Erin Condren Seasonal Surprise Box Fall 2021 Review
The Erin Condren Seasonal Surprise Box is a quarterly mystery box featuring exclusive items and sneak peeks from the cult favorite planner, stationery, and organization brand. Boxes usually include items like stickers, notepads, notebooks, writing tools, interchangeable covers, and lifestyle items to help you stay organized and live your best life no matter the season. Whether you’re already an EC fanatic or just getting started with creative planning, they’re a great way to grow your collection and add some seasonal flair to your planner.
While many devoted fans make a point of ordering the “SSB” each season, they are not sold via subscription and are only available for purchase for a limited time. The box costs $40 and promises an over $80 value.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
FYI – Unfortunately, this box is no longer available. The winter box will be on sale for a limited time only in late November.
Fall 2021: “The Secret Ingredient is Love”
This year’s fall box is all about getting ready for the upcoming holiday season. EC fans often look forward to the box design itself as much as the contents of the box. This one came with a beautiful design of colorful pumpkins on the outside. The inside featured Erin Condren’s signature Mid Century Circles design with a quote describing the box’s theme – the secret ingredient is love. These boxes are sturdy and fully reversible, which makes them great for regifting or storing seasonal items. Now let’s take a look inside!
The first thing you see inside the box is an informational card explaining the theme and breaking down what’s in the box, including each item’s retail value and whether it’s an exclusive item or a sneak peek. It looks like this light pink and raspberry color scheme will be featured on many of the items in this box. These colors are beautiful but don’t exactly scream fall to me, so I’m curious to see if the items will inspire dreams of crunchy leaves and candy corn.
Mid Century Circles Tea Towel – Retail Value $12
A piece of this dainty tea towel was featured in spoilers on the Erin Condren social media accounts, leaving fans to debate if it was a tea towel or an apron. The color scheme may not work in everyone’s kitchen, but it’s a cute prop to display in photos of whatever you’re cooking or baking this holiday season (which I’m guessing is what the brand is hoping you’ll use it for.) This item is advertised as being exclusive to the fall box, but I could easily see Erin Condren selling it with different designs or color schemes to match different holidays in the future.
Raspberry & Vanilla Metallic Marker Duo – Retail Value $5.50
One of the things I look forward to most about the Erin Condren Seasonal Surprise Box is adding to my stash of colorful writing tools. These markers write in thick letters and have a subtle metallic shimmer to their ink. The raspberry marker comes out in a mauve pink while the vanilla is silver. These are not colors I typically associate with fall, but I’m happy to add them to my collection. They’ll be really pretty to use for holiday cards and gift labels. They’re labeled as a sneak peek, which means if you missed out on the box, you’ll be able to purchase them from Erin Condren at some point in the future. I’d love to see these come out in additional colors like gold or blue.
Rose Gold Metal Asterisk Pen Holder Clip – Retail Value $5.50
This one is for the true planner nerds! While I’ve seen mixed reactions to many items in this box on social media, everyone seems to agree on the usefulness of this cute little clip. The pen holder stretches like a hair elastic so you can hold pens of different sizes, and the clip fits snugly around the pages of a notebook, planner, or notepad. It’s perfect for meetings, events, or planning on the go. I also appreciate that the color scheme matches two other items in the box I’d be likely to use it with, which we’ll get to in a minute. The clip is a sneak peek, so we may see more designs headed to the Erin Condren website.
Metallic Rose Gold Garden Cover – Retail Value $13
Snap-on interchangeable covers that can be swapped out depending on your mood or the season are one of the major selling points for Erin Condren planners and notebooks. There are fans out there who have literally collected hundreds of them. Naturally, they’re one of the most highly anticipated items in the Seasonal Surprise Box. But this season, I was one of the many fans who was slightly bummed not to receive a cover that matched the adorable pumpkin design on the outside of the box. While this cover is very pretty and looks great with the pen holder clip, the floral design still feels more spring-like to me. I understand the desire not to go too overboard with pumpkins for fall, but this cover was a bit of a letdown. This cover is exclusive to this box, so if you don’t happen to like it, you might be able to find someone to swap with.
Cupcake Gifting Set – Retail Value $8.50
Early editions of the Erin Condren Seasonal Surprise Box have featured more substantial lifestyle items like umbrellas or travel mugs, so some customers were disappointed to receive a set of disposable cupcake gift boxes in this year’s fall box. It also kind of felt like a slightly cynical ploy for the brand to unnecessarily insert themselves into your holiday gifting. That being said, the set does make it easy to transport or gift baked goods, and I’ll probably use it to bring some homemade cranberry orange muffins to my parents’ house on Thanksgiving.
Holiday Petiteplanner – Retail Value $14
This holiday planner is an item many fans had been asking for and is definitely one of the highlights of the box, even if it feels like it’s arriving a little early. This thoughtfully designed notebook has pages designed to help you organize all aspects of the holiday season, from décor to budgeting to meal plans. It even gives you space to check in on your mental health! I can’t wait to use it to jot down gift ideas, menus, and holiday memories. It’s exclusive to this box, but I’m hoping EC will bring it back in some form every year.
Seasonal Sticker Sheet Duo – Retail Value $5.50
Pumpkins, at last! The Seasonal Surprise Box always comes with exclusive stickers, and these felt like a fresh take on fall. I love the colorful pumpkins and the gold leaves on the functional stickers. The hard part will be deciding where to use them. I could see these going into my planner or on name cards for my Thanksgiving table.
Notepad with Stand Up Holder – Retail Value $24
This weekly notepad in a rose gold stand-up holder was the big-ticket item in this season’s box. If you have room for it in your kitchen, this would be ideal for meal planning. It would also work for tracking assignments or meetings at the office. The sheets are perforated for ripping out shopping lists or recycling last week’s sheet. I love the sophisticated look of the rose gold holder, and nothing beats Erin Condren’s beautiful paper. I will definitely be putting this notepad to use as soon as I can find a place in my tiny apartment to put it. One word of caution – do not clip the pen holder clip directly onto the notepad holder. Unfortunately, it will smudge. But if you want to use the clip with this item, you can clip it directly onto the notepad for a convenient writing set. This is a sneak peek item, and I’m intrigued to see what other variations might show up later.
Value – Was This Box Worth It?
The Cost: $40 plus tax (Shipping is free within the U.S.)
- Mid Century Circles Tea Towel – $12.00
- Raspberry & Vanilla Metallic Marker Duo – $5.50
- Rose Gold Metal Asterisk Pen Holder Clip – $5.50
- Metallic Rose Gold Garden Cover – $13.50
- Cupcake Gifting Set – $8.50
- Holiday Petiteplanner – $14.00
- Seasonal Sticker Sheet Duo – $5.50
- Notepad with Standup Holder – $24.00
Erin Condren advertises the Seasonal Surprise Box as offering an $80 value for $40. You can find plenty of pens, stickers, covers, and petiteplanners on the Erin Condren website that will back up the retail value of these items. The Notepad with Standup Holder is comparable to one of their clipfolios, which sell for $26. The only items where you have to take their word for it on the value are the Cupcake Gifting Set and the Mid Century Circles Tea Towel. Even if the listed retail value is slightly inflated on these two items, you’ve definitely gotten more than your $40 worth of value from the other items in the box. Everything adds up to $88.50 for this box.
Overall, I enjoyed this box. While I can nitpick that the box seemed to be getting a little bit ahead of itself with the holiday theme, and I would have enjoyed seeing more pumpkins, I will definitely incorporate several of these items into my planning and organizing. As usual, it was full of fun surprises that will make my fall a little bit cuter and a whole lot more productive.
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Things to Know
When is this box available? Unfortunately, this box is no longer available. The winter box will be on sale for a limited time only in late November.
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