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Vintage Cigar Box Made Into A Pen Case



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betweenthelens

I have four vintage cigar boxes that belonged to my maternal great-grandfather (whom I never knew) in the early 1900s. My husband has helped me repurpose one box and we'll eventually be working on the other three. I love that I was able to find a new use for these boxes.

 

We bought acrylic spray, but I'm going to buy a shellac or varnish and brush it on, instead. We also bought balsa wood and felt. We made a frame for the inside of the box and my husband cut braces so the floor would be raised and dividers to separate the pens, which we glued in after I covered the floor with the felt. I really like the look and I even decided to keep the grease penciled 6/97 cents for added nostalgia and vintage appeal.

 

The other three boxes will have floors that aren't as raised as the clips on my larger pens prevent the lid from closing properly so those boxes are where I'll store my larger pens like the Delta Mask and the Stipula and Bayard shown in the photo.

 

Thanks for looking!

 

http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee513/betweenthelens/IMG_5529.jpg

 

http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee513/betweenthelens/IMG_5528.jpg

 

http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee513/betweenthelens/IMG_5527.jpg

 

http://i1231.photobucket.com/albums/ee513/betweenthelens/IMG_5525.jpg

 

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Very pretty, once again!

 

A million years ago, when I was just out of university, I worked for a while for a very rich guy from the middle east who had a house in London; my job was to manage his business admin when he was away. I had to work from a study in the basement of the house, which basement was "wallpapered" - all eight or so rooms of it, from end to cavernous end - with the tessellated lids of cigar boxes which he had bought in an *enormous* lot at auction from a cigar importer's. It was kind of cool, but it didn't half make me feel like a cigar. (Like I was one. Not like I wanted one.)

 

I discover, on pondering this rather awful year of my twenties, that I really don't think I could live with a cigar box, no matter how pretty, in the house!

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betweenthelens

Centopar, you provided this morning's amusement. Very, very funny! And wow. I just can't imagine! Also, at first I thought, "They stuck you in the basement?" but then I read that it was an eight room basement and I imagine it was pretty posh nonetheless! Did he even smoke cigars?

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Wow, what a great idea. It looks fantastic! Please keep the pics updated when the larger pens move in to their new homes.

 

I have started nonchalantly strolling around flea-markets and yard-sales looking for something that could work as a "vintage" storage box. Obviously it wouldn't have the family connection your boxes have, but could be cool all the same. I was keeping an eye out for boxes with some form of divider already in place, but your pics have given me the motivation to construct my own if need be :)

 

Thanks for sharing!

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.
William Makepeace Thackeray

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betweenthelens

Hi Robert. Thanks so much. Find yourself a cool box, take measurements and buy some balsa wood and felt or whatever you'd like to use to line the floor. I used an X-acto knife and a small razor saw to cut the wood. A dot of super glue here and there will make certain the structure isn't going anywhere. I'll post photos when I complete another box. Keep me apprised of your projects, please!

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Very nice. For that particular box, I would not varnish it. I think its vintage flavour sets it apart...

Edited by carlosviet

“Of the gladdest moments in human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of Habit, the leaden weight of Routine, the cloak of many Cares and the slavery of Civilization, man feels once more happy.” - Sir Richard. F. Burton

 

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betweenthelens

Thanks so much, Michael. I'll lower the floor to accommodate larger pens so the lid will close properly. I'll post my next box here.

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I like that you're great-grandfather's boxes can be repurposed into something that you'll frequently use. I think a pen storage box is much better than an empty box that may eventually end up in the back of a closet.

 

I was going to suggest spraying the balsa wood with a clear, matte, craft spray, but I like the idea of letting them age naturally. After all, they'll be protected in the box from moisture, etc., so they should age well.

 

Nicely done.

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betweenthelens

Thanks, House! I haven't seen that link either. Nice boxes. I like the ink storage.

 

Thanks so much, N2theBreach. I agree and I am so happy to be able to use these boxes now. I might try spraying the dividers to see how that works out.

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BTL, if you're wanting to convert cigar boxes into pen boxes,I would suggest

looking for the flat wooden Delacroix version of the Montecristo cigar box. They

are perfect looking for fountain pens and can be found on fleabay(just saw sev-

eral of them for sale). They come in 4 colors(blue,black,green and red)--I have

all 4. They're easy to convert and will hold 20 pens with no problem.

 

 

John

Irony is not lost on INFJ's--in fact,they revel in it.

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betweenthelens

Thanks, John. I appreciate it. I'm sticking with the ones I'm using as they belonged to my great-grandfather. I like how the first one turned out so I'm just going to proceed from there and just lower the floors to accommodate larger pens in subsequent boxes.

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Thanks so much, Michael. I'll lower the floor to accommodate larger pens so the lid will close properly. I'll post my next box here.

Why not have a look around and see if you can find some leather or suede off cuts

 

Good luck

 

Michael

For more details on my current projects please visit my blog.

 

https://my63leather.wixsite.com/my63

 

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