Monday, September 2, 2019

MATCHBOX DELIGHT - Altered/Decorated Mini-Matchboxes Swap - Postmark by September 30th

by Beau Sinkler

Hello Swappers, 
How is your summer going?  Too fast for some, too slow for others...  

It seems that we have not yet had an Altered/Decorated Mini-Matchboxes swap.  You can gather inspiration from so many examples on Pinterest and other sites.

by Beau Sinkler
For this swap, participants will empty 1 - 4 mini-matchboxes of their wooden matches *, decorate the outside, then decorate the insides.  Perhaps enclose bits of art or little  trinkets and treasures.  Make a scene.

The push-out "drawer" could have a drawer pull made from a button, a brass paper fastener, a string with a charm, bead or beads, etc.

Or you could raise the matchbox up a little by gluing half-round wooden or plastic pieces underneath, like glides under a sofa/davenport/couch.

Outside wrap could be hand-decorated paper, newspaper, tissue paper, fabric, lace, security envelope liner, etc. 
by Beau Sinkler

More idea-starters:  a shrine, a Christmas scene, pop-up's, a treasure box, a fold-out story or letter... 

by Beau Sinkler

5-packs or 10-packs of these small matchboxes (One brand is Diamond.) are usually available in the picnic supplies aisle at a grocery store, although some dollar stores or hardware stores may carry them.
*CAUTION:  the wooden matches must be removed before mailing through the postal system.  If you decide to use the matches as part of the design or enclosures, you MUST burn the matchstick head first.  It can be quickly doused in water afterward, then dried and painted, glued, dabbed with nail polish, covered with tiny beads, etc.  

(Transform a match into a magic wand? hmmmmm)
A few more ideas:
doll house accessories
charms, sequins, beads
junk jewelry
vintage keys
scrapbooking findings
fishing lures
small pieces of artwork
a tiny doll in a bed (mini-blanket and mini-pillow)
fake bugs
a mini-garden of paper or silk flowers
a desert scene
seashells, tiny smooth pebbles
foreign postage stamps

Mailing:  I recommend wrapping your bulky matchbox art in bubble wrap, or if flat, put it in a flat jewelry box (check out dollar stores for inexpensive boxes) and then send it in,  protected by a padded envelope.

THEME:  Altered/Decorated Mini-Matchboxes
MEDIA:  Collage, paint, fabric, etc.
TECHNIQUE:  Remove matches, cover matchbox, enclose small items inside drawer
PACKAGING:  You may want to use tissue paper or bubble wrap to protect your wonderful art through the mail
SIZE PARAMETERS:  1+1/2" x  2+1/4"  x  1/4 " deep
  • SEVEN NON-MACHINABLE POSTAGE STAMPS or $5.00 cash for your return mail (for which I will provide the new padded mailer)
  • I highly recommend wrapping each matchbox in plastic  wrap or waxed paper, a small storage bag, or at least rubber band it shut so any loose contents don't fall out during mailing.
Put your Altered Mini-Matchboxes in a padded
mailer envelope, mark as NONMACHINABLE,
postmark by September 30th and send 

Honi C
PO Box 142
Freedom, NY  14065


  • You may send in as many as four ALTERED/DECORATED MINI-MATCHBOXES.  (You will get back the same number you send in, 
  • each from a different artist)
  • Provide a self-address mailing label and approx. $5.00 postage (or cash) to cover the cost of mailing you the swapped art you will eventually receive.
  • Mail your MATCHBOXES to your host in a padded envelope, and your host will mail out the swapped MATCHBOXES
  • in a padded envelope your swap host will provide.  
    Please write your name and email address on the bottom of each MATCHBOX, or on the inside, or enclose a tiny note in each MATCHBOX.

INTERNATIONAL SWAPPERS - contact the swap host regarding using PayPal to cover return mailing postage, or make other arrangements.

You can find all the postal specifications (and a handy postage calculator) here:

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