Memory Photo Cigar Box

My mother recently celebrated a milestone birthday and I made her a photo memory box as a gift.  I started the project with a wooden cigar box I purchased for a few dollars at a nearby cigar store called Club Humidor.  The store stacks up their used empty cigar boxes near the front door to the store and sells them for a few dollars each.  I have purchased quite a few of their boxes and are using them to store small items such as show tickets.  Below is a photo of a few of the cigar boxes I have purchased from Club Humidor.

Assorted cigar boxes


For my mom’s photo box I used a wooden box similar to the one on the lower right in the picture.  The box I chose already had a gold clasp on on the front.  Here’s a picture of the finished box.


Top of Photo Box

Top of Photo Box


I had already scanned several hundred photos my mom gave me into my computer so that my husband could make a video of her life to show at her birthday party.  So I had a lot of photos to choose from.  I copied photos one by one into a Microsoft Word file and then shrunk each photo down.  The pictures on the top and bottom sides of the box were about 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches depending on the picture.  The pictures on the top sides of the box were smaller, about 1 inch by 1 inch.  I selected photos from each phase of mom’s life so the older pictures were black and white.  I used about 50 pictures for the entire box.

Next I printed the three 8 1/2 by 11 inch pages of pictures on my color ink jet printer onto photo paper. Then I cut the photos apart and arranged them on the box in sort of a collage style with some photos angled off the top of the box. I used Mod Podge to attach the pictures to the box and then painted several coats of Mod Podge over the top of the pictures.  I also pasted pictures along the sides of the box as shown in the photo below. After the Mod Podge was dry I trimmed the edges where the photos went off the sides of the box.

Side of Photo Box


Inside the box I cut stick-on black felt to fit the bottom. I peeled off the  backing and stuck the felt onto the wood.  For the top inside cover I  used Microsoft Word to design a file with a picture from my parents’  wedding and lyrics to the song What A Wonderful World.  I used a f  frame from Microsoft Word clip art.  I printed this page on photo paper,  cut it to fit and glued it to the wood.  You can download this file as a  PDF below.

Link to PDF document for inside top of box

Inside of Photo Box


On the bottom of the box I hot-glued four wooden 3/4 inch Roundhead Plugs by Lara’s Crafts to raise the box slightly off the ground. The picture below shows the bottom of the box.  I planned to attach Tim Holtz idea-ology Foundations on the bottom corners of the box but the foundations didn’t fit the shape of the box.

Bottom of photo box


The photo box was a big success.  My mom enjoyed showing the box to people and several people visiting my parents have asked me how they could make a box themselves.

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions about making the box.



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