all the time.
Papergang is probably one of the most affordable subscription boxes on this list. A one month subscription costs around £14. It should be noted this price has gone up over time. For that you get a selection of different stationery items. Some of the boxes will have a specific theme, like bullet journaling, or for certain times of the year. Other boxes feature work from certain artists such as Iraville or Gemma Correll.
If you like the stationery items in the Papergang box but don’t want to sign up to a subscription there is also a solution to that. Papergang is owned by a shop called Ohh Deer. Most of the items featured in the Papergang boxes will go on to be sold in the Ohh Deer shop a few months later. Occasionally you will also be able to buy past Papergang boxes on the shop too.
Ohh Deer have expanded quite a bit over the last few years. Occasionally you will be able to find Ohh Deer products in UK high street shops such as Paperchase or Scribbler. Their selection of greetings cards are particularly good.
In the past I’ve been quite critical of the Papergang boxes. I was very quickly getting more notebooks than I knew what to do with. The quality of the Papergang boxes have increased significantly, but some months are still better than others. I would highly recommend you only sign up for a box if you like the theme or artwork for that months box. It will save you from being overwhelmed with stationery.
Cloth & Paper
Out of everything mentioned on this list Cloth & Paper is one of my favourite stationery subscription boxes. Cloth & Paper make luxury planners along with planner inserts and other stationery goodies. Their stationery box features inserts for planners along with other related stationery items. Every so often they will even include some sort of planner or ring binding system in the monthly box.
I love that the Cloth & Paper stationery box is very customisable. When you’re signing up to a subscription you are asked to fill in a form with things like your name and initials. This is so certain items can be customised with your name. They also ask what type of planner you use, so they can send you inserts which fit your planner.
You don’t need to have a planner to sign up to this subscription. I have a ringbound planner but for this subscription I chose the option for no planner. Cloth & Paper still sent me the same items, but as a series of small notebooks rather than planner inserts.
I liked this subscription. Each month has a different theme. The specific month I subscribed to had a travel theme. The month after was all about financial planning. For the last month of the year Cloth & Paper were sending out a leather planner in their subscription.
For a stationery subscription box its probably on the more expensive end. The stationery box costs $38 for one month, however the extra charge for international shipping was surprisingly reasonable. I also liked how easy it was to cancel my rolling subscription, I just had to change a setting on the Cloth & Paper online portal. Very easy.
Out of everything mentioned on this list the Cloth & Paper box was probably my favourite subscription. But because of its price I can’t justify signing up every month.
Cloth & Paper have two subscription services. The first is for planners, the second called Penspiration and as the name suggests, this is a pen subscription. When you sign up to the subscription boxes on Cloth & Paper you can choose if you want the planner, pens, or a combined planner and pens subscription. Both are sent in the same box. On its own the Penspiration subscription costs $18, or if you sign up to both services it costs $48 in total so you save a little bit of money.
I really liked this other subscription service. The pens come in a little plastic case with a pamphlet that gives you information about the pens. I liked the selection of pens that I got. It even included a Stabilo highlighter in a pastel shade. If you’ve read any of my Mildliner reviews you would know I’m all about highlighters in pastel colours.
I think the Penspiration subscription is a great addition to the Cloth & Paper stationery subscription. On its own $18 is quite expensive. But paying an additional $10 for some extra pens isn’t too bad. And its always nice to get some pens you wouldn’t normally come across.
I would only say that the plastic case the pens come in is maybe a tad unnecessary. But could be useful if you repurpose it as a regular pencil case.
Zenpop makes a stationery box that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. They specialise in Japanese stuff and have Ramen and Japanese snack boxes as well as the stationery subscription.
This box is similar to the Stationery Selection box which I will mention later. The Zenpop subscription is more for you if you like cutesy stationery. The Zenpop stationery box features a selection of pens, pencils and paper goods which usually feature some sort of cute characters. I know I’ve seen items with Pikachu and Totoro on them.
The amount of items you get in the Zenpop box is pretty good. Out of all the boxes I’ve mentioned this is the box where you will get the most amount of stuff. According to the Zenpop website you will get 10 items or more in your box.
The box costs $27 which is about average combining all the boxes on this list. I should note that when I signed up to Zenpop they were running a deal where I was able to choose a previous months box because the current month had run out. I liked this because it meant I didn’t need to wait a full month between signing up and receiving a box.
Zenpop’s shipping was also good. The shipping worked out to be around $2. Considering this box was coming from Japan it was also surprisingly fast. It took a week from getting a dispatch email to receiving the box. All of the boxes I ordered from the US took a good three weeks to arrive.
I liked the box even though I’m not a huge fan of cutesy stationery. If you’re thinking about signing up to the Zenpop stationery box I would highly recommend you look at past boxes to see if it is something you would like.
Studio Calico was almost one of my favourite stationery subscription boxes. However a few very annoying things happened with this subscription box. Because of these few annoyances I’m still not sure if it should even be mentioned.
Studio Calico makes scrapbooking and memory keeping supplies. They don’t make a specific stationery subscription. But I love doing a little art in my bullet journal so signed up to the Traveller’s Notebook kit.
Each month they send out a range of supplies you could use for journaling in a Traveller’s Notebook. This includes stamps, washi tape, patterned paper and a Traveller’s Notebook insert. It should be noted that I like this subscription. All the items were nicely designed.
The system for their kit subscription was also really good. You sign up for a monthly kit. This kit contains basic elements which all revolve around the same theme. In my case Christmas. You are then given the option to add extra scrapbooking supplies and other stationery bits from the same range onto the kit. These extras would vary in price depending on what they were.
Then everything is sent out to you at the beginning of the month. You’re charged for the base kit, along with any extras you decide to add on. Everything comes in a little plastic wallet so it all stays together.
How To Cancel The Studio Calico Subscription
Okay so the kit was great, the cost starts at $28 and goes up depending on the extras you choose. Even shipping was reasonable. But out of all the boxes on this list, the Studio Calico kit was by far the hardest subscription to cancel.
Firstly I had to send a ticket to the Studio Calico support asking for my subscription to be cancelled. All the other boxes on this list make cancelling easy. Its just an option you change in your customer account. But there was the added problem that after a certain date Studio Calico charges you to cancel your subscription. I didn’t know this and requested a cancellation just after the cut off date. So I had to choose between paying $15 to cancel my subscription or paying $30 for another kit then cancelling.
You can maybe see why I’m hesitant to recommend this subscription. The items in the kit I got were nice. Some of the nicest out of all the boxes I tried. But cancelling my subscription was far more complicated than it had any need to be and I had to pay $15 for it.
The Stationery Selection
The Stationery Selection is another of the stationery subscription boxes on this list which features Japanese stationery. While the Zenpop box featured cutesy characters, the Stationery Selection is more for journaling and aesthetic stationery. If you’re looking for more minimal, well make stationery items then Stationery Selection is the box I would recommend.
All of the boxes have slight themes, such as artistic or back-to-school. The content of these boxes has been very well thought out. I mentioned at the start of this post how I got a pencil case in one box which I have used almost every day since. I also got my 2019 MD Paper Diary in a Stationery Selection box.
It can be hard to get your hands on a Stationery Selection box. The entire business is run by one person living in Japan. This means you get a nice range of items. But they also make a very limited number of boxes each month. I’ve never been able to just sign up for a subscription. Usually you will have to wait for subscriptions to open on a certain date.
My one problem with the Stationery Selection is the price. This is the most expensive subscription box on this list. The subscription box costs around $40. You then have to add shipping on top of that. But you also need to be aware of custom and import fees. I haven’t been charged each time I ordered a box, but a few times I have had to pay extra before the box was delivered. This is something you need to watch out for as it can add another $10 or $15 onto the price.
This box isn’t something you want to subscribe to every month. But the items you get in it are nice so its fun to try occasionally.
And that was 5 of what I think are the best stationery subscription boxes. These vary wildly in price and the more expensive subscriptions are not something you want to be buying every month. But if you like trying out new stationery these can be a really good way to get something new that you wouldn’t normally come across.
It should be noted that this is just my opinion. It certainly isn’t a comprehensive list of all stationery subscriptions boxes available. But they are the ones I like best. Out of all the boxes I’ve mentioned I would say Papergang and Stationery Selection are the best just based on how often I’ve used the items I got in the boxes.
If you’re looking for something cheap just to try take a look at Papergang. Its one of the cheapest boxes on this list and you can go back through my blog to see reviews of previous boxes.
Have you tried out any of the stationery subscriptions I’ve listed? Or do you know of another stationery box I should try out? Let me know in the comments.