Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Meeting My Match(es)

I've already shared the story of how I came to amass a substantial matchbook collection here.  But I can sum up as well.  It's the same old story of girl meets fire, fire fascinates girl, girl collects matches.  And with all of those matches in my possession, I wanted a way to appropriately display them.

Enter inspiration:
Addicted 2 Decorating

I had the matches, and now the inspiration, but I needed a way from point A to B.  There are shockingly not a lot of matchbook art tutorials out there but I finally found this one on HGTV:

Not having or wanting to use scrap wood, I modified it a bit and here's what I came up with:

How to Make Matchbook Art

Blank Stretched Canvas
Black Acrylic Paint

1.  Paint canvas black with acrylic paint and allow to dry
2.  Cut matches from all matchbooks to prevent fire hazard (would hate for your newly made art to go up in a blaze of glory).
2.a. If you are anal like me, arrange matchbooks by location of origin.
3.  Use paintbrush to apply modgepodge to painted canvas in small sections.
4.  Press down a few matchbooks a time to modgepodged area.
5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4.  Continue to arrange matchbooks in a mosaic pattern until entire canvas is covered. Some overlap of matchbooks will be necessary.
4.  Brush another layer (or two) of modgepodge over the matchbooks to seal your work of art
5.  Hang and admire

Here is my final product:

DIY Matchbook Art

DIY Matchbook Art

As I said, I arranged my matchbooks by origin since I had large concentrations from places I've lived and I thought it would be cool to keep all of those together on the mural.

There's Raleigh in the middle:
Raleigh Matchbooks
Those No Longer With Us:  Rock-ola Cafe, Mr. Dunderbak's, Pat Patterson's Place, Darryl's, Pieworks, Grisanti's; And some old stand-by's: Winston's, Crowley's, 42nd Street Oyster BarGreenshield's, Griffin's
Chapel Hill:
Chapel Hill Matchbooks
Shout-outs to:  Top of the HillHe's NotCoffee ShopCrook's Corner411 West, The Rat, Spanky's Yeats, Michael Jordan's 23, Bailey's, Spartacus

Atlanta matchbooks
Emeril's, Vini Vidi Vici, Chops, Inman Park Patio, Food 101, Pool Hall, Roy's Atlanta, Halo, Genki, Taco Stand, Noche, One Midtown Kitchen, Taverna Plaka, Cafe Tu Tu Tango, Eclipse Di Luna, Pappadeaux, Nava

Hilton Head:
Hilton Head Island matchbooks
Marley's, The Lodge, Crazy Crab, Purple Onion, Juleps, Monkey Business, Harbourside Cafe, Fitzgerald's, Truffles, Aunt Chilada's, Cafe at Wexford, Salty Dog Cafe, Old Oyster Factory, Captain Woody's

And of course Baltimore:
Baltimore matchbooks
Tio Pepe, RA, Phillips, James Joyce, Squires (like I said, that pesky smoking ban really slowed down my matchbook collecting)
I love this display because each matchbook brings back great memories of places I've been and the people I spent time with there and it gives me a way to see them all at once, which just wasn't happening with them all stacked up in a box or even in a glass vase.  Plus our wall was hurtin' for some art.  Mission accomplished, game, set, match(es).
DIY Matchbook Art

Getting My Link On:


  1. Awesome, Mandy! Love the fun pop of color and big statement it makes! Great job!

    1. Thanks so much Roeshel! I was really happy with how it turned out, too. Love your blog and all the inspiration you have to share!

  2. this project is amazing! fantastic idea!

  3. Love your match book art! How nice to have those memories at a glance.
    thanks for sharing at catch as catch can,

    1. Thanks so much Gail! Love your site and all the great ideas that are shared there!

  4. This is a really cool idea. I love the outcome!

  5. This is so crazy awesome! I have a friend who has collected them from all over the world, I"m forwarding him this blog to show him this idea. Question: did you remove the actual matches from each match book? Love reading your blog! :) Cath

    1. That's awesome! Always glad to help out a fellow matchbook enthusiast. Yes, I cut out the matches from each book. Really it's the best way to get them to lay flat against the canvas, not to mention the fire hazard it prevents. Thanks for your sweet comment!

  6. That is quite a collection! We are so glad that you linked up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We hope you’ll be back soon! -The Sisters

  7. Gorgeous! I love your collection! I'm your newest follower and totally excited to be featuring you tomorrow! XO, Aimee

    1. Squee!! Thank you so much Aimee! You just made my morning. Thank you so much for the feature and the follow. I love your blog,and I am totally honored.

    2. Excited to know about your cute blog!! XO, Aimee

  8. Hi,
    I liked your blog and I personally invite you to join http://www.coollectors.com - The World's Free Collectors Zone.
    We will also be happy to cooperate with your blog such as adding its link to our site.
    All the best,

  9. thank you for helping me figure out how to display my collection!

  10. This looks great! What did you do with all the leftover matches??