Making a Decoupage Cigar Box Purse

Cigar box
Mod Podge
Paper Cut-outs
Scissors or craft knife

Optional Materials:
Purse feet
Purse corners
Jewels, glitter or paint
Fabric (for liner, if desired)

Cigar box purses are so easy and fun to make, and give you endless possibilities for your creativity!


Cigar boxes can be found at most tobacco shops. Many people use cigar boxes in crafting, so the store owners are used to saving their empty boxes. Some will give them to you for free, others will charge a small fee of a couple dollars per box. Make sure you choose one that will be suitable as a purse. Think of size, depth and how the box closes. If the cigar box already has a decent latch, you may be able to leave it. Why go through another step?

Mod Podge, purse handles, latches and other accessories can all be purchased at your local craft store. Handles come in many styles, so pick one out that will complement your finished product nicely.

Start by finding your paper pieces you want to use to decorate your purse. Magazines, photos, postage stamps, labels, printouts from the internet, etc. I usually cover the entire box in a similar theme, but you can always just use a couple of pictures and leave some of the wood exposed.

For this example, I will be covering the whole box. You can map out where your cut-outs will go ahead of time, or just figure it out as you go along (this is my preferred method). You can start with the box open or closed, but if you cover the box when it is closed, you may cover the edges of the box where the two halves separate. If you do this, wait until the box is dry and then slice the two halves apart with a craft knife.

Choose your first piece and either paint some Mod Podge on the back of the image, or directly on the box. Stick the piece down and then cover the entire piece and just outside the edges with more Mod Podge.

Continue this process until the box is covered to your liking. Let the cigar box dry completely.


Cut your box open with your craft knife if you sealed it shut. Open the box and coat the exterior with spray sealant, polyurethane or thick gloss glaze.

Once the box has dried a second time, you can add your handle, hinges, latch, purse corners or feet if necessary. If you prefer to decorate with fabric trim, gems, glitter or other embellishments, now is the time to add it!

An optional step is to line the box with more paper pieces or fabric. Hot glue works great for fabric lining. If you use paper, just repeat the same steps for the interior as you did for the exterior.

You did it! You have a darling and functional repurposed cigar box purse that will be the envy of your friends.

Amanda Violett is a 29 year old graphic designer, lives in Dallas, Texas, and is a relentless crafter. Anything she can get her hands on, she will revamp it to make it special. She is inspired by art deco, B-movie posters, found objects, vintage advertisements, all things retro, consumer packaging, propaganda art, lettering and font style and old flickering neon signs. She has a fear of mayonnaise and an obsession with Elvira and pressed pennies. To see more of her creations, visit her Etsy shop at

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