Make Your Own Waterproof Matches


You may have already heard about using wax to create your own waterproof matches. Here’s a related idea that I like — using broken pieces of crayon to do the same thing on strike-anywhere wooden matches. The process couldn’t be easier:

Fire up your lighter, and hold the tip of the crayon next to the flame. Rotate the crayon constantly, so as not to burn it. Let the melted crayon drip onto the match heads. It should cover all of the head, and about a 1/4″ of the stick. Once a small puddle of crayon wax has gathered around the head of the match, pick up the match and roll it in the melted crayon. This is to ensure that the entire tip is covered in crayon wax. Remove the match from the puddle before it dries.


One advantage to this method over conventional wax sealing is that you do not have to remove the wax before using. You can strike the match as normal and it will allegedly ignite. I haven’t actually tried it. If you have or do after reading this, I’d love to hear your experience.

When I was a teen, my friends and I were seriously into camping. I had a giant tree farm across the street from my house and we would go camping in it nearly every weekend. I always carried a little tube of commercial waterproof matches and they came to my rescue on more than one rain-soaked camping trip. It’s great to think that brewing up a batch of matches yourself could be this easy (and nearly cost-free).


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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