Subscription Boxes – A Surprise Treat, For Yourself, Each Month or The Perfect Last Minute Gift

Subscription boxes are the big thing at the moment and for good reason. Not only are you getting value for money. Beauty Boxes for £23, with the contents worth £108 (approx) and in these times of austerity its nice to treat yourself….as reward, as it were, at the end of the month for paying the bills and working hard. 

I love getting mail and have done since I was a kid, the only difference being now is that I no longer stalk the postman from an upstairs window. Quite frankly because I would be there all day, our postman’s round is so erratic. 
So when i heard about The Lucky Dip Club via craft magazine Mollie Makes, I had to get myself some of that action. Owner and founder Leona Baker sends out a set amount of Lucky Dip boxes and due to demand this amount increases every month. On the first of the month, around 7am, the website opens up to take orders with the option of a one off box (£18) or sign up for a monthly subscription (£15) or 6 monthly subs (£75). Postage and Packing is free within the UK and anywhere outside of the UK is a flat rate of £9.

I missed out the first month I tried to order because I foolishly underestimated the demand. I thought I’d place my order when I got back from the school run at 9am. I was sadly met with the Sold Out message. So the following month I set my alarm for 7am and also decided to to go straight to a monthly subscription to ensure I could get my goodies fix. After all you can cancel your subscription at any time.

I was already like a kid at Christmas just with the anticipation of the box arriving and it must have rubbed off onto my 6 year old son, Callum. My first boxes theme was Woodland Wonderland and before I’d even got the string of the parcel (Old fashion style) he was wrestling me to get inside it, like he was at a Black Friday Sale. And as we pulled goodies out from the tissue paper, I was suddenly reminded of my 80’s & 90’s pen pals. We used to send each other little gifts like smelly rubbers and little necklaces and if you were as lucky as me to have an American penfriend you got amazing stuff like Hello Kitty Plasters. At that time, in England, all we had was orangey elastaplast!
DIY Fox Sleep Mask

Personalised Owl Badge
It’s difficult to believe that The Lucky Dip Club has only been going for 6 months. Leona currently works from a little table in her lounge, making up each box individually with Handmade, Vintage and surprises. In the new year she is moving to a bigger flat that will allow her to have a whole room dedicated to her business. Given that Leona mailed out a total of 700 boxes for the December campaign it’s no surprise she needed to expand her workspace.  
700 December Boxes – There’ll be 800 in January

Leon ‘Lucky Dip” Lounge Office

There are plenty of new and exciting things to come, for Lucky Dip Club, in 2015. There will be a 3rd Lucky Dip Cat Club Box launching in February and these extra special boxes will become a bi-annual event. Leona will also be collaborating with Artists, Illustrators and Small Businesses, from around the UK.

There will also be a packaging redesign and the boxes will come will a pull out pamphlet that will contain giveaways, interviews with the collaborators, DIY tips for the Craft Kits and what inspiration is behind the themes of the boxes. 
Sneak Peek of December Box
Lastly, and you may want to brace yourself for this, but in January the theme is ‘Valley of the Unicorns’ and will feature the very first collaboration!
Speaking of very firsts brings me to the next subscription box I want to tell you about. Literally just launched this December is the PaperHaul box. 

My interested was first piqued, again by social media, when I saw this tweet: “Do you have friends who love postcards, snail mail, Washi tape, tags and paper loveliness? Please share #Paperhaul with them”

I have slowly been getting back into Snail Mail, and whilst I’m never going to be as prolific as 14 year old me I’m still passionate about what stationary I use. So with the reignited memory of childhood memories from Lucky Dip Club I couldn’t help myself. Getting gorgeous stationary and it comes in a parcel to your door? One bird, two stones in my book.
Having found out about Paperhaul in September it’s been an anxious wait until December to receive the box, with sign up in November. It was well worth the wait though, well worth it.

I was almost giddy with excitement opening up the box, I knew what it was because it came in a box with a lovely Paperhaul sticker on it, and Callum tried to stifle his enthusiasm this time but on seeing a card with a Moped in he was as keen as me, to rifle through the treasure trove.
Paperhaul Boxes
Vehicle Washi Tape
Snail Mail is not the only paper passion that Paperhaul satisfies. There are beautiful tags, craft & Scrapbooking papers, and Washi tape. So it’ll come as no surprise that this fledgling box has made The Guardian Top Ten Subscription Christmas Gifts. 

Paperhaul boxes cost a flat rate of £10 a month plus Postage & Packing as follows:

UK                 £2 1-2 Working Days
European £5 5-7 Working Days
Rest of World £6 10-16 Working Days

There is currently no subscription scheme, other than the Gift Subscription, so sign is by the 1st of the following month. So sign up by Jan 1st 2015 to receive your first box after Jan 14th. There is no contract so there is nothing to cancel if your circumstances change. 
*10p from each box sold goes to UK Charity Postpals.

Paperhaul is the brainchild of another small business – Crafty Creative owners, and sisters, Claire & Isobel. Their craft based subscription box launched back in July 2012, evolving from themed boxes to specific craft kits.

Isobel then emigrated to Canada in June 2013 and in October this year she left Crafty Creatives. Her sister Claire took over, with a 6 month old baby strapped to her and launched Paperhaul. Claire is hands on with both the assembly of the boxes and being a literal working mum. 

Lucky Dip Club                                    Paperhaul                                                    Postpals

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