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Come Craft With Rachel Johnson of Swap-Bot.com at Etsy Labs

Jan 28, 2010

by Julie Schneider

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Love is in the air at the Etsy Labs. Our hearts will surely sing if you join us to make matchbox valentines (tutorial here)at Craft Night with Rachel Johnson — whether you’re in Brooklyn, or anywhere in the world.

Stop by for our weekly Craft Night in our online multi-user chat room, the Virtual Labs, for a live online demo at 5 p.m. ET, or in person at the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn anytime between 4-8 p.m. at 55 Washington Street, Suite 512 in Brooklyn, New York. (Click here to see what time 5 p.m. ET is in your hometown.) Craft Night is a time to make things, sharpen your craft skills, and connect with fellow crafters.

On Monday, February 1, Rachel Johnson will show us how to transform matchboxes into sweet little valentines and gifts. Altered matchboxes are small favors or gift boxes that can be decorated in any style or theme — including Valentine’s Day! Some crafters decorate real, empty matchboxes, but if you don’t have any of those handy you can create the little boxes from scratch using card stock or light cardboard. (A printable PDF template is available for download on the Swap-bot blog.) The small paper boxes can be decorated with patterned papers, ribbon, and other small embellishments. You can fill the boxes with a paper valentine message or a small gift.

If you are interested in trying out a matchbox swap on Swap-Bot (more details on Swap-Bot below), come join the February Love Matchbox Swap.

Rachel Johnson (on the left) is the co-owner and sole administrator of the art and craft community website, Swap-bot.com. Swap-bot is a web tool used to coordinate group craft and pen pal swaps. It is also a community with over 25,000 members where you can share, create, chat, and have fun with other artists, crafters, writers, and makers from all over the world.

Rachel created Swap-bot in 2005 with her husband, Travis, and has recently devoted herself full time to running the site.

If you are attending Craft Night virtually this week and would like to craft along with us, you’ll need to gather the following supplies:

  • Matchbox template (Download a free matchbox template PDF from the Swap-bot blog here.)
  • Thick card stock and/or light cardboard, like a cereal box
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Bone folder or other scoring instrument
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Decorative papers and other embellishments for decorating your Valentine box



Upcoming Events at the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn:

2/8: Heatpress printing with Dari of papismami
2/15: President’s Day: Craft Night canceled.
2/22: Open Craft Night
3/1: Hatmaking with desirapesta

Looking for further paper craft inspiration? 

Rolling Ball Books | Paper Boxes | How-Tuesday Projects

Will we see you on Monday? Let us know in the comments below.

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87 comments

  • adrienneaudrey

    adrienneaudrey said 7 years ago

    How cute! Lovely little matchbox crafts!

  • CocoaBeans

    CocoaBeans said 7 years ago

    i love all of the different boxes, beautiful!

  • orchardfarmsoap

    orchardfarmsoap said 7 years ago

    fun! fun! fun! thanks for the great craft project!

  • manvsgeorge

    manvsgeorge said 7 years ago

    Those matchboxes are adorable! For me, matchboxes recall a bygone era. I have such fond memories of going through my grandparents' matchbox collection, which they kept in a fancy crystal jar. You could see their lifetime of travels reflected in the matchboxes. (Of course, none were as swankily decorated as the ones above, but still...)

  • manvsgeorge

    manvsgeorge said 7 years ago

    Those matchboxes are adorable! For me, matchboxes recall a bygone era. I have such fond memories of going through my grandparents' matchbox collection, which they kept in a fancy crystal jar. You could see their lifetime of travels reflected in the matchboxes. (Of course, none were as swankily decorated as the ones above, but still...)

  • VeraVague

    VeraVague said 7 years ago

    they'd make nice brooches, too ;)

  • MelroseFields

    MelroseFields said 7 years ago

    Who knew matchboxes could be the foundation of so many cute creative trinkets. I like the wedding matchbox!

  • jewelrybyjackie

    jewelrybyjackie said 7 years ago

    Those are such a cute idea!! I will be making tons for all occasions from now on!! Thanks!

  • ClementinesJewelry

    ClementinesJewelry said 7 years ago

    I love matchboxes, and I collect them. these are so cute!!!

  • spacejam

    spacejam said 7 years ago

    such a cute idea!! i used to enjoy making matchboxes..

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors said 7 years ago

    I've never thought of the idea of making match box valentines before. Great idea!

  • riise76

    riise76 said 7 years ago

    Oooohh! How sweet! I forgot what a great giftbox matchboxes make. :D

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 7 years ago

    what a cute idea for matchboxes! and i love the photo from last weeks stenciling project. it always looks like so much fun.

  • flightoftheparcel

    flightoftheparcel said 7 years ago

    This is exciting! I didn't know so many other people shared my love for tiny boxes. I collect them. I work at an art supply store so I snag all kinds from the product shipping packaging:) Matchboxes are the best because they are like little drawers to hold prescious treasures!

  • dippylulu

    dippylulu said 7 years ago

    Matchboxes are indeed a very cute gift. :)

  • valleygirldesigns

    valleygirldesigns said 7 years ago

    The matchboxes are so cute, perfect for holding little treasures. :) T

  • ArzuMusa

    ArzuMusa said 7 years ago

    What a cute boxes! Great idea!

  • Leelinau

    Leelinau said 7 years ago

    Those are so cute! I recently started collecting match boxes, they're kinda hard to find!? ^__^

  • Nishale

    Nishale said 7 years ago

    love them!!!!!

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    aBreathofFrenchair said 7 years ago

    Adorable! This should be fun!

  • EmmiesDesigns

    EmmiesDesigns said 7 years ago

    What a great idea! It just amazes me how creative everyone on etsy is. I would have never thought of using a matchbox so creatively. Bravo on your success. I enjoyed browsing through your inventory.

  • MagicMarkingsArt

    MagicMarkingsArt said 7 years ago

    this looks like fun - love those little boxes! If anyone living in NYC wants to head south for a little vacation, and a little house swap... hee hee!

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors said 7 years ago

    Never thought about doing matchbox valentines before. :-)

  • henrystreet

    henrystreet said 7 years ago

    Very cute idea! Great packaging idea, as well!~

  • Morado

    Morado said 7 years ago

    Totally adorable! need to start a crafting get together in DC. Anyone interested feel free to convo me :o)

  • moosomething

    moosomething said 7 years ago

    Ooh, what is heatpress!? I'll have to attend! Sounds cool.

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 7 years ago

    love the craft - i'll be there! love swap-bot - have been part of christmas swaps!! so much fun!

  • SudsNSuch

    SudsNSuch said 7 years ago

    What a cute idea! Thank you for sharing!

  • craftpile

    craftpile said 7 years ago

    cute and creative!

  • beautifulbridget

    beautifulbridget said 7 years ago

    Such cute finds!

  • petragalvan

    petragalvan said 7 years ago

    all very cute

  • RachellesJewelryBox

    RachellesJewelryBox said 7 years ago

    the matchboxes are so cute

  • MadeForYouJustByMe

    MadeForYouJustByMe said 7 years ago

    Ooh! What a great idea!

  • greencouchdesign

    greencouchdesign said 7 years ago

    So much fun! These could also be used as a good packaging element if your items are small like jewelry! Love the ideas!

  • shesbattydesigns

    shesbattydesigns said 7 years ago

    Those matchboxes are so cute!! Perfect for this time of year.

  • jbeaudet

    jbeaudet said 7 years ago

    These little boxes are so cute. I especially like the YellowGoat necklace!

  • SatinandBirch

    SatinandBirch said 7 years ago

    love love love it

  • ozmaofodds

    ozmaofodds said 7 years ago

    These are sooo very fun to make! and you are only be limited by your imagination ~ xo

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 7 years ago

    Very cute!!

  • mykonos

    mykonos said 7 years ago

    I love little boxes!!

  • ilovecutethings

    ilovecutethings said 7 years ago

    Thank you for all of the kind comments! I can't wait for craft night. The matchboxes are really easy to make, but I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with. p.s. I just posted a new, free PDF for matchbox enclosure cards over on the Swap-bot blog. Download here.

  • recycledwares

    recycledwares said 7 years ago

    cute little boxes. guess i need to move closer to Brooklyn for the full affect.

  • reinaldovalentin

    reinaldovalentin said 7 years ago

    New Yorkers have all the fun.

  • outoftheblue

    outoftheblue said 7 years ago

    Oh my goodness...these are so adorable! This would be a fun project to do with my 8 yr old daughter. She would love it!

  • camilita

    camilita said 7 years ago

    Cool idea! I will try to get my the supplies and join the group for the first item on Monday! I thought you had to be in Ny in order to do craft night!

  • vintagemimosette

    vintagemimosette said 7 years ago

    SWEET idea! I hope to one day visit Brooklyn....and then you may never get rid of me! BWAHAHAHA!

  • JemmDeeCreations

    JemmDeeCreations said 7 years ago

    aww..those little boxes are so cute! I used to have a box collection when I was little. I still have a love for pretty little boxes. Wish I could be there. :(

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 7 years ago

    Those are adorable!

  • VixVintage

    VixVintage said 7 years ago

    Awww, so cute! Thanks Rachel.

  • JourneyDesigns

    JourneyDesigns said 7 years ago

    I never knew matchboxes could be so cute and fun!!

  • wasijiru

    wasijiru said 7 years ago

    She is so creative! The matchbox transformations are amazing.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 7 years ago

    How cute! Now what could I tuck in there? $$$$?

  • dogwoodandpoppy

    dogwoodandpoppy said 7 years ago

    what a sweet idea! thanks for sharing, especially the pdf!

  • chocolatelushes

    chocolatelushes said 7 years ago

    Very cute and creative.

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 7 years ago

    How sweet!

  • odiliafu

    odiliafu said 7 years ago

    So cute! It seems like fun.

  • redrobindesigns

    redrobindesigns said 7 years ago

    Delightful! Good things really do come in small packages. I feel inspired to go off and create some small packages of my own- off to make and cut and glue....

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 7 years ago

    So cute!

  • akmoose68

    akmoose68 said 7 years ago

    These are fantastic! I had never heard of Swap-bot before, but visited the website and I'm totally jazzed! What a fun idea :D I made a profile, and think I'm going to sign up for the swap!! Thanks so much for putting this on etsy so I could find it!

  • brownbelly

    brownbelly said 7 years ago

    lovely items!

  • daisytilt

    daisytilt said 7 years ago

    Cute! I love Swap-bot :)

  • BlackDaisyDesigns

    BlackDaisyDesigns said 7 years ago

    Great idea! Going to check out Swap-bot and I think I have to try the matchbox template. Bet my daughter would love to decorate one. Or two... or three... (6yo and already a full fledged crafter.) :D

  • BlackDaisyDesigns

    BlackDaisyDesigns said 7 years ago

    Great idea! I'll check out Swap-bot and then I'll have to try the matchbox template. Bet my daughter would love to decorate one. Or two... or three.... (6yr old and already a full fledged crafter. LOL)

  • BebesDecor

    BebesDecor said 7 years ago

    OMG this is adorable!! Funny how a matchbox can be transformed to such cute things!!

  • LuvtoMakeit4U

    LuvtoMakeit4U said 7 years ago

    The matchboxes are the cutest thing EVER! I've gotta try some.

  • sugarraindrops

    sugarraindrops said 7 years ago

    Shortly before this blog was posted, I found these really cute match boxes. They're so pretty and can be personalized too! http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37394611

  • LoveAppleBoutique

    LoveAppleBoutique said 7 years ago

    I love making matchboxes.....Swapbot is a fun site

  • hulagirlsoapco

    hulagirlsoapco said 7 years ago

    I love them. I collect them. This is my kinda Blog! Thanks for posting this. Everyone do the Hula!

  • prettysmartideas

    prettysmartideas said 7 years ago

    Looking forward to decorating matchboxes. Also glad to see that the weekly CraftNight is back. I'll advertise it. Thank you.

  • jackbenimble

    jackbenimble said 7 years ago

    Very cute and affordable. Can't wait to take part. Love paper things. Thanks for sharing.

  • jackbenimble

    jackbenimble said 7 years ago

    Very cute and affordable. Thanks for sharing. I'll be there 9:30 2/1/10

  • zinablt

    zinablt said 7 years ago

    love your work, I have some lace dolies that you can use.

  • zinablt

    zinablt said 7 years ago

    zinablt.etsy.com Great Grandma's Attic, My mom and I are finding great and unusal stuff every day!

  • zinablt

    zinablt said 7 years ago

    My Great Grandma was an awsome collector,of many items in her time, come see what I have found so far at zinablt.etsy.com "Great Grandma's Attic"

  • modernfigurative

    modernfigurative said 7 years ago

    Wow I am on the same page as you are on this! I love painting on them..Yesterday I finally got my matchboxes in the shop...take a look...

  • modernfigurative

    modernfigurative said 7 years ago

    Something happened to my post.. I just said that I am on the same page with this project as I put my matchbox paintings up yesterday.. check them out..

  • sofisticata

    sofisticata said 7 years ago

    Those are adorable :) very cute!

  • sharonclancydesigns

    sharonclancydesigns said 7 years ago

    I love this idea, thanks for sharing, look like fun!!!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 7 years ago

    The matchboxes are so sweet! Have fun Monday! :)

  • mammamiaeme

    mammamiaeme said 7 years ago

    Really adorable and cute works! I had to make someting similar in my mind :)

  • FunkyStones

    FunkyStones said 7 years ago

    Great ideas!!

  • PunkUpBettie

    PunkUpBettie said 7 years ago

    All the matchboxes are so cute & cool! My favorite is the sewing machine one. Too bad it's sold out...

  • SugarFlower

    SugarFlower said 7 years ago

    Creative!Thank you for sharing!

  • Stargazer02

    Stargazer02 said 7 years ago

    cute stuff!

  • lauramccabe

    lauramccabe said 7 years ago

    Just got back from craft night. I had so much fun making these matchbox valentines! Thanks so much to Rachel Johnson and Etsy! Here are the three I made at craft night: http://twitpic.com/10y78a

  • kateskrochet

    kateskrochet said 7 years ago

    Very cute!

  • sajuart

    sajuart said 7 years ago

    beautiful creation!

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