Yes! A Burnt Match Holder

A burnt match holder? Of course. Nothing presents a more untidy appearance than burnt matches scattered over the mantel,  dresser or commode. A pretty little affair to hold them is shown in the figure below. It was considered an acceptable gift to almost any lady, especially if she be of the busy practical sort who never “found time to do fancy work.”

Victorian burnt match holder

Published in Dainty Work for Pleasure or Profit, 1901

The holder proper must be purchased and may be any pretty shaped glass, either white or colored. The glass item should be roughly 2¾ to 3 inches tall and about 2 inches wide.

Select a piece of colored china silk or any very nice fabric and cut a circle shall be 12 inches across. Hem the edge, making a ¼ or ½ inch. 1½ inches from the top run in a piece of ribbon for a drawstring.

Put the glass into this silk bag and draw the string and tie.


Above is my version of the burnt match holder. I used a small baby food jar which measured about 2 1/2 inches tall by 2 inches wide. The fabric I had was not very "Victorian" so I decided to dress it up with some tulle. As you can see, although I used a jar about the size mentioned above, mine is not as "fat" at the bottom as their illustration shows.

This is a view which shows the jar (if you look closely, that is!).

Here are my thoughts on this project:

The hem needs to be neat and even because it is highly visible.

You may wish to test the fitting first before hemming. This may allow for a deeper hem. A deeper hem will not allow the "wrong" side of the fabric to be seen so readily.

Since the fabric I used didn't have a really nice looking "wrong" side, I decided to use tulle as the inside layer also. In other words, I "sandwiched" the green fabric between two circles of tulle before I tied it around the jar.

I also did not make a "drawstring" but merely tied the fabric on with a ribbon.

I plan on trying this with another jar that is more squat than tall and see how that looks. I think it would then look more like the drawing that was in the original article.

These are quite simple and inexpensive. Victorian ladies found these a most saleable article for fairs and bazaars as well as perfect gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

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