31 July 2023

Review: Care Packages by Michelle Mackintosh

Care Packages by Michelle Mackintosh book cover

A few years ago, I adored reading Snail Mail: Rediscovering the Art and Craft of Handmade Correspondence by Michelle Mackintosh so much that it made my Top 5 Books of 2015 list. Snail Mail is all about re-discovering the art of sending cards and letters in the post and is chock full of inspirational ways to beautify your mail. It really is a love letter to snail mail and my review struck a chord with other readers.

A year later, the author published Care Packages - Celebrating the Art and Craft of Thoughtfully Made Packages by Michelle Mackintosh and I've been happy in the knowledge this book has been out there in the world waiting for me. Do you ever feel like that?

The recent overhaul of the inter library system at my local library has reinvigorated my determination to make better use of the resources and finally get to some of the books lingering on my virtual TBR list. Surprisingly, a total of 85 of the 186 books on my TBR list are available via an inter library loan which is terrific news. However, the nature of inter library loans means books can take a few weeks/months to arrive and with a limit of 3 at any one time, it's going to take quite a while to get through this list, but what fun!

Do you read books from the library? Do you have a system or preference for which books to borrow and when? Okay, back to the task at hand.

Care Packages is beautifully presented in a delightful hardback cover, and the content is enticing for lovers of snail mail, mail art and gifts in general. I did find the ideas presented started to sound a little 'samey' and those photographed all demonstrated a very similar aesthetic with a clear Japanese influence. If you're a stationery lover like me, you'll know that the Japanese love their stationery, specialty paper, stickers, washi tape, mini printed paper bags and cute stuff. If I ever get back to Japan, stationery stores and an owl cafe will be top of my list, but must everything be wrapped with string?

The author has lived in Japan and as well as being a writer, she's an illustrator and designer with her own range of wrapping paper, how about that! I understand Michelle Mackintosh lives in my home town of Melbourne, yet her Japanese influences are clearly evident in this book.

Care Packages by Michelle Mackintosh is bursting with attractive colour themes and plenty of care packages on show, but it didn't inspire me in the same way as Snail Mail. The layouts and designs included were appealing with plenty of vintage paper and creativity on show, but the unifying design aesthetic didn't lend itself to plenty of variety in colour palette or ideas.

If you are new to the topic, I highly encourage you to check out Snail Mail: Rediscovering the Art and Craft of Handmade Correspondence by Michelle Mackintosh first. My copy still sits proudly on my shelf having survived multiple bookshelf culls and I'll never part with it.

My Rating:

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  1. This book is on my wishlist but is very hard to find. I, too loved Snail Mail and always op shop copies to share. I haven’t seen this one but have Michelle Mackintosh’s Sustainable Gifting which is lovely but not as inspiring as Snail Mail. I follow Michelle and her partner Steve Wide (a 3RRR radio host and DJ) and their beautiful British Blue cat, Enid on Instagram

    1. Thanks Diana, Snail Mail is impossible to top and hard to match, isn't it? So glad we both love her work!


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