Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

October 1, 2009

Those Things On The Wall


I received a few questions in the comments yesterday about what was hanging on the wall in our dining room. 

They are old, vintage, junk, antique (whatever you want to call them) matchbook holders. 

I have had the red one for a few years now. I like to have candles on our mantle and sometimes on the dining room table and this is a great spot for storing the stick matches. 

A few weeks back at the Coburg Antique Fair I had a list of things I was on the lookout for and match holders were on the list. At first I was thinking that I only wanted ones that had some red on them. But then someone found the second one (it's cream metal) and I liked it (love the rounded edges). The night before at Come Play everyone had shared what sorts of things they were looking for which made it cool as we went around – many more eyes checking things out. 

The one with the red "matches" was a no-brainer and the fourth one with the yellow just grew on me. 

All of them obviously came home with me. I cleaned them out as good as I could (who knows what stories they hold) and pounded some nails in the wall. I had envisioned this little collection all in a line and I really love how it turned out. And they are cheap.

I think this is good though, I don't need anymore. If you are interested in locating some check your local Goodwill, antique store, or ebay (there are a bunch on there). 

It's become a perfect place for Simon's red homework pencils (they have his name on them – a fun Easter-bunny gift from a few years ago). 

 Here's a straight-on look: 


Someone also asked about the wall color. We did paint that but I have no idea what the color is (I asked Chris and he can't remember either). We like it too. 

The red chair right below the match holders was picked up a few years back. It's been in a variety of locations around the house: 


It used to sit next to my printer before Anna took over that room. 


I also have a yellow metal chair that is in my current office. Love those kind of chairs. If I had more room I would likely pick up more.

Good stuff. 

And by the time you read this the Yesterday & Today classroom should be up and running. Super exciting


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  • 1.
    Kal Barteski said…

    Yay! You have such an awesome eye for details, Ali.
    Maile is coming to my house today – I’m so excited!

  • 2.
    emily said…

    I have an Aunt that seeing your holders reminds for of…like you, she can see the beauty in “old junk” for lack of a better term….I love it though!

  • 3.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    Love the holders but really love the chairs, I truly have a terrible chair feddish. My husband refinished the high chair that his dad made – and it just makes me feel so good. Heading to the classroom now – can’t wait to start.

  • 4.
    Sue said…

    Love what you did with the match holders! Those are very cool. Also like the metal chairs. I have one with a fold out step. It belonged to my grandparents and it gets used a lot!

  • 5.
    Lauren said…

    I love repurposing old things too. Your home is very cute :)

  • 6.
    lori p said…

    i saw these last night and LOVED them!! quite a useful and unique decoration!! thanks for sharing…love the photos of simon and anna, especially her “give me back MY hamburger” one!! too cute and so real!!
    have a great day ali!!

  • 7.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Love them! Little collections like this can’t be beat. I’m so glad you posted a link to the pencils again. I literally was just searching through my etsy faves for them. (guess I didn’t bookmark it.) No coubt they will sell out again for your reference :)

  • 8.
    Tara said…

    Love the matchstick holders! I don’t know if I’ve ever seen any during my junking expeditions. Maybe I just never noticed them because I didn’t know what they were. I’ll definately be on the lookout now though!

  • 9.
    Karen said…

    thanks for sharing bits of your home. my grandfather had a match holder in his kitchen…wonder what happened to that? heading over to BPS to check out the class. i am sooooo excited to start this!

  • 10.
    Linn said…

    The match holders are a great little collection. I can’t wait to get back into “junking” (as my aunt calls it) as my kids are getting bigger. I’m always inspired by the simplicity of your decor.

  • 11.
    JustMeAgain said…

    I love those match holders. So cute.

  • 12.
    Katie said…

    Those match holders are charming – and oh, I’m so excited about Yesterday and Today. :)

  • 13.
    o~girl said…

    Love your little match container collection! I’m always on the look out for little red objects too. If I may, your wall color looks very similar to mine but they’re more than likely different colors in real life. My front room walls are painted ‘Beach’ by Eddie Bauer at Lowe’s.
    Thanks for sharing little bits of your home with us.

  • 14.
    Chris said…

    I love the match box holders – particularly the first two. They would go perfectly in my home, which has a very eclectic style (for instance, we have a gigantic hot dog taken from an old hot dog stand that is hanging on our diningroom wall).
    I think I’ll start looking for some matchbox holders to add to my house. :-)

  • 15.
    Lynn Reaney said…

    I also picked up one of those at Coburg. Pencils is a great idea. Was trying to brainstorm other things but kind of came up empty!

  • 16.
    SMK said…

    those matchbook holders are fantastic! i’d love to acquire some one day :D thanks for the inspiration ;)

  • 17.
    Robyn said…

    You are truly a fascinating human being. Thanks for letting us have a look into your life. Yours is a site I visit virtually every day.

  • 18.
    Jenn said…

    I love your style of mixing old, new, and photos in your home. Would you ever be willing to to do a more indepth tour of your home? Like you did with Anna’s room?

  • 19.
    sarah said…

    thanks for posting those ali!
    i might have to add those to my coburg list for next year (except in cream/white and/or blues). i just love them all lined up. very cool!

  • 20.
    tracey m. said…

    Thanks for the descriptive post – just what I was hoping for!

  • 21.
    Lehua said…

    thanks for sharing. those are super cute!

  • 22.
    Amber said…

    Ali a few months ago you let us know about a sewing/crafting book you were reading. something like “sew momma” anyway I can’t seem to find in going through the archives. Could you refresh my memory. Thanks so much!

  • 23.
    Amber said…

    Oh Ali, I absolutely ♥ them! I also ♥ the red chair stacked up with books. I ♥ your style & every time I visit I feel so calm & inspired.
    Thank you so much for that!

  • 24.
    Jen said…

    So cute! I never know what to do with collections, and this is a great idea in actually using them. By the way, I was wondering if you will be doing a week in the life documentation again this year. I did it “with you” last year and enjoyed it so much that I plan on doing it again this year, just wondering if you had thought about it?

  • 25.
    Sharon in TX said…

    Ooooh! I’m having flashbacks! We always had these matchbox holders at our house. People mostly kept them next to their gas stoves/ovens or wall heaters where the pilot light had to be lit manually. I just spent at day at one of the best antique shows in the country, Round Top, TX (population 77)and wish I would’ve thought to look for these. Also, VERY excited to start Y&T class today!

  • 26.
    Dana said…

    I always enjoy the little peaks into your house – it seems like such a great place. So excited for the first day of Yesterday and Today!

  • 27.
    anna said…

    very cool holders. my father in law bought one on a family auction for several hundred dollars, because he grew up with it. it was in their kitchen.
    it’s neat to see others have them in their house as well. :)
    off to the classroom…hurray!

  • 28.
    Elisa Nishimura said…

    Hi Ali, I thought you might like to read this”>>this story from a big fan of yours. I am a fan too, but Christine could be the cheerleader of your fan club.

  • 29.
    Elisa Nishimura said…

    Sorry, trying it again. Here.”>>Here.

  • 30.

    I absolutely love matchbook holders!

  • 31.
    Jenn Grantham said…

    So great.
    Ali, you are such an inspiration and just from reading your blog I can tell you are a good mom. Thanks for sharing your life!

  • 32.
    Gwen said…

    This so adorable… so cool…
    Greetings from Belgium (Europe)

  • 33.
    jen said…

    We blogged on this post today! You reminded me how much fun it is to collect things. It is the hunt!
    Love your blog!

  • 34.
    Staci said…

    Wonderful! I love the matchbook holders and the chairs. I just love that you are so confident in your style! Thank you so much for the time and effort you put into your blog. It is truly awesome! Thank you for showing us alittle bit of you! I hope you class goes as well as you ever hoped!

  • 35.
    CraftTeaLady said…

    Oh I’m in love! I’ve been searching in antique-ish locations for one/two/three of them. BUT the only ones I have found have been rusted to the point of causing injury and still were $12-30 EA. You found quite a score!
    I adore the red. Be. Still. My. Heart.

  • 36.
    susieL said…

    I rescued a red chair just like yours from my mother in law just recently. My husband thought I was crazy for begging for it. All it needs is some sanding and new paint and it will be a happy chair again. I’m glad you have one also.

  • 37.
    Nola said…

    My mom has one and I have a brand new one
    that is unpainted that you get to paint
    yourself. Now that I see what you have
    done with your matchbox holders I may just
    have to get my name on my mom’s and
    keep my eye out for more…and that your’s
    are red are delightful! I know what
    I’m doing with my unpainted one now!
    Thanx, Ali!

  • 38.
    Cindy P. said…

    Love the vintage Match “Box” holders. They held the old (still to be found) match boxes that wooden matches came in. Usually found near fireplaces and in kitchens for lighting gas stoves before electronic lighting. Very cool, we have quite a few up in our cabin in the Northern Peninsula of Michigan (100 yr old farm house, no running water). Love the way you used them. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • 39.
    Kayla said…

    I adore those matchbook holders!!!
    That will certainly be a future project of mine :) LOVE IT!

  • 40.
    Jennifer said…

    cute stuff – i love that red chair. it reminds me of a chair my grandmother had when i was little – only it had a few steps that popped out so you could climb onto the seat. ;)

  • 41.
    jenn said…

    love the peak into your life :)

  • 42.
    Stacey said…

    I love that idea! My grandparents always had one that I admired & if I ever find one like it I will surely buy it no matter the cost. ;) Thanks for sharing!

  • 43.
    Debra said…

    Oh, I loved those things on the wall yesterday! Thanks to those who asked, and thanks to you for posting about them! I just love that you put ‘em there on the wall and they look so cool.

  • 44.
    brooke said…

    love the match holders. My mom had two hanging in the kitchen of the house I grew up in. Love your style!

  • 45.
    Hollie said…

    So cute! I love matchstick holders. I have one in my bathrooms that holds my Q-tips.

  • 46.
    creole wisdom said…

    I love all your treasures. My mom has one of those match holders, and they are neat. I like the way you’ve displayed them. Great idea for pencils.
    One of my favorite things about going to thrift stores, fairs, and antique places is that you’ll never know what you’ll find. so fun.

  • 47.
    Seth said…

    Very cool. Like an art installation!

  • 48.
    Michelle B said…

    One of my family members has a red one (match box holder) just like yours…I keep telling her that I want it. I remember seeing your red one in a picture that you had posted about Christmas decorations awhile back. I recently have been digging around in my parent’s basement finding “stuff”. Got a yellow chair (a lot like yours) that sat in my grandmother’s kitchen, and a old big chalk board that use to be my Dad’s growing up – now it is in my son’s room. I love combining old with new. Makes it even more special knowing some of these items belonged to my family. As always and with everything you do, love your style Ali!

  • 49.
    Jeanne Pellerin said…

    SO adorable!

  • 50.
    Jennifer said…

    Great stuff!

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