Yesterday on Twitter Roxtime asked
Where do you buy writing paper?
When she asked, I had just posted a photo of my outgoing mail on Instagram so I assumed she meant stationery rather than bound notebooks and the like.
There are lots of lovely options for stationery and writing paper but, like notebooks, each option has its own set of criteria, costs and advantages. I hope to cover a few but please leave comments and questions if I missed something.
If you’re looking, first and foremost, for paper for fountain pens then I would recommend purchasing Original Crown Mill ($9 for a pad of 100 half-sheets) or G. Lalo ($12 for 50 half-sheet pad) paper and envelopes ($9-$14.50 for pack of 25), both available at Goulet Pens and other fine shops that sell fountain pens and stationery.
Paper Source sells full 8.5″x11″ sheets of paper (a 10-pack is about $2.50 though I’d avoid the metallics which tend to resist ink more so than plain paper) in packs and could be cut in half for a more classic letter size in an array of colors. Not of all the paper will be great for fountain pens but its a small investment and most papers should work well with other sorts of writing tools like gel ink pens, ballpoint or rollerball. Or you could order paper directly from a paper company like French Paper — straight from the source.
If you’re feeling particularly decadent, you could purchase some of Smythson’s fine writing paper ($25 for 50 sheets) Crane and Co. carries letter sheets, some can be personalized as well but this is not an inexpensive option.
If you’re looking for flat cards, Greer Chicago carries some Original Crown Mill and G. Lalo card sets with tissue-lined envelopes and deckle edges — quite sumptuous! The Vickerey also sells a lot of European style notecard sets.
If what you’re wanting is something with decorative designs on it, first I’d recommend Rifle Paper Co. They have some lovely stationery sets and various flat and folded notecards. Chronicle Books also carries lots of paper sets and blank notecards with a wide array of designs. The paper is not always the best for fountain pens, if that’s a concern but the sets are lovely and often come with stickers to seal or use to address your envelopes.
If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for I’d recommend heading to Etsy. Some of the great options I found were letterpress lined papers from Ilfant Press, playful letter sets from La Paperie, and lots of vintage stationery and letter sets. Just do a search for “vintage writing paper” or “vintage letter sets” and you should find lots of options to choose from.
And finally, if you’ve decided to go with a plain paper option but would still like to add some flourish to it, you can look about the internet for downloadable PDF files that you could copy onto your stationery. I would recommend copying one sheet first and testing to make sure that the copier did not coat your paper in fuser oil of other ink resistant goo before copying onto all of your lovely paper. A great example of well-designed, free downloadable stationery is from How About Orange (show above).
The recent Uppercase Stationery Guide is a great resource for finding a stationery shop or custom printer near you.
(shoutout to Letter Writers Alliance for the Uppercase Stationery Guide tip)