How To Make A Tabletop Matchstick Holder

February 19, 2024

Many, if not most of us, use candles in our homes - for ambiance and scent as well as for utility in the case of power outages. But no matter what type of candles we use, they still need to be lit somehow. So how do you light your candles? 

crystal sugar bowl filled with matchsticks on rustic pedestal riser

While some might say that using an actual match to light a candle these days seems -- dare I say it? -- a little dated, I'm going to counter that with a proposition. What if you had an elegant tabletop matchstick holder that cost only pennies to make?   

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Candles can create an elegant atmosphere in any home. Candles can also add warmth and that elusive "hygge" factor to any room, especially in the winter. 

We certainly have modern ways to light our candles with both butane and rechargeable lighters. I normally use a disposable butane lighter with a bendable or flex-wand neck.

Diamond brand match sticks boxes

But there's something to be said for using traditional, old school matches, although the boxes they come in don't exactly rise to the level of decor. By creating an elegant, tabletop matchstick holder you can up your game when it comes to candle-related decor.

Similar to my DIY decorative tissue holder, this matchstick holder trick has been around for a while -- but it's new to me, so here we go. 

lidded vintage crystal sugar bowl

The options for containers to hold your matchsticks are endless -- anything with a lid that you find pleasingly decorative enough to display on your coffee table will work. (Or even without a lid as I'll explain below.)

thrifted vintage glass sugar bowl with lid

And since I'm a thrifter, my first container of choice is an elegant thrifted glass sugar bowl with lid. You can find these lovely glass containers at most thrift stores for only a few dollars. That's a win-win in my book!

crystal toothpick holder filled with matchsticks

BUT you can also use something as simple as a vintage crystal toothpick holder! I started collecting them years ago, thinking they were taper candle holders (oops). 

thrifted crystal glass matchstick holders

Turns out, they're perfect for corralling matchsticks -- most toothpick holders were only 50 cents -- and no lid required! And yes, the one on the left still has the price tag stuck to the bottom.

elegant rock cut glass toothpick holder

Since wooden match sticks come in a few different sizes, you'll just need to find the matches that best fit inside your chosen container. I used the smallest match sticks I could find to put into these toothpick holders.

match striker strip on bottom of crystal bowl match holder

And as for the match striker, you can either:

  • cut the existing striker off the original box and glue it (with serious nonflammable glue like Gorilla Glue or E6000) to the bottom of your container (as I did; see above photo), or   

Just be sure to hold the lid and/or top of the container securely with one hand while you strike the match with your other hand so you don't lose all your matches!

crystal matchstick container with velvet ribbon

It's a super simple and inexpensive DIY decor hack that you can make for yourself, or as personalized handmade gifts for friends and family! For gifting, before placing it in a gift box, I draped a simple velvet ribbon around the lid which added just the right touch! And don't forget to add a special candle as part of the gift!!

glass matchstick holder with lid on rustic pedestal

I can't get over how pretty this matchstick holder is!  

glass match holder sugar jar

This matchstick holder would fit seamlessly into any decor style.  

elegant glass match holder with velvet ribbon

NOTE: Be sure to remove the velvet ribbon before striking any matches! 

Also, be super safe no matter the size of the candles used -- keep an eye on them at all times, and be sure to keep them away from flammable items, children and pets -- and follow all warmings and burning instructions listed on the candle.  

long reach matches in tall chinoiserie tea pot on mantel

And don't think you can't display long reach matches decoratively as well. Ideally, you'll use a tall container, like a pitcher, to display them on a shelf, side table or coffee table.

green tipped long reach matches

It was a no-brainer that I would use my vintage chinoiserie teapot to display my long reach matches. I chose to use the teapot even though I knew the matches would still stick out at the top. 

tall chinoiserie teapot with long reach matchsticks

You could just as easily cut down the matches to fit the container, or insert them into the container upside down so as not to show the colored tips as I have done in the above photo. 

Candle Accessory Resource List


elegant mantel decor rustic pedestal riser

So whether it's small matchsticks stored in a toothpick holder (or crystal sugar bowl), or tall matchsticks stored in a chinoiserie teapot -- the result is the same: an upscale way to display everyday matchsticks for not a lot of money.  

Well, that's it for today, friends! 
I hope you enjoyed reading about 
How To Make A Tabletop Matchstick Holder
 and that I've inspired you in some way. 
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crystal sugar bowl filled with matchsticks on rustic pedestal riser

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Leave a Comment!

Junkchiccottage said...

Very cute ideas for matches. Love that sweet little jar. Have a good week.

mjmaterazo said...

Great idea Kathleen. I am going to do this next time I give a candle as a gift. Thanks for the inspo. XO- MaryJo

Anonymous said...

I love your use of crystal. I still don't understand why clear glass--especially crystal is not more popular as it is so pretty! Any time a utilitarian container can be glammed up inexpensively is a win-win in my book!Kathy A

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