Best of Daiso Stationery
Let’s face it – stationery isn’t exactly cheap. Sure, some washi tapes or sticky notes cost just about as much as a drink from Starbucks, but the cost easily adds up over time. There’s always the Target dollar section and the 99 Cents Store, but your options are limited. Well, let me tell you about a magical place called Daiso.
Daiso is a chain of bright and colorful Japanese stores that sell pretty much everything for 100 yen, or $1.50 in the United States. Discount stores don’t have the best reputation when it comes to quality, but you’ll be surprised by what you can find at Daiso. From false lashes and dining ware to gardening tools and novelty snacks, there’s bound to be something for everyone. For now, we’ll just focus on stationery because they have quite the selection. Most Daiso locations have at least two aisles dedicated to office and art supplies! You can’t expect premium quality for $1.50, but I’m here to share a couple of goodies that are worth looking into.
Just a heads up – nearly everything in Daiso is colorful and cutesy. I’m not exaggerating.
ENVELOPES AND LETTER SETS
It’s hard to look forward to checking your mailbox when all you’re expecting are bills and junk mail. You know what I like getting in the mail? Good ol’ fashioned handwritten letters! In this digital age, it's easy to forget how nice it feels to receive physical letters from friends and loved ones. Snail mail is the best mail, but why settle for plain white envelopes?
Daiso sells beautiful envelopes of various sizes and patterns to fit any occasion and personality. The only downside is that they don’t have adhesives to seal the envelopes with, but who actually enjoys licking those things anyway? Just use double-sided tape or any other tape, and you’re good to go. Daiso also has letter sets, each with enough decorative ruled paper, envelopes, and sticker seals for up to eight letters. I recommend using tape to seal those envelopes, too, because the sticker seals can’t hold that well. Still, these sets are fun, adorable, and pretty dang cheap. And best of all, they can brighten up someone’s day!
Whether you’re annotating a book or saving a section for later, these sticky memos will add a splash of color and personality to your pages. There are plenty of themes, color schemes, and sizes to choose from, and you can write on them, too. And if you’re not big on animals and flashy colors, don't fret – Daiso also sells generously large blocks of plain sticky notes in various sizes and subtle colors.
I still don’t understand why some washi tapes cost over $5 a piece, but I hope it's for their quality because that’s where Daiso falls short. However, if they're intended for light uses (e.g., scrapbooking and decorating planners and journals), Daiso has got you covered.
The first three tapes and bottom two actually adhere quite well. They don’t feel cheap, and you get a lot for what you pay. Some of the washi tapes even come in a pack of three for $1.50! The ones with the star, floral, stripe, and pennant patterns, however, feel like parchment paper and the adhesion isn't spectacular. But if you’re using them to decorate pages in your journal or planner, that shouldn’t be a problem.
PLAIN DOUBLE RING NOTEBOOK
I bought five more of these plain notebooks because I like them that much. The paper may be thinner and a little rougher than those in my beloved MUJI notebooks, but they’re not half bad. I was able to use most of my pens, including Tombow brush pens and Mildliner highlighters, without them bleeding through the paper.
There’s a bit of ghosting on the other side, but it’s something I’m willing to overlook. The Sharpie and Copic markers did go right through – no surprise there.
These A5 notebooks are excellent for food logs, fitness journals, quick notes, and lists. And with 80 to 100 sheets, you’ll get plenty of use out of them.
I saved the best for last because I almost never leave Daiso without these – the only exception is when they’re out of stock. Brush pens! Daiso has terrible ballpoint pens and gel pens that would give up on you before ever leaving their packaging. However, their selection of brush pens is an entirely different story. Sometimes I wonder if they’re there by accident.
For $1.50, these brush pens are amazing! They’re water-resistant, highlighter-friendly, and nicely pigmented – excellent for lettering and inking practice.
The first two are actually Zebra’s disposable brush pens, which you can find elsewhere online for $2.50. They have a firm tip, while the third pen has a flexible tip that feels more like an actual brush. And after the ink has dried, you can go over them with other mediums like highlighters, watercolor, and water-based markers.
Daiso is a wonderfully cheap place with surprisingly decent quality products if you know where to find them. Although they don’t have an online store that features all of their products, I think it’s more fun to go there in person and find something totally unexpected. I definitely didn’t expect $1.50 to add up so quickly, but we all know how hard it is to resist fun and affordable stationery. Daiso can still potentially burn a hole in your wallet if you're not careful, but at least it'll do that slowly with lots of colors and cheerful characters.