Upcycle Inspiration: Vintage Cigar Holder

My Upcycle project was inspired by a show called The Repair Shop. The Repair Shop highlights the repair and improvement of vintage antiques and cherished family items.

The Repair Shop: www.netflix.com


In one of the first episodes, a vintage music player/cigar holder was brought in for refurbishment. While the musical aspect may not be feasible for this project, the base mechanics of the device were quite interesting. There is a dial at the top of the holder, with 6 panel walls on the sides (forming a hexagon). Rotating the dial opens each panel wall to expose inner compartments. Two examples are given below (these have 4 panels instead):

Vintage Italian Smokers Box: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/65326333_vintage-italian-musical-smokers-box


















Vintage Cigar Holder: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-capodimonte-music-box-1927189650


My specific iteration will not be designed to hold cigars. Instead, I intend for the device to hold pencils, keys, and other everyday items. Because the inspiration is based on designs from history, I think it will be interesting to create a similar product with more modern materials. From years of engineering projects, I have lots of scrap materials to upcycle. For this project, I will be utilizing scrap quarter inch acrylic and wooden rods. Bearings are also required for this project, which I have purchased used.

In terms of applying an aesthetic, I have been inspired by further research into my aesthetic explorations post. I explored tessellations, focusing on the work of M.C. Escher. After looking into more modern applications of tessellations, I found the Swiss artist Hans Hinterreiter. His work has a colorful, futuristic, geometric aesthetic that closely relates to the artists I researched. Again, I believe this futuristic, geometric look will provide an interesting contrast when applied to this vintage cigar holder.

Hans Hinterreiter: www.moma.org/artists/2661
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4 Comments. Leave new

  • I like this idea a lot, especially if it can act as a sort of pencil holder for a desk! I also like the idea of adding that kind of cover to the holder. Do you plan on using the acrylic to make the whole thing? And about ho big are you expecting it to be?

    • Jackson Hootman
      February 3, 2020 9:43 pm

      Thanks for the questions Austin. In terms of material, everything will be acrylic except for 7 wooden rods and 14 ball bearings. For the size, the final product will be approximately 6″ by 6″ by 6″.

  • Isabella Colosimo
    January 29, 2020 11:43 am

    Do you know what you are going to put in the center? Each of those above examples have that ballerina in the middle and I’m wondering if you have plans to incorporate something like that into your design? Very cool idea, it’s gonna turn out great!

    • Jackson Hootman
      February 3, 2020 9:39 pm

      Thanks for your question Isabella! I unfortunately don’t believe I have the resources to make anything too elaborate for the centerpiece with upcycled materials. Instead, I was thinking of making it a pencil holder.


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