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Matchbox Pop-Up Valentines

By Jessica Begum ; Updated January 21, 2015
A trio of pop-up Valentines

Come out and say "Happy Valentine's Day!" with a homemade pop-up Valentine. Not only are these matchbox cards easy to make, they also serve as endearing keepsakes. And your main squeeze will love getting a pop-up surprise when pulling out the tiny drawer of the Valentine.

Things You'll Need

Gather your supplies.
  • Empty matchboxes, 1 3/8 inches by 2 1/2 inches
  • Decorative paper
  • Ruler
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sewing pin with a round plastic tip
  • Wire clippers
  • White printer paper
  • Heart cutouts (or other scrapbook embellishments)
  • Small coil springs, 3/16 inches by 1 inch (or take from ballpoint pens)
  • Scissors

Make Paper Strips for the Drawer

Trim paper strips to match the length and width of the drawer.

Choose two contrasting paper colors/patterns to cover the matchbox drawer. Using a crafting knife, ruler and cutting mat, trim a long strip of paper that is the same width as the matchbox drawer. Use a different paper color or pattern and trim a long strip that is the same length as the matchbox drawer. The paper strips should both be at least 6 inches in length.

Secure the Paper Strip to the Drawer

Glue the paper to the inside flap and wrap underneath the drawer.

Flip the paper for the outside of the box right-side down. Use a few small dabs of hot glue to tack down one end of a decorative paper strip onto the inside long edge of the matchbox drawer.

Cover the Drawer With One Strip

Wrap the paper around the matchbox drawer and secure with glue.

Wrap the paper strip all the way around the matchbox drawer, creasing at the corners as you wrap so the paper folds neatly against the walls of the drawer. Use small dabs of hot glue to secure the paper to the matchbox drawer as you go. Trim off any excess paper.

Cover the Drawer With Another Strip

Wrap the other strip in the opposite direction.

Take the other paper strip, tack it down with glue inside the matchbox drawer, and wrap, crease and glue it in the opposite direction (as in steps 2 and 3 above). Trim off any excess paper.

Loosen the Lid

Unhinge the matchbox lid, loosen and reseal.

Next, place the covered matchbox drawer inside the matchbox lid to test whether it slides easily. If it is tight, you can unhinge the seam of the lid (using a craft knife) loosen it and reseal it with hot glue. If it isn't tight, simply leave the lid as-is.

Make a Paper Strip for the Lid

Measure and cut the strip the same length as the lid.

Cut a long strip of decorative paper that matches the length of the matchbox lid. The strip of paper should be at least 6 inches long.

Cover the Lid

Attach paper to lid and wrap around.

Turn the paper right-side down. Secure the paper to the bottom of the matchbox lid with a few small dabs of hot glue, and wrap the paper around the lid, creasing it at the corners and using small dabs of hot glue to secure as you go.

Add a Drawer Pull

Add tip of sewing pin to make a drawer pull.

Next, poke a small hole in the front center of the matchbox drawer with a sewing pin. Remove the pin and trim the round tip off the pin with wire clippers, leaving about 1/16 inch of wire attached to the tip. Insert the pin tip back into the hole in the matchbox, and use a small dab of hot glue to secure it in place on the inside flap.

Make the Pop-Up Message

Make a flag with a Valentine message.

Cut a little flag out of white printer paper measuring about 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide. Write a simple Valentine message on it. You could also print the message out first using an 8- to 10-point font. Use a dab of hot glue to secure the flag to one side of a heart cutout (or other scrapbook embellishment).

Make the Pop-Up Spring

Trim a coil spring to 1 inch.

Use wire clippers to trim a small coil spring to 1 inch long, or use a small spring taken from an old pen.

Secure the Pop-Up Message to the Spring

Glue the spring to the heart cutout.

Secure the spring to the back tip of the heart cutout with a dab of hot glue. If you're using a small pen spring, glue the very tip of the spring to the very end tip of the heart.

Secure the Spring to the Matchbox

Glue the spring inside the drawer.

Place the bottom of the spring on the bottom of the matchbox drawer, centered toward the front of the drawer near the drawer pull, and secure it with hot glue. Allow the glue to dry for one minute before putting the drawer into the matchbox.

Assemble the Matchbox Pop-Ups

A Valentine's message pops out when the matchbox is opened.

Slide the matchbox drawer back into the lid, and carefully tuck the heart and message down into the drawer and close. The message will spring out when opened.

About the Author

Jessica Begum is a crafty momma of three living on the west side of Los Angeles. Her blog Hipster's Tea Party, www.hipstersteaparty.com, is mostly mom- and kid-friendly crafts, partly ideas for more ambitious projects and a sprinkle of art and recipes thrown in just for fun. As well as being crafty, she is classically trained in fine art and loves to paint with watercolors and oils.