Make It: Match Holder with Striker

DIY idea and options on how to make a match holder with a striker that will keep matches handy on a table when needed in a functional, yet decorative way.

I love the coziness that lit candles add to a room’s ambiance all through the year, but especially now that we are entering the holiday season.

It is just not the holidays without candle glow in a room, both real and battery-operated.

I also love the item that candles need to work… matches!

Collecting them is something I have been doing since I was a child.

Table Top Match Holders

It is no surprise to me that I also like these cute little match holders and strikers (in the slide images above) that are sold in most decorating catalogs or handcrafted on Etsy.

I was given one of these match holders as a gift last year, but was sad that the matches I had didn’t ignite when run along the rough striking surface on the holder. I have tried many types of matches including strike anywhere matches, but even these do not work.

Seems silly to have to have a separate striker next to one of the holders, right? I want simple and no clutter.

Reader’s Jenny and Lynn wrote to me a few weeks ago asking how I lit my candles and do I keep a striker nearby my match holder?

Well, I am going to show you what I DIY’ed so I could have the best of both worlds. A decorative table top match holder with a striker right on the holder that actually works when using the commonly sold Diamond brand wood stick matches.

Handmade Match jar with striker on table.

What Can Be Used as a Match Holder and Striker?

To make my table top match holder and striker, I collected a few small glass jars from my pantry to find one that would work the best for the look I wanted.

4 small glass food jars lined up.

So many choices. I couldn’t decide which jar shape I liked the best, so I decided to use all of them to show you the many decorative options you can add to a simple glass jar to transform it into a cute match holder and striker in one.

With some paint and basic craft supplies you can easily turn them into…

Line up of 4 DIY Match Holders made using small empty glass food jars.

…decorative match holders to make for yourself or to give as gifts.

How to Make a Match Holder and Striker

There are many ways to add your own style to small glass jars. Paint, scrapbook paper, maps, wallpaper, ribbon, beads and more.

Mix and match a few of these to come up with your own design.

When it comes to choosing what striking surface to use, I found that using actual strikers from a box of matches or matchbooks worked the best. I had read that sandpaper works as a striker and tried all different grits – none of them worked.

If you want to make these match holders as gifts, consider purchasing a sheet of match striking paper. You can find it here:

supplies needed:

  • Small glass food jars – cleaned and dried
  • Paint – for inside of jar and lid spray paint works best for the lid
  • Small paint brush
  • Decoupage medium
  • Match striker cut from a box of matches or matchbook
  • Decorative initial cut out from clip-art, a book or printable – I found mine in an old Dover Publication book
  • Optional: awl, bead and brass fastener

Time needed: 1 hour

How to Make a Match Holder With a Striker

  1. Gather Supplies

    Clean jar and let dry.

    supplies needed to made DIY match holders with strikers.

  2. Decoupage Initial Art Inside Jar

    If you want to add a decorative image like the initial I did, you need to use decoupage medium or watered-down white glue to attach it. Use a paint brush to evenly coat over the image and then place inside jar. Use the brush to push out any air bubbles.

    Once this is dried, use a small paint brush to paint the inside of the jar. Let dry. Add a second coat if needed.

    Spray paint the lid and let dry.

    Jar turned into a table top Match Holder with Pull top lid.

  3. Attach Lid Pull

    This is optional. Spray paint a brass fastener and a wood bead silver. After they dry, use an awl to make a hole in the center of the lid.

    Place the fastener through the holes in the bead and then the tips on the end of the fastener through the hole.

    Spread the tips on the underside of the lid to secure the bead.

    Side by side images of jar turned into a match holder. One photo shows underside of lid with brass fastener and the other one shows the top being held on with the top of the fastener and a silver bead.

  4. Add Striker to Bottom

    Cut a striker from a box of matches or a matchbook that you have. Use glue to attach it to the bottom of the jar. Let the glue dry before using the striker.

    Handmade Match Holder on it side showing the bottom where the striker is

How to Strike a Match on the Glass Jar Holder

Close up of completed Match Holder and Striker DIY

Now all you have to do when lighting a candle is to open the jar, grab a match, close the jar and then strike the match on the bottom to ignite it.

After the holder performs it function, it serves a second purpose – to add a little style to your table top.

Decorative Variations for a DIY Match Holder with Striker

Line up of 4 DIY Match Holders made using small empty glass food jars.

Here are a few decorative options to inspire your creativity and style:

  • Classic: Spray paint the lid, a bead and brass fastener any color. Leave the glass bare. Glue striker to bottom of jar.
  • Boho: Paint the inside of the jar and lid any color. Let dry. Apply painter’s tape around the jar about three quarters down from the top of the jar. Mask the top section of the jar with a piece of paper. Spray textured spray paint on lower section and bottom of jar. Remove painter’s tape. Let dry. Glue striker onto lid top.
  • Modern Farmhouse: Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit inside the jar. Use tape on the inside of the paper strip to secure. Using the same scrapbook paper, cut out a design to fit the top. Glue and seal this with decoupage medium. Glue the striker on the bottom of the jar.
DIY match holder and striker on table.

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  1. Diane,
    I love your site and this idea is so cute. Now I will look for some jars. Thanks again.

  2. Star Tyler says:

    Awesome post! Hunting for a best home painters and decorators in Ireland or anywhere is a daunting task. But if you can find someone perfect or do it yourself then it makes life so beautiful and colourful. You can visit or call us.

  3. Could you attach the striker to the inside of the lid? I guess you’d need to make sure that the matches in the jar aren’t touching it!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Tina – Yes you could attach the sticker to the inside of the lid. Maybe make a foil flap to keep the match tips from touching it.

  4. Hi Diane,
    Your match holders with strikers are the perfect accessory! Do your creative ideas come to you in your sleep? You never run out of them! I’m always going through the drawers in my low boy, kitchen and built-ins searching for the box of matches I thoughtlessly tossed in the last time I used them. The classic style will look perfect sitting on an end table, the lowboy, or on a bookshelf in my home. My daughter and daughter-in-law would love a couple of the Modern Farmhouse style; a great stocking stuffer idea! Thanks, as always…amazing!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Judy – Thanks :-) I enjoy creating. It is just how my brain works. I hope your daughter and daughter-in-law like their stocking stuffers.

  5. I love his idea…. I can’t wait to make a couple of these. Thanks Diane – you rock ;]

  6. Love, love, love this idea~ I am going to do this myself. You are so awesome!

  7. So creative! Can hardly wait to try this.

  8. Wow! I think this is genius. I’m always saving cute little jars because I’m so sure that I can use them in some creative way. Haven’t yet, but will now! So cute and practical.

  9. Lynn Woodall says:

    These are SO cute! Thanks for answering my question about the strikers. XO

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks for asking – it was a great question that I was happy to come up with an answer.

  10. Well, you do know we have come a long way from matchsticks and now have those automatic click fire starters for the grill we can use?

    But I get it, Diane. Sometimes it’s all about cute and these are adorable. Thanks and God bless.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rebecca – I do have a Bic lighter for the grill. Inside like you stated, it is all about cute and adorable. :-)

  11. These are so cute and only you would be this creative. What a great gift for everyone, going on my to do list.
    I totally understand, I logged out of FB, haven’t missed it all and using my time better and getting my list done.

  12. Love ? love this idea! What a great hostess gift, when I have extra time, I never thought I would be raiding the fridge for a DIY.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Gail – I hope you have lots of extra time soon…. getting to enjoy your new home.

  13. Carla Chapman says:

    LOVE your ideas. For the match jars with striker…How bout another smaller jar, with or without easy drop on lid to hold the matches after they have done their duty? Some place to put the burnt match without having to go to the trash can each time your light a match?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Carla – Excellent idea. I will have to keep my eye out for a smaller jar or cap that will work for the the discarded matches. Thanks for sharing your idea.

  14. Cheryl r Atkinson says:

    What a cute idea. Thank you.

  15. Your posts are always a fun escape from reality. ?

    These are very clever and so cute!! So happy you always come up with fun ideas ~ Thanks Diane!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Jeanne – That is good to know.