This is where it starts - plain old matchbook that costs about one dollar for 50 of them.
First I remove the matches - I suppose you can use a staple remover if you have one -- I don't, so I used a very small screwdriver and needle-nosed pliers.Then I tape off the "striking" area -- that rough dark strip on the back. I use painter's masking tape that's been cut down to the correct size.
Next I spray paint the matchbooks with whatever pale paint I have around - in this case beige. Since it's so cold and humid out, I use a big box in the exercise room. I put the matchbooks way back in the back and then spray lightly. This is simply to lightly mask the original artwork -- we don't have to be Leonardo da Vinci (or even Jackson Pollock) at this point.
Then I remove the masking tape and glue a decorative paper to the back and the bottom of the matchbook. I use a glue stick for this project -- I think it's works better on papers than the wetter glues.
Re: the bottom, I make the paper a little longer than it needs to be and I glue it around the edge and to the inside. I just think it makes a neater edge. In the picture below, you can see how I've wrapped it around the bottom edge to the inside.
I've added a little design on the front that says blessings. I simply printed out the word in an oval frame on paper I created from free scrapbook paper designs at this wonderful site: http://www.scrapbookscrapbook.com/themes.html I cut out the little oval and glued it to the front center of the matchbook.
After I've finished decorating the matchbook, I staple the matches back in. I just use a regular staple, but I have to use a little more pressure than normal. And then I use a teensy screwdriver to press the staple where it protrudes in the back -- just to make sure it's secure.
This is how it looks when it's complete. I have also done some others with scrapbooking papers and I've used a printer to add initials.
I think these are great as a small "thank you" to an etsy order, or to a waitress who was especially kind or as an add-on to a candle gift.
Anyway, I LUV mine!