Vintage Gift Boxes Are Back In Style

We love to celebrate businesses that celebrate design. And when they do so with an authentic taste for all things vintage and historic we’re singing from the reclaimed rafters. Find Everything Historic recently sat down with Cara Gibbons-Neff, one of the founders of Paper Rock Scissors (PRS), to learn firsthand about their new line of thoughtfully-curated gift boxes for those looking for unique gifts for any special occasion.

Paper Rock Scissors is located in historic Saint Michaels, Maryland on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in a adaptively-reused mill, and is owned by Cara and her partner Liz Cowee. The store just recently celebrated their one year anniversary and is stocked with an ever-evolving array of artisan goods made by independent craftspeople and retailers from down the street and around the world. Paper Rock Scissors also offers hands-on workshops for people looking to hone their inner artist, learn new crafts, and get up close and personal with artisans. If you are anything like me—a bit overwhelmed by the gift giving process—Cara + Liz are available to kick around some great customized gift box ideas that we will be sure to wow even your most discerning gift receiver!

How did the idea for your new customized gift boxes evolve?

Customers were repeatedly coming to the store looking for customizable gifts, which was when we had our light-bulb moment to create our new product line called Gift Boxes by PRS (Paper Rock Scissors). The boxes are handmade by either a company located in the mid-west that incorporates salvaged wood or made by my craftsman father, “Nifty Neff”, who also uses salvaged wood materials. The gift boxes are completely customizable and can be created for any occasion such as weddings, births,  welcome home packages bought by real estate professionals for their clients, anniversaries, Mother’s and Father’s day, baby moons, corporate gifts or any other occasion that warrants a special gift.

 How do you curate the contents for each box?

Just like our store, we support independently owned retailers and artisans both local to the Eastern Shore, nationally and world wide. Most of our artisans utilize re-purposed materials to create their products like re-claimed railroad spikes for oyster shuckers by Carolina Shuckers and re-purposed sail cloths made into bags by Bay Bags. We’ve also gotten a lot of interest and orders from top selling real estate agents who want to express their gratitude to home buyers and sellers who have recently either purchased or sold their homes. In addition, we have have created many customized boxes for wedding showers, wedding party gifts and anniversaries. We also work with a monogrammer to personalize the gifts within the box for an extra personal touch.

What kind of experience are you trying to create for your gift box recipients?

One of the design principles that we incorporate into all of our gift boxes is to ensure that all four of the senses are stimulated. For example, one of the recent gift boxes a real estate agent purchased for his client to celebrate their new purchase included a sage stick to bless the home with a companion chime, a sea salt candle to enhance the scent the space, super luxe linen tea towels, locally made granola and honey to enliven to taste buds, handmade tea to calm the nerves after making it through the home buying process, locally made soap based on a multi-generational herbal soap to wash your hands after lifting and unloading boxes, as well as other miscellaneous items such as toilet paper (that can be customized)––an often overlooked item when moving!!

In addition to customizable boxes do you have standard boxes?

Absolutely. Paper Rock Scissors offers standard boxes branded as “Chesapeake Bay Boxes” that come in small, medium and large and range in price from $75-$125. Our custom boxes start at $125.  For people who want to tailor a gift box for a specific person or event, that’s where we love to work creatively one-on-one with our customers. One of the services that are included with the purchase of our custom boxes is our input. If you provide us with the occasion and some context about the person getting the gift we can assist in finding unique gift box contents. Some people have a strong idea about what they want and if they do that is great. If the thought of creating a custom box is intriguing yet overwhelming, this is where our expertise in curating specialty gifts and design elements comes into play. Either way, we are here to help.

For more information on Paper Rock Scissors’s vintage and customizable gift boxes take the tour at

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