Do you remember Brambly Hedge? It was a gorgeous series of books about little mice living in the English countryside. I adored those books. But even more so, I adored the accompanying stationery and letter set that inevitably gets brought out when any books or films aimed at children become a success. I think I received (at my request) the collection of pens, pencils, paper, letters and envelopes for several birthdays, year after year. The smell of a fresh page and newly sharpened lead had me hooked at a young age and while my tastes have moved on from a tiny collective of hat-wearing rodents, I still love to make that first crease in the spine of a new notepad and use my very best handwriting.
If, like me, you're a bit of a paper-magpie, then you're going to fall head over heels for HoneyTreePost's two brand new stationery subscription services: The Stationery Lover's Club and Young Honey Tree. They kindly sent me both October boxes so I could have a look at them and share my thoughts with you.
Firstly, the practicalities of the service ....
What will you receive in your monthly gift box?
HoneyTreePost promises to send you a collection of no less than seven stationery items, with a collective retail value of over £30. The items will be seasonal and reflect the time of year, so I think you can guess how magical the December box will be.
When do the monthly shipments go out?
The boxes are shipped on or before the 15th of each month to all subscribers who have signed up before the 5th of that month. And HoneyTreePost ships overseas too. Having spent seven years living in Switzerland, companies willing to branch out beyond the UK's borders always get a big thumbs up from me.
How much do these boxes of gorgeousness cost?
This really depends on the length of the subscription that you opt for. Obviously, the longer that you sign up for, the lower the cost of each box. A single month/box is £15 (including shipping). If you choose three months, it works out at £13.50 per box. Six months comes in at £12 per box. And a twelve month subscription is the winner at £10.50 per box.
And now? Are you ready for a closer look at the contents?
First up is the Young HoneyTree October box, especially designed for children. I'll be honest, the contents touched my heart a little. I was whisked back to my six year old self and could imagine how delighted I would have been with the autumn-themed postcards and cards, and how I would have loved writing my name on the 'This book belongs to' stickers. And I think every single one of my stuffed toys would have received a special message on the star-covered notelets. I've tried to capture everything so you can see how lovely the contents are. In the meantime, I've packaged everything up ready to plan some Halloween and Bonfire Night activities with my eldest little dude during October half term.
The Stationery Lover's Club October box is equally as lovely. Notelets, envelopes, cards, postcards, gift tags, and a satchel print. All are beautifully designed. A different print will be included each month so you could build up quite the collection and frame them all.
These two Halloween cards are my favourite items. The black cat is so cute and I love the cauldron design.
I know that people are wary of subscription boxes. Do they represent good value for money? Will you be left with a lot of items that you don't like or won't use? And I've asked myself both of these questions. Personally, I really do think the the HoneyTreePost boxes represent great value for money. Thinking about the cards that I buy on a monthly basis or the terrible magazines I pick up for the boys with the toys that break in minutes on the front, these boxes are cheaper (certainly at the twelve month subscription charge), the contents are way better quality and far more creative, and I really like the element of seasonal surprise. Secondly, I'm sure that there will come a time when I don't like an item or two included in one of the boxes. It's inevitable. But then again, my friends and family have such diverse tastes that I'm sure that I will be able to find someone that loves it even if I don't. Not a problem, after all.
What do you think? Could you see yourself signing up for a monthly stationery treat? HoneyTreePost are offering 50% off your first month's post box if you'd like to give their subscription service a try. Simply enter the code HTP50. The offer ends September 30th. With every subscription, HoneyTreePost also donates £1 to Post Pals 'extra smiles' campaign, focused on brightening the lives of sick children by sending them a card, letter or gift. It's such a wonderful idea.