Travel Humidors with Photo transfers

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Project by Eric Genzlinger posted 11-27-2013 05:35 PM 1869 views 3 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These two humidors I built for Christmas gifts. I have cigar smokers in the family and thought this would be a great gift idea. I used aromatic cedar slats that were leftover from a project my dad built (a chest for my sister). On the one I added pins to the joints. I used bamboo kabob skewers my wife had in the kitchen. On the inside of the lids I transferred photos I found online.
The best part of these gifts is the only thing I’ve spent on this is hardware. I had everything else already and the wood was free.
The tube seen in the photo is the humidifier. It is just a flower feeding tube filled with beads I bought online that I soaked in 50/50 propylene glycol. This keeps the humidor at 70% humidity and when the beads shrink back down, they just need to be re-soaked in distilled water overnight.

How to transfer photos:
Print off photo using an inkjet printer. Make sure to print the photo in reverse. Set the printer setting on the highest resolution.
“Glue” the photo face down to the wood using gel medium (found at hobby stores in art dept). Use a credit card to press out excess gel medium and wipe off. Let dry 8 hours.
Once dry, use a washcloth and dap the paper until wet. Use your finger to rub at the paper. It will roll into fibers and come off slowly. Let dry from time to time to see where some paper is still present and repeat steps until all paper is gone. I like to use a fine grit sandpaper to remove any possible paper fibers left.
The final step is to seal it. I used matte finish mod podge on these humidors.

My wife actually tried this with a real photograph too and it worked really well (as seen at the top).

I do not know if it is possible to stain the wood after this process or if you stain before what the gel medium may do to the stain. I have only done this on unfinished woods. I hope the cedar doesn’t react with the mod podge.

-- Emotions are like farts. There is a time and place to let it out. But don't keep it bottled up too long.

4 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2531 days

#1 posted 11-27-2013 05:54 PM

Very nice work—enjoy a cigar for me since I can no longer enjoy one myself (COPD).

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View exit116's profile


140 posts in 2030 days

#2 posted 11-27-2013 09:38 PM

so cool, I think I’ll have to try this. I use mod podge over printed signs on my seed boxes, the only thing I might use on top of the mod podge would be ploycrylic as it is also water-based. I would just leave it be the inside of box lids don’t take damage anyhow. thanks for posting and have fun

-- Money: if you do not have fun earning it, have fun spending it, I do not enjoy spending it so I have fun earning it.

View KnotCurser's profile


2031 posts in 3307 days

#3 posted 11-27-2013 11:59 PM

Great box and cool ideas.

I don’t think aromatic cedar is supposed to be used for humidors, is it? I think the fumes given off by the cedar actually will taint the cigars.

Normally, Spanish cedar (non-aromatic) is used for humidors.

However, I really love the image transfers – great job on those!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View Eric Genzlinger's profile

Eric Genzlinger

28 posts in 1977 days

#4 posted 11-28-2013 03:43 AM

Yeah, you’re not supposed to use aromatic cedar, but I’m going to seal the entire inside of the box with poly and I think that will work just fine.

-- Emotions are like farts. There is a time and place to let it out. But don't keep it bottled up too long.

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