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Cigar 101

How to Display Cigar Bands

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

This history of cigar bands is difficult to pin down, but we believe cigar makers have been putting bands on their cigars since the late 18th century. Many of us simply wonder whether we should take the cigar band on or off when we’re smoking, but there are those who cannot bear to part with them. Because cigar bands and boxes are often quite beautiful, they naturally attract folks who love arts and crafts. When I first started selling cigars, I remember setting aside every empty box that caught my eye until the storage locker in my apartment building was overflowing with them. I tossed all but a few when I moved. I’ve never collected cigar bands, but I understand why people do.

Luckily, the bands don’t take up any more space than a stamp collection, but you might not be satisfied tucking all your precious cigar labels away in the pages of a book. The prettiest ones come from Vrijdag, a highly specialized printing company in the Netherlands known for creating luxurious packaging for high-end spirits, perfume, chocolate, and more. When you want to show off the cigar bands you’ve accumulated, here’s a few ways you can collect and display them for all to see.

Cigar Journal

Okay, a cigar journal is the most obvious – and the most practical – way to collect cigar bands, especially for people who actually smoke cigars and want to keep track of the ones they smoke. Keeping your bands in a journal is more than simply a way to remember whether you liked a cigar or not – it’s a record of your memories. Who were you with and what were you doing when you smoked your favorite cigars? Glancing at the band can take you back in time.

Artwork & Collages

One of the more inventive ways to brandish your cigar band collection is to create art. You’ll find tons of historical figures and pop culture icons rendered in cigar bands. Images of Jack Nicolson, Freddie Mercury, and Marylin Monroe fetch a pretty penny on the Saatchi Art site. Make a collage of your own or hang a self-portrait in your man cave.

Rings & Jewelry

Once you smoke a cigar down to the band and it’s time to remove it, it’s almost second nature to wrap it over your finger for a moment or two, even if you intend to toss it out. But, there are artisans who love to craft cigar bands into something wearable like rings and jewelry. The process usually involves coating the bands with an acrylic or resin and getting them to conform to the shape you want as it dries.

Mirrors, Coffee Tables, & Furniture

I’ve seen nearly everything you can image laminated with cigar bands, from mirrors and coffee tables to desks, doors, and floors. You’re bound to enter a cigar lounge or man cave that’s plastered in cigar bands one day. In many lounges, you’ll find a giant jar where cigar bands are collected after the patrons are done smoking, and the owner will stockpile them until he or she has enough to cover the hood of a car.


Maybe it’s gaudy, but how can you dislike a jovial fella who reminds you of Uncle Buck just because he’s wearing one of those goofy cigar band shirts? We’ve all got a relative or neighbor we can picture in a cheesy cigar band necktie. You’ll find slacks, jackets, and socks, too, if you shop around.

Functional Items

I’ve seen some guys apply cigar bands to their suitcases, guitar cases, travel humidors, coolerdors, and, of course, their iPhone covers.

Ashtrays & Glassware

When your pal hands you a pint glass and an ashtray laminated with his favorite cigar bands, you know you’re in a cigar lover’s man cave. Glassware can be manufactured with cigar bands embedded in the finish. It can even go in the dishwasher. How about finding a favorite new coffee mug?

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