This month’s Bright Paper Packages box is a little different. If you’re familiar with the concept – it’s a subscription box that extols local makers, artists and designers, curating a sample of small treasures to lift your spirits every month – then you’d be equally as surprised upon opening February’s delivery. I admit that I was expecting something resplendent with the month’s favourite theme, love – but no. This month, the Bright Paper Packages team have given hearts and flowers the snub and instead have focused on something much more worthwhile: inspiring creativity.
So, this box asks subscribers to tap into their own imagination and make something with their own fair hands. This might be daunting for some, but there’s one prominent feature with arts and crafts, and that’s how cathartic they can be. No matter how stunted you think that your creativity is, anyone can have a go. Whatever you make, part of the joy is in the act of making, and there’s no denying that the final product is a source of pride. As adults, many of us don’t have the opportunity to sit down with a quiet activity, so here’s a challenge to get the creative juices flowing!
When opening the box, my first observation was that there were fewer items than expected; instead of five or six smaller items, there were only three inside. One of the items was quite bulky and weighty, so I was immediately drawn in and guessing what it could be. Seeing the theme displayed on the subscriber card, Arts & Crafts, it didn’t give too much away. I was intrigued.
Bright Paper Packages: February 2017 (Arts & Crafts):
- A Face Mask Kit from Sweet Cecily’s
- A Cactus Cross Stitch from The Make Arcade
- Tea from Jenier World of Teas
- A subscriber card
My curiosity couldn’t be contained, so I unwrapped the largest item first: a face mask kit from Sweet Cecily’s. Containing all natural ingredients, including rose water, clay and oats, this is the best thing possible to put on your skin. This will leave your face feeling refreshed and is ideal for a bit of pampering without the need for added preservatives or even refrigeration. You can whip up a mask whenever you have a quiet moment and are in need of some self-love. The kit comes with a container to mix the ingredients in to keep at the ready (or even gift to someone if you’re feeling generous). The kit should yield ten face masks and, if you’re feeling particularly creative, other adjuncts can be added to the mix, including: honey, natural yogurt and banana (really!). Basically, you know that your skin will be radiant after slathering this on, drawing out toxins naturally without relying upon any harsh chemicals. I love this and have already penned in my first session for next week.
The second item arrived in another (smaller) box: a cactus cross stitch kit from The Make Arcade. Inside is everything required to craft a small cross stitch piece, from the hoop and canvas to the thread. The company is based in Salisbury and tries to source all of its parts from the UK, so this is another project that you can feel virtuous about. I’ve attempted cross stitch before and I’m a big fan – it’s simple enough that anyone can pick it up, but there are plenty of techniques and special stitches to learn and advance with. The cactus motif is insanely adorable and very much my style, so this miniature piece will fit into my flat’s décor with ease. I’m really excited to put aside an afternoon to get started on this because it’s the perfect size endeavour to begin and finish in one sitting.
Finally, the third item is something that will help maintain your concentration during bursts of creativity: a tea pyramid from Jenier World of Teas. It’s black tea, grenadine & vanilla flavour, a curious pairing. I’ve enjoyed Jenier’s luxury teas in the past, so even though my curiosity is piqued with an unusual flavour, I’m confident that this will be both surprising and soothing. Nothing spurs on creativity like a cuppa (maybe enhanced with a biscuit for a sugar rush).
There are two Bright Paper Packages subscription options: the standard monthly box and the Bright New Year option, delivering twelve monthly surprise items directly to a recipient of your choice. The regular Bright Paper Packages subscription is available at £20 with shipping included for a one-off purchase (and other subscription options are also available at £57 for three months, £111 for six and £216 for one year, all including UK shipping). The Bright New Year is available for a one-off payment of £100 (with shipping included in the UK).
I’m looking forward to discovering my creative side and wholly approve of this month’s theme. You can cross stitch wearing a facial mask, right?