The Magnificent Matchstick Marvels

All Rights Reserved Megan Bannister

All Rights Reserved Megan Bannister

It’s no secret that Iowa is full of offbeat attractions and over the years, I’ve visited quite a few. But somehow I’d always missed out on Matchstick Marvels in Gladbrook, Iowa.

Over the past 39 years, Iowa artist Patrick Acton has transformed more than 4 million matchsticks into 65 pieces of unique art. From the U.S. Capitol building to the Hogwarts castle from Harry Potter, Matchstick Marvels offers a treasure trove of stunning sculptures sure to leave you in awe of Acton’s craft.

Fun fact: Ripley’s Believe It or Not has purchased more than 20 of the matchstick models, which are now on view all over the world.

For the $5 admission fee ($3 for kids ages 5 – 12), visitors are treated to a wide variety of Acton’s impressive sculptures. We happened to visit last month while Acton’s latest creation—a two-headed dragon that moves and glows red—was still on view. Comprised of roughly 272,000 matchsticks, Acton began building the dragon in July 2015 and completed the 2,000-hour project this April.

Matchstick Marvels, 319 2nd Street in Gladbrook, Iowa

All Rights Reserved Megan Bannister

All Rights Reserved Megan Bannister

All Rights Reserved Megan Bannister

All Rights Reserved Megan Bannister

All Rights Reserved Megan Bannister

Experience the magic of Matchstick Marvels in Gladbrook, Iowa!

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[…] Matchstick Marvels – Gladbrook, Iowa. Megan from Olio in Iowa shares that over the past 39 years, Iowa artist Patrick Acton has transformed more than 4 million […]

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