Whenever I go to a restaurant and I realize they have matchbooks, I get so excited! I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life, but I love collecting matchbooks from restaurants I’ve been to. My mom also collected them during the 80s and she let me go through her collection recently and take some of my favorites. I love having them around my home—they add a lot of color and are a great way to commemorate good times shared with friends and family.
Matchbook art is something I started noticing several years ago. I’ve loved following along with Matchbook Diaries, which prints and frames beautiful, high-quality photographs of matchbooks from all over the world. More recently, I discovered Match South, which offers similar prints. I’ve never pulled the trigger on pieces from either shop though because I could never commit to just one matchbook, and they both are a little bit pricey ($165 and $125 respectively).
Earlier this year and I stumbled across My Father’s Daughter Designs on Instagram. I was immediately drawn to the owner Tess’s work as she does beautiful watercolor drawings of matchbooks. And much to my luck, she had just released her DC matchbook print. As soon as I saw it, I knew this was the perfect way to bring matchbook art into my apartment. I wouldn’t have to chose just one matchbook to feature—and the print featured matchbooks from many of my favorite restaurants including Le Dip, Maydan, The Dabney, and more.
(If you’re not based in DC or don’t have a connection to DC restaurants, she’s got lots of other matchbook prints from other cities—shop them here!)
I purchased the 8×10″ print and framed it in this frame from Amazon. (I personally don’t spend money on custom white frames; you can find them in just about any size online!) I hung it up in my kitchen and love how it looks.
In this print, the DC restaurants featured are: Le Diplomate, Old Ebbitt Grill, The Hamilton, The Dabney, Clyde’s, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Maydan, The Salt Line, Roses Luxury, Ted’s Bulletin, 1789, Martin’s Tavern, Hank’s Oyster Bar, Masseria, Cafe Milano, The Tombs, The Tabard Inn, and Sonny’s.
Tess is donating a portion of each sale of this print to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which is a national organization created to save small restaurants and bars affected by COVID-19 and the subsequent economic shutdown.
PS—I made an Instagram Reel featuring this beautiful print; you can watch it here!