Make a Matchbox!

Since I’m on the topic of matches, I thought I’d share my favorite life hack:  the mason jar matchbox.

I don’t know about you, but I always buy these huge 300 count matchboxes at the grocery store only to have the strike plate wear out and the box start to fall apart when I’m barely a third of the way through.  So I end up pitching perfectly good matches and getting a new box.  And then, of course, someone ends up borrowing my matchbox or it eventually migrates from my ritual space to the kitchen, fireplace, or grill…and then I end up going on a scavenger hunt just before circle.

Well, Pinterest has saved my bacon on this one.  Behold:  my mason jar matchbox.

Never underestimate the importance of keeping matches in a sturdy container.

Never underestimate the importance of keeping matches in a sturdy container.

Making this can’t be simpler.  All that is required is a 300 count box of Diamond Strike Anywhere Matches, two regular-mouth, half-pint Ball or Kerr mason jars (one jar doesn’t quite hold 300 matches, so I split it up into two jars), two jar rings, a canning lid, a pencil, a sheet of 220 grit sandpaper, and some old scissors.  A finer grit would probably be better, but 220 was what I had and it works just fine.

All you do is put the matches in a jar, use the pencil to trace the canning lid several times on the back of the sand paper, cut out the circles, divide them into two piles, stack the circles on top of the jar, and use the canning ring to hold things in place.  When you start out, you’ll have several sheets of sandpaper, so there’s no need to put a canning lid behind them, but you will want to do so when your down to your last couple of sheets.

When I want a match, I just unscrew the top and pull a match out.  I don’t have a problem with the sandpaper circles flying everywhere.  They tend to stick to each other and stay in the ring lid.  However, I can see using an old hole punch to punch a hole in the same place of each layer of sandpaper so that all you need do to get a match is to shake one out of the hole.

I’ve been using this matchbox for about two years now.  In fact, I just had to refill them!  And not once in that time have I had to scamper all over the house in search of a matchbook before ritual.  I keep one jar in the kitchen, one under my altar, and everything works out splendidly.  When I’ve scratched one sandpaper layer all up (roughly every 30-40 matches), I just throw it away and use the one under it.  Easy as pie.

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