Monday, May 21, 2012

Altered Matchbox Tutorial

Altering a matchbox into a pretty decoration and functional treasure box to store tiny items is a fun little project I wanted to share today. This is a little gift I made recently for my goddaughter. It was so fun that I am already working on a few more variations for myself and my kids :)

This is a really cute craft idea that you can tailor to a specific theme. Depending on what goodies you tuck into the inside of the box, this can be a really sweet present for a special child or person in your life.

This is also an easy way to experiment a little with paper crafting and mixed media.

First, you will need an empty matchbox. I like this large 10 cm box leftover from Christmas time. You can also use small matchboxes, but the larger format is easier to work with (and there is room for more things in the inside).

The other materials you will need are:

  • scrapbook or other decorative papers
  • glue stick
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • straight edge or ruler
  • selective of embellishments and ephemera, you can get really creative here!
There are many ways you can cover and decorate the box, no way is right or wrong. This is how I made this box. You can experiment with many other variations.

1) Measure one piece of scrapbook paper to fold around the outside of box - not quite all the 
around -but so the top and sides and a bit of the bottom are covered.

2)Trace the bottom of the box over a contrasting piece of paper and cut this out, too. 

3) With the glue stick, glue the bottom piece onto the bottom of the matchbox.

4) Next, fold the top paper around the box to see where the edges are, fold lightly. Then with the paper flat on the table, crease the folds with your fingers. This will make your end result much neater. The folded paper should fit snuggly and perfectly around the box. Using a glue stick, cover the paper thoroughly with glue and with a bit of pressure, fit it smoothly on the box.
5) To decorate the inner sliding box, trace the short sides onto the desired paper, cut them out,  and adhere to the outside of the box with the glue stick. Cut two more identical sized strips to adhere to the inside of the box.

6)  Measure and cut out one piece of paper to cover the bottom and long sides of the inner box. It is easier to do this by wrapping the paper around the outside of the box, you will probably have to trim a bit afterwards. Fit the paper into the box, lightly pre-fold and then remove it to crease the paper! Apply glue the paper and then fit it in the box, pressing tightly.

7) If there are any edges that are not quite covered, you can touch them up in with acrylic paint or markers.

8) Your matchbox is complete! Now you can go crazy embellishing it (or just leave it simple like I did) and making little treats to go inside.

For my goddaughter, I made a little paper bunting with her name stamped on (see how-to here). I tossed in a paper flower and a little message and gift-certificate for the ice-cream cafe, and a nice verse from a favorite Psalm. I then packaged it all up and watched her face light up when I brought it to her. (perhaps I received the loveliest gift of all!!!)
 Good luck, and Happy Crafting!

PS Type in "Altered Matchbox" at Google images for TONS of inspiration!


greenrabbitdesigns said...

That is so pretty Karen!
I love the sweet paper you used with the little bunnies. :)
Such a lovely treasure for any little girl to receive!
Vivienne x

kitty loves custard said...

How very lovely! What a loved and treasured little girl!
Karen x

Geoffrey said...

That's very pretty and wonderfully creative! What a lovely present for someone to receive with such love and care from you :-)

Mervi said...

There was a time when I made those altered matchboxes... should do that again! That's a lovely idea, a little gift for someone special... coming straight from the heart. Love the papers you used!!!

goodmoments said...

lovely!:) great gift idea!

Anna Scandinavian Cottage said...

I love this post!!
Such a great idea!