Framed Cigarette Cards from Frame Minnesota

February 17, 2020

Shelby shows a custom framing project with 24 cigarette cards from the 1920s. Cigarette cards were inserted into paper packages of cigarettes beginning in the 1870s as a means of stiffening the packages and later as a collectible item. We crafted this unique frame with a beautiful mahogany frame and acid-free mat with individual openings cut to show both the front and back of the cards. Take a look and give us a shout if we can help you with a local handcrafted custom framing project.

Watch our Video and You’ll Learn: 

  • We can design a beautiful custom frame for your collectibles
  • We can tailor the project just exactly right so that it will look awesome in your home or office. 
  • We can make many types of double-sided frames. This is just one example.

Here is the transcript of the Video: 

Shelby:  Hello, this is Shelby from Frame Minnesota here to tell you about our latest custom picture framing project.
This is a series of 24 cigarette cards from London, published in 1925. Cigarette cards are something that was sold with the pack of cigarettes as sort of a trading card collectible kind of thing and this particular series is a series of 24 orchids. So these cards are about one inch by two and a half inches, very small, so all those little windows are very painstaking to measure.
We have a single mat in this frame as well as the museum glass that is anti-reflective as well as UV filtering and we chose a mahogany veneer, nice dark rich color to go with the botanical theme of the piece.

The really cool part about this piece is it is double-sided. So when I flip this over, you can read all about each orchid on the back and I cut each of those windows a little bit differently. On that top row, the customer wanted to see the brand of the cigarettes as well as the logo on the bottom. So I cut them a little bit differently so we could see all of those but I still had a way to use some acid-free tape to melt the cards.

You can see on the back here, I’ve got two hooks rather than putting a wire right across the piece. This is some acrylic that is going to be a little bit safer than glass on the back and it’s assembled. I first painted the back of the raw woods, so it’s nice and black, a little more subtle. Then I have these four strips of pine wood that are measured to exactly the size of that frame. I painted everything first of all then I sandwiched the artwork between two mats, a piece of museum glass and a piece of that plexiglass and then I put it into the frame and nailed these strips right into the frame on top of it. So this is what’s holding everything together and it allows you to see both sides of those 24 cards.

That is our project for today. Thanks for coming. This is Shelby at Frame Minnesota over in Eagan, a local custom picture framing store.

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Come on in and we can help! Snap a couple of photos of where you plan to hang your project and grab a paint swatch if you want. We can help you with color selection and layouts and even provide an emailed layout if you like. We’ll make it look great in your room!

Our prices are very competitive and our finished product is second to none. We’ve been at this business for over 20 years and know all the tricks that allow us to turn out a product that will make your home, office, or business look great.


Need a little help deciding what you want?  Check out some examples of our work to get some ideas!


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Expert custom framing services for all your artwork and memorabilia. From photos, posters, and diplomas to flags, jerseys, golf balls from a hole in one—the only limit is your imagination! Locally owned & operated, Frame Minnesota has been in Eagan for 25 years, providing exceptional work at great prices for the south metro area AND far beyond.

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