Romeo y Julieta

… cigar boxes …

I have always had a “thing” for boxes of all kinds … pretty wooden cigar boxes with special closures make great storage … and perfect gift boxes too … thank you sweet Jean x two …

Mr Magpie and I hit it lucky recently … we popped into a local cigar/smoke shop to check on boxes …

we arrived just as they were about to throw a nice stack of them away … WHAT … oh MY … time for a rescue mission …

the boxes  made of wood with nice closures on them are my first choice … but often the graphics on the boxes with nails in the lid are very tempting as well … ending up with a bounty of boxes … I had an idea … sometimes those come in a flash … gotta Love it when that happens…

you know how you soak envelopes in water to remove postage stamps … the first time I heard that … I could not believe it … it does work like a charm … well I decided to soak some of the boxes and wouldn’t you know it … the lovely decorative bands … most likely each glued on by hand … got slippery after about thirty minutes (hot or cool water didn’t really seem to make a huge difference) and they pulled right off into nice long strips … ooh la laa…

time to dry on a towel … curling a bit …

when I found myself ironing cigar strips … YES … even I had to shake my head for a moment … but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do…

look at how beautiful they are … instant borders/decorations for collage and more … I was raised to waste not want not … thank you my Mutti … the box parts are waiting for a second life now too!

*footnote: thought I’d share a favorite story with you … at the risk of making this a longer bbb post 🙂 … when our boys were young I did iron every now and again … but chose to do so after they were tucked in their beds … for safety reasons or more likely that I’d put it off long enough … one Saturday while getting ready for a wedding and being forced to get the iron out in daylight … our middle son, Alex … who was around five years old …  asked “what IS that” when he saw the iron … still makes us chuckle … ironing is never on the top of my to do list … hardly seems necessary … unless it’s cigar papers perhaps …

50 responses to “Romeo y Julieta

  1. Peggy Krzyzewski

    Wow, thanks for this great tip! I can’t wait to try it. It makes it a lot easier to keep those graphics without having to store every single box.


  2. Ha! You are so my kind of girl! I love the image of you ironing the labels of these beautiful boxes. I am so pleased that they found their way to you for rescue and restoration. Pen x

  3. Patty; I don’t iron a thing here except using my quilting iron for beeswax applications 🙂 Thanks, to you, I’ll have another use for ironing! Brilliant! Thank you for sharing! xxoo

  4. haha, same here with sewing… i only sew for mixed media purposes, not for *normal life* issues;)
    these cigar box bands are a treasure!! good hunt, what a luck to save them from being thrown away…

  5. oh, my… I’m sooo jealous. I love altering cigar boxes.
    here’s my latest creation (if you scroll down there is a view of the inside):

    happy creating! 🙂

  6. The magpie strikes again!!!!!!!!
    These are fabulous Patty. Every time I see a cigar box on a blog I ooh and aah.
    The colourful strips will make great borders – hey I’d be ironing them too – shh!!! I definitely fall into the “gone a bit nutty” label that I’m sure my friends have given me!!
    They just don’t ‘get it’.
    Looking forward to seeing these wondrous little bits gracing your creations one day!

  7. Wow! Pure genius, I’d say!!! Just look at how wonderful those cigar graphics are! I’d never have the never to soak the boxes the way you did – but I just might have to give it a whirl. You know you’re an artist when you use an iron for ephemera, and and oven and cookie sheets for baking polymer clay! Hugs, Terri xoxoxo

  8. Lucky you to get all these boxes and the wonderful labels. You did a great job with the ironing (lol)

  9. What a fantastic idea!!! Danke Patty. Das mach ich in Zukunft auch so 🙂 Deine Boxen sind fantastisch. Schönes weekend wünsche ich dir. liebe Grüße Alexandra

  10. oh I love these as well Patty!! and great trick !! thanks I will be using those bands too! and what an adorable story about Alex!! xoxox

  11. What a super great idea and nice visual ~ love the designs too! And congrats on such a great score with the boxes ~ can’t wait to see what you’ll do with them! Have a blessed weekend dear! ~ Katie

  12. Oh, dear…I need to show you my cigar box stash!!! Well…guess I’ll be soaking them in water now and ironing..of all things!!!!!!!!! Love the iron and Alex story, too! Great post!

  13. Ohhhhhh Patty, I can just picture you ironing these, I know I have ironed some strange things in my life too, and would much rather iron these than shirts LOL… and look at what you have now, they are beautiful 🙂
    I think it is wonderful that your Mr is so into what you do, and thank you for that cute story about the ironing when Alex was a kid, “what is that?” you had me ROTFLMBO!!!!!!!
    Happy weekend my dear, time for dinner here. My MR cooked of course 🙂

  14. oooh this is yummy……the box, the labels……happy creating dear Patty…

  15. What a fantastic score Patty!! Lucky you, right place, right time……..serenipity indeed. Your ironing story is great; I don’t think my kids have ever even SEEN one here at all!! My bad….

  16. You certainly hit a jackpot – both with boxes AND the labels!!I didn’t even know they still packaged cigars in boxes – which only goes to prove that we’re definitely non-smokers. My iron never gets used on clothes that we actually wear…just on jeans that I recycle and various other crafty projects. Yeah, we like the rumpled look!!

  17. I never even thought of soaking off the labels! And they are very beautiful…

  18. Patty i dont mind ironing except when it builds up, i do it as it comes off the line, seems like less of chore.
    I cant believe you scored all those cigar boxes , I went to the local places too and the supermarket goes thru one box every 6 months !!!!The anti smoking adds must be working 🙂
    love the labels too, what an added bonus …jenxo

  19. oh what a find ! I have been searching for cigar boxes but we just don’t have tobacconists anymore !
    I love how you soaked the labels off & dried & ironed !
    I hardly ever iron but did the other day – some bits of fabric for crafting ! Ha ! Luckily with hubby’s job he doen’t need ironed shirts.

  20. Patty, I can already see the masses bombarding their local cigar stores looking for FREE! It always tickles me when I read a post like this as just this week I bought a stash of cigar boxes and old cigar box labels off of Ebay! Mine were cheap, but you still win at free! LOL! Big giggles on the Alex story…aren’t you glad he asked you instead of say, his teacher? your Mother-in-law?! the neighbors?!! Xo, Sue

  21. Good tip – check the cigar stores!!!! In an era of wash and wear – who irons anymore???? Can’t wait to see those cigar box labels on something new!!

  22. I think I’ve mentioned before that our one and only remaining cigar store SELLS their boxes for exorbitant prices. Each box shown here would cost between five and seven dollars. Wooden ones START at $12.50. You are truly blessed and exceedingly lucky.

    Glad you played with soaking the boxes until the labels came off. What a great tutorial, too. BTW, I only iron craft projects (mostly paper), never clothes. Your son’s comment had me laughing.

  23. Oh, Patty,
    You just crack me up! I do anything to avoid ironing…spray and let it hang for twenty-four hours, wrinkle release, many tricks, but I have been ironing dyed linen napkins like crazy to make sachets…so I get it totally. Your son’s comment just makes me laugh my head off!

    What you got was wonderful and I am checking out my cigar boxes as soon as I get home. thanks for the good tips and the good laughs!


  24. Love your papers Patti…brilliant idea!!

    I always had to iron as a teenager so I don’t do it too often now….actually dread it!
    Happy creating with those!!

  25. Oh my Lord, Patty — ironing the cigar labels. I so undertand it! LOL. Can’t wait to see your creations, girlfriend, can’t wait!!!!! Hugs!

  26. Gotta love those goodies that are great again in another life…keep it up.

  27. Love those cigar boxes, what a bounty. Also loved your photos and tutorial on getting them unglued! A great read, both words and pics. Can’t wait to see how you use some of your “ironing”.

  28. Oh how lovely! I can’t wait to see what you make with these. And, what a cute story about that thing; the IRON ! 🙂 ~Janee

  29. Yep, we really ARE twins, separated at birth!!!
    My husband would say in a second, that I am a fond collector of BOXES, of all kinds, but pretty much any cigar box that comes my way, I hoard 🙂
    And as far as the ironing goes…well, let’s just say that the most fun I’ve had ironing…was to smooth out marbled papers 🙂
    See, I told you! Twins!

    Happy day to you, Patty!

  30. It may sound weird but I love ironing… making it all straight and tight and neat… yep, even paper! The strips are way beyond gorgeous, so glad you could recue the boxes AND those strips! I picture you ironing them, and it makes me smile!

  31. What a find, Patty! This is simply the best! (And I love the name, too — oh, just think what you could do thematically with those!)

  32. oh i adore how you collect and cherish all things paper. those are lovely labels. i enjoyed reading this…

    p.s. i iron after bedtime too, if at all 😉 (unless i’m ironing for a sewing project, which is an entirely different and more enjoyable activity!)

  33. oo cool! what a good idea, girlfriend! and such a sweet, funny story….

  34. These strips were definitely worth the work! How stinkin’ cool! You are so lucky to have picked up such amazing boxes. What a treasure. How could they possibly throw them out?! Can’t wait to see what you do with the others.
    Autumn Clark

  35. what a score….I may have to check with the local cigar store! You will do wonderful things with them I am sure…
    I am not much of an ironer….If I am working I take them to the cleaners for a press…….I do have an iron though….for sewing!

  36. Oh my gosh! They were seriously going to throw those lovely boxes out?!!! Hey maybe in Philly there will be a smoke shop I can visit to rescue boxes! Right now all my cigar and other boxes are all packed up…. heavy sigh.

  37. Oh my… are such a clever girl! Those bands are wonderful and you will no doubt put them to great use 😉
    Loved the ironing story….its my most dreaded chore and I usually leave it till we’ve no clothes left in the wardrobe and the pile’s reaching to the ceiling.
    DH just says….’I think its time….’

  38. How you ever thought to soak them off…I’d have never thought of that. What do the boxes look like under all the labels? And now just think of the possibilities for both the boxes and labels.

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  40. Thank you Patti. You are so smart to do that. I just got some boxes and I can’t wait to try soaking them. Miss everyone. Things just got crazy. I am doing AA and hope to get back to groups soom.

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  44. In comments there was only one other person who likes to ‘iron’…a job I had from 10yrs.old…now 82….so that tells the tale.

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  48. I never did do this………………….

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts means a lot to me and I appreciate your visit very much oxo

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