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This is a review of a box of curiosities I received for Christmas from a friend. I had seen them in TK Maxx and pointed them out to her as something I'd love to own but wouldn't buy for myself and unbeknownst to me she went back in secret and bought them for me! I don't think you can see a picture here which is such a shame, but if you type "vintage inspired curiosities" into Amazon you can see a picture if you're curious!
What on earth is it?
The box is just full of fancies and fripperies for making special gift wrap and mailings. It is ridiculously miniature and fussy that every time I look at it I get a little kick of joy! The word Curiosities is also printed down the spine of the box if you wanted to keep it like a book on a shelf you would know the clever little secrets within the box. The back of the box has a flyer in it to explain the contents, with a picture to suggest how they may be used. It promises to add elegance to your gifts, holiday cards or invitations.
What's in it?
This gift box features a sturdy clear acrylic cover and a pull-out drawer with 9 compartments filled with 10 notecards and glassine envelopes, 2 yards of baker's twine, 2 glass vials of rhinestone glitter, Gold foil sticker sheets, Velvet fabric flowers, Velvet fabric leaves, 2 yards of specialty gift ribbon, 10 gift tags.
Price and availability
As I mentioned, my set came from TK Maxx but you can also buy this online. Amazon are selling it for £14.44. I think mine was around £8 though.
Is it worth it?
The packaging is so darling, with each item displayed on its own shelf and box, like miniature pigeon holes with a clear front to enjoy each section. They are all nestled in tissue paper too. You could buy each individual item at a haberdashery and it may be cheaper but a lot of the charm of this item is in the packaging.
What will I do with it?
At the moment I have it on my windowsill on the landing so every time I run upstairs or down I get a glimpse of it. It really is that darling an item. I think if I use any items I will replace them or fill their hole with something equally charming.
I mentioned the run down of what you get above but I will enlarge on the uses of each:
1. Mini luggage labels - can be used on card making or on gifts as they say from and to on with an old fashioned hand pointing.
2. Yellow fabric flowers - could be glued on a gift box or used in a craft project
3. Pink ribbon - could be used on hair styles or in crafting
4. Mini cards and envelopes - I love these as a way of making a label for a gift. I have a few from Tiffany too that I am saving for this purpose (they are blank)
5. Rhinestones in glass vials - nail art, paper craft, cards, lots of uses, I love these as they are nice and big and add a bit of bling to any project. The jars are stoppered with a tiny cork that is just adorable!
6. Tags - these have an Alice in Wonderland look to them with 'open me' written on them and they are already stringed up ready to use
7. Baker's twine (red and white) - use it to make a brown paper parcel look really traditional with this thin twine. You get 2 yards on a card. I had a look on ebay and you can buy this in all different colours. I don't know why I love this twine but I do. I bought some pink and white candy striped baker's twine to use so I don't have to break into this one. Even the card it is on is traditional. It's strong and handy to have in for all kinds of jobs. I love this.
8. Green fabric leaves, will be used with the yellow flowers I think
9. Stickers that say 'un petit cadeau' (a little present) on a sort of gold scroll. I would use these on a gift.
This box set reminds me of a dolls house, everything is so precious and tiny and delicate. I think it is highly priced for what you get but I got mine in December and I am still looking at it in awe now (so the novelty hasn't worn off!) I think the title is so cute and apt for the contents - a box of curiosities. I am looking forward to using the contents when I can bear to break into it. I think it will be most effective used with traditional brown wrapping paper and especially on tiny little thoughtful gifts for people.
I think this is really quite a strange little collection of items. Some of them I love and find so charming and others I think well it's OK but I could live without. I am most taken with the baker's twine for some reason and the tiny cards and envelopes. It would be fun to use this to write little love notes for your beloved and I can imagine this kind of frippery was popular in the Victorian era! Using the items will require a clear mind and a steady hand to create that precious look. I will definitely keep the cabinet style box and refill the compartments with my own take on 'curiosities' once the contents are used.
I would add that this is probably not something that everyone would enjoy receiving as a gift but for me it just ticks all the boxes and is really unusual whilst retaining some style and class unlike some of the other junk I enjoy collecting.