Making a Coolerdor


How to make your own inexpensive humidor.

By: Paul Moriarty

This isn't a fancy piece of furniture, it's a functional way to store large quantities of cigars without investing many hundreds of dollars in a expensive, wooden humidor. Commonly referred to as tupperdors, igloodors, and colemandors, these storage devices have been used by many cigar smokers, including myself, to store more cigars than we have room for in our fancy, wooden humidors.

What you'll need:

  • Igloo cooler, or any good, brand-name of a size to your liking. The lid should close snugly. A word of advice here... buy the next bigger size than the one you think you need :-) I got a 54 qt jobbie at Price-Costco for $19.00. It'll hold hundreds of cigars. Then I filled it and got another. Now that one's full too... you get the picture.. :-)
  • Florist's oasis. You get this at an arts and crafts shop. There are two kinds: wet, which absorbs water; dry which doesn't. You want wet. It costs around $2.00 for more than you'll ever need.
  • Propelyne Glycol. Get this from a pharmacist for about $7.00/pt (again, more than you'll ever need). I got mine at Walgreens, but they had to order it. Be sure and talk to the pharmacist... the clerks will have no clue what you're talking about.
  • Radio Shack Model 63-855 digital thermometer/hygrometer. $20-$25 depending on whether it's on sale or not.
  • A sandwich-sized tupperware container. About $3.00 anywhere.
  • Distilled water (don't use tap).
  • A drill or some kind of punch to poke a lot of holes in the sandwich-sized tupperware container.
  • Some boxes from your cigar shop made from Spanish cedar (not all are... if in doubt, ask). Usually free, though some sell them for a couple bucks each.
  • How to make:

  1. Take the sandwich-sized tupperware container and punch lots and lots of holes in the top and sides (not the bottom and leave a little space along the sides at the bottom whole) using your drill or punch.
  2. Cut a piece of the florist's oasis to a size a little smaller than the tupperware container. It should rattle around a little inside when you put the lid on and shake it.
  3. Mix about 1/4 cup of Propelyne Glycol and 1/4 cup of water together to make a solution (PG is a food additive, so don't worry about spoiling a good bowl) to make 1/2 cup of solution.
  4. Dampen the cut piece of oasis with the PG. If it doesn't absorb water easier than a sponge, you bought the wrong kind. Go back and get the wet stuff. Don't soak the oasis, just get it thoroughly damp. It should be wet, but not dripping. It's OK to have a few dry spots, but most of it should be dampened. You might need to make more solution depending on the size of your oasis.
  5. Put the oasis in the tupperware container and put the lid on. This is your humidifying device. Over time, it will dry out and you'll have to add more distilled water. Your hygrometer will tell you when it needs it (your humidity will start to drop consistently over a period of many consecutive days).
  6. Test your hygrometer's accuracy and calibrate, if needed. The calibration directions are a bit long. I refer you to the CIGAR SMOKER's FAQ (which is a great reference for just about anything you want to know about cigars). My hygrometer was off by 8%, so this part's important.
  7. If you wanna be really fancy/schmancy you can break up the cigar boxes and use a non-odorous glue to attach then to the sides of your Igloo. I just put the cigars in the wooden boxes. :-)
  8. Put your cigars, boxes, tupperware with oasis, and hygrometer in the Igloo and put the lid on. It may take several days to achieve 70% humidity. Be patient and don't freak. It won't hurt your cigars to be a little under-humidified for a few days.

There you go.

Monster humidor for under $50.

If you have any questions, comments, or I didn't explain something well enough, drop me a line and I'll try and help you out. Let me know how it comes out!

Happy Smokes!

Last updated: $Date: 1997/01/19 21:25:12 $

Copyright © 1996, 1997 by Paul M. Moriarty. All rights reserved. You may freely republish this information as long as this copyright notice remains intact, and attached to this document.