Thursday, August 14, 2008

Matchbox Shrine Class

I am taking part in a Matchbox Shrine Swap with UK Stampers Forum and thought it might be useful to do a step-by-step class on how I made it. This is just my interpretation but it may give anyone viewing the class some ideas and inspiration.

The idea of Matchbox Shrines is certainly not new and they can symbolise anything at all, some are used as lucky charms and are carried in handbags and purses. Some have religious significance whilst others can simply be decorative objects.

Mine is designed to be hung on a wall and so has a backing to it. The colourway is blue/purple and it represents 'The Door to Heaven'.

So here goes.........ready........steady........craft !!


  • Standard box of safety matches (emptied of its contents)

  • Acrylic Paints (Metallic Sapphire, Blue Mist - Inscribe)

  • Puffy Velvet Markers (Blue, Light Blue - Marvy Uchida)

  • Glitter Glue (Crystal - Stickles - Ranger))

  • Square Metallic Brads (Dovecraft)

  • Craft Wire (Metallic Blue - Dovecraft)

  • Leaf Beads

  • Flat backed gems (Violet - square)

  • Micro beads (Purple Metallic)

  • Glossy Accents (Ranger)

  • Small Metal Key Charm

  • Small glass bottle with stopper

  • Fine Glitter (violet iridescent - Art Institute)

  • Backing paper (text, Light blue pattern - K&Co, Once Upon A Time - DCWV)

  • Heavy board (for backing)

  • Bookbinding Glue (Sticky fingers)

  • Glue dots (Glue-dots)

  • Gold Pen (Krylon)

  • Chalk Ink (Indigo Blue, Purple - Color Box)

  • Embossing Powder (Metallic Purple - Personal Impressions)

  • Embossing Ink Pad (Versamark)

  • Gold Thread
  • Seed Beads (Purple iridescent - Guttermann)

  • Gold German Scrap Wings

  • Ribbon - Purple Organza

  • Tyvek piece (see forthcoming class on how to make)


  • Small leaf (See D's - Lattice & Vine Collection)

  • Foliate (Stampendous Foliate Quad Cube TC51)


  • Pricking Tool

  • Craft Knife

  • Scissors

  • Tweezers

  • Heat Gun

  • Paintbrush

  • Paper Trimmer

  • Crop-o-dile


Preparing the matchbox.

1. Take your matchbox and empty it of its contents, paint the tray portion of the matchbox with 2 coats of blue mist acrylic paint, allowing to dry between coats.

2. Take the matchbox sleeve in portrait orientation and measure half way across the top, putting a pencil line down from top to bottom. Carefully cut the sleeve open along this line. The top will then open to form two little doors on the finished shrine.

3. Paint the cut sleeve with 2 or 3 coats of the metallic sapphire acrylic paint (no need to cover completely as the back surface of the sleeve will eventually be adhered to the base card) and allow to dry between coats.

Decorating the tray .

1. Take the painted tray and apply the puffy marker colour in blue to the outside of both long sides of the tray. Heat carefully with the heat gun until the colour puffs up and adds texture. Do the same with the light blue along the two short sides.

2. Apply stickles glitter glue in crystal to the inside sides of the tray and smooth over with a brush, allow to dry.

Decorating the cut sleeve.

1. Take the small leaf stamp and apply to acrylic block and using Versamark stamp images of the leaf on all of the inside painted surfaces of the sleeve (use an antistatic bag first). Take the embossing powder and apply to stamped images, tapping off excess powder before carefully heating the leaves to melt the powder. It is worth holding the sleeve in a pair of tweezers to avoid burning your fingers ! Allow to cool before handling.

2. Turn over the sleeve and using the cube leaf stamp inked with indigo blue chalk ink to stamp all over the painted surfaces. Heat with a heat gun until the chalk ink is dry.

3. Using a piercing tool. make two holes in the front of the sleeve 'doors' and apply the two metallic brads as door handles through the holes.

4. Take a length of gold thread and double it, twist together the strands and tie a knot on one end. Thread 4 of the blue seed beads onto the thread and move to the knotted end, tie another knot to secure the beads at that end. At the other end of the thread tie a knot about 1.5 inches in and again thread another 4 seed beads on. Finish this with a knot to hold on the beads. This will then act as a cord to hold the 'doors' closed when wrapped around the square brads !

5. Edge all the sleeve edges with a fine line of Krylon gold and allow to dry.

Filling the tray.

1. Take a piece of the text printed paper and trim to size to fit inside the top of the inside bottom of the tray and adhere with glossy accents.

2. Apply some fine lines of glossy accents and sprinkle on the metallic purple micro beads, pouring off excess beads into the container.

3. Cut the decorated piece of Tyvek to fit the lower half of the inside bottom of the tray and glue in place with glossy accents.

4. Take the small stoppered bottle and half fill with the purple art glitter, replace stopper, add a strand of gold thread to the top and stick in place with a glue dot.

5. Take a short length of blue metallic craft wire and thread onto this 6 leaf beads in purple and blue bending the wire in a circle to secure the beads. Adhere this with glossy accents to the top edge of the Tyvek piece. Allow this to dry before handling.

6. Take the metal key charm and adhere this to the tyvek with a blob of glossy accents, allowing this to dry before handling.

7. Apply the two square purple flat-backed gems to the text paper, top left with glossy accents.

8. Edge the top surfaces of the tray with Krylon gold pen.

Assembling the matchbox.

1. Take the filled tray and apply glossy accents to its base, position the tray inside the cut sleeve and press firmly to adhere.

Making the base.

1. Take a piece of heavy card and cut to a suitable size on the trimmer. Take once-upon-a-time paper and cover the front of the base board with the paper using bookbinding adhesive and a bone folder. Cut blue K&Co paper to size and cover the back of the board in a similar manner. Allow to dry completely.

Assembling the shrine.

1. Cut the gold wings into two, position and apply to the back of the assembled matchbox to suit.

2. Take the shrine with wings attached and apply glossy accents to the back of the sleeve. Position carefully on the backing board and press down firmly to stick. Allow to dry.

3. Using an indigo blue chalk ink pad edge all round the backing board finishing off with the gold Krylon pen.

4. Measure the top edge of the board and cut two equidistant holes with the crop-o-dile.

5. Take a length of the purple organza ribbon and thread through the holes, finally tying in a bow.

This is just my version of decoration and altering, but I hope that it gives you some ideas and inspirations in coming up with your own little version of a shrine.

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  1. Great class, Sid. There is so much work in this piece, and I am very happy to be its new owner!

  2. rexrex1Hallo
    What a wonderful project! I like this very much!
    greetings Thea

  3. This is great!!
    What a wonderful Shrine!


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