How to Make a Cigar Box Purse

Cigar boxes used to be thrown in the garbage, or saved to store screws or other receipts, but now you can make a purse from a cigar box that’s simple and stunning. Right off the bat you’ll need – you guessed it – a cigar box. It doesn’t matter whether the box is pressed cardboard or wooden, but wooden boxes will hold up better.

You’ll also need the hardware: a handle, complete with screws. Or, instead of a metal handle, you can use a piece of braided rope that is then put through holes in the cigar box. The way you decorate the cigar box is up to you, but you’ll need to base coat the entire box, so purchase a half pint or less of paint suitable for wood, which will work on wood or cardboard.

After putting a couple of coats of paint on the box, inside and out, and allowing it to dry well, it’s time to add the cigar box decor. If you want to do something simple, paint the outside with texture paint and decorate with notions. If you care to do something more complicated, consider covering the cigar box with lush fabric, such as tapestry or velvet.

If you decide to put fabric on the outside of the box it’s not necessary to prime coat it with paint. Simply glue the fabric onto the cigar box and add trim, like piping or narrow lace, to cover the raw edges. Another option is to purchase a piece of copper sheet, made for craft projects, and cut it into shapes to cover the corners and edges. It can be glued or nailed into place and gives a classy look to the purse.

Attach the handle to the purse, or if you’re using rope as a handle, drill two holes to accommodate it. Thread the rope through the holes then tie each end in a tight knot. Glue the knot in place for extra security. Look at a craft store for small brass or rubber pieces that can be attached to the bottom of the cigar purse to protect it from scratches. The pieces can be glued or nailed into place and will keep the purse from coming into direct contact with floors or dusty surfaces.

Any number of trinkets can be used to decorate the cigar box purse. If you’ve painted the purse, consider appliques which can be glued into place, or faux jewels. You can also find lots of different ceramic, brass or plastic pieces that can be glued onto the purse. If you’ve covered the purse with fabric, consider attaching fabric pockets, using fabric paints, or just cutting out patches and gluing them here and there.

Sources to find a cigar box include yard sales, flea markets, cigar stores, or even liquor establishments. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to pay for the box – few places give them away free anymore.

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