Tools: pencil; metal ruler; bone folder; X-Acto knife and spare blades; PVA; brush for gluing; old magazines for scrap paper; long strips of paper for measuring; oval stencil (optional)
Materials: book board; book cloth; decorative paper for inside lining
Example: 5 1/2" x 8 3/4" x 1 5/8" depth (22 cm x 14 cm x 4.3 cm)
Side boards are the same width as the base board, height is 1 1/2" or 4 cm. Lid, top and bottom boards are two board thicknesses narrower than the base board. Height of top and bottom boards is 1 1/2 board thicknesses shorter than side boards. Example (your measurements will vary, depending on the thickness of the board you use): Base board (5 1/2 x 8 3/4" or 22 x 14 cm); Lid (5 1/2 x 8 3/8" or 21.4 cm x 14 cm); Side boards (5 1/2 x 1 1/2" or 21.4 cm x 4 cm); Top and bottom boards (8 3/8 x 1 7/16" or 21.5 x 3.8 cm)
Press the bottom board into place between the side boards. It will be 1 1/2 board thicknesses shorter than the side boards.
Apply glue to the top board along one long edges and two shorter edges. Press into place. It should also be 1 1/2 board thicknesses shorter than the side boards. Smooth down any glue that leaks out.
Check the lid for fit. Rest it on the box. Make sure there is a gap between the edges of the lid and the two side boards. You may need to trim about one more board thickness from the edge indicated.
Use a stencil and draw a shape for a recess in the lid, if you like. I chose an oval because it reminded me of an oval design on a real cigar box.
Cut the shape by pressing with your knife as hard as you can. You do not want to cut all the way through. (But if you have gotten this far, you know that book board is hard to cut without multiple strokes anyway.)
Next up: Part Two, Wrapping the base