Saturday, October 28, 2017

Make A Matchbox Pendant With Hidden Compartment

Greetings, friends!  I propose that it's time to start thinking about handmade gifts.  This recycled necklace gift can charm nearly anyone: a simple matchbox turned into a secret-compartment pendant.

The awesomeness is threefold.  1.) It's simple and eco friendly.  2.) Customize the art to your loved one's style and interest.  3.) Because there's a tiny secret compartment, you can include an additional mini-gift inside!  Here's the secret drawer:

Aren't they fun?  Want to make one?  Here's how.

jewelry pliers
wire cutters
something pointy for poking holes

a matchbox
clear packing tape
acrylic craft paint
craft wire
1 or 2 headpins
a tassel
glue or mod podge
1 or 2 accent beads OR a strip of recycled plastic
spacer beads
optional: a bit of chain


1. Embellish.  Paint the matchbox's outer sleeve.  If you like, paint the inner drawer as well.  Then embellish!  Adhere something delightful to the top of the matchbox - anything you like.  (A few ideas at the end of the post.)

2. Reinforce.  Reinforce the matchbox drawer with clear packing tape: cut 2 strips and crisscross them in the back, wrapping the tape over the edges and into the inside of the drawer.  Reinforce the inside of the matchbox sleeve with a bit more hidden tape (that you tuck inside and smooth down).

3. Turn it into a pendant.  First, poke two holes in the top of the inner drawer.  Thread craft wire through the two holes and make two loops at the top.  It's easy!  Like this:

To finish the bottom, there are two versions.

ONE HOLE VERSION: At the bottom of the inner drawer, poke one hole in the center.  Add a spacer bead to a headpin, thread it through the hole, add an accent bead and make a loop.  Add a tassel.  It will look like this:

TWO HOLE VERSION: At the bottom of the drawer, poke two holes.  Using the same headpin method as above, add either two accents beads or, as in the Lucky Cat version seen below, a rectangle of plastic with two matching holes.  Make two loops underneath.  Add a bit of chain, with a tassel suspended in the center.  Like this:

Functional Note: the accent beads or plastic strip should be just a bit wider than the matchbox.  This prevents the sleeve from sliding off.  (My accent beads in these examples were repurposed rubber washers, because I liked how they looked.  But any bead is just fine.)

Ideas for how to embellish the pendant:
Modpodge some original or found art.
Paint it, glitter it, doodle it.
Glue stuff on, like charms or buttons.
Add a polymer clay panel. (I made my Japanese-themed panels from polymer clay, impressed with rubber stamps I bought at a 100 yen store in Tokyo.)

Ideas for mini gifts inside the matchbox:
Love notes
Funny coupons to be redeemed
3 carat diamond earrings

Who can suggest some more tiny gifts for inside?

Alrighty, you guys - thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed this one!



  1. I think that inside the box, you should put... an even smaller box pendant! XD Oh, or an emergency dog poop bag. That's always a good thing to have.

    Really, though, for gifts, some cute earrings or a small figurine would be perfect to stash in there!

    1. Hey, Alex! You are too funny - the poop bag idea is brilliant and the smaller pendant made me laugh. Hmm, imagine a Russian-doll version of your idea! Hope you're having a great fall so far. Boo! -Love, Mich

  2. Swoon. Love this dahling! Featuring when my party opens up tonight.

    1. Thank you, my dearie! Please don't swoon, there's no time for that. :)

  3. What a great and funny idea! Love it!

  4. So inspiring - off to have a play with the match boxes I collected whilst on holiday in Japan two years ago! Thank you :-)

    1. Ooh, that sounds really cool, I love the idea of using the matchbox art as it comes. Japanese ones sound fun! Thanks for the sweet comment, Anna!