My girlfriend Alison will often send me a note in the mail instead of dropping me an email or shooting me a text to thank me for a cup of coffee or invite me to tea with girlfriends. Is there anything more elegant or rewarding? The vision of her sitting quietly at her beautifully appointed home, dashing off a quick word or two on her beautiful stationery, makes me feel loved and also reminds me that not everything needs to be done today, in five second stretches of attention. Sometimes we can afford to wait a day for a thought to reach a friend, or for a gathering to come together. Her notes remind me of the elasticity and gift of time — and encourage me to sit down, on occasion, without any intention of doing anything but staring out the window and having a think, as someone might have done “in the old days.”
At any rate, one lovely Magpie wrote in to request a roundup of some of my favorite affordable stationery sources, and it was oddly prescient, as I’d already been teeing this post up for some time, in a kind of loving homage to my friend Alison. May we all take a page out of her book, sit down, and write a little love note to a girlfriend, or an invitation to coffee, or a “thank you for that time you let me unravel on the phone because nothing and everything was wrong and I am nine months pregnant and over-wrought with nerves,” a card that, incidentally, I owe my sister today.
Affordable Stationery Sources for Adults.
+Haute Papier. You’ll be hard pressed to find more affordable personalized letterpress stationery. I love the range of monograms and colors they offer, and am especially drawn to the shadow-drop bold initials of the M39 style of monogram. (Also love their monogrammed cups for a special birthday weekend or festivity.)
+Dinglewood Design — another well-priced letterpress shop. I used them to make mini’s birth announcements (a custom variation on this) and they turned out beautifully. I especially love this style for personal stationery.
+So Hospitality Company for gift tags and their crest cards, especially in the gray colorway! Chic! (Also love these monogrammed ice buckets. Cute housewarming gift.)
+Cara P has fun, whimsical styles I keep coming back for — great for little notes to friends and thank yous. I am using this set at the moment!
+Dixie Designs for a range of creative and elegant styles — I’m dying over this chinoiserie set in particular!
+Oconee for minimalist cards with a Goyardesque vibe. I like Little Postage House for the same reason — and their moody color palettes are killer!
+Hi Elizabeth Rose for preppy, clean patterns.
+Missive if you like letterpress but aren’t into monograms. I love this understated, Southern-looking bee set. I love Ornament Letterpress for the same reason — how gorgeous is this lilac set or this one with the happy little mussel?
+Kate Chambers for a Rifle paper-esque look.
+Personalized notepads! As a perennial list-maker and note-leaver, I have these in practically every drawer of my house.
+Kate Spade’s boxed initial sets are a great and affordable way to get the monogram look without the price tag. The quality of her paper is insane, too. (Also love the clever expressions on a lot of her box sets — I mean, how a propos is this set in relation to Alison’s ethos?!)
+No matter what, I always have a set of staid stationery from Crane or Boatman Geller with our family name on it (“The Shoops”) and the return address on the back of the envelope. I can’t tell you how often I’ve needed stationery that reads elegant and serious — grown-up stationery, if you will — for condolences, professional interactions, notes to neighbors, etc. Neiman’s almost always has Boatman Geller pieces on sale and I usually snag them on promotion in big boxes once a year. Most recently, I bought this set.
+Dear Lola for a more modern take on letterpress monograms.
Affordable Stationery Sources for Children.
ED. NOTE: I published a separate post on this subject after this post was originally written. Even more options here!
+Sophie Puckett. I love the linen finish of her paper and the elegant water-color-esque designs on the top, like this sailboat style and these gorgeous enclosure cards/stickers, which I might actually use as ex libris plates.
+Preppy Prodigy — I am constantly reordering from here. They ship quickly (and for free) and have affordable, clean styles that are neither too baby-ish or too grown-up. I’ve ordered a bunch of their fruit-print styles and I love their book plates (great gift to send along with a book or two as a gift for a kiddo) and stickers, too.
+So Hospitality Company for Lilly Pulitzer-inspired foldover cards. So cheery for summer thank you notes!
+Piccolo Paper Company and Lemon Grace for understated, sweet designs.
+Dixie Design has some truly precious prints.
+Little Oh Louise for more whimsical motifs.
P.S. For fellow letter-writers: you need these pens. They are my all-time favorite — I have tiny, precise handwriting and they make my life very happy. I also love this Caran D’Ache pen Mr. Magpie gave me for Christmas. I carry it in my handbag daily and it brings me such joy.
P.P.S. Another reminder to slow down. If I take a minute, I realize how often I am frenetically rushing around, and I remind myself that pressure is a choice.
P.P.P.S. Little luxuries for even the smallest of apartments.
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8 thoughts on “The Best Affordable Sources for Stationery.”
Your “affordable” sites are NOT affordable. Do you live in NY? These sites are outrageously expensive. thank you.
Hi Shannon! I’m sorry these are not what you are looking for! You can occasionally find personalized stationery for a tiny bit less if you dig on Etsy, but the vendors and products I featured here are reasonably priced relative to what they cost elsewhere, especially at traditional stationer/engraver houses.
Such great sources! I like to design my own (… still doing calligraphy on the side, when time permits) and there’s some great inspiration here. In a pinch, or when I just want to drop a quick note, I’ve lately been buying postcards from local attractions and sending those – I’ve always loved receiving postcards, so why not reciprocate?!
ZOMG – designing your own is SO extra. But I love a good quickly-scratched-out postcard, too 🙂 So throwback in the most delicious of ways.
Ahhh, I have quickly bookmarked this post — I’m always hunting for beautiful letterpress stationery. I need to re-up my stash soon, so this roundup is much appreciated!
Yay! Let me know what you end up with! xx
I so rarely write thank you/general note cards. There are some beautiful options here – maybe I should try?! I only have 1 friend that regularly sends cards so my other friends might be very surprised.
Also, speaking of slowing down, are you healing well from the accident late last year? I know you decided to “let it go” and refrain from talking about it more, but I do hope that you’re feeling back to normal, even if you don’t want to discuss!
You are so thoughtful to think of me. I am feeling better — scar continues to fade and I’ve gotten sort of used to it. Still can’t believe I permanently marred my face with such a ridiculous clumsy moment but, such is life.
I say go for a thank you note writing session!!