Tuesday, April 19, 2016

DIY Art Tutorial: MatchStick Shield

This was one of the easiest projects. It is similar to putting a puzzle together, calming like that. This turned out to be more of a protective shield for me and it can be decorated with anything when you are done. I chose to leave it as is in my photo above. The only photo not showing is after I used canvas varnish on it. Above is without any clear coat.

  • Nothing to me, supplies were at home. At most, $3-5. 

  • 1 box of 2-inch Diamond Strike-On-Box kitchen matches [250 matches in 1 box]
  • 4 boxes of 1 inch Diamond Strike-On-Box kitchen matches [32 matches in each box]
  • All-purpose clear drying non toxic glue
  • Some sort of clear, protective coat [optional, I used clear varnish for canvases]
  • Anything that can be used as a hanger for the back  
  • Flat cardboard or similar medium for backing


  • Cut the pattern out and lightly glue the 2 pattern sheets side by side to the flat cardboard so you see the pattern.

  • Cut out the entire pattern dried on the cardboard. This way you have the pattern to follow and a hard cardboard backing for your star.

  • Light and burn one matchstick at a time. Hold the matchstick at a slight downward angle, rolling the stick between your fingers to create an even charred tone around the match slightly beyond the tip. Quickly extinguish the flame and place the matchstick on a heatproof surface until it cools. Once you burn a few, you get the idea. This goes quickly.

  • Work in a well-ventilated area and quickly blow out the matchstick to preserve the wooden part of the tip. To conserve matches, light only 25 matches and use those up before burning more as needed while you work. I also used small box matches for the edges instead of cutting the large matchsticks in half.

  • Starting with the center with the clean ends of the match touching the center of the star, place the first six matchsticks onto the guidelines. Let that dry. 

The photos below I use for reference only. My pattern has the printed pattern visible. Much easier. I just forgot to take photos as I worked. I also tweaked this to my own liking.

  • Move onto the "A" area on the pattern. Fill in one entire side of the star. Leave the edges for last. This way you can see what you are creating as you work instead of following the pattern blindly in alphabetic order. 
  • I just brushed glue on each lettered area as I worked on that one area and placed the matches in line. The glue dries clear so you do not have to worry about making a mess or mistake. 
  • Keep looking at the photos to make sure you are placing the matches in the correct direction. The only matches I placed in different directions from the rest is the center. It looked better this way. It gave shadow and a 3-d effect to one major light area.

Below, the photo shows you to reverse the small matches on the out-most edges. I chose not to. It looks better all going in the same direction to me.

  • Keep going until you are done. If you mess up or do not like how something looks, it is easy to remove the matches and fix something. It is only white glue you are using.

  • When you get to the edges, there may be extra cardboard sticking out. This is where small box matches fit perfectly instead of cutting the large matches in half. You will see as you get closer to finishing. This part needs to be last.
  • There may be edges left bare where you have to cut the small matches in half to cover cardboard. I made my own design and just rolled with it at the end.As long as all cardboard is covered and you like it, that is all that matters.
  • Be careful to not get the sticks themselves dirty. This turned out so amazing, it looks astounding on my wall. 

Have fun, enjoy and get creating! 

No comments: