This cute mini treasure chest craft uses a humble matchbox and toilet paper tube to make the perfect place for your mini pirate to keep their precious loot!
You do need to use masking tape – normal sticky tape won’t work because you need to be able to paint over it. But masking tape is cheap and readily available and also easy for little hands to tear!
- An empty matchbox
- Toilet paper tube
- Masking tape
- Glue (preferably fast drying)
- Acrylic paint or poster paint
- Adhesive velcro or velcro dots
- Optional: Gold decorative tape and sticky gems or buttons
How to Make the Matchbox Treasure Chest Craft:
1. Separate the two parts of the matchbox. Take the outer part and open it out by peeling it apart at the spot where it is glued together.
2. Place glue as shown, then stick the outer part to the inner part of the matchbox. Press together to ensure it is well stuck.
3. Cut the toilet paper tube in half. Take one half and measure it against the length of the matchbox. Cut it to size.
4. Use masking tape to fix the toilet tube to the top of the matchbox as shown. You could cut semi-circles from card or craft foam to make the sides of the lid but it’s a bit fiddly. I just covered the sides with masking tape. Make sure the joins are well covered with tape.
5. Now you just need to decorate the chest! Paint the outside and inside. You could use different coloured paints for this. You need to use acrylic paint, poster paint or temperas in order to cover the box – watercolour paints won’t do the job! Allow to dry completely before adding the finishing decorations.
6. Once the chest is dry, you can add the bling! I used some glittery gold washi tape to make the decorative bands of the chest, and stuck on sticky gems to make it extra special. Finally, use a small piece of adhesive velcro (or a velcro dot) as the fastener for the lid.
7. Your matchbox treasure chest is finished! Now you just need to fill it with pirate plunder! HA-HARRR!!
Advice for small group classes:
This is a more complicated craft which will take at least 45 minutes to make. Young children will probably require help fixing the toilet tube to the matchbox. You may prefer to complete this craft in two sessions, to allow for drying time.
- Use one roll of masking tape for every two kids.
- Use a hairdryer to speed up drying time!
More PIRATES related resources:
- Five Pirate Monkeys song (version of five little monkeys):
- A fun pirate joke!