DIY: Matchbook Crafts

Sign up for the best newsletter EVER!

Out of all the bars, pubs, dives, lounges, saloons and watering holes in San Francisco, my long-time favorite has always been the Zeitgeist. I just dig the vibe of the place from the bloody marys, to the sarcastic tshirts, right down to the nudie girl matches. I actually carry a pack around with me in case any match-related emergencies arise, and my brother always wants me to grab him a pack as well. Which means somewhere in Pasadena, those topless girlies are getting a lot of attention on his coffee table. It’s pretty clever marketing really, and matchbooks work exceptionally well as promotional items. They also work as invitations, gift tags, business cards, and more. So, if you’re say… into event planning, or have a band, or a radio show, or a graphic novel, etc, this could be pretty useful for you. Or, hey, maybe you’re just a super swanky smoker, either way.

Now, we’ve already covered one of my favorite matchbook crafts: matchbook notepads, but just as a refresher: a) they’re awesome, and b) all you have to do is staple some paper cut to size inside the matchbook. Easy enough. You can also accordion paper inside, and glue photos to them to make a quick pocket photo album.

Other matchbook crafts are likewise pretty simple. Check it.

Portraits/Artwork: Art in unexpected places is a lot of fun. If you’re an artsy guy or gal, consider using matchbooks instead of canvas.

Needle/Emery board Holder: Folding paper in a matchbook shape works to hold a variety of tiny bits like needles or emery boards. Just like paper, fold ‘em up and seal ‘em off. You can also tuck in seed packages for a quick gift to your green-thumb type friends.

Treasure Boxes: Cover with paper and fill with goodies! Works great as an invitation, a Valentine’s Day card, a birth announcement. Add a magnet to the back and make them super handy.

Business Cards: It’s easy enough to design and print up an image then paste it over plain matchbooks. This also works well for things like save the date’s, cards, invitations, party favors and announcements. Leave the matches inside or fill with paper for the notebook version.

Chest of Drawers: So twee, so tiny, so irresistible. You basically just have to glue together a stack of matchbooks, then wrap in patterned paper to cover. Paint the front of the drawers then add a split pin to the front of each one to act as a drawer pull.

Collections: Like any grouping of things, a bunch of matchbooks displayed as a collection is a neat design element. Consider framing a bunch of them, or putting them in a shadow box or a lamp base.

There’s a lot of potential here (see: matchbook synthesizer and matchbook advent calendar ), so keep a pack or two in your artillery.


Images courtesy flickr user Pink Polka,,,,,,, apartment

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

See “The Beatles: Hidden Gallery” at Carnegie Hall for FREE!

Next post

Robyn O'Neil's "HELL" - FREE Exhibit

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.