Whether they're strike on the box or not, matches can be useful around the house, and you may well have a packet or box rattling around somewhere. But what do you do with a matchbox when all the matches are gone? Sure, you could toss it in the recycling, or you could use it for...
1. Small item storage
Paperclips, rubber bands, tacks, and more tend to wander, especially in desk drawers. Matchboxes are a great size for containing small objects and keeping track of them. If you're feeling extra motivated, print or draw up labels and designs for them to turn them into colorful works of art. These printable labels that make your matchboxes look like books are downloadable and oh-so-cute!
2. Sewing kit
As anyone who's ever had a wardrobe malfunction on the go knows, it sucks to be caught without mending supplies. A needle, bobbin of thread in a neutral color, spare button or two, some safety pins, and a handful of other supplies can turn a matchbox into a handy traveling sewing kit.
3. Dollhouse accessories
Tiny matchboxes can make great building materials for dollhouse furniture and the storage of small items like shoes and dishes that tend to get lost. Cute labels can totally turn them decorative in addition to functional, and your dollhouse fan will be so appreciative. Luckily, you don't need advanced carpentry skills for these building projects.
4. Holiday decor
Need some fake presents to go under the tiny fake tree on your mantel? Matchboxes are a handy size for wrapping and disguising as gifts. When the holidays are over, you can stash them with other holiday decor, or unwrap them and reuse them for something else. (Double bonus: Make your matchbox presents into real presents, like customized containers for friends, and turn them into stocking stuffers and presents for visitors during the holiday season.)
5. Jewelry boxes
Speaking of gifts, if you're giving jewelry and other small items, a matchbox with a cotton wool or tissue paper nest can make a fantastic package to protect your present. Sure, you could try to hunt down a jewelry box, but matchboxes are free! You can also use them when you're traveling to protect jewelry and keep pairs of earrings and other coordinated items together.
6. First-aid kit
While the real deal holds a lot more, a matchbox can make a useful mini-first aid kit for a pinch. Include bandaids, aspirin, and other emergency supplies you might need so you can stick it in your purse for a night out -- this way you can patch up ankle blisters from those heels, take an aspirin when the music gets a little too loud, and still make it home okay, even when a Portland concrete contractor is pouring new sidewalks in the middle of the night.
7. Matchbox advent calendar
24 matchboxes, and you've got an advent calendar. Find out how to do it here.
Katie Marks writes for Networx.com.