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D.I.Y. Paper Covered Matchboxes = the perfect hostess gift

This is a super easy project... hardly worthy of a full tutorial, but I just thought I'd share one with you all anyhow.  I picked up two standard boxes of matches at the grocery store the other day for only 79 cents each.  In their original packaging they are dull and decidedly unattractive, so I decided to cover mine in decorative paper... and voila!  I think these would be great to make in bulk and keep on hand for hostess gifts or when unexpected guests come to call.  You could make as many variations as there are decorative papers  (masculine, girly, mod, Victorian, etc.).  Just tie your finished matchbox together with a pair of tapers or tea light candles and they are set to give!

I also made up some "matchbox" labels for you to use on the side of your box if you'd like.  There are two font styles, some to/from tags, and a few blank tags as well.  All the tags print in grey lettering and borders (you can print onto white or colored papers).  They are not holiday specific, so I hope you will enjoy them all year round.

You will need:

  • A box of matches (standard size)
  • Decorative paper (5" x 7"size minimum)
  • Ruler
  • Xacto (craft knife) or paper cutting scissors
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Glue Stick (like Uhu Glue)
  • Printer and paper, for printing your labels (optional)
  • Candles (optional)
  • Ribbons / pom poms / etc. for wrapping up your finished gift (optional)


Step 1:  Gather your supplies.  Cut your decorative paper to the exact width of your matchbox (mine was 4.75" wide) using your xacto knife or scissors. You will now have a long rectangular piece of paper.

Step 2:  Starting at the top most edge of your box (right above the side with the striking strip), bend your paper around your box, creasing at each edge.  Leave one striking strip side open.  When holding your paper around your box there should be only one side that is sticking out from the bottom edge (see image).

Step 3: Carefully cut away the excess bit of paper noted in the last step using your xacto knife or scissors.  You will now have a piece of paper that is U shaped and creased on two edges.  My finished paper size was 4.75" x  6.75".

Step 4:  Using your glue stick, apply glue to the back side of your paper.  Make sure to coat it completely.

Step 5:  Starting at the center of your paper, place one narrow side of your box down onto the glue-covered paper.  Use you fingers to press it into place and make sure your sides are properly aligned.  Repeat with remaining two sides (pressing firmly to adhere).

Step 6:  You now have a fabulous paper-covered matchbox!  Stop  now if you'd like, or embellish by following the next steps.

Step 7:  (optional) Download the labels provided in the PDF up above and print onto standard or card stock paper.  Cut out the label of your choosing and glue onto the side or top of your box.

Step 8: (0ptional) Tie your finished matchbox (or more than one if you want) atop a package of your favorite tealight candles, and adorn with a few pom poms, a bow, or anything else you'd like finish your gift off with.

You now have a simple but lovely gift to give at any time... not just for the holidays.  Enjoy!

For non-commercial use only please (creative personal use is encouraged though). Alteration of the file does not void the copyright. The PDF file is not intended to be hosted on your own site - please link to this post for the download. Please feel free to print out copies to share with your friends and family, and of course a little shout-out for my blog is always very much appreciated too! Enjoy! xo Ez

Reader Comments (19)

These are sooooo cute.
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
Very pretty! Such great gifts. ;)
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlittlebrownpen
I ALWAYS love this project. It's fun to see how you do yours, LOVE!!!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiss B.
Truly the perfect accompaniment to a candle gift.
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFog and Thistle
the perfect gift for the crafty pyro in your life! LOL

so cute and simple! my favorite combo for DIY, haha. thank you for sharing!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterErica
love this idea!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterliz elayne
Oh these ARE fabulous! I love this idea! I'll be linking.
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
This is really nice.Strange that I never thought of it, since I store my candles and matches in a tin box from Poland, and like it a lot this way.I will consider making some of these boxes.Thanks a lot for the idea!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermarie
what a lovely idea!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKeRRi
Thank you so much for always giving us these little beautiful little freebies. I'm not sure if I have commented on your blog before, but I wanted to tell you how beautiful your blog is. I read it most everyday. Your altered pics on etsy are awesome. I bought one about a month ago, it is a picture of a rose and it is just so peaceful looking. Hope you have an awesome time back east visiting your friend Melissa and hope you have a Merry Christmas.
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa A
Just so fun, thanks!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPfeiffer Photos
How incredibly cute! What a wonderful idea! Thank you for sharing! :)
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAshleyL.
This is just so beautiful hun! What a fantastic idea! Thank you so much for this!xoMelis
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa Brown
I found your wonderful tutorial via One Pretty Thing. It does indeed make for a lovely hostess gift or even to hand out with a package of sparklers on July 4th. Thank you!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJunie Moon
So smart and cool! Love this!
December 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTartelette
I didnt know Amy Butler prints came on paper too! When can I find?
December 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCostumeDiva


I love Love LOVE your work! Beautiful!

I have been trying to access your freebies and some of them are "not found" on your site.

Thought you would want to know that something isn't working properly.

November 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersarah

You are so great at all the ideas you come up with! love these since pretty matches cost like $10

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered

Thank you for this lovely idea! ^^

April 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMux

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