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Paper Source Subscription Box Review – Summer 2019

Marne Orenich
ByMarne OrenichMay 31, 2019 | 21 comments

Paper Source Subscription Box Review Summer 2019

Paper Source Lifestyle Box
3.3 overall rating
6 Ratings | 3 Reviews

Paper Source has a brand new quarterly lifestyle box ($49.95 per season) that includes some of their favorite items from popular brands like Rifle Paper Co. and Lilly Pulitzer.

Being such a fan of stationery, I had to check out this subscription box! But this subscription proved to offer so much more than stationery. This first box kicks off the summer with all sorts of bright, colorful products for keeping cool and having fun.

looking down in to Paper Source box

This box was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Full contents of Paper Source subscription Box

About the Paper Source Subscription Box

The Subscription Box: Paper Source Subscription Box

The Cost: $49.95/quarter (A minimum one-year commitment paid in quarterly installments)

The Products:

  • 1 Vanilla Bean Robe Box
  • 1 Sugarfina Pink Flamingo Grapefruit Gummy Cube
  • 1 pack of 87 Summer Stickers–exclusive to the May box
  • 1 Paper Source designed Palm Print Cooler
  • 1 pack of 24 Rainbow Re-usable Straws
  • 1 Lilly Pulitzer Keychain Bracelet–exclusive to the May box
  • 1 Paper Source designed Out of Office Drink Tumbler
  • 1 Hibiscus Sangria Iced Tea container
  • 1 Sunnylife Pineapple Beverage Pool Float–exclusive to the May box
  • 1 pack of 20 Summer Cocktail Napkins–exclusive to the May box
  • 1 Mini Unicorn Snot Sunscreen–exclusive to the May box
  • 1 After Sun Face Mask–exclusive to the May box
  • 1 Rifle Paper Company Enamel Pin
  • 1 seat for a Paper Source Workshop of your choice ($40 value)

Ships to: US only

Paper Source Subscription Box Review


When you open the box, you’ll find a info card that introduces the box. (I noticed that the palm print on the back of the card actually matches the cooler bag I got in the box. More on that item later. . .)

In the envelope with the info card, I also found a voucher for a seat at an upcoming Paper Source workshop. The only issue I have here is that there aren’t any Paper Source locations near me in Pittsburgh, so the $40.00 value attached to this voucher isn’t really worth anything (unless I want to drive across the state).

Since you can only use this voucher if you have a Paper Source store nearby, I won’t be including the value of this voucher when I calculate of the total value of the box. Perhaps I can mail the voucher to a friend who would be able to take advantage of it. (Check here to see if you’re near a Paper Source store.)


Paper Source Vanilla Bean Robe Box, XL – Retail Value $13.95

Is it lame that this cardboard box is one of my favorite items from the subscription? Everything else arrived inside this super cute black and white box, which was topped off with a pink ribbon tied in a bow. I immediately was like, “I can’t wait to reuse this for storage!” It’s 11″ x 6.5″ x 6.5″ so it can fit quite a few scarves, handbags, or whatever I may want to stow away. The box is well-crafted, and I just love the little dot design—it looks like someone just took a marker to it.


Sugarfina Pink Flamingo Grapefruit Gummies, 4.9 oz – Retail Value $9.50

It’s no secret that Sugarfina makes the best gummies around. I was delighted to see these fun, summery grapefruit flamingos in the box. The flavor is undeniably delicious and tastes like REAL grapefruit, probably because these candies are made with all natural ingredients. I took these on a road trip, and they did not last very long. Each bite is super soft and packed with flavor. I love these babies.


Maggie Holmes Sticker Sheet – Retail Value $3.99 (Found here for $2.39)

I’ve been into stickers since I was a kid. Collecting them is not a habit I’ve been successful at breaking as I’ve grown up. These sticker designs, which include everything from sunglasses to convertibles, capture summer in holographic pastel colors. With 87 stickers in all, these sheets offer plenty of ways to decorate your iced coffee tumbler, birthday card envelopes, and phone cases.


Paper Source Palm Print Cooler – Retail Value $26.95

This brightly colored palm-patterned cooler bag proved useful right off the bat—I used it to take some beers over to a Memorial Day cookout. It has plenty of room, so it’d also be handy when I’m getting cold items that I don’t want to melt on the way home from the grocery store. (Hi, popsicles and frozen patties for the grill.) The bag has sturdy nylon handles that won’t rip even when I stuff it full before a road trip, and there’s even a front pocket with velcro closure (that’ll be great for holding a wallet or ID when heading to the beach) This bag is super cute, super useful, and VERY summer!


Kikkerland Rainbow Re-usable Straws, 24 ct – Retail Value $4.95

Reusable straws seem inescapable in subscription boxes these days. This box included a pack of 24 large rainbow-colored plastic straws. Each one is 11 inches long and features diagonal stripes in one of eight colors. These straws should be helpful for outdoor parties with margaritas or other sippable drinks. There are enough straws for a crowd, and they’re durable enough to clean and reuse again.


Lilly Pulitzer Round Keychain – Retail Value $18.00

This item isn’t quite my style, but I can appreciate how functional it is. This keychain can be worn around your wrist when you’re lugging a bunch of stuff around and need your keys within reach. The bracelet part has a sort of vinyl-wrapped blue floral print on it. The keyring is attached by a strong gold band topped with a charm. The bracelet part is actually large enough for me to snugly shove up above my elbow if I don’t want it rolling around my wrist like a bangle. This item would make it easy to keep track of your keys while freeing up your hands.


Paper Source Out of Office Drink Tumbler – Retail Value $12.95

It wouldn’t be summer without a reusable tumbler! The cup has a stout shape—it measures 4.5″ tall with a diameter of just under 4 inches at the top. The metallic gold lid has a rubber edge that helps it twist snugly in place. The clear straw is 7.5 inches long. The tumbler needs to be hand washed, but is the perfect size for my morning coffee or an afternoon iced tea. It’s double-walled, so whatever you put in it stays cool with minimal sweating. The words “Out of Office” are written out in metallic gold cursive on the side and are surrounded by fun summer designs like flamingos, ice cream, pineapples, and more.


The Republic of Tea Hibiscus Sangria Iced Tea, 8 ct – Retail Value $7.24

Speaking of iced tea… Paper Source included this canister of super delish hibiscus sangria tea bags from The Republic of Tea. I followed the simple instructions on the back of the package and added two tea bags to a pitcher with two cups of hot water. After steeping for five minutes, I removed the bags and added a cup of cold water and a cup of ice. One the ice was melted, the tea was ready to go into a glass filled with ice for the perfect thirst-quenching tea! I didn’t add sugar, but of course, you could do so during the hot water step. The best part is that this tea is caffeine-free, so I can enjoy it on a nice evening without it keeping me awake. It is also a beautiful, bright reddish-pink color, so it looks really fun when serving!


Sunnylife Inflatable Pineapple Drink Holder Pool Float – Retail Value $22.00 (Found here for $14.97)

I’ve learned that another staple of summer subscription boxes is a floaty from Sunnylife. Paper Source included a drink float that looks like a pineapple and holds four drinks. While I wouldn’t recommend this item for open water, it’s perfect for the pool. The pineapple is larger than you’d expect from the size of the box—it’s actually 27″ x 14″ x 4″. There’s even a holographic glitter pattern on the inside of the float that gives it a little more sparkle. They include a patch in the event that you spring a leak, too.


“Suns Out Buns Out” Napkins, 20 ct – Retail Value $6.00

The only time I use cocktail napkins is when I have company over, so these will be reserved for a summer BBQ. Each five-inch-square napkin reads “SUNS OUT BUNS OUT” in metallic gold and pastel lettering. Technically, the phrase is missing an apostrophe, but the design is still kind of fun. I could see using these to keep hands dry while holding a drink or to hold a backyard brownie.


Unicorn Snot Pink Holographic Glitter Sunscreen, 0.34 oz. – Estimated Value $1.35 (Buy a full-size 5 oz. version for $19.99 here)

I’ve gotten some Unicorn Snot glitter in other boxes, but was not aware that they made sunscreen. This tube of 30 SPF formula will be great for tossing in my everyday bag! The sunscreen is a pale pink color. While you can’t really tell from the swatch photo above, it does have glitter in there. You aren’t able to really see it until you spread it on your skin, but it packs a decent amount of sparkle without heaviness.


Leaders Insolution Daily Wonders Too Much Fun In The Sun Mask – Retail Value $5.00

Another great addition for this summertime box is a sheet mask to soothe sun-kissed sun after a long day outside. Packed with ingredients that promise to repair any damage and calm dry skin, this mask should be left on for 10-20 minutes before massaging the leftover serum into your face. I can never have too many sheet masks on hand, so this one will be waiting in the wings for the day I inevitably spend too much time in the sun without the proper SPF coverage.


Rifle Paper Co. Juliet Rose Enamel Pin – Retail Value $8.00

The final item is an enamel pin from the ever-popular Rifle Paper Co. Subscribers will get one of several different styles—I received the Juliet Rose version, which features a flower illustrated in Rifle Paper’s signature style. It’ll be a nice way to add some colorful flair to a white jean jacket.

Verdict: The first ever Paper Source Subscription Box was full of 13 colorful items that scream summer. For me, the cooler bag is probably the most useful item, with the tumbler being a close second. Not all of the items hit a sweet spot for me, but the curation was well done, and the “Out Of Office” theme was received loud and clear. I was a little bummed about the workshop voucher, since I won’t be able to redeem it, but the idea is nice. All said and done, this quarterly box has a value of $139.88, which isn’t very close to the $200 claimed value (though I am not including the $40 workshop voucher). But it does more than exceed the $49.95 cost, so I’d consider this a great deal if you like what you see.

If you’re interested in more great lifestyle subscriptions, check out our list of the 24 best subscription boxes for women in 2019!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes, this box is still available! Be aware that when you sign up, you must commit to a full year, but will only be charged once per quarter.

Value Breakdown: At $49.95 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:

  • Vanilla Bean Robe Box: $4.98
  • Sugarfina Pink Flamingo Grapefruit Gummies: $3.39
  • Summer Stickers: $1.42
  • Paper Source Palm Print Cooler: $9.62
  • 24 Rainbow Re-usable Straws: $1.77
  • Lilly Pulitzer Keychain Bracelet: $6.43
  • Paper Source Out of Office Drink Tumbler: $4.62
  • Hibiscus Sangria Iced Tea: $2.59
  • Sunnylife Pineapple Beverage Pool Float: $7.86
  • 20 Summer Cocktail Napkins: $2.14
  • Mini Unicorn Snot Sunscreen: $0.48
  • After Sun Face Mask: $1.78
  • Rifle Paper Company Enamel Pin: $2.86

Keep track of your subscriptions by adding this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

Will you be subscribing to the Paper Source subscription box?

Starting at $49.95

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"Paper Source Lifestyle Box is a quarterly subscription that delivers exclusively curated lifestyle products. Each of the four boxes contains $200 in retail value."
Marne Orenich
Marne Orenich
Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

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I will definitely have to see a few more boxes before i decide if this is worth it, but I have to admit I was so excited to see that Paper Source has a sub box now! I actually have one right across the street from me which has been dangerous since I collect stamps, stickers and stationary. 😬 this box looked disappointing to me though. I feel like there were very few items that are really what Paper Source does well. A lot of cutesy “filler” items when they could have included some beautiful rubber stamps with a summer these an a gorgeous stationary set. I would rather have a box with fewer items that have more value than s bunch of small items that I wouldn’t miss out on if I never had them in my life. Because it’s Paper Source, and I know the quality of items they have in their stores, I have to say, this is really disappointing to far, and hard to tell what age group they are targeting. I try not to be too negative in my comments and I hope I’m not bursting any bubbles here, but I love Paper Source, so was super excited to see this and maybe just set myself up to fall a little harder. Lol. I’m so dramatic. 😂 give me Paper, stickers and stamps, Dangit! I’ll take the gummies too I guess. 😂😉

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Pam I agree – that’s my concern it is going to be hard to cancel the time frame is very small and without seeing the order dates it’s going to be tricky. Marne – great review! I didn’t realize the box value was under.

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That’s my concern too I think it will be a small window of opportunity to cancel this subscription and with an invisible order even harder. Thanks for the great review Marnie. I didn’t realize that the value was much lower than advertised as well.

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Wow, I really like this season! Unfortunately, I am not game to sign up for a YEAR of boxes ahead of time. I dislike when companies force into committing to a year. I think they’d have a lot more sign ups if they just offered quarterly, with an option to upgrade for a slight discount.

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If we had a Pittsburgh store, I would be in BIG trouble!
Looks like a cute sub, but the one year commitment is a definite no-go for me!

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Great review, thanks.
Though this box is tempting, I could and would never ever sub to a box that forces an annual commitment. I’ve lost out on two subs I did annual and they went out of business. Will never do again.

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I thought the value was great and love that it was so upscale feeling and gifty! Lifestyle boxes are my fave! The tea was delicious. I’m excited to take a class. That alone made the value great!

I am disappointed too that I can’t see my subscription on my account. I think I’ll enjoy it quarterly and like not paying at once, but I have a feeling it won’t be easy to cancel.

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I agree with other comments: this box juuuust misses the mark for me. Great theme/curation, but the items are not quite useful enough to make it worth it. I will definitely keep an eye on this one, though, because I love all the fun stuff in Paper Source’s stores. If the value gets better, I can see subbing to this.

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I have trouble with calling sunscreen or ANYTHING for adults — Unicorn SNOT.

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I’m torn on this – I subscribed and was extremely disappointed by their customer service – truly the pits. I also think the terms of their subscription are barbaric – read very carefully before subscribing. That said the box was excellent! and a great value, so I’m trying not to be irritated by them, but buyer beware with these people. Of the box – I’m really excited about the class. The robe box really is stunning – large, with a beautiful ribbon wrapped around it and some festively colored packing material- which sounds weird, but it is. I’m going to use is to wrap a very special person’s present in. The key ring was kind of weird. I thought when I saw the spoilers I’d love it, but it seems far too large to really work. The insulated bag is larger than expected – I thought it was more like a lunch bag (hint hint Paper Source) more like a beach bag, but very nice. Sugarfina is always a beautiful thing, and the ice tea mix looks amazing! I received a smiling crocodile pin. I thought the curation was terrific. But as said, the customer service is terrible – when I subscribed I was told to make an account at the end of the order, however my order doesn’t show in my account because the account was made after and they said there is no way to fix this, which I think is ridiculous. I asked if they could cancel the order and then reenter it in my account and they got huffy as if I was trying to get out of my order! When I asked to speak to a manager no one ever got back to me. The people I did speak to just quoted back printed jargon from the site and didn’t even seem human. SAD. I tried quoting back what they said about making every customer happy, but they didn’t seem interested in that.

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Marne Orenich

Oh no, that doesn’t sound too good at all! Thanks for weighing in on your experience with customer service. It’s always an important part of subscriptions!
Hopefully, they will get better as the subscription grows and they’ve been learning to be more clear when signing up.
Glad to hear you at least enjoy the box!!

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I wish they shipped to Canada!

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If anyone gets this box and would like to swap the cooler tote (the Palm Tree is part of my chocolate business logo) or the tea, please let me know. Thanks!

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I love shopping at Paper Source, but I’m not really feeling this box. Hopefully fall includes more paper products. I’ll be keeping an eye out! The value discrepancy isn’t awesome.

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Marne Orenich

Emily- I was definitely expecting more paper goods as well but since they call this a “lifestyle” box it certainly gives them more of a variety to add non-stationery items. I also haven’t looked at their site much and was surprised to see what they offer!
I agree about the value discrepancy which is why we do our best to track down values for everything! 🙂
It will be interesting to see how this sub evolves!

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I don’t think I’ve ever been more on the fence about a box! I just had a baby and don’t see many pool days in my future this summer with a two year old and 6 week old at home, but know my cousin in college would LOVE everything I don’t use.

There is a Papersource store less than 10 minutes from me too, which makes it even more tempting. I’m going to keep an eye on this one for sure. If they offer any kind of discount on this first box, I’m in!

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I have a paper source just around the corner from me. I love them and they are expensive to shop with high quality items that rarely go on sale. This box is a fabulous deal to me. I can’t wait for a Fall themed box with hopefully more organizational and holiday themed items. They have the most beautiful gift wrap I’ve ever found.

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Keri S.


Quite an interesting box that was in no way what I would have expected by the name.

Thanks for the link. I checked and there Is Paper Source in my city. I’m in a burb of Dallas. So, I was surprised there was one here. They have a “Japanese Bookbinding” class and a “Making Paper Flowers” class that sound interesting!

If you don’t find anyone to give the workshop credit to, I’ll happily take it! 😁 (My paper, pen, stIcker, and other stationery supplies habit is strong. It often leads to begging!)


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Marne Orenich

Jealous! Those classes sound awesome!

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Thanks for this awesome review! It was so informative and helpful. I didn’t realize they made a subscription box and this def wasn’t what I would expect– I assumed it would primarily be filled with paper products.

It looks like a fun box. I look forward to seeing if they are able to keep this type of curation going in the next box. I don’t want to do a full year subscription unless I know they can be consistent.

Thanks again for this great review 😊

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