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  • cigar boxes!

    Okay, my latest scathingly brilliant idea...oh no not another one, heh...I am going to make jewelry/treasure boxes, purses, and...whatever I can think of, out of cigar boxes! My husband went to a fair with me a week ago and got the craft bug at long last...he is making cigar box guitars and metal lunch box guitars to add to my soap and sundries booth! COOL!

    So, we went searching for boxes at thrift stores and cigar shops...and hit the proverbial goldmine! We got 19 wood cigar boxes for $1.50 each!!! Brass latches and hinges - really nice!

    Most smell good but one is phewey. We have put some baking soda in it.

    There were also a lot of heavy duty cardboard cigar boxes with beautiful designs and some with the coolest lids...and some wooden ones that weren't as flat, that had sliding lids...that I got for my projects - about 8, I think it was.

    All the wooden boxes are dovetailed - they're so awesome! Wonder what the wood is.

    I am thinking I will decoupage the lids, and if the picture on there is nice, I might just decoupage around it - frame it, essentially...but covering the words. I bet that's probably a violation of some copyright law...

    I am also thinking of velvet linings for treasure and jewelry boxes.

    I'm also giving some thought to how to make a pop-up ballerina type thing...but a goat instead, since I have dairy goats and make goat milk soap..maybe a jointed goat out of fimo...ahh, another craft to learn...

    I wonder - should I print my logo, about 4 inches across, and decoupage that onto some? Use them as boxes for my gift sets??
    Hmmmm, not a bad idea....but heavy - adds to shipping....but could be a marketing plus - recycled, wood...

    Tell me your ideas and suggestions!

    BTW, these guitars are going to be really neat. They sound more like mandolins, which bothers my husband because he's a guitar snob, but my son plays mandolin in addition to the guitar, so he thinks they're great. But they're just cool, so I think they'll sell, and be a real eyecatcher in the booth..draw in the crowds!

    So I guess I need to hear from wood people, fimo people, fabric people...idea people...whoever! This is going to be a lot of fun, especially since my husband is finally in on it too!

  • #2
    That sounds like a brill idea! Hope you'll be posting the results for us all to see?
    Gail x

    My Blog:


    • #3
      If the boxes are like the ones I have seen over here then the wood will be fairly soft. Be carefull with any sanding you do as it would be easy to go too far. They can also be lined. You can get spray on felting which looks like the real thing for the insodes and is a lot easier to use than the real thing. These people are a good source.

      "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art" ... Leonardo Da Vinci



      • #4
        cigar boxes

        Some are Padron 1926 Serie, Don Pepin, Sancho Panza, Ausrora (beautiful), Casa Toraٌo, Macanudo Maduro, Reserva Real Romeo y Julieta., Natural Drew Estate, Oliva Serie V, Avo Uvezian, and something else – nub or rub…written funny….

        I think maybe some are basswood covered in lovely thick paper – their brand logos are so gorgeous.

        None are what you’d call thick…any sanding for decoupage will be by hand and definitely minimal….they are already etched so I suppose I might have to kind of fill that in with something….I suppose if we screwed up the top of one, the bottom would still make a nice shadow box frame.

        Some look about a foot long! Some are smaller but really deep…they all have a piece of wood in them that smells great – about three fourths of an inch square and about 6 inches long. They have inside wood liner sides that are beveled and slide out.

        Now for a lining, for treasure/jewelry boxes, I’m wondering about a bright silk “pillow” that I have a layer of cotton batting in…and add contrasting color silk ties every two inches, as if quilted… should I just make it a snug fit or add a little bit of Velcro to the back and the bottom of the box…that might be kind of junky though. It would be awesome if I embroider a simple vine-like design on the silk pillow….

        One of the metal lunch boxes is a Monopoly board game design. It will be destroyed when he cuts out the center, so it may just become a small purse instead! The fabric liner gussets are going to take some thought…

        He also found a metal cookie tin that is fairly large and is actually bowed in a little on the two long sides so that it is reminiscent of a guitar shape – it has copper and brown stripes….

        We had fun brainstorming – thought about adding audio chips (not to the guitars) so when the box is opened, you hear birds chirping or something…but it’s too expensive. But little boxes for kids’ guitars with a chip that was of guitar playing would be tres cool.

        Now I need to order some teensie hooks and eyes or whatever, to connect the legs to my fimo goat…it looks pretty bad…just experimenting…

        I had just about given up on my potpourri making endeavors but now I am thinking how cool these deep boxes would be – with the slider lids – filled with wonderful smelling potpourri…so back to that drawing board….this is so much fun! It’s Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll be grilling and outside a lot, and crafting – our eldest daughter is coming over with more of her baby and toddler outfits, and our younger daughter is bringing a painting (she is NOT great - what if they don’t sell!?) Our son is making some of his infamous pvc pipe nerf guns that shoot about 150 feet…he makes the ammo out of weighted caulk backing…we should call ourselves “Morgan Family Mercantile!” I don’t know how long all this enthusiasm will continue – or what started it.


        • #5
          Its a brilliant idea hope it goes well


          • #6
            cigar boxes

            Originally posted by bodrighy View Post
            If the boxes are like the ones I have seen over here then the wood will be fairly soft. Be carefull with any sanding you do as it would be easy to go too far. They can also be lined. You can get spray on felting which looks like the real thing for the insodes and is a lot easier to use than the real thing. These people are a good source.

            Thanks! I won't be sanding much - and will do so with trepidation...most of them seem sturdier and heavier than balsa - maybe some are basswood?? But I swear, some look like cherry....probably stained poplar or something....but some have a grain like oak flooring....

            But I will have to do a bit of sanding on the ones covered in paper - their logos are so beautiful, I hate to cover them up. Maybe not so much sanding - they are glued on to perfection, and my decoupage over them should be alright don't you think?? Maybe I should cover all edges with some heavier paper, but then, there's the corners...well, I saw some brass corner hardware online, but the point is not to spend a lot of money, right??


            • #7
              Sounds like a lovely idea, I love the shabby chic, Victorian decoupage covered boxes, trays etc. Do you paint at all? Have you seen some of the botanical painted jewellery boxes and furniture? I googled to have a look see, as it's one thing I want to try. Also, you mentioned the audio chips...on Ideal World, a while back mind you, they had about 50-100 pack of programmable ones for not a lot (can't remember how much, but I was tempted at the time as I make cards). You also mentioned that if you make a mistake you can use the bottom for 'shadow boxes'. Do you make these too? I used to make those but can't find the box frames at a reasonable enough price. I have an idea of using old clock cases, but it's still in the 'ideas' department, hehe. I used to do dolls house 'rooms', any chance of seeing your shadow boxes?
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              • #8
                cigar boxes

                Sorry, here I go again, running on and on...

                Unfortunately I don't paint...I wonder about using some stencils....

                I don't make shadow boxes, either - but just thought that would be a good use for the bottoms if I ruin the tops. Trying to reassure myself in case I screw it up. I hate TOTAL losses! =)

                I have a HUGE ideas department myself...but I get paralyzed with fear of ruining something or having it turn out badly. And a morbid fear of wasting money. But these boxes were less than $1.50, no great loss, and I am certainly not going to get rich from them (or anything else, sadly) so I ought to stop fretting and just get on with experimenting with them. I know this sounds silly but I practically have to give myself permission to do a crummy job before I can get going with a project.

                Okay, so these boxes are masculine in overall effect...they have the faint scent of tobacco, they are slightly rough, natural wood...and the ones I kept are the deeper ones - so I am seriously thinking of potpourri...for men...and using this fabulous fragrance oil I have on hand - it's called Beau Brummel, and it's described as smelling of tobacco and leather. It smells GOOD and it actually did really well in my cold process goat milk soap - many scents don't.

                I could even make some more of that soap, and fill the box with the potpourri and nest a bar of the soap on top of it, as a gift set for the fall holiday buying season. Yeah!

                My husband says I should just do something on the lid to display my logo and business name, and leave the sides alone, even leave the words that've been burned in...he thinks that adds to their charm, and if it came from Central America or the Far East still showing the original words, it would indeed be part of it's maybe I will try that. Handcrafted by a peasant in central Texas! =)

                The stickum and sanding will, I think, make any stain uneven. But if I stain the box and then cover most of the center of the lid only, leaving only the edges exposed, the unevenness would probably not be obvious on top. So I am thinking I'll apply a little wood glue over the recessed words and smooth it, sand the sticky areas a little, and then stain with Dylon Cold Water Fabric Dye, which I saw at one site - very vibrant result on wood - and then I can apply some handmade lotka paper I bought a while back - keeping clear of the edges of the lid so as not to interfere with the sliding, and so as not to cover up the little notch for your finger to slide it...the lotka paper I got is a dark blue, and a cocoa brown, so if I get some orange-ish or gold-ish dye to stain with, that should look nice with either paper. Then in the center of the beautiful paper, I will apply my logo (see my avatar) and also my biz name "The Cosmic Goat."

                Now my husband, who earlier had no opinion whatsoever about any of this, is saying I should use water based wood stain.

                Okay, we're going to go get some stain...thanks for listening to me!! =)

                WAIT!!! What about this. What if I printed out a "seal" just like the cigar companies...and glued it on over the place where their seal was... and it would cover the uneven stain and add a little something to the overall effect....!!! YES?? No?


                • #9
                  cigar boxes

                  Here I go, talking to myself again ...

                  SO. I have stained two of them a deep papaya or dark cantaloupe. Not exactly the color I thought it was going to be, but it works.

                  Should dry fairly fast. Then I will glue my logo to the top, using podge glue.

                  So what do we think - a clear acrylic varnish over the entire outside of the box??

                  I did not stain the bottom of the box, or the inside.

                  I have ordered what I consider to be some appropriate potpourri botanicals for a man, and I have scented the cellulose fixative in a jar to "set up" for a day or two...this fixative is called FiberFix. Isn't that awful - sounds like a dietary supplement...

                  Okay now what does everyone think - will I be in trouble with someone somewhere if I use the picture of Romeo and Juliet already on the Reserva Real box?? Just podge a paper frame around gold...the background color is blood red and there's a lot of gold on the if I cover all words but frame the picture, will I be alright do you think? The inside is white - I'll put a red silk pillow in the bottom of this one, with gold ties here and there to "quilt" it.

                  It's kind of difficult to open - just a flip up lid, so I think I'll have my husband make a smallish hole in the top toward the front edge, and put a ribbon through it and come up around the front make a pull tab...maybe add some kind of charm or pretty bead it dangles over and down the front.

                  It has a lovely fragrance to it - does not smell like tobacco to me....maybe some relaly nice pipe tobacco...I just think of cigars as stinking, no offense to anyone. I just have never really smelled NICE cigars...there's that word they were talking about in another section here...


                  • #10
                    Great ideas, do you keep a notebook by your bed at night? Your brain must be buzzing with things! Lovely idea about the ribbon and charm to open the box. I love the smell of cigars and pipe smoke, mmm, very nostalgic and I find it a very comforting smell even though my dad only smoke cigarettes, weird really, I can't really think of anyone in our family who did . Leather and wood sounds great, I love sandalwood too. I can't see why the Romeo and Juliet would be any problem as it's already on the box, unless someone else knows any legal reason. Will you please put some pictures up when you've made one? Thanks
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                    • #11
                      cigar boxes

                      yes, I will post some photos if the boxes look alright - but if they look crummy I might not...

                      The wood got a little "fuzzy" after the stain had dried and I had to "sand" them with steel wool (not the soapy kind) and I have a tiny fragment in my thumb which really hurts, especially after doing so much work in the garden today. Something is after all my squash plants and I am really upset - cutworms, I think.


                      • #12
                        cigar boxes

                        Yikes, I have been remiss! I have not been talking to myself here for quite some time...heh

                        Okay - this cigar box thing has had quite an did my husband's attendance at that Green Market - gosh, maybe 5 or 6 weeks ago...okay, he is IN to crafting after all these years and has completed TWO cigar box guitars that actually sound terrific, and he is working on HIS website...we'll link to each other...awww.....

                        ALSO, he is making beer bottleneck slides for playing these little guitars. He is using Shiner Bock and keeping the caps nice for they must have SOME use, he says...
                        He is also finally cutting the square tequila bottles I have been collecting, for soap dishes...he has to do my bottles if he's doing his...he uses his tile cutting saw, which uses water to hold the dust down.

                        My cigar box creations are looking quite mediocre but nothing spectacular AND I discovered that once again, I am not the only one with this original idea....etsy is full of cigar box crafts.

                        I really don't think there is such a thing as an original idea anymore...

                        My husband promises to help me put photos in the computer this week so I can post some - he wants me to post a pic of his guitars.
                        He just bought about 24 used Texas license plates (50¢ each!) to make some guitars with...