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How to make cool things out of matches

Updated April 17, 2017

Wooden matchsticks make good miniature building components for many small projects. Because of their uniform straight shape, they can be used wherever a continuous length of petite wood is necessary. Wooden matches can be used with burnt and blackened ends, or painted. You may cut off their phosphorus heads to give them a straight surface, which might prove beneficial for assembly. Start making some simple shapes with wooden matches as building blocks and see where your imagination leads you.

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  1. Place a CD case on your table to act as a small work space. Building on this surface will allow you to turn your creation around in front of you, without any need to move the matches.

  2. Lay eight wooden matches on this surface, parallel to each other and with the heads in the same direction.

  3. Spread a thin line of glue on top of each matchstick. Use a toothpick to help you apply the glue.

  4. Arrange eight more matches perpendicular to the first layer and on top of the glued matches. This square shape becomes a basic building block for matchstick construction.

  5. Cut a notch in the flat end of two matchsticks by cutting a small slice halfway through the stick.

  6. Slit up two millimetres from this same end to remove the small piece of wood and form a notch.

  7. Squeeze one dab of glue on this indented area and place the two sticks together to form a shiplap joint. Make a square using this method of joinery.

  8. Adjust three matchsticks to form a triangle using this ship-lapped technique.

  9. Combine these elements to create many shapes; connect them to realise the varied potential in this simple construction process.

  10. Tip

    Paint some or all of your matchsticks to create patterns.

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Things You'll Need

  • CD case
  • All purpose glue
  • Toothpicks
  • Razor blade knife

About the Author

Patti Perry is currently attending West Virginia University and expanding her knowledge base. She has worked as a freelance visual artist for 30 years, with specialties in watercolor and scherenschnitte. Originality of creation is her motivation and she continues to pursue this avenue in her writing. Perry is currently contributing articles to eHow.

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