Matchbox Stories


A darling little ice storm hit Toronto on December 22nd, leaving about 300,000 homes without electricity for the holiday season. We chose to stay in our very cold house for two and a half days until the power came back on, and were definitely among the lucky ones, since as of this morning, there are a few hundred people still cold and in the dark. To mark this most unusual holiday season, here’s a project born in a matchbox, a true essential during a power outage.

Matchboox, which inspired this project, is a collection of small books folded accordion style, and neatly housed inside a matchbox. It’s a series created by editor Richard Meier, involving more than 70 artists, making some very cool art in a box.


  • matchbox
  • large pieces of lightweight cardboard/cardstock eg. bristol board
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • bone folder
  • craft knife
  • cutting mat
  • glue stick
  • double sided tape
  • scissors
  • old magazines
  • drawings
  • markers, pencil crayons, etc.



1. Matchboxes are easily found in hardware and grocery stores, and surprisingly bookstores, where I found mine. The first step in this project is to prepare paper which will be folded accordion style, and stored inside a matchbox. You will need large pieces of light weight cardboard, such as bristol board. Measure the length and width of the matchbox you will be using. Cut lengths of paper that will fit width wise inside the box. These lengths will be folded in sections, based on the size of the matchbox.


Use a ruler to determine the lengths, mark with a pencil, and use a bone folder to score each section. Fold into an accordion shape.


You can make the paper length as long as you want by attaching them to each other, you just need to make sure it fits into the match box. I used 2 lengths of paper strips, which together, made ten 4 inch sections.


To attach the strips, leave a small amount of cardboard on one strip, to overlap with the other strip. Attach with double sided tape. Fold, and make sure it all fits into the matchbox. Remove.


2. Now comes the fun part. You can fill these strips of paper with a story made of drawings, collages, or a combination of both. You can also just assemble a series of images without telling a story at all, or focus on a theme.


Once you’ve finished, place double sided tape on the underside of the first section, and press it into the match box. You can choose to leave the outside of the box as is, or decorate it as well.









Filed under Books, collage, drawing, matchbox craft

21 responses to “Matchbox Stories

  1. Great idea, thanks for sharing! Now I got another new year’s resolution (:

  2. A wonderful idea, I love it!

  3. these are really, really cool. i’m so glad i popped in at the teach us tuesday hop!! i adore this project!

  4. What a fun idea!! I can imagine lots of different ways my kids could use these miniature books! Thanks for sharing via Family Fun Friday.

  5. How beautiful. My daughter made artist trading cards in a school art class. This is the same idea but with a fun twist. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday on Organized 31.

  6. Pingback: 6 Ways to Beat Cabin Fever with Family Fun Friday | Everyday Family Living

  7. I love this. Pinning. Best of 2014 to you. Your friend, Linda

  8. Oh, that is so neat and beautiful!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  9. Lara

    Cool idea! This could be used as a mini-artjournal..Thanks for sharing.

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