Posts Tagged ‘cigar boxes’

I can’t believe that it’s September already, this month has flown by.  Still, time waits for no man and so on Sunday just gone I made the usual pilgrimage up to Chiswick with my mother to see what we could find.

I hadn’t intended to spend much money (as I’m broke), and thus hadn’t brought much with me… so it’s good job that I did go with my mother as I had to rely on her purse in the end.  Bargains really do need to be snapped up when you see them, they might not be there when you go back!
First up is this fabulous vintage school desk.  I’ve wanted one of these since I built the studio in my garden, but they’re usually far too expensive (ranging from £40 for a single desk to £100 for a double like this one), so I’ve had to reluctantly walk away from all the others.  This one has been painted black at some point, but the wood is sound and I intend to strip it back to the bare wood at some point (probably next year).  Bargain price of £35, from the very nice man who sold me a trunk this time last year!

It’s the perfect size.  I’ve removed the two cheap and cheerful Ikea desks I had in there, and this one allows room at the end for the cupboard I bought last month!  Of course I had to half empty my studio and tidy up again in order to rearrange everything, but it was definitely worth it.

Next up we have a load of DVDs… this first lot ranged from 50p to £1 each (Sleeping Beauty was a particular bargain, Disney classics are usually £5 upwards)…

… and then I just couldn’t help myself when I saw all eight series of Charmed… a bargaintastic £30, and they threw in the Back to the Future trilogy as a freebie!

That lot ought to keep me entertained for the foreseeable future while I work in my studio!

Last up from Chiswick this month were some nice wooden boxes.  The first one was 50p, and the second one £2 – I plan to make a miniature book to fit into each section.

A trip to the boot sale wouldn’t be complete without books of some description, and I was pleased to find some more Enid Blyton books at 50p each.

These last items weren’t from Chiswick, but I picked them up on Saturday at a sale being held by a prop hire company.  It was a pretty random discovery, I passed by their premises when I was on my way back from the tip and saw them setting up tables so I went back a couple of hours later to have a rummage.  Lovely old cigar boxes, sturdier than the usual ones I get, £1 each.

That’s it for this month, and I do need to be a little more frugal so hopefully I won’t see anything too tempting next time!

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I tried to make the title sound dramatic, but I don’t think it worked!  Tuesday was a studio day and although I went down there with the intention of making some books what I ended up doing was découpaging some cigar boxes (they were taking up room on my desk so I thought I’d better use them up).

First up we’ve got one which is covered in pages from an old Marvel comic (1974).  It’s been lined and hinged using black bookcloth, and features the original metal clasp from the box.

The next box has been covered with pages from a vintage copy of Picturegoer (May 1953).  The hinging has been done using black bookcloth, and part of the inside has been lined with bookcloth, but I decided to use more of the pages for the lining as they’re just so lovely.  This box didn’t have a clasp so I added a simple button and thread closure (using a button that matches the colour of the title).

The last box uses pages from another copy of Picturegoer (December 1953), and is hinged with bookcloth but has no clasp/closure.


Not sure if I’m going to add these to Etsy or hang onto them for the next Kensal Flea…

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I still have a plethora of cigar boxes in my studio, so on Monday I made my first attempt at a project that I’ve been thinking about for a while.

A little chest of drawers, with the drawers being actual cigar boxes (with handles, although in this instance I’ve used ribbon pulls instead).  I constructed the frame from scrap wood, then covered it with stamps (to hide the markings on it, it had scrapes and pencil marks all over it but was otherwise sound).  Very simple in design, but I think it’s come out looking very good.

I’m going to take this creation to The New Vintage on 12th November as it’s very heavy and would cost a fortune in postage if I sold it online.

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My current obsession with stamps continues…

Five new notebooks and one cigar box to be added to Etsy later today 🙂

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Well, I’ve kept you waiting for a few days (and managed to blog regularly while dragging this out 😉 ), so here are the boxes I finished this week:

This one was a plain wooden cigar box with no labels (the name/brand were stamped onto the bare wood), so it was given a couple of coats of acrylic paint (in an old gold colour) before the top, front and sides were decoupaged with used stamps. It has the original brass hinges and fastener.

The other two were Monte Cristo boxes (quite unattractive labels), stripped down as explained in part 1.  After re-hinging them I decoupaged the top and all four sides with old stamps – and also covered up the paper hinge inside with a row of stamps too.  I’m only posting photos of one of them here as they’re both similar (just different sizes and a different selection of stamps).

The decoupage took ages, but it was strangely satisfying and I love the end result.  These are now available to purchase in my Etsy shop.

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Click here to read part 1.

Another day, another post about cigar boxes.  You might have checked in here to see what I did with the bare boxes I finished up with at the end of part 1… but you’ll have to wait for the next part to find that out 😉

This post is to show you a selection of the many, many, many cigar boxes I’ve got stashed in my studio at the moment.  I estimated on Thursday that there were over 30 in my stash… on Friday I counted them and the grand total is 47.  That’s the ones in the studio anyway, there are a few more in the house itself…

These varnished Cohiba boxes are very luxurious and I’m carefully thinking about what they’d best be used for.

As you can see, some of the boxes have beautiful labels, which I’ll try to keep intact.

A departure from what most people would consider the traditional cigar box shape, but I do like these chunky ones.

I’ll post an update showing a revamped cigar box next week.  In the meantime if you’ve got any suggestions for using all these up, or you want me to use a specific one for a commissioned item, leave a comment here and let me know, or drop me an e-mail via the Contact page.

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In my studio at the moment are over thirty cigar boxes.  That’s a lot by any standard.  Some are gorgeous varnished wood, some have pretty labels, and others are just plain boring.

So what do I do with ugly cigar boxes?  I’ve been wondering this for a while, and today I finally got to work.  Firstly I stripped them down, soaking the labels to get them off (this also removes the hinge, which is just strips of paper).

The next stage is letting them dry, which is dull work even if you prop them up in front of a heater.  After that, because you get some shrinkage after they’ve been wet down, I sealed any gaps at the joins with wood glue and then let that dry too before re-hinging the lids with gummed tape.

Voila.  I now have plain wooden boxes (still with that wonderful aroma of cigars) which are ready to be turned into something pretty.  Watch this space…

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