The Perfect Strangers Project #2 – A Box for Aimie

Once again, I’ve taken part in The Perfect Strangers Project, organised by Oh Comely Magazine.

Perfect Strangers, is a box-swapping bonanza that takes place across the globe. It’s very simple: they pair you with a stranger, you prepare them a box of things you think they’ll love. You pop it in the post, and cross your fingers to receive a box back. You brighten their day, and the world becomes one stranger smaller. Who knows, you might even start a friendship.


It’s exciting to embrace the unknown: your swap partner could be from anywhere from Iceland to Peru, there are no rules for what you need to include or how much to spend, although you each write a blurb about yourself and try and match their box to things you think they’ll like.

My swap partner was a Londoner called Aimie, but it’s easier if I let her explain…

I’m not really a girly fluffy kind of girl, I’m into the more ‘alternative’ scene – I have red hair, tattoos and lots of piercings! I love punk and rock music but I love to craft – I love to cross stitch, knit – anything along those lines, and I love rubber stamp making/card making (I know – a punk rock crafter – who knew such a thing existed!). I love the punk aesthetic, the DIY / zine look. I love to read zines from all over, especially on music and the Riot Girrrl scene. I love to receive music / suggestions, mixtapes ( hand made inlay card – oh yes please!) book suggestions (especially music and art based, although Haruki Murakami is one of my favourite authors). I have a huge vintage camera collection and I love to shop vintage clothing, although most of my flat is taken up by my vinyl collection which has been going since my dad gave me my first LP aged 11.

So yeah – good luck! I’m really intrigued to see what you come up with based on what I’ve said. Please don’t feel pressured to spend a lot or go to too much trouble. Cant wait to create something for you. 🙂

Initially I was stumped, we’re so different and I don’t know a huge amount about the punk lifestyle, zines or card making (I’m terrible at remembering to make or buy cards!) so it was going to be a difficult one to get right- plus you definitely can’t fit vinyls into a shoebox!

Instead, I opted for things I thought would come in really useful and hopefully reflected bits of her personality she’d mentioned, especially enjoying wrapping up her box in what I considered to be a punk style:



Top: from left-right:

  • Chai Tea – I love the box design, and the taste always reminds me of being in the middle of a jungle in India
  • Vintage Camera Stamp – such a cute wooden stamp I found and it could combine a love of cameras and card making!
  • Silver Ink – I love the look of metallics on black paper and thought maybe it might be one she didn’t have yet?
  • Aussie Colour Miracle Recharge Leave-in Conditioner – if she’d got bright red hair, it is bound to come in useful, plus I love the smell of aussie shampoos!
  • Chalk markers – they write on pretty much any surface and give such a cool effect on black paper (can you see the theme yet)
  • Fold Zine – this was the first time I’ve ever been exposed to zines as my housemate at university was part of a collaborative that started one. They are a group of illustrators who have a loose theme each issue and play a game of illustrators consequences. I think it’s fab and Aimie mentioned Zines so I thought I’d send her this one (if you want to see more of Fold check them out here)

Bottom: from left-right

  • Embroidery Threads – she likes cross stitch and is a crafter, extra thread is always welcome!
  • Notecards and envelopes – perfect for use with the silver ink or the chalk pens
  • Jar of retro sweeties – do they need an explanation??
  • Mini Canon USB Stick – I loved this when I found it, it’s camera themed and I also included a playlist of my favourite tunes, some photos and my favourite film.

When I received my parcel in return, I was blown away by how thoughtful Aimie had been and how great my gifts were! There were so many beautiful elements and she’d really taken in everything I’d told her about me and designed it around my love of travel, DIY and food. I opened my box at around midnight, after crazily packing all evening for my camping trip with university friends the next day and was exhausted and stressed, but it was such a welcome treat at the end of a tiring day!



Wrapped up in tissue paper inside a beautiful map box I received: a gorgeous silver crane necklace; a penguin classic (with the best cover ever!); a notebook from New York with a hand typed poem from Dr Seuss, a design your own mug, a pencil from Canada; some Green and Blacks chocolate minatures; tealights; another beautifully wrapped map box; a great postcard with flapjack recipes on the back; some lemon green tea; a letter explaining why each item was added; a playlist of her favourite songs; and a beautiful poesy of dried flowers. Snuck into the box was also a lego explorer, as her boyfriend said someone needed to explore the maps!

I loved the whole thing and will definitely be signing up to the next swap in November. The project happens every 6 months or so, so keep checking the website if you’re interested!