Hoarding on cute stationery is an obsession that I’ve carried with me since childhood. I was the type of kid to linger around the craft and stationery aisles of National Book Store for fun. On good days, I could afford to walk out with a little paper or sticker knickknack to add to my collection. On other, more frequent (read: bad) days, I’d exit with a long list of things I wanted to add to that same collection.
Oftentimes, it was difficult to find unique stickers, tapes, and notebooks that fit my taste, and the ones that I did like were usually imported from the U.S., Japan, or Australia, and way out of my budget. I eventually learned to sift through the bins at Tickles, Book Sale, and stalls in Divisoria for my fix of affordable and quirky stickers, notebooks, and memo pads. Many of these, as I later discovered, were sourced from artists in Taiwan, China, Korea, and Japan, where the stationery industry is big business and materials are collected by people of all ages.
Back then, accessibility and lack of budget were the things stopping me from plunging into debt by way of stickers. When the pandemic hit and many of these materials became readily online at the tap of a button, I knew I was in (DIY) danger. I’d already seen this coming in college, when specialty craft stores began setting up shop on Instagram and in malls, offering washi tapes and more specialized art materials for hobbies like calligraphy and watercolor art. But it was only at Sticker Con 2020 that I realized how much the market for local creators had grown. Armed with a reasonable sticker budget, a friend and I made a whole morning out of our trip to the convention center, going through aisles and booths manned by artists themselves; many of them students and fresh graduates.
We were overwhelmed by all the options for self-designed stationery. At the con, the dilemma was no longer in the lack of design choices — the decision-making process now boiled down to whether I wanted my stickers with vinyl, holographic, or scratch-proof glitter finishes, or if I wanted them as singles, peel-off, or as a single sheet. There were sheets specifically made for planners and design embellishments, different art styles and aesthetics. Needless to say, I did not stick to said reasonable budget.
TikTok and YouTube have contributed to this cute stationery revival (I, too, am guilty of watching “journal with me” videos for hours on end), upping the demand for bujo (bullet journal) accessories and other decorative paper items like stickers and washi tapes. It’s a good thing, then, that in the past two years, more independent designers and illustrators have opened online shops independently and on major e-commerce platforms.
This year, I went down the sticker hole once again after searching for gifts for friends and hoping to replenish my own stock (I used up a lot of it after going back to journaling again in 2020 as a way of looking back at happier times and memories made before the pandemic).
The process of finding these involved asking artist friends and going wherever the algorithm would take me, so here are some of my favorites from the bunch — a selection of artist-run shops. Browse through and find the perfect gifts for your stationery-loving pals. Or you can be like me and treat yourself to the little knickknacks you didn’t get to have as a kid— surviving another year means you earned it.
The artist behind Paperaica chronicles her own journal through her @raicadaily_ Instagram account, which is probably why her shop contains merchandise made to embellish a spread, including notepads and stickers that come in a variety of sizes and materials.
Some favorites include the planner sticker sheets, specifically the Corgi Butts Planner Stickers (₱65-₱85, depending on material) and the Bookshelf Stickers (₱55-₱75). Each listing for the planner stickers allows you to choose the designs and material you want them to come in. And since the terms can be confusing, she’s provided a guide to the different sticker paper options, complete with suggestions for the best types of spreads to use them for.
For those who like to go for the more rustic style of journaling, Alyanna Nebreja’s detailed illustrations take inspiration from nature and other vintage objects. The bestsellers in this shop are the Tall-stemmed flowers foiled bookmarks (₱35 per piece) and Philippine Native Blooms and Native and Endemic orchids Floral postcards (₱55 per piece).
If you’d prefer them in sticker form, they also come in sticker sheets (₱79-₱95 per sheet of nine) available in white matte, light kraft, premium matte, and transparent sticker paper. If you’re willing to splurge a bit on tape for your spreads, you can also check out Alfajoje’s line of floral washi tapes (₱199-249).
Inspired by the world of Studio Ghibli, artist Kara Mia Roxas creates whimsical scenes out of ordinary settings, made extra cute with their own cast of frogs, chicks, bunnies, and more. Their art is a blend of East Asian and Filipino influences and a vibrant color palette, all translated into die-cut stickers, prints, and keychains. They also have a few pieces of fanart with their own spin on beloved characters like Kirby, Gudetama, and Lumpy Space Princess.
The “Mini Mart” holographic print at ₱166 (which also comes as a glitter scratch-proof sticker priced at ₱40) from their Series 8 is one standout item, as well as their fruit candy holographic stickers (₱40 per piece).
If there’s one type of sticker sheet that any scrapbooker can’t have enough of, it’s the letter sticker, so it’s a good thing Pam of Plcreates has different options to choose from (bonus that they’re all waterproof). The Alphabet sticker sheets (₱115) come in different font and gradient color options that can match the vibe of any journal spread.
Their bestseller is the “Trinkets” sticker sheet (₱40-₱45) composed of retro furniture items (also available as postcards, priced at ₱25), but the shop also carries a line of A6 journal page refills, stationery sets, and washi tapes.
Founded by Malaysian Ai Ting Eeo, Navy Peony is made up of a seven-person team based in the Philippines. Under the creative direction of main artists Andrea Cervantes and Chad Jimenez, the shop offers plenty of watercolor-based designs for stickers (singles and sheets), washi tapes, prints, and gift cards, but the products that really stand out in their roster are the gold foil-stamped planner sticker sheets, which come in planner-ready Motivational Quote and Fitness and Workout sheets priced individually at ₱86.
Other assorted shops:
For purely decorative peel-off shape stickers, here are several shops that make high-quality sheets. While these are designed to be used on polcos and toploaders (a.k.a. K-pop photocards), the sizes of each deco sticker make them ideal for scrapbooking, too.
Anxious Beans, meanwhile, has the Star Drops sticker sheet (₱18 - ₱23) that comes in different variations and colors, with themes aptly named after outer space terms like Nebula, Starburst, and Glacial Ice.
For fandom-inspired deco sheets, check out Pomelo Paints Co. — they make deco sheets inspired by TWICE, BT21, “Animal Crossing,” and Tamagotchi.