Nicotine-free crafts: crafting with cigarette and cigar packaging
November 23, 2008 9:37 AM   Subscribe

If you've quit smoking and you're trying to get through the early withdrawal symptoms without gaining 20 pounds, one coping strategy is to get busy crafting. Sure, you say, you've made naughty figurines out of your cigarette packages in bored moments before, but now if you're going to craft you want to make something that celebrates your fantastic self-discipline and can serve as a worthy memorial to your renounced habit. If that's how you feel, check out these links.

If you were a cigarette smoker, you can make a cigarette wrapper purse or two, gift tags or cards, a flash diffuser for your camera, or a model Lamborghini. Or you might launch into the creation of a photographic series like artist Chris Jordan.

If cigars were more your thing, you can also use them to make some truly lovely purses (here's how). The boxes can be découpaged, collaged, and decorated to make boxes for jewelry or what have you. If you were a really heavy and brand-faithful smoker, you can make a chest of drawers. Then perhaps you should make a shrine for yourself. Cigar boxes also lend themselves to making good planters, mini memo boards, or stationery sets. If you think you'd like to take up a musical instrument once you've finished making things out of all your old cigar boxes, why not make your own guitar, fiddle, kalimba, or cigar box amp. You can also make a cigar box battery for a tube radio. And now that you're looking at what you have wrought, thank you for crafting and recycling and for not smoking.
posted by orange swan (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
why not make your own guitar

I did this in junior high! It didn't quite sound like Kansas doing Dust in the Wind - and wasn't nearly as well crafted as those examples - but I was pleased.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:41 AM on November 23, 2008

An excellent previous post on cigar box guitars can be found here.

Rao Jiacang from Taining in China's Guangdong province found another use for cigarette packs when he used them as a DIY chest bandage when he could not afford to have his gaping wound closed after he had heart surgery. But let us hope that the vast majority of people are not driven to such straits [shudder]. Creative recycling crafts do have their limits.
posted by orange swan at 9:45 AM on November 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I was EATING when I clicked on your link, orange swan! I'm going to finish my grilled cheese, but I think you've ruined desert.

I make chapbooks for a hobby, been wanting to make little collage boxes using old cigar boxes. want to call the series "Danger: May Contain Poetry," and throw bullets, rusty razors, poetry, and other hazardous materials in them.

I would also love to make a thumb piano out of a box.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:59 AM on November 23, 2008

mr. padraigin has a guitar amp made out of an empty Parliament pack.
posted by padraigin at 12:26 PM on November 23, 2008

I was EATING when I clicked on your link, orange swan! I'm going to finish my grilled cheese, but I think you've ruined desert.

Dude. My comment about the link included the words "DIY chest bandage" and "gaping wound". It's not like you weren't warned.
posted by orange swan at 6:17 PM on November 23, 2008

I had a great uncle who used to make crystal radios out of cigar boxes. I don't know what they used for a crystal, but they tweaked a wire on the crystal to change the stations.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 8:05 PM on November 23, 2008

I was really hoping you would say something about cigarette butt crafts.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:22 AM on November 24, 2008

I finally remembered. They had a real crystal you could buy for the purpose, which did look like a rock crystal, but this was Depression era and most couldn't afford them. The cheap way was to use a razor blade, which would work as a crystal.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 2:50 PM on December 9, 2008

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