Korea Stationery Haul
I’ve been back from Korea for a while now, and I thought it was finally time to share the stationery items I bought during my trip. I stayed in Seoul for the most part and had a few days to myself towards the end to explore the shops I’ve been wanting to check out. This post is exclusively focused on what I purchased, but you can find more information about each place I went to through my Instagram stories (Korea ‘19 highlights) and past posts I’ve made that I’ll link below. Let’s jump right into it!
The main item I purchased from The T.I.ME was the passport size wallet insert made by a brand called POSH PROJECTS. It came in a few different colors (black, brown, and blue), but I chose the black one to make sure it goes with everything I already own. I think it will be really helpful if I ever decide to use my passport traveler’s notebook as a wallet - and even if I don’t, I can use it to hold washi sample cards and other journaling items for on-the-go.
The store also had a few wooden stamp sets available that were created in collaboration between the Taiwanese brand Tools to Liveby and artist Naho Ogawa (TTLB x NAHO). I had never seen these before, so of course I was excited. The floral set seemed to be the most versatile for my needs.
As for the tape rolls, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they had some of the older limited edition washi from Traveler’s Company! More specifically, they were the Traveler’s Star Edition releases in the brown/orange and blue/green combination. I also grabbed another masking tape that was branded with The T.I.ME’s logo and imagery because I love having the opportunity to get unique items that I can’t get elsewhere.
Finally, I picked out a brass vintage laundry pin from their neatly organized display. I kept it on my blue passport TN throughout my trip, then transferred it to my regular olive TN when I came back.
At Object, I was drawn to cute and quirky designs from independent creators. A great example would be the artist Gimgre, who I had been following on Instagram - I was thrilled to find her sticker sets available here. Then, a monthly memo pad from Ahmugae-c caught my eye because of its old school look that immediately reminded me of my elementary school days in Korea.
Another brand I discovered was Bakban Design that sold food-themed items. When I saw the rice and dumpling masking tapes, I knew I had to buy them for my collection. They also had a bread sticker sheet with color variation, which was a great addition.
I unashamedly love coffee and am a daily coffee drinker, so the thin coffee masking tape from 3months was a no-brainer. The other two masking tapes from oh, lolly day! were different from anything else I had, but their particular aesthetic really appealed to me. I always think, “how often can I use this design?” when I buy stationery items, and I felt that they were both functional enough for me to justify placing them in my little shopping basket.
Lastly, I got one sticker sheet from Ajassi that featured a design called “family lying down.” I thought it was such an adorable and relatable concept! It would be perfect for a weekend journaling session or even a relaxing travel journal page.
Sangsangmadang serves as a cultural center in different parts of Korea to elevate independently made movies, performances, and artwork. They have a design square and market as well where they sell stationery. This place was where I finally located the color mood dot stickers from some mood design! I first found out about them when I received a few sheets as a gift. Since then, I had been determined to purchase them during my stay in Seoul. Luckily, I was able to get in touch with the brand directly through Instagram, where they kindly directed me to the Sangsangmadang shop for their latest stock. As you can see, I stocked up on all sorts of colors, plus a beautiful pink-blue gradient memo pad and a set of facial expression stickers.
The only other item I ended up buying from here was this small travel journal with a kraft cover from O-CHECK Design Graphics. The design inside is very simple (days 1-16 with grid and blank areas on each spread) and I liked the portable size. I’ve been all about traveling light in my recent trips, so I imagined it would be useful for carrying around in a small travel bag for random notes and doodles.
Stamp Mama had rows and rows of stamps displayed in each corner of their store, so it took my eyes a while to focus and find what I really wanted. In the end, I managed to narrow my choices down to these three wooden stamps. The first two from Note For I chose out of versatility: the 1-12 stamp reminded me of a to-do or process list, whereas the square stamp could be used for a number of different situations (I currently have a preference for the “keep” side).
The third and tiniest stamp of them all was from Catslife Press, which I didn’t know was based in Oregon, USA! I bought this specific “just for you” design because it was perfectly suited for adding that final touch to happy mail envelopes.
Mary Brown was a part-stationery, part-lifestyle store with a lush interior full of plants. The store carried products from well-known brands like Traveler’s Company and Tools to Liveby, but they also had a corner for brands that were new to me. After picking up the coffee stickers from Midori, I noticed the interesting sheets of patterns bundled together from Trolls Paper. Upon closer inspection, I found out that they were stickers! The cut lines were harder to see - I had a strange feeling that was almost intentional, so someone wouldn’t necessarily know what shapes the stickers would be from taking a glance at the sheet. It was such a fresh approach to everyday stickers that I picked up a pack.
The last few items I want to show you were random bits I picked up from my walks. I didn’t intend to shop for these, but ended up making a purchase when I happened upon them. It was probably the countless cherry blossoms I saw in Korea that inspired my wallet - the next thing I knew, I was buying cherry blossom stickers and masking tape from Artbox. Then, I spotted the writing pad masking tape - the red squares used to be what I wrote in as a child in order to learn proper spacing between Korean words - which washed me over with nostalgia. Despite the nostalgia goggles, I’ve been putting the red and cream colored masking tape to plenty of use since I’ve been back.
Last but not least, I found a South Korean map pin when I visited the Seoul Tower gift shop. The pin was made by a brand called Inmoongonghak and I couldn’t take my eyes off of how delicate and well made it was. As someone who spent their early childhood years in Seoul, it meant a lot to me to get this one. I’m planning to put it on one of my beloved stationery pouches.
If you’ve read this far, I’m impressed! Anyone who knows how much I love stationery also know that I can talk their ears off about it if they let me. I appreciate you being here and letting me share my haul from Korea. I hope to write more long-form content in the coming months, so look forward to it. Until then, stay creative!