The Inky Box Mini Pen Subscription Box Review – September 2018
The Inky Box is an art pen subscription box that was suggested by Virginia, one of our readers! Lettering and calligraphy fans, take note—this subscription sends you tools to create all kinds of unique lettering work each month. They also share tutorial content for the month’s products on their social channels!
There are two subscription levels to choose from—The Inky Box (lettering tools, supplies, and hand-lettered greeting cards for $39.95 per month) and The Inky Box Mini (2-4 of the lettering tools that were featured in the larger box for $14.99 per month).
This is a review of The Inky Box Mini subscription, which costs $14.99 per month.
MSA CONDITIONS (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About The Inky Box Mini
The Subscription Box: The Inky Box Mini
The Cost: $14.99 per month
The Products: 2-4 lettering/calligraphy tools
Good to Know: They also offer a larger box (The Inky Box) that includes much more product for $39.95 per month. New to lettering? Follow @TheInkyBox on Instagram or subscribe to The Inky Box’s channel on YouTube for tutorials, tips, and more!
Ships to: US and worldwide. International shipping is $19.99.
The Inky Box Mini Lettering & Calligraphy Subscription Review
The info card for the box lists out the products I can expect as well as some helpful tips to get me started. I love that they offer practice sheets so that I can work on my penmanship!
Pentel Brush Tip Sign Pen in Sky Blue – Retail Value $2.99
I love writing with this pen! For someone who’s relatively inexperienced with lettering, this pen is a nice introduction. The brush shape gives an elegant quality to each stroke, but it’s not so brushy that I feel like I need to exert a ton of extra caution or skill in using it.
Manuscript Modern Calligraphy Set – Retail Value $13.99, Listed Value $11.95 (currently out of stock online)
The info card lists this kit as $11.95, but I actually found it for about $2.00 more on the Michael’s site shop. This kit is the perfect thing to get me started with old-school calligraphy with ink and nibs, etc. I’ve used ink with brushes to do illustrations, but it’s a slightly new experience working with metal nibs. It’s sort of fascinating watching the ink suck up into these metallic nibs. I like that you get three different shapes to play with.
There’s a small sheet of instructions in the kit. I have to practice my cursive…
I’m a little clumsy so far. I found that the ink bleeds a bit, leading to slightly Halloweeny-looking letters. I think that’s more of a problem with the (super simple) paper I’m using rather than the ink itself. That said, if you’ve got any hot tips, let me know! (Is there a type of paper you most prefer to work with when you’re using ink like this?)
Practice Sheets – Listed Value $3.00
Part of the value of the box, as listed on the info card, comes from these practice sheets, which are available to download and print off of The Inky Box’s website.
The Verdict: Remember that I’m looking at this box as a beginner, but that being said, I really enjoyed it. There was just enough inside that I felt inspired to pick up one of the pens and practice, but not so much that I felt overwhelmed or like I had so much stuff that I couldn’t possibly get use out of, being an amateur. Had I used the retail value listed for the calligraphy kit, the total retail value of the tangible items in the box would be $14.94. The mini box guarantees a retail value of at least $15.00, and $14.94 is close enough to that goal to satisfy me! That said, I always feel weird about considering digital “items” part of the retail value of the box. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the time and effort that went into making them! I just feel like they’re so easily accessible (you need to have the link, but you don’t have to be a subscriber) that it’s hard to consider them being $3.00. To be clear, I DO think they’re an awesome part of this box and something that sets this subscription apart from others (which don’t give a lot of tutorials/instructional content). I just wouldn’t naturally consider thinking of them as going towards the total retail value of the box. What do you think?
To Wrap Up:
Can I still get this box if I sign up today?: No. New subscribers will receive their box the first week of the following month, according to The Inky Box’s FAQ page.
Value Breakdown: The box cost $17.48 (cost + $2.49 shipping to Pennsylvania), but I estimate a total retail value of $16.98 not counting the digital practice sheets (or $19.98 with the practice sheets). If you DO include the practice sheets, the subscription box value does exceed its cost, meaning you pay slightly less for each item vs. the retail values I found. Proportionally, that’s:
- Sign pen – $2.62
- Calligraphy kit – $12.24
- Practice sheets – $2.62
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What do you think of The Inky Box Mini?