Rachel’s matchbox template

Altered matchboxes are easy and fun to make!

To view a step-by-step tutorial with photos for making these paper boxes, check out the Matchbox Valentines How Tuesday post on the Etsy Storque blog.


These little boxes are approximately the size of standard, store-bought, 32-count matchboxes (1.5″ x 2″ x .5″). They make lovely mini gift boxes, and are also fun to swap! Here you can download the PDF template I created and use for creating these matchboxes from scratch using heavy card stock. (Make sure to download the full-size document using the link below. Do not use the below .gif image.) You can also print the template onto any type of paper and then trace it onto light cardboard, such as cereal box cardboard, to make more sturdy boxes.

Download Rachel’s matchbox template.


  1. Print out template on card stock at 100%. Do not “fit to paper size” in your printer settings or your matchbox will not be the correct size.
  2. Cut along all black lines; score and fold along all grey lines.
  3. Apply glue to the light grey areas of the inside drawer.
  4. Fold the sides of the inside drawer in on themselves (they will be end up being double thick) while tucking the tabs into the folds of the shorter sides of the drawer.
  5. Fold the outside wrap around the inside drawer and glue it in place.
  6. Decorate your matchbox!

Optional: Want to include a little card or mini zine in your matchbox? Download the matchbox enclosures template here!

Want even more matchbox fun?!

Here is a newer Envelope-style matchbox template:


The inner drawer of this matchbox is exactly the same as my original Matchbox Template above, but the outer wrap differs significantly. The final matchbox constructed with this template will be about the same size as a standard, store-bought, 32-count matchbox – approximately 1.5 x 2 x .5 inches.


Download the Envelope-style Matchbox Template PDF here.

Here are the basic instructions which are also printed on the template:

  1. Print out template on card stock at 100%. Do not “fit to paper size” or your matchbox will not be the correct size.
  2. Cut along all black lines; score and fold along all grey lines.
  3. Apply glue to the light grey areas of the inside drawer.
  4. Fold the sides of the inside drawer in on themselves (they will be end up being double thick) while tucking the tabs into the folds of the shorter sides of the drawer.
  5. Fold the outside wrap around the inside drawer while folding in its bottom and tucking in the tabs. (I suggest test folding the outer wrap around the inner drawer at first, then removing the inside drawer and doing the final fold with glue. This fold is a little tricky as you must tuck in the tabs and the final side.) Glue it in place.
  6. The flap on the right side of the outside wrap template is the matchbox’s envelope closure. Fold it over the top of the box and secure it with a seal or ribbon.
  7. Decorate your matchbox!

Writing the instructions is the most difficult part of making these templates. I know they are confusing, but try printing the template on regular paper and practicing a few times before tackling the real deal in card stock. Let me know if you have any questions.


Here is a template for a larger, 250-count matchbox from user, HelenJoy.

100 thoughts on “Rachel’s matchbox template

  1. Thanks so much for the template Rachel! This will be way easier to customize for sure.

    I was wondering how you all prefer to mail your matchboxes–that is, what is the most economical method to send so they don’t get smashed? I have gotten them before in padded envies but sometimes are smashed. Any tips appreciated!

  2. Hi! I haven’t mailed a matchbox yet, although I plan on giving them a try, I have mailed many other potentially smashable things.

    I would probably still use a mailer, but I would cut a cardboard or chipboard band, wider than the matchbox is tall, ong enough to go around the outside of the matchbox…sorta like the sides of a box, with no top or bottom. Staple the ends together, creating a circle, or pinch it into a rectangle.

    Set the matchbox on a piece of paper or bubble wrap, put the circle/ rectangle over it. (it should look like it is sitting in a box with no top or bottom, just sides), and wrap them in the paper.

    The cardboard band, being taller than the matchbox, will keep it from being crushed, unless the post office is in a REALLY cruel mood, without adding a bunch of weight. The paper or bubble wrap will keep it all together.

  3. Thank you Rachel! Now that I’m hooked on these things I can make my own matchboxes too! It’s kind of like the laundry soap I make- I know I can buy laundry soap at the store, but it’s soooo much better and more rewarding to be able to make it from ‘scratch’! oxo L

  4. p.s. crescendo, I put mine in another box to send. Like for the 350 ct. MB I’ll use a box the checks came in to send. Just a little bit bigger size to hopefully only crush it if mishandled. I also pad the inside usually by wrapping in tissue or fabric. HTH! oxo L

  5. is there a good source for large unique style box templates? I am doing a survile kit for my hubbys 50th as a favor,and need to make NOW! TODAY!

    if anyone has you can either send here to the messages or to my email home!

  6. I just found your blog and love it! I’m gonna have to follow you! Do you ever feature other people other than your own items?

  7. thank you for the templates. I have never tried matchbox swaps until now and could not find the boxes on line. Making them will be fun. thank you for sharing.

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  10. Hi Rachel
    I have never heard of these but I am very interested I am always looking for new crafts to share with friends. Can you explain how it works so I can start doing this?

    Thank you I can wait

  11. Thanks! Looking forward to trying this. What kind of glue do you recommend using? I was planning to make mine out of chipboard about 4.75″ wide by 6″ tall by 1″ thick.
    Also one modification I might try is punching a matching set of holes underneath the flap, directly under the flap holes if that makes sense, and then tying my ribbon through that way. (Also doing all holes with my crop-a-dile) Do you think that would work?
    So excited about this project! :)

  12. Hi Rachel: These are very snappy and smart. Love them. Also, I never got to send you your complimentary copy of the SM*Art Zine. You did advertise SwapBot in it. I can send you a digital copy if you would like. Let me know.

  13. When I was making miniature items to swap, we would sometimes mail them inside empty pill bottles, which come in various sizes. The bottle could then be mailed inside well padded envelopes or small boxes. Just remember to remove any labels from the bottle which would have personal info on them. Hope this helps.

  14. Rachel this is the best. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to play around with the templates and make some of my very own boxes. It’s going to be so much fun and with Valentine’s Day coming up it’s going to be even more fun to make one.

    Thank you again!

  15. Thank you for the template. I have 6 kids and this is a great craft.I bought a pack of matches. You made it easy for me. I can make my own know in different papers.
    I use rubber bands to hold it together while the glue dries.
    Best wishes

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  18. I happen to have a “thing” for boxes and I love these matchboxes. Thank you for the free templates. Can’t wait to make valentines for my friends.

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  22. Thank you for these templates! I will use them and remember my parents who made small boxes for the jewellry they made out of their house. They used fine patterned wall paper to dress the boxes. Thank you!

  23. Hi, For some reason, I can’t get the original template to download. The envelope style works just perfectly but I’ve tried opening the first one in both Firefox and Internet Explorer to no avail. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

  24. I was not able to download the template either…. This box will work so well using so many themes!

    Thanks for the help!

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  26. this is great! thank you so much for sharing, rachel. i have one question though~ what are the preferred dimensions of the card stock?

  27. I just love the design on the boxes,they make perfect gifts for small things.am going try make one now.

  28. just added a link to the adorable template for my birthday post on my blog The Crafty Cancello. Found you on Pintrest, such a cute way to package a gift!
    Thank you so much!

  29. Loved the templates. Had no trouble at all downloading them all. Perfect for small gifts or messages.
    Thank you so much for your talent and generosity.

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  31. My daughter is about to lose her first tooth.
    We love doing crafts together. I’m so excited to have her choose patterns & decorations for boxes so she can put her teeth in them for the tooth fairy!!
    Thank you!

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