Altered Cigar Box

From this…


…to this











I’ve discovered cigar boxes. A friend pointed the way and now the train has left the depot and cannot stop. Cigar boxes are inexpensive and sturdy; there are so many possibilities for decorating them! They can be made of wood, heavy paperboard or a composite and the empties can be found for sale at smoke shops or in the specialty department at a market type of grocery store. Most of the time you can buy them for around $3.00.

Today I have a box to show you which I decorated using the design paper “Once Upon a Fairy” by Sincerely Rina (here). Rina’s papers are a joy to work with and the designs are beautiful. I am privileged to be on her design team.

I’ll show how I put this box together. Let’s go!



  • Cigar box
  • 2 sheets design paper
  • Scraps design paper
  • 1 piece cheap quality white tissue paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Small amounts of burgundy acrylic paint, silver paint and white (or gesso)
  • Wooden picture frame (5″x 7″) (I purchased mine from Hobby Lobby in the wood crafts section)
  • 4 metal feet (scrapbooking section of hobby store. I used Paper Studio Spare Parts in Hobby Lobby)
  • 1 silver knob ( And a drill to bore a hole, if needed, depending on type of knob you use. The one I used is by Tim Holtz purchased at Hobby Lobby.)
  • Black ink pad
  • 9 small paper or silk flowers
  • 5 medium paper or silk flowers
  • 4 large paper or silk flowers
  • Scraps: lace, feather boa, cheesecloth, buttons, small berries
  • Miscellaneous: glue, paint brush or foam brush, script rubber stamp, hot glue or strong-bonding glue



Before gluing on papers, paint all box edges with gesso or white acrylic paint.  Don’t put on too many coats otherwise your lid may not move up and down freely. Let dry. Don’t worry if some blotches of color show through your paint; it will add to the shabby chic look!

Paint edges










Cut paper to fit, ink edges, and glue onto inside lid
  1. Measure box inside lid. Cut paper to fit, making sure you leave room at bottom for lid to move freely. Leave 1/8″ to 1/4″ around outside edges. Use decorative punch on corners, if desired. Ink edges and glue onto inside lid.






Fairy on inside lid


2. Leave as is or decorate further. I had a die cut fairy to use (In Once Upon a Fairy design paper kit). Cut light gray paper. Punch edges with decorative punch. Ink edges. Glue fairy onto light gray paper. Tear edges of lavender paper. Glue fairy unit onto lavender paper. Cut dark gray paper. Round edges with punch. Glue fairy unit onto dark gray. Center on background paper. Glue. Add scraps of lace in a few places under lavender paper.






From this…
…to this















Cut, ink edges and glue to box top


1. Measure and cut design paper to fit top of box lid. Ink edges, glue to top.







Coat paper with ModPodge and attach tissue paper



2. Lightly coat entire top with ModPodge and lay tissue paper on top, leaving some crinkles behind for texture. Paper might bubble a little. Don’t worry about this. When the paper dries, it should shrink back down to normal. Let dry thoroughly.






Leave some crinkles

3. Ink edges with black. Smear silver paint around edges. Randomly paint a few silver streaks around in the center of paper. Let dry.

Paint streaks of silver paint randomly over surface. Smear silver paint around edges.











Random rubber stamping



4. Ink rubber stamp of choice with black ink and randomly stamp around top.









Glue strips of paper on sides of box

5. Measure box and cut strips of paper to fit around each side of box. Ink edges. Glue on box.










Knob placement and frame close-up

6. Decide what type of knob you would like to use. Drill a hole in the top of lid as needed for knob shank/screw. Screw knob in place. You may glue on a knob too, but the screw-in type will be sturdier. I chose to keep my knob simple since the decorations are fancy.

7. Paint purchased picture frame with burgundy acrylic paint. I used a sponge and dabbed two different colors of burgundy, just for variety. I didn’t get a clear picture of this, but here is a close-up of the bottom part of the frame. Let dry.






Glue fairy into frame and center onto top



8. Glue fairy cut from paper onto back of frame. Center and glue frame onto top.











Glue cheesecloth to upper left of box top




9. Glue cheesecloth strips around top left of box top. (Shown without frame.) Glue on flowers, buttons and butterfly. I also had a few glittered berries in my stash. I glued some of those on here as well. Stick a few pieces of feather boa into flower spray.



Upper left flower spray
Upper left flower spray














Glue a few small flowers at the lower right of frame

10. Glue a few small flowers at the lower right corner of the frame.

11. Glue metal feet on the bottom corners of box. Let dry completely. Hot glue works well or use strong bonding glue.

Glue on feet










Altered Cigar Box
Altered Cigar Box








Inside lid










You are done!!

To finish the box, I taped a piece of gray felt onto the bottom of the box using double-sided tape.

I will be working on other boxes and will be sure to share these as well. Enjoy!


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