How to make a cigar purse

You can make your own cigar box purse in a short amount of time and for a fraction of the cost in stores.

Purses made from cigar boxes have become quite popular. They come in many different styles and sizes. These designer accessories sell for big bucks, but why spend so much money on a cigar purse from a boutique, when you can make your own in a short amount of time?

Cigar boxes are usually made from wood or thick cardboard. Wooden boxes are more popular and expensive. To obtain empty boxes, visit local tobacco stores. You may also find them at shops that sell coffee, wines, liqueurs, and gift items. Some of these places will give away used boxes, or will sell them to you for a low price. If there is a particular style, brand, or label that you can't find, look for boxes at flea markets, shop at online auction sites, or contact with cigar box collectors. Search for box sizes that you like, and obtain several, as it's useful to have the extras to learn with.

Here's what you'll need to start work on your cigar purse: drill, screwdriver, small screws, craft glue or a craft glue gun. You may also want to use sandpaper, fabric (velvet, satin, etc.), and varnish or shellac. Clasps and hinges can be purchased; however, most wooden cigar boxes come with their own. If you are comfortable working around them, cover them up with tape to protect them. If you do not want to work around the hinges or the clasp, remove them, and reapply them later. Cigar boxes made from thick cardboard often have paper hinges. These can be replaced with cloth book tape.

Cigar boxes are famous for their stylized decals. If you leave the decals on your box, the exterior can be varnished to preserve it's surface. Add a yellow shellac for that faux-aged look. If you want to remove the decals, soak them in acetone. This makes them easier to remove. Use a hair dryer to loosen the decals further. When this does not help, or if you do not have access to a hairdryer or acetone, use sandpaper to remove the decals.

You have several options when it comes to the construction of your box's handle: a beaded handle, a bamboo handle, or a decorative drawer pull with screws. You can buy a beaded or bamboo handle that's specifically made for purses. These can be found at craft stores, and accessory supply stores. Decorative drawer pulls are found at home improvement and hardware stores.

To make a beaded handle for your cigar box purse, take a length of thick, sturdy wire and string the beads onto it, with 2 inches to spare at the ends.

If you want to decorate your cigar box purse, there are countless ways to go about this. Paint the box with stencils, or paint designs on freehand. Add glitter, photographs, vintage post cards, decorative paper, or even lush fabric. When you are satisfied with your box's exterior, seal it with varnish or shellac.

Use craft glue to attach your fabric to the inside of the box, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles or lumps. Most craft glues are not removable, so use caution when applying it to fabric.

Last, use small screws, craft glue, or a craft glue gun to attach your handle. Allow the glue and surface embellishments on your cigar box purse to dry for a day or two before using it.

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