asking for trouble

What You Can Fit Inside A Matchbox

The $13 Happy Mail package for April signups is a matchbox filled with tiny things. I’ve wanted to do this again for a long time and I’m so happy to have the chance with Patreon. 

Back in 2007 when Asking For Trouble didn’t quite exist yet, I organised a Springtime Matchbox Swap with some crafty friends. You had to decorate a matchbox, fill it up and send to the next person on the list and you’d get one in return. It worked really well and there were some really imaginative boxes (and some less so, as always happens with swaps). Here’s a few photos I could find – sorry they’re all so terrible but we all had rubbish cameras back then!

Springtime Matchbox Swap

This is the box I received from Jo (who now runs Penny Black, a post office/shop whose logo I designed). I have this displayed in my type drawer and some of the stickers are still inside. It’s such a prettily-designed matchbox too.

Springtime Matchbox Swap

This is a very blurry photo of the box I decorated for Claire (who I’ve collaborated with a lot on the craft fair zine and cross stitch patterns). It’s covered in paper from Amsterdam with a handmade felt flower.

Springtime Matchbox Swap

And an even worse photo of the contents! Claire deleted her Flickr account so I only had a tiny pic that I’ve blown up. Some of the things are stickers, a handmade badge, some buttons, a ladybird pushpin, a ¥5 coin and Puccho chewy candy.

Springtime Matchbox Swap

This is the box my sister Nicolette put together, decorated with a kirigami geisha. She was more generous than me with a ¥50 coin!

Springtime Matchbox Swap

And this is the box she received from another crafty friend including handmade jewellery.

Kawaii Matchboxes

I also have 2 more matchboxes on display, both later gifts from matchbox swappers.

Kawaii Matchboxes

The badass bunny is a little handmade ceramic brooch by Tiny Supply and too cute to wear. The Instant Comfort Box is by Kim’s Little Monsters.

I have probably raised your expectations far too high now but hopefully you will enjoy your matchbox from me as much as we enjoyed these. Would you like me to post about some of my favourite items in my type drawer of tiny things too?


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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All text, photos and illustrations are © Marceline Smith 2007-2024 unless credited otherwise. You may repost my images with full credit and link. However, do not reproduce full posts without my permission or use my images or writing for commercial purposes. Thank you!


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