I still don’t know exactly why yet, but ever since the first time I lit up a cigar (and presumably got sick as hell from it), I’ve been saving all of my cigar bands. The collection started with a small cereal bowl, moved up to a Ziploc bag, graduated to a quart-sized plastic container, and now resides in a giant glass jar with a wooden lid. Like I said, I’m not sure exactly why I’ve saved all of these, but I’ve been brewing up a couple of ideas for what to do with my seemingly impossible-to-get-rid-of cigar band collection.
My first idea was to make a scrapbook with all the bands, handwriting (or typing, if I feel ambitious) the name of each cigar underneath its respective band. Given the sheer quantity of different cigar bands, though, I don’t expect to be able to remember more than half of them. Maybe not even that much. Still, though, this could make a pretty good tangible keepsake of the most expensive habit I’ve ever picked up. By the way, according to Jaye, the general manager here at BestCigarPrices, it’s important to use non-acidic archival paper for your cigar bands. I’m not sure why this is important, but Jaye looked and sounded very severe when he made the recommendation, so I’ll take his word for it.
Next, I thought about taking a big piece of plywood and pasting all the bands to that, eventually creating some kind of cigar band collage. When the entire thing was covered, I’d hang it up somewhere in the house. Fitting them all onto one giant “canvas” could be a bit challenging, so I also thought about getting several smaller pieces of wood/poster board and grouping them somehow, maybe into country of origin, how much I liked the cigar, how strong the cigar was, etc. Anyway, it could be a cool way to decorate your smoking cave.
This next one could prove to be a bit tricky, and I’ve never seen it done with cigar bands, but I think it’s possible. Cigar bands are affixed to cigars with a water soluble vegetable glue. This means if you dab some water onto that glue, the detached cigar band will stick to pretty much anything. So theoretically, if you ever wanted to cover a guitar or some other instrument with cigar bands, that could be a very real possibility. I have a friend who tried to cover his guitar with beer labels, and it actually ended up turning out pretty well, so if you’ve got the patience (and a guitar/bass/whatever that you feel like covering with cigar bands), I think this project could turn out some badass results.
I completely stole this next idea from Walt at Stogie Review, so I hope he doesn’t mind as long as I give credit where it’s due (and dammit, I need to figure out what to do with all these bands!). The other day I shook the hell out of my cigar band collection and took a few pictures of the contents, and I want to see how many you guys can identify. And here’s another page out of Walt’s book—if you could pick any stogie from either of these pictures to smoke right now, which would it be? Hypothetically (and I really mean hypothetically, because I haven’t gotten anyone’s approval on this), depending on how well you guys respond, we might be able to figure out some kind of way to turn this into a contest with prizes/free shipping/etc. Post your responses in a comment, and if we get enough, maybe we’ll see what we can do.
Anyway, I hope this post inspired at least one person to either A.) start saving your cigar bands or B.) dump out your collection and do something productive with it. Maybe tonight I’ll start working on that scrapbook (or start on my guitar; either way, pictures to come), but in the meantime, let’s see some comments!