Monday, April 12, 2010

Cigar Box Purse Craft

Purses are one of my favorite accessories and also one of my favorite crafts! You can take basic everyday items and turn them into some of the most amazing purses! One of my favorite items for purses are Cigar Boxes. Cigar boxes are durable, come in many different shapes and sizes and hold up well to the abuse we women put them through.

My favorite cigar box brand is macanudo. They come in lots of different sizes and are very durable. They take clasps and handles well and if I decide to leave a little bit of the box showing, they have very decorative coverings already.

Most Cigar or Smoke Shops will just give you their empty boxes if you ask. Some will charge a nominal fee, but I have never paid more than $10, and that got me a nice stack of boxes.

Once you have your boxes, you will need to visit a craft store and pick up your clasp and handle. I have found that a hinge clasp works best but magnetic clasps can be fun and add a different dimension to your purse. Your handle can be anything from a regular length of rope to beads on a heavy wire. Most craft stores have pre-made handles or you can purchase a heavy gauge wire and your own beads. I prefer this option as it gives me the ability to personalize my purse just a little bit more.

You'll also want to decide how you wish to decorate your purse. You can do just about anything from tole painting to decoupage to using embellishments. I have one purse that I painted in bright spring colors and added huge 70's style flowers. Another one I printed off lots of black and white pictures of my family and decoupaged them all over the purse and accented it with red ribbon, beads and silver rhinestone embellishments. I have purses covered in fabric, purses with paper mache and silk flowers and even one covered in my children's drawings. There is no limit to what you can create! Wander the isles of the craft store and see what peaks your creativity!

Once you are home, you will want to start decorating your box. I had to learn the hard way that it is important to drill the holes for your handle and your clasps first. That way you know where to place your embellishments, or in my case, where not to place them! Once your holes are drilled, decorate away!

When you have finished decorating your box, then create your handle. If you are using ribbon or rope, tie a tight knot in one end and thread the other end from the inside out through the first hole and then from the outside in through the other hole. Tie a tight knot in the last end and your purse is ready to go. (HINT: If your knot is too small, add a bead to the knot to make it just a little larger.)

If you are using wire and beads, thread your wire through your hole and either add a bead to the end or coil a few time to create a mass which will hold the wire in place. Thread your beads on to the wire to your ideal length. Bend your wire to form a handle and poke the end through the second hole. Again coil it or add a bead to hold it in place.

Add your clasp and your pure is complete!

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