It only took a couple hours for a couple nights while watching TV, $5, my printer, and some extra stationary I had lying around to complete 50 personalized matchboxes!
STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS
You can find generic matchboxes are your local store. The ones I found were the standard 1 3/8" x 2 1/2" size. I was able to find these at my grocery store. They came in packs of 10 for $1 so I can make 50 for $5. I am also using a couple sheets of lilac paper I bought for various projects and scraps of 100# chocolate brown cardstock I used for invitations and other stationary needs.
In the beginning...
How To Make The Covers
1. Take the matchboxes apart. Slide the inside "box" out from the cover and remove the matches. Because I didn't want little matches all scattered around, I kept the matches in their bottoms and placed them in an empty coffee can. I also only did 5 matchboxes at a time.
2. Carefully unfold the cover of the matchbox by breaking the seal of glue. I used an eyeglass screwdriver because it was small and had a flat tip.
3. Completely unfold the cover and measure it.
4. In Microsoft Word, design a label using the dimensions of the matchbox. If you'd like to put something on the back, you need to insert it upside down by adjusting your settings. We decided to do a simplified version of our monogram (without our names and date) since that was already on the front of the matchbox.
I created a template that you can download for FREE! Please click here and download it in Microsoft Word format. The preview will not appear formatted, but once the document is downloaded to Word, it will appear and download correctly. The template will only fit to matcboxes that measure 1 3/8" x 2 1/2" in size.
5. Print out the design on your printer. When you cut the design out to wrap around the matchbox, make sure you'll have some excess paper on one side and at the bottom of the label. I found it was easier to glue the paper on and snip off the excess than it was to try to perfectly match the paper to the matchbox.
6. Using a glue stick, smear glue all along the edges of the matchbox and smear it on the top edge of your paper label. Line the top edge of the paper label close to the stiker strip.
7. Carefully cut off the excess paper along the matchbox lines.
8. Now, carefully fold up the matchbox back to its original form.
9. Glue the matchbox closed when it's in its original form. Because it's best to apply firm, even pressure to the inside of the box to ensure the glue sticks, I inserted a pen into the box and held it down for 30 seconds where I glued the matchbox closed.
10. Now your matchbox cover is complete. Put it aside and let it dry for a while. I suggest clipping the pen onto the matchbox while it dries so pressure is continually applied to the drying glue.
You can of course use the cardboard boxes that come with the original matchbooks. However, I had a lot of scrap brown cardstock leftover from other projects and I wasn't crazy about the cardboard color or quality so I decided to do my own boxes as well.
1. To begin, carefully unfold a box.
2. Trace the box outline onto a piece of cardstock and cut it out, creating a template for yourself. Initially I traced the original box onto a white piece of carstock but then later realized I had a lot of chocolate brown scrap cardstock leftover from other projects and liked it so much better!
4. Carefully score the necessary lines onto your cardstock so you'll have nice clean folds.
5. Fold the box back up.
6. Glue the box to hold it together. I used a glue stick on the underside of the tabs at each end of the box.
7. Once your box is all folded, glued and thoroughly dried, place the matches in your new box and slide it all back into the covers. Your personalized matchboxes are complete!
PS. As I wrote, please feel free to download the template I created. If for some reason it doesn't work, send me a private message with your email address and we'll try to go that route :)