Lowe's Home Improvement
FREE PARCEL SHIPPING on Qualifying Orders

Matchstick Star

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Conquer cabin fever with this inexpensive and fun-to-assemble wooden matchstick star. It's perfect for Christmas or winter decorating and so easy to make, you could create an entire galaxy.

Completed matchstick star

Project Overview

Skill Level

Beginner

Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost

$$$$$

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Metal yardstick, #119891
  • Rag
  • Scissors or crafts knife
  • Cardboard (discarded cereal box)
  • Transparent adhesive tape

Materials

  • 2-in Diamond Strike-On-Box kitchen matches, #336754
  • Elmer's all-purpose glue, #185297
  • Matte spray sealant, #230659 (optional)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online

Project Resources

Instructions

Make the Template

Step 1

Cut out the cardboard backing

Download the Matchstick Star Pattern. Print out the pattern and tape it to a piece of cardboard. Cut out the cardboard template with a utility knife or crafts knife and metal straightedge.

When cutting out the template, use a fresh blade and apply firm pressure to create clean edges on the cardboard cutout. Work on a cutting mat or other protective surface.

Step 2

Mark the pattern on the cut-out backing

Use a straightedge and pen to lightly draw guidelines on the cardboard template, which are indicated as dashed lines on the printed pattern.

Prepare the Matchsticks

Step 1

Burn match ends

Light and burn one matchstick at a time. Hold the matchstick at a slight downward angle, rolling the stick between your fingers to create an even charred tone around the match slightly beyond the tip. Quickly extinguish the flame and place the matchstick on a heatproof surface until it cools.

Work in a well-ventilated area and quickly blow out the matchstick to preserve the wooden part of the tip. Light all the matchsticks in the box, if desired, and use only the best ones. To conserve matches, light only 25 matches and use those up before burning more as needed while you assemble the design.

Step 2

Once the matchsticks cool, gently rub loose soot and the match head off the burned tip of the match. Return the matchsticks to the heatproof container, laying them in the same direction to prevent soot from transferring to the clean ends of the matchsticks.

Assemble the Star

Step 1

Dip the clean end of an unburned matchstick into white glue. Drag the glue-laden end along the guidelines to form thin lines of glue radiating outward from the star center, extending the initial glue lines about the length of a matchstick.

Step 2

Glue the first six matches to the cardboard backing

With clean ends touching the center of the cardboard star template, place the first six matchsticks onto the glue guidelines. Wipe off excess glue and let dry completely.

Step 3

Add glue and matches to develop the pattern, starting with the portions of section A on the downloadable pattern. Matchsticks radiating out from the center of the star serve as guides for the remaining matchsticks. Wipe off excess glue with a damp rag and let dry completely.

Good to Know

Study the template and photographs to note whether burned matchstick ends should point toward the center or perimeter.

Step 4

Refer to the pattern printout to find a Section A, and apply a thin layer of glue to one of those areas on the cardboard template. Apply matchsticks, starting at the center and working your way out to the edge of the star. Make sure the last match conceals the cardboard. Repeat this step to fill in each Section A with matchsticks.

Step 5

Add matches working out from the center

Work around the cardboard backing using the same technique from step 4 to fill in each Section B.

Step 6

Cut matches to length with scissors

To fill each Section C, dry-fit one matchstick to determine the desired length and snip off the clean end to the correct length with scissors.

Step 7

Glue matches to the final section

Snip the remaining matchsticks for Section C to this length. Apply a thin layer of glue to Section C, and apply matchsticks with burned ends pointing toward the center of the star. Let dry completely.

Step 8

image

Cut a 3-in-long piece of string or twine. Lay the finished star upside down and glue the ends of the string spaced about 1 inch apart to form a hanging loop.