As an artist and generally craftsy person, when the holidays roll around I like to look for ways to make unique gifts. The downside to homemade gifts is that they can sometimes become objects that just take up space, that everyone appreciates but nobody really wants.
So this year I decided to try to make things that would function as artwork AND be useful at the same time. I thought - what is something that most people like to have around, but isn't usually very pretty? And then it came to me - matchboxes! Just about everyone has a box or book of matches shoved in a drawer somewhere. So I started looking around for some nice, plain wooden boxes that weren't too expensive (it took a while) and finally found the perfect thing - pencil boxes! THESE are the ones I bought.
First I sanded and stained the wood a nice cherry color. Then I taped off sections of the lids and painted them with geometric shapes. Each box had it's own unique colors and shapes. Then I took some little wood shapes that I had on hand (because I'm so craftsy) and painted and stacked them and glued them on as little handles, to make it easier to open the boxes.
I used "strike on box" matches because they are safer, and glued the "strike" strip to the bottom of the box. I also added little feet to protect tabletops and other surfaces.
The boxes went over well! ... Unless my relatives were all just being polite...