I’ve had my eye on Cloth & Paper for a number of months now, and in a fit of self-care treat-yourself stress, I decided to finally grab a subscription to their monthly boxes. Spoiler alert: I was NOT disappointed. Read on for a detailed review of the box!
Cloth & Paper is an American, woman-owned (yeah!!) stationery company that produces their own luxe and minimal planner accessories and paper goods, as well as sources pens and other writing instruments from Asia and beyond.
Cloth & Paper might seem like an unusual brand to gravitate to for a bullet-journaller like me: most of the folks on Instagram I see using their products are in the planner world, using leather covers with discbound paper printables/dated packs – which is definitely a big part of the C&P shop!
However, the thing I find most unique is the C&P aesthetic. There really aren’t any other companies out there doing something like it: minimal, luxe, professional, something you could take to work, versus a rainbow of cuteness. Now, don’t get me wrong: I LOVE a good rainbow of cuteness (has anyone else discovered Rainbowholic and her amazing YouTube channel!? I am obsessed) but alas, I can’t take (too much) kawaii to work, especially as I keep rising up in my field. So I was super excited to discover this brand and even more excited to discover the subscription box. I’ve always wanted to try a stationery subscription box, but they definitely tend to the cute side.
In Japan, there are lots of “adult” work-friendly stationery items, but what you find in the US commercially is more on the basic agenda/Office Depot side of things, or perhaps the very glam, hyper-illustrated, very crafty, or teacher-y Erin Condren type style. All of those options are great in their own way, but just not my style. Cloth & Paper fills the minimal, mature, business-but-still feminine aesthetic void, with a very specific focus on planners and organization. Russell + Hazel is probably the closest brand to C&P I can think of, but as much as I love Russell + Hazel, they’re not as in tune with the planner community as Ashley, C&P’s founder, clearly is – you can tell from following them on Instagram that Ashley has the MOST fun posting previews and new products. She’s a true stationery nerd!
Okay, enough preamble: on to the review!
C&P has three subscription box options: penspiration, stationery, and pen + stationery, which includes both, and is the one I went for, in order to do a thorough review of this planner box from a bullet journaller’s perspective.
It was super fun to unbox this little envelope full of unique pens! I love the envelope, which reads “there is luxury in simplicity” (yesss) and you can use as an everyday carry; the giant gold paperclip (which is actually a pen holder!) is a great extra touch. I also adore the pen test card because you can try out your new goodies right away without having to dig out a notebook.
All of these pens are 0.5 gel pens. Although I usually like very thin pens, the black pen on the far right in the photo below is my favorite. This pen is tested on the the first line on the “pen test” card. It’s weighty and feels amazing in the hand. I also like the mint pen, which looks lovely and writes super smoothly. The blue pen’s my third favorite, and the multi-pen is nice though pretty standard. The penspiration box also comes with two refills, and it was unclear to me which pens they were supposed to match with.
I do wish they had printed a card with the box to describe the different pens! You can find all the information on their blog on their website (the pens for August are listed here if you’re curious) but it’d be nice to have it with the pens themselves in the box, too.
I’ll be honest: the pens weren’t my most favorite, BUT to be fair that’s because I’m a super-thin pen person, and although it was fun to test all these beauties out, I probably won’t use them regularly, because I prefer a 0.3 or 0.4 pen. The pens themselves are great quality, though, and definitely unique! If you love pens and aren’t quite as picky as me, you will LOVE this box.
To me, this is the real star of the show. For this box, you note which type of insert you use (there are tons, from Travelers’ Notebook to A6 to Personal and more). I chose the “I don’t own a ring or discbound planner” option and got the same items in the box in an A5 size, unpunched, which was exactly what I was hoping for. Here’s every single little thing in the stationery box!
A big trend in the planner (vs. bullet journal) community are decoration cards. You can collage them onto your pages or tuck them in the many pockets of a leather planner cover. I’ll probably use the August card in my bullet journal, as well as the out of office one for an upcoming vacation, but the others are a bit girly (“lipstick, Louis, and lashes”) for me personally. Still, the aesthetics and fonts are great!
Oh my lord, how gorgeous is this!? This is a 2020 dated dashboard, used in a lot of ringbound planners to divide different sections within the binder. I’m definitely going to use this as a bookmark/writing board for the new year. I love the matte frosted semi-transparent design.
These are undated daily inserts (and they give you a generous amount too!). The paper quality is lovely and smooth. I’ll definitely tape these into my bullet journal for busy times of the year!
Stickers! Gold-foiled “self care” stickers on matte black paper. These make me want to make monthly spreads again just to use these!
Dated inserts for the month of August! These I wish I could think of a better use for, but I do love the layout (what a great idea to have a monthly home for birthdays, dates, and habits). Then there are weekly layouts that are similar to these but are a newer design for 2020. They’re beautifully done.
Last were three (three! count ’em!) A5 notebooks that you can use as Travelers’ style inserts or solo notebooks. The covers are this gorgeous velvet-y matte and feel so nice – I have actually never felt anything like them! This one has a horizontal weekly layout.
This one has lined (task list) interior pages.
Finally, this one is dot grid.
You can see the inside of these notebooks on my IGTV.
While I’m definitely still firmly a bullet journaler, I love the idea of using the C&P items as a collage in my bullet journal, using the undated dailies for particularly busy days, and as inspiration for my own spreads.
If like me you’re more on the minimal side of stationery obsession, I highly recommend the Cloth & Paper subscription box. I’ll admit that it’s a bit pricey as far as subscription boxes go, but for the quantity of stationery you get and the quality of the design, I definitely think the price is worth it. This is an extraordinarily high quality box with original designs you can’t get anywhere else, and I really loved unboxing it.
By the way, I like this box so much I actually already renewed! Let me know if you like these in-depth posts, and I’d be happy to post the August box, too.
TL;DR / Cloth & Paper Pen & Stationery Subscription Box (July 2019)
Cost per month: $18 pen box | $38 stationery box | $48 pen + stationery box
(prices lower if you buy multiple months in advance)
|• Truly luxe and unique paper goods in a gorgeous minimal aesthetic||• Pens come in 0.5 sizes, so if you prefer a thinner pen like me, you may want to opt for just the stationery box|
|• Design is phenomenal: I haven’t found anything like it anywhere else!||• A bit pricey, but in my opinion worth the money: the quality is on point!|
|• Very high quality||• Some of the deco cards are a little “girly”|
|• Support a woman-owned brand!|
PS. This post is not sponsored at all. I bought the box with my own money, just renewed my subscription, and am thrilled to support this brand!