meet my (almost) dream shredder

by Grace Bonney

This year, AC convinced me that we needed to get a shredder and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve become so addicted to the sound of its chewing teeth and the cute little crinkly bits of paper it spits out that I find myself looking for things to destroy. Unsolicited credit card mail? Shredded. Annoying catalogs for things that don’t apply to my life? Toast. But despite my new-found love for ripping paper to bits, I’m constantly lamenting the ugliness of standard shredders. Some of them have funny little symbols (ours has a sticker with gnashing teeth) but I can’t help but wish for cuter color options or — my dream — a striped or dotted pattern. I know it sounds lame, but I feel that, with so many talented designers in the field, couldn’t someone apply their skills to the dull wasteland of black/silver office equipment?

Thankfully, I.D.E.A. and Yuen’to Japan heard my prayers and answered. Well, mostly. They designed this beautifully simple shredder that’s now for sale at A+R Store in California. Available in a sweet pale pink, blue or white, it’s the perfect minimal piece to display on a desktop or shelf. While I love its sleek colorful look, I still find myself wishing it was electric rather than hand-cranked, but if you don’t use a shredder frequently, it could be a perfect solution. You’re probably not going to get credit cards through this sucker, but it would be great for everyday household banking and personal documents. Click here to check it out and order online ($44). Happy shredding! xo, grace

*P.S.: Font Day is being moved to next Tuesday. Sorry for the delay!

Suggested For You


  • Confetti-cut or just long ribbons? How many sheets can it cut at once? It’s adorable, but doesn’t look that strong…

  • I have an all black one that I covered with plaid paper to make it look a little nicer! It’s electric, and I love it.

  • I think it’s a neat idea but I can buy a new cross cut shredder for $50 that isn’t manual. Not everything needs to be pretty. I’m sure you spray paint the bin on an electric one if it really bothers you.

  • maybe paper shredders could be the subject of your next before and after series? i bet some creative use of contac paper, spray paint for plastics and decoupage could give you your dream patterned shredder??

    • stephanie

      i actually tried that- the shape was really hard to deal with. but one of the boxier simple ones could be good to try with. ours is just to round and hard to cover with paper or contact paper :(


  • I also think it’s a little expensive but it’s cute! and the manual part is great…. i think people just forget how many calories they’ll burn if they just do a lil manual labor here and there…. y go to the gym when u can shred ur own paper? :)

  • Just out of curiosity, what’s the benefit of shredding unsolicited mail or catalogs you don’t want? I just put them in the paper recycling bin — I thought shredding was only for confidential documents you wanted to destroy?

    • clotilde

      no benefit at all. i simply enjoy the auto-shredder we have a little too much so i look for an excuse to shred things. i love how quickly it minces them into tiny bits. ;)


  • My shredder is SO cumbersome! I try to hide it out of sight! Perhaps I would more freely display it if I had a more attractive alternative. For now, it’s functional; good enough!

  • I bought a shredder and had nightmares that the kids would stick their fingers in (yes-it had the guard) so I returned it. Now that they are older-manual might be my speed!

  • Like you said, almost. The problem is that I don’t see the essential word for shredding: “crosscut.” If it’s in ribbons as said in description, that’s not good enough by far. You can get a false sense of security with scissors & stuff like the admittedly cute shredder. And I do agree with someone above: not everything has to be “cute.”

  • I’ve also been on the hunt for a paper shredder. Considering I have an entire file box of papers waiting to be shredded, I don’t think the manual style would be right for me. Still very cute, though!

  • I got a grey one of these babies at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or somewhere, and I love it. You can only shred 2 pieces of paper at a time, and nothing with tape or staples. The whole point of this shredder is to help you “sculpt your guns” and I love mine! I only shred papers with sensitive information, not junk mail. Mine was $35 or so. I love it!


  • I have one of these in grey and I love it! (Mine was purchased at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or something for $35). You can only shred 2 pieces of paper at a time, and nothing with tape or staples. I’m glad it’s not electric since it allows me to “sculpt” my guns, as the designer intended!


  • I actually like that it’s a hand-crank! I’ve been looking for one that is…and it’s pretty – yay! I suppose the only draw back is that it won’t go through staples etc. Some recyclers won’t take cross-cut…only strips, so another plus. I suppose the folks who are worried about the non-cross-cut can mix the paper into two bins or something. :)

  • This is great! Doubters are missing the point of this product:

    1) It is designed for a home setting, not a large office.

    2) It doesn’t need to be large or high capacity or electric because you leave the beauty out on your desk and use it for few pieces of paper every day.

    That is significant because now I have to hold on to all that daily stuff until it accumulates. Then I get out my space-sucking ugly electric shredder and earplugs and spend an hour shredding — yuck.)

    3) @ Tracy and Susan: Design is important! Design matters. Just because something is functional does not mean that form goes out the window.

  • i think this is brilliant. don’t know why there are so few options out there for everyday essentials. score another one for japanese designers.

  • I love the color, and of course it’s size. I like to shred tissue paper, old books, etc… to make my own pretty gift packaging. This would make it even more fun!

  • I used to live in Japan and I miss all of the beautiful and ingenious paper products and space saving solutions that were readily available! I’m sure an electronic version will be available soon…;)

  • Hello!
    Rose here from A+R. THANK YOU for posting this. As to why you would want this instead of an electric one? It only uses your power..not electricity. Time to rethink our electric tools and using elbow grease to save the planet. And, yes, it’s super cute–and durable–too. -R

  • For those annoying catalogs – it’d be better to get off the mailing list that just shred/recycle. Consider catalogchoice.org – got me off a ton of catalogs so I am not inundated with sales pitches for things I dont need.

  • This is a great idea, as the manual shredding will likely prompt a bit of proactive opting-out of unsolicited mail. I agree the electric versions are great, but with so many of us working from a home office, power sockets become premium, so anything you crank by hand is good news! (plus gives you a little exercise!!!)

  • I have one if anyone wants it? Its white. Getting rid of it this week. 12/8/2015 Email me directly if you want it! Thx

  • Could you please tell me what are the dimensions of the shredded bits of paper? Thanks