Am I the only one that finds there is as much to do right after Christmas as before it? Extra clothes to wash from days spent away, hunting for things stuffed hurriedly in the wrong places and all those Christmas decorations to pack and store. More often than not, when they are all back in their boxes in the cupboard under the stairs, I find a piece of plastic holly on a lampshade, or a Christmas coaster under the sofa.
It’s usually the middle of January before the house is back to normal and I can relax and think about the year ahead and what I want to do with it. And I have found there is nothing better to do when you are musing over this and that, than to create something easy and fun – like a decorated matchbox.
I got the matchbox bug a couple of Christmases ago when I made one for a friend. I made it using a template off the internet at first but, once I got the idea, it was easy to make other designs of my own. The finished matchbox is shown above, in coloured pencil, and here is the back of the same one:
My friend lives alone and had made a comment about getting fewer hugs than she used to, so I made her this matchbox for Christmas and put a little person inside to dispense hugs whenever she opened it.
It was such fun to make that some time later, when my daughter had had a bad year, I made one for her: This one shows her clinging to a mast in stormy seas. Around the inside walls it says ‘The Storms will Pass’. When the matchbox closes the seas are calm again. The inside of this one is coloured using Sharpies. I much prefer their vibrant colours but I didn’t have a pale blue one for the calm skies, so had to revert to using coloured pencil again on the outside. The clouds and the fish are made separately and added to the surface later. On the back there is a little boat in the far distance .
A week or two ago, a friend of my daughters had been admiring her matchbox and so I made one for her, too. I have just posted it to her, care of my daughter and she doesn’t know about it yet. I can’t wait for her to see it. I hope she likes it. Here is the front:
The words around the inside walls say ‘Friends Make Everything Feel OK’.
Here is the back, and the sides:
The matchboxes can look quite rough close up but they are very small, just two inches x one and a half inches (or five and a half x three and a half centimetres), so you don’t really notice the flaws as you do in these photos.
They’ve turned out to be little comfort boxes, though that is not what I intended at first and of course they don’t need to be. They are a cross between a tiny gift and a card, suitable for occasions of all kinds: Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s days, anniversaries, or for sending luck or good wishes and can contain little gifts for children.
Blank white matchboxes (this size and larger) can be found for sale on Ebay. Free blank templates for inserts are available on Pinterest, or you can make your own. Then all you need is a simple idea, some sharpies or coloured pencils and some paper glue. Make a mock up of your idea first like mine (below), so you are clear about how you want it to turn out
You don’t have to do anything fancy. Decorate the box with a variety of patterns, add a folded note, a dried flower…. anything you like.
Go on…I know you want to…