Waterproof Crushproof Tic-Tac Matchbox




Introduction: Waterproof Crushproof Tic-Tac Matchbox

I'm a student at Harvey Mudd College in CA who loves to play sports and to run, and I always like...

As a Boy Scout and staffer at Camp Wanocksett in New Hampshire, I have learned a lot of tips and tricks over the years for ways to make do with what you have for equipment to get you what you need. One of my dilemmas that I once had occurred when I need a small matchbox to carry my matches that wouldn't bend or break any matches in my pack. The solution came from a half full Tic-Tac box, and a mostly empty 250 count matchbox. With a little bit of crafty skill, I brought everything together to make a waterproof tic-tac matchbox for all to enjoy, especially when you don't need 250 matches, and you want is some good matches with good matchheads.

I have submitted this into the Coleman Camping Challenge Contest, so if you like what you see, vote for my 'ible in the contest.

WARNING: This project involves using super glue, which shouldn't be used by big buffoons, whatever a buffoon is. Honestly, you can use rubber cement instead, so it doesn't really matter.

Step 1: Materials

To make this awesome matchbox, you will need:

• 1 Large Tic-Tac container
• 1 Empty box of matches, preferably a 250 count match box, or a waterproof match box
• A Small bottle of Super-Glue, Rubber Cement, or other glue that works on plastic
• A Pair of Scissors 
• Approximately 30 Matches, any kind of your choice, but I prefer the "Kitchen Matches" because of their large match head, and long burning time. 

Optional: Goo Gone, to help remove the Tic Tac sticker

Step 2: Eat Tic Tacs

Nom. Nom Nom. Who doesn't like Tic-Tacs? Not anyone that I know.

On a side note, it is extremely hard to take a picture of a full box of tic-tacs, because it is impossible to bring home tic-tacs with you to your camera with out eating at least half of them. Try it for yourself. It's hard.

Step 3: Remove Label

If you are lazy/don't care/don't have Goo Gone, now what you need to do is peel off the label on the tic-tac container. It is very simple. Use your fingernails.

If you are OCD like me and you dislike having sticky residue on your match box, you need to retrieve your bottle of Goo Gone, spread a large drop onto the surface of the label, and after waiting for a minute or two, just easily peel it off using, once again, your fingernail. If there is still some sticky residue, then you can easily wash it off with soap and water in the sink, but remember to dry it completely.

Step 4: Remove the Match Striker From Your Empty Matchbox

So here is the step where we use a little bit of scissor mastery. To remove the striker from your matchbox, take your scissors and cut out the striker from the matchbox, leaving a little bit of room around the magnesium (Cut a little outside the red part). Then cut the striker to the size of the front of the matchbox, saving any excess for potential future projects.

Now repeat using the second striker, unless you are keen on making two matchboxes, which is fine, but remember you are using a used striker and used strikers don't work well for more than 100 strikes, so your match box will last longer if you use two strikers.

* If you are using small waterproof match strikers, you can cut them to the size of the sides of the tic-tac box as opposed to the front or back. (Hopefully that was obvious, but just in case...)

Step 5: Glue Your Striker to the Tic-Tac Container

Now it's gluing time!!!
The Super Glue Way
Carefully apply your super glue to the back of the striker in small dots of glue, placing a dot at each corner,  a dot at each midpoint along the sides of the striker, and at least one dot in the middle. Now slowly lay your striker glue side down onto the container centered as well as you can.

Gluing Using Rubber Cement
If you don't have any super glue, or it is a little too dangerous for you, you can instead use rubber cement. To glue it on simply brush a small amount onto the back of the sriker covering the entire surface, and brush a small amount onto the front on the container. Then lay the striker glue side to glue side on the container, and slide the striker into perfect place.

At this point, you are done with your match box! Now all you gotta do is add matches!!! (which by the way is the next step)

* REMEMBER * Super Glue can be dangerous as it is very effective at gluing parts of your skin to other things when you accidentally touch the glue. So be careful, and you should be fine. Because of this, it is always good to have adult supervision if you don't have experience using super glue.

Step 6: Insert Your Matches in Your New Matchbox

This is the final step. DON"T SCREW UP NOW!
Enough messing around, to finish the matchbox, remove the "Individual Tic-Tac Dispenser" (the white thingy at the top of the container that stop's the Tic-Tacs from falling out, or from coming out too fast when poured. Then neatly lay as many new 'kitchen matches' as you can fit in the container while still leaving the matches with enough wiggle room to be poured out, and leaving room around the rim to replace the lid or the "Individual Tic-Tac Dispenser". Now carefully place the lid to the container, and if there is still room for a few more matches, you can open the top and put a couple more in.

That is it. Now you can use your new matchbox while watching my attempt to light a match on my matchbox (Or not, your probably watching this indoors). Your new matchbox can be used anywhere that you want a small durable matchbox, such as camping, backpacking, canoeing, and many other outdoor as well as civilian applications.

So have fun. But don't get your finger glued to your face, or burn yourself, because that's no fun.



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25 Discussions

As to all the above comments about lighters vs. matches: Cub Scouts are not allowed to carry lighters. And as a long time smoker, lighters can fail for one reason or another. When you can it is best to carry both. (Or all 3 ((flint & steel.) I'm going to make one soon for camp. Thanks for this great instructable!!

1 reply

dude he is not a cub scout he is a in college. i am pretty sure he can use some matches.

Survival Life and the Family Protection Association is giving away free waterproof matches at www.WaterproofMatch.info - pretty nice giveaway if I do say so myself! :) My family are big survivalists and we've tried many different types of waterproof matches, but this free one has been the best by far. Great spark. I use very little pressure when striking. I get a good spark and a successful light almost every time. Unless you lose it, this will last a lifetime.

If you lightly glue the outside with waterproof glue and cover it with fine grit powder that might work. But, It might just be easier to just put the striker in the box.

16 replies

No, you cant do that unless you use strike anywhere matches. The " fne grit powder" on a modern matchbox is what is called White Phosphorus, and when combined with red phosphorus on the tips of matches and heat, it ignites a match.

That is why is suggested using a waterproof match striker from a waterproof matchbox if you really wanted it to be completely waterproof.

I only buy strike anywhere matches, but I guess I should have said that. To be honest, I think matches are pointless in an emergency kit. A bic lighter is waterproof, more compact, and can light hundreds of fires. And if I wanted to go waterproof and crush proof I would not use a candy container.

a bic lighter doesn't work in the snow. For freezing temperatures it can fail you. That's about the only time I wouldn't have one. I learned this from experience, and never would have believed it otherwise. It was cold, we had to use matches. 3 different lighters wouldn't do a thing.

I spent an hour looking online for any expert to claim that bic lighters don't work in snow. Nothing... But there are some problems with wet lighters requiring some babying. I still put a few matches in my emergency kits, but I still think they are pointless. I did find, in my search, that this is a heated debate in the survival world. I think people don't like bic lighters because they're not sexy. If I had a choice between a candy box with 300 matches in it or a bic, I will pick the bic. With that said, I like this idea because its smart, and people still light grills with matches.

I rarely go out camping anymore, but I'm with you on this one. I'd rather use a lighter, but I take matches too anyways. Of course then I'm always reminded of how I used to ask if anyone had a match and my dad would always say "yeah, your face and my butt" lol. 20 years of hearing that answer, I get a lighter, but it's still a cheap laugh for me. ;)

I'm a little confused as to what your point to commenting is. Are you here to discuss this instructable and maybe give some helpful information, or simply be a wet blanket and tell everyone lighters are better?

Clearly this is your prerogative and you don't seem to have much of an interest in a waterproof matchbox anyways. So why are you posting? It seems awfully rude.

Well, I guess it accomplished having you comment for the first time since joining in 2009. Necromancing tends to be a bit rude too, you know, but I won't say anything about that, and answer your question.

I was having a small conversation with tjesse, and if you look above, I was actually bashing having a lighter, but admit that I would rather use the said lighter over matches. The instructable is just fine, and as I recall, I gave it 4.5 stars out of 5 (one of only 5 ratings). Bye now :)

In that case, whatever duggerpato said. You are proof that it is easy to get a bit side tracked on these comments. Sure, if you read the comments all at once then it seems like I'm on Bic's pay roll, but it was just a comment on the fact that people seem to find ways to protect a fragile thing like matches when lighters are better suited for lighting fires. It was a bit off topic, I admit, but hardly rude. You on the other hand are not adding anything to the conversation (good or bad). I'm glad, however, that you pooped your instructable cherry, too bad you brought nothing to the table as far as an opinion on the matter.

I apologize if I felt it necessary to defend this young man's instructable from someone who had nothing but bad things to say about it. Not only that but you felt it necessary to drone on about how much better lighters are than matches for several comments when one would have sufficed.

As for this instructable, I followed it and completed it yesterday. Turned out wonderfully and is just what I need when a lighter fails.

Your search criteria for experts must not have included any lifelong smokers. It's not the snow but the cold that can impair the effectiveness of lighters. Anyone who's left their lighter in the car overnight in an area with a respectable winter can tell you that the lighter does not quite work right until you heat it up a bit with your hands or a little bit of external heat of some sort.

Yeah, like I said before, we were camping in extreme cold (klondike derby, boy scouts) and during a challenge we were supposed to start a campfire. Nobody had matches in our group, and within about 2 minutes after everyone broke out the lighters, they all quit working one by one. Craziest thing.

But as we settled back on the 4th, it's best to just keep both handy. Or just the bic if it isn't cold.

You are right, if you can't work a lighter then don't put it in your kit. Matches are the winner every time, until it rains, you fall in water, or you sweat. I found a rusty lighter at the beach, it must have been there for months. It still worked. As for the cold, warm the lighter under your arm for a min.

I also like having matches in times when you are traveling and you can't technically have liquid fuels with you (airports etc.). They probably wouldn't notice, but I'd rather be safe then sorry.