- Arts and Design
Cigar box shrines: showcase what you love
Honor something that makes you happy
I love cigar boxes! I never smoke cigars, but the boxes are so cool: the interesting and often quite beautiful artwork, lovely wood, and the possibilities of creating little scenes filled with objects that give me warm feelings like seashells gathered at a day on the beach, little toys that remind me of my childhood, favorite books, or hobbies such as gardening or sewing.
Cigar boxes are perfect little spaces for making shrines, dioramas or shadow boxes. It's a lot of fun collecting the objects for the shrines as well.
The boxes come in many shapes and sizes. Check your local cigar shops for supplies. The one in my neighborhood sells them for just $2.00 each.
Put your collections in the spotlight
Most of us can't resist collecting little objects that spark our imaginations. A personal shrine is a whimsical way to show off our finds. I was given the little statue of the Virgin Mary by a lady at a garage sale. It was the close to the end of the sale and she saw me pick up the little statue and look at it. "Why don't you take that home?" she said, "I don't need it. I'm trying to get rid of stuff."
I'm not a Catholic and not even very religious, but I thought it was a lovely little statue and perhaps I could give it to someone as a gift, so I took her home. She sat for a while on my shelf and when I began doing shrines, I thought it would be cool to put her in her own little cigar box altar. First, I painted the box inside and out with a vibrant turquoise paint. I put a little mirror behind her to reflect some natural light and with tile nippers, I cut some little tiles from a broken ceramic plate and glued them around the mirror. I found some tiny ceramic flowers at a rummage sale and placed them in front of her. Then I decorated the top of her shrine with more tile mosaics and echoed the flower design on the sides of the box in paint.
Amazon Spotlight Personal Review
Mexican Folk Art Retablo.
Are you ready to make a cigar box shrine?
Start gathering things you love and do it!
And other similar ideas.
I love to do research and find out what other people are doing with my craft. Here are some great books on the topic.
Danger! Danger! Danger!
Remember Steve Irwin, the crazy crocodile guy? He died as a result of a freak accident with a stingray.
My boyfriend often pays tribute to Steve by imitating him. His impressions never fail to crack me up, so when my daughter gave me a small Steve Irwin doll, I decided to make a shrine for Rick.
I went to the dollar store and purchased several packets of plastic critters: snakes, alligators, sharks, stingray, turtles etc . Armed with the dollar store wildlife and a tube of Liquid Nails, I created a habitat for Steve so we can remember him for a long time.
Rick loved it and the shrine sits on a shelf in his bathroom. Long Liive Steve Irwin!
Amazon Spotlight Personal Review - Interesting ways to show objects you like
This book shows many different ways to assemble and display those fascinating little objects that we save and are not sure what to do with. It's a lovely book.
Jungle or Wildlife Theme
In the Garden
I loved creating this project of a sweet old man in the garden talking to a frog which is sitting on a flowerpot. The frog was a broken drawer pull from my grandson's dresser, which my daughter gave me because she loved it and couldn't bear to throw it away. I had a miniature birdhouse with a broken post and a tiny wooden cardinal. On the top, I glued a watermelon slice which was the top of a small ceramic box. I don't know what happened to the box, but I'm glad I kept the lid. I added a rabbit to keep the old guy company.
Esoterica: the Quest for Knowledge - My Latest Lens
I have just finished creating a new lens. I call it Esoterica because for many years, I have been fascinated with Alternative Spirituality. I've studied Eastern religions, Christian Myticism, Native American Traditions, the Tarot, Astrology, Extraterrestrial Lore, Mayan Prophecies, Pagan religions, and anything else that might enlighten me on all the questions running around in my brain.
I decided to display some of these "bits" in a personal shrine to my propensity for truth-seeking.
The lid to the box showcases a tiny tarot card, a sun, moon, a key, a holographic I-Ching symbol that switches to a peace symbol, a couple of gemstones, a glass "Love" stone, and a Native American dream catcher.
Inside the cigar box entitled Esoterica is a strip of Egyptian pyramids and a starry sky, an i-ching symbol, a yin-yang image, a Celtic bird symbol, a green Chinese dragon, a large red sparkly key, an Egyptian "Eye of Horus" a pewter wise woman figurine, and a quartz crystal. The cigar box had a nice bamboo picture on the inside so I left some of that image uncovered since it seemed to fit in with my theme.
Esoteric Jewelry - To Put In Your Decorated Cigar Box
I love to adorn myself with symbols that mean something to me. Many people get tattoos, but I just wear clothes and jewelry to express myself. Here's a selection of things that I would love to wear.
Collect Stuff You Like
My objects box
When I find a craft that intrigues me, such as crafting personal shrines, I like to spend some time collecting things that might work as objects in a shrine. I collect all sorts of things. For example, I have a couple of colorful fish I am saving for the right time. One is a metal hook for hanging a hat or a towel or whatever. The other is a papier mache napkin ring. I also have a collection of seashells, so all these things will probably find their way into a cigar box shrine at some point.
I keep my collectibles in a box so I know where they are and I go to the box for inspiration.
In my box at the moment, I have a pack of playing cards, some origami paper, gift wrap with roses on it, a sheet of music, a ceramic angel and a goose girl figurine, a snail and a squirrel, a velvet heart, some love and peace patches, tiny bird houses, a stained glass cardinal, a couple of fabric palm trees, some greeting cards, and other items which I'm sure I will use for something eventually.
I'd love to hear from my readers about the personal shrines that you would make. (Or have made).
The Library Shrine
This is the shrine I created for myself to commemorate my career as a librarian. It contains tiny books, bookmarks, a photo of me at the Information desk, another photo of a puppet show I performed for a medieval festival at the library, a photo of a book display, and a pair of reading glasses. On top of the shrine is a small silver clock and inside sits a brass teddy bear to represent my favorite job, that of being a children's librarian. The photos are fastened on with push pins, as they would be on a library bulletin board.
I'm retired now, but this shrine reminds me of all the things I loved about being a librarian.
And that is what these shrines are all about!
Other Ideas for Cigar Boxes
I have so many idea for shrines, I don't know when I'll have the time to do them all. I also found out that cigar boxes make great purses, so I'm exploring that possibility as well.
What about cigar box guitars? That sounds intriguing. Apparently there is a whole community of people who love to build and play cigar box guitars! Who knew?
So collect some items that you love, scrounge up a cigar box and some glue and get started making a shrine. They make great gifts!
Cigar box shrines are a great way to recycle greeting cards and wrapping paper. Glue them to the back of the shrine as a colorful back drop or cut out pieces that fit in with your theme. The best part is that you are actually using something you didn't want to discard.