A Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine’s Day)

Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and this year I have joined a Swedish group called The Red Thread Craftivist for a little project. Our task was to send Valentine’s greetings with an encouraging message to a woman who is important to us, a friend or relative, a colleague or someone whose work we admire.

For quite some time I have had an idea in my head, and although the task was some kind of handmade card, I expanded the idea a bit, because basically, the project was about sending a kind message to someone. I made three small matchboxes, each with a button that – if you pull it gently – reveals a message (for this project, my message is ‘Your creative spirit is so contagious’). On Instagram, you can see a little film that I made – it shows the button mechanism.

Of all my craft tutorials on my old blog, the one with the magic boxes is the most popular and I thought I’d share the instructions for you here as well. I have used this idea for wedding invitations, birthday greetings and for little surprise gifts. It is a lovely craft project to do with your kids, too and most of the materials can be found in your drawers and cupboards. Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)


  • matchboxes (either used ones or from the craft store),
  • nylon string
  • sewing thread or embroidery floss
  • washi tape (optional), glue, sellotape
  • needle and scissors
  • paper scraps and buttons
  • hot glue (optional)

Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

Remove the little drawer. Cut a piece of fishing line (mine is about 25cm long) and tie a triple knot at one end (it has to be very sturdy). Thread a needle and stitch through the cardboard at around two third of the height of your matchbox, pull through. Test whether the knot is sturdy enough by pulling the fishing line a few times. Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)Secure the end with a piece of sellotape.

Cut a piece of paper to cover your matchbox with (measurements might differ depending on how big your matchbox is, mine was 5.3cm x 11cm).Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

Apply some glue and cover the matchbox with that piece of paper (start at the back where the knot is) Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

Now stitch through the front of the matchbox, same height as on the back and pull the string through, like this:Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

Insert the little drawer and push gently…Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

…so that the fishing line goes all the way around the drawer, like this (bottom of the box):Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

Make sure that the fishing line sits tightly, then fasten a button and secure. Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day) Magic_Box_Tutorial_Valentine_diy 9

Cut small pieces of paper to line the drawers, use some glue to attach.Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

Make buntings by using small pieces of washi tape (double) and a piece of string, cut into triangles. If you don’t have washi tape handy, some fabric or paper scraps work fine as well.Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

Attach the string/ buntings with a knot on each side of the drawer.Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)

I have printed my message on sturdy paper, both for the drawer and for the front, but a handwritten note is lovely, too. I used hot glue to attach it – glue stick and a teeny tiny piece of cardboard work fine as well.Magic_Box_Tutorial_Valentine_diy 13

I also added a how-to instruction for the recipient…Magic_Box_Tutorial_Valentine_diy 14

Voilà! Three small gifts for three women in my life whose creative spirit I truly find contagious.

What about you? What kind of encouraging note would you like send to someone? Uplifting messages are welcome all year round, not only on Valentine’s Day ;-)Magic Box Tutorial (not only for Valentine's Day)





  1. Nu prøver jeg at skrive en kommentar hos dig, på dansk… Jeg synes du har en smuk og inspirerende blog, som jeg er så glad for , at jeg har fundet :)

  2. oh, years ago (maybe 25?) I made little christmascribs in this way. With a mini Joseph, Maria and a very small Jesus. They got it for Sinterklaas present (Saint Nicolas, on the 5th of december). This is also a very nice one. I can imagine to make a new one for our grandsons, with a little “tomte” in it. Thank you for sharing. Brought back good memories!

    • Oh, that sounds so sweet! When I was a child, we made these small pulling boxes as gifts for friends, the very first one I ever made came with a small clown ;-)

  3. Fantastiskt Juliane. Vackert och värmande för innanmätet. Tack för bra instruktion.

  4. Jättefin idé! Thanks for sharing, I will try this if I can find a matchbox somewhere around here…. :)

  5. I love these little boxes….. I have made a few in the past and was looking for a bit of fresh inspiration on this rainy day in Dallas and you my dear have served it up in spades. THANK YOU!

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