Mexican Matchbox Wedding Favours

After eighteen months of planning, relaxed and intense all at the same time, our wedding went wonderfully. We tried to mix the Mexican details in with the very British setting of the grand but cosy Highbury Hall in Birmingham. These were some of my favourite parts – papel picado, tequila on every table, Mexican music and singing and dancing all night long!

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Mexican Lotería Matchbox Wedding Favours, with Muñequita

One of the first things we got excited about was the favours, little glittery matchboxes with Mexican lotería cards for decoration (a game a bit like Bingo). Daniel had seen them on Etsy and they were so lairy I loved them! Of course, in full-on money-saving mode I decided to make them myself. I took it slowly, starting them in July while I was off work, and finished them in February. By making them myself we paid about £40 for the eighty matchboxes. They were about £90 for 80 matchboxes so with postage from the US on top I basically saved a bomb. You could save even further by printing the lotería pictures out from Google Images onto card and filling them with sweets or little printed out notes.

Materials we bought :

  • Matchboxes – 50p for 20 from the Bullring Market
  • Glitter card – £1 per value brand pack from Hobbycraft, you’ll need maximum three for eighty matchboxes
  • Glitter glue – £1.50 per colour, I used five colours from Hobbycraft
  • Glue – £2.00 from Hobbycraft
  • Guillotine – £24.99 from Amazon

Materials we had sent from Mexico :

  • Muñequitas – 100 little dolls
  • Lotería – 3 packs
  • Measure your matchboxes and cut your glitter card with the guillotine. Our matchboxes were bright orange, so it was really important to get the sizing right so that it couldn’t be seen around any edges. You should also be able to measure the paper to get the best number of pieces out of it so there’s as little wastage as possible. As an exporter it reminded me of my CapePack days trying to work out the optimum cartons per pallet for transport. Also, cover your work surface with newspaper because the value card leaks glitter everywhere!
  • Cut your lotería cards with the guillotine. Filter out those you don’t want, for example we took out El Negrito, and the ones with boring pictures like La Campana and La Mano (the Black Man, the Bell and the Hand). I also tried to get a good mix, there will be more Estrellas than Ranas for example (Stars and Frogs), so I did a bit of sorting and counting to get more or less even numbers of each design.
  • Stick the glitter card to one face of the matchbox, once that side is dry glue a different colour to the other side and leave a couple of days to dry completely. Mine were left to dry next to a sunny window for about two days in the middle of Summer, then transferred to a Tupperware box with a sheet of kitchen roll between each layer. I checked them every three or four weeks to make sure that the glue was sticking and that they weren’t rolling up at the edges.
  • Glue the lotería pictures onto what will be the top of your matchboxes and leave to dry. I put my piles of pictures in order so that I used the most exciting pictures, like El Borracho and El Nopal (the Drunkard and the Cactus), and went along them in order. I also tried to get mine contrasting, I would not glue a picture with a yellow background on to a gold glitter side, or with pink background onto a red glitter side etc. These were left for two Wintry days to dry by my sunny window.
  • Glitter glue around the outside of the lotería picture to hide the edges, leave to dry. I left mine one week at the sunny window in January, to be completely sure they were dry. Again I used contrasting colours, eg., gold glitter side with blue picture background with pink glitter glue / blue glitter side with yellow picture background with green glitter glue.
  • Fill the matchboxes with all your goodies and enjoy your guests’ reaction to the colours and the little surprises inside!
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2 thoughts on “Mexican Matchbox Wedding Favours

  1. Wow! I never realised how much time and hard work went into these… I do now! Every time I see mine and Richard’s matchboxes on our living room shelf, I’ll think of your glitter-covered hands 😋 People always ask about them when they spot them shimmering in the sunlight 😊

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