Monday, May 31, 2010

Make-it Mondays: Vintage Matchbook Notepads

Happy Memorial Day, from Buenahelena, everyone! We haven't done a tutorial in awhile, so here goes:

Matchbooks have become highly collectible because of their size, affordable price and nostalgic illustrations. The box I bought at the flea market last week range from ads for coca-cola to auto dealerships to to fancy hotels. They are also becoming rarer. With new smoking laws, like we have in New York state, the freebie matchbook at the bar or hotel lobby are slowly going the way of the payphone.

Once the matches are removed and paper added they make handy places to jot quick notes and lists throughout the day.


Step 1: Empty out your matchbooks and gather paper, a ruler, x-acto knife and staples. I'm into graph paper right now and decided to try out some colored staples.

Step 2: Measure the matchbook to figure out the dimensions of the paper for the notepad. The space where the paper should fit is 1.5 "x 2". Cut the paper a little shorter, so the matchbook can fold over it easily. I measured out 1.5"x1.75" rectangles on my graph paper.

Step 3: Cut and separate your paper into stacks of 12 sheets. (Too many more and it becomes hard to staple.) Lay the stack into the bottom fold of the matchbook and staple high enough to catch the paper, but low enough so the opening flap of the matchbook can still be tucked in.


Bonus Ideas:
  1. Try different kinds of paper; handmade, lined etc...
  2. Many matchbook come with illustrations or writing on the inside. If some don't you can stamp words inside; to do list, books to read etc...
  3. Use the matchbook as template to create matchbook notepads from new paper in different sizes.

**Advice**: Vintage matchbooks can be brittle depending on age. It may be wise to reinforce corners with clear tape or spray seal the matchbooks while they are flat.


  1. Great idea and very clear directions. If anyone is wanting to try it, I've got a big box of matchbooks!


  2. Brilliant idea, Carol! WOW! I love the things you come up with!