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Thrifted Cigar Box Turned Pretty


thrifted cigar box with painted herringbone patternA while back I decided to go to Goodwill on a whim, just to see what I could find.  It turned out there were a few little treasures there – remember the embroidery hoops I used in the book page wreath?  I also found a fantastic little cigar box from Nicaragua.  It was in great condition and it cost $1.25.  How could I say no?  I didn’t take any photos of the inside, but it’s a wonderful velvety red and smells sweet and woody all at once.  If you don’t already know this about me, I am a sucker for smells.  I think I have sniffed every single vintage book I have ever bought.  Too much information?  Sorry… I just like all things old and with history, and most importantly with a story, and sometimes smells tell us a story – or they at least help us to come up with one!

Truthfully this little box could have stayed exactly the way it was, but I wanted to spice it up a bit.  I kept seeing these beautiful wooden boxes at Chapters, so I had a bigger vision for this lovely $1.25 treasure.

Here is an example of the boxes I was lusting over at Chapters but did not want to pay $34.50 for (the one I really liked had a grey and white chevron pattern, but they don’t seem to have that one anymore):

882709054986_hiNow for the pièce de résistance:


cigar box pattern

I did a rough measure, taped it all up and made sure all ends of the tape were down really well.  I thought about taping the edges to make sure they were all perfect also, but perfection is overrated, right?

cigar box DIY

I started with just the blue and put on about 4-5 coats of it.  Yep… that many!  I used Martha Stewart paint in a Satin finish.  If I decide to have a shiny finish I might add a coat of clear shiny something to it…?  I don’t know yet.  We’ll see.  The paint colours were kind of Alex’s idea and it was a total coincidence that they both have “summer” in the name.  So that’s that… There are no real instructions per-say – like almost everything else I make these days, I just sort of went with it.  Hope you enjoy, and maybe this will inspire someone to paint an old wooden box somewhere!

cigar box DIY 2

Linking up at these awesome places plus Cheerios and Lattes, The 36th Avenue, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, WhipperBerry, Savvy Southern Style, and My Repurposed Life.


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  • Reply Deli Silva

    I would love to have one done for me. ( it”s just a hint). Loved it.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:55 am
  • Reply twopurplecouches

    I love this!!! Your pattern turned out beautifully!

    December 18, 2012 at 9:49 am
  • Reply Hookin Up with HoH #129

    […] The Learner Observer painted a cigar box. […]

    December 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm
  • Reply Gillian

    I love this, especially the colors! What an attractive way to store something that might not be so attractive :)

    December 22, 2012 at 6:37 pm
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      Thanks!! It’s currently holding chalk, some green wire and a marker haha but you’d never know it! shhhhh :)

      December 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm
      • Reply Gillian

        I’m always curious as to what people are stashing where…thanks for the inside scoop :)

        December 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply “I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots.”

    […] because it makes them so much more special.  My first attempt at patterning on decor was with the cigar box, and I am still completely happy with the look!  For this little project, I wanted to also […]

    February 28, 2013 at 8:04 am
  • Reply Cheryl Romeril

    I love any kind of container with a lid! Nice job Thalita!

    December 31, 2013 at 7:13 am
    • Reply Thalita

      Thanks Cheryl! :)

      January 2, 2014 at 11:47 am

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