Craftivism

Published on April 8th, 2009 | by Becky Striepe

16

Seven Uses for Empty Cereal Boxes

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[Creative Commons photo by Stevan Sheets]

Cereal is the third most popular food product in the U.S.. When you add up all those bowls of Lucky Charms and Cheerios, that equals a whole lot of empty cereal boxes! Rather than send all that perfectly good cardboard to the landfill, try one of these ways to give it a whole new life!

These tutorials would work well with cereal boxes, empty six-pack boxes, or the kind from frozen dinners:

  1. Business Cards – You can make your own by cutting out the boxes and screen printing on them or check out these professionally printed ones from the U.S. Business Card Company!
  2. Mobile – Check out these adorable cereal and drink box mobiles by Denise Carbonell.
  3. Get Stamping – combine that old cereal box with some recycled felt to make your own felt stamp!
  4. Gift Tags – Just cut your cardboard to the size you want, punch a hole in the top, and embellish! For some inspiration, take a peek at these tags that Lisa Leonard made.
  5. Mask Making – Get festive and make your own mask!
  6. Shadow Puppets – I am completely blown away by jimmiehomeschoolmom’s cereal box shadow puppet theater!
  7. Book Binding – The front of a cereal box would make the perfect cover for a home made planner or journal!

I’m sure you guys have made some awesome cereal box crafts, too! Share away in the comments!

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://sew-and-so.blogspot.com Becky

    I’ve started cutting mine up and using them to make my own chipboard shapes for my scrapbook. I know a lot of scrapbookers would cringe at the non-acid-free thing, but I figure it’ll hold up for quite some time, and it’s way cheaper than the pre-cut stuff, and then I can decorate it however I want instead of those cutesy things designed for scrapbooking moms!

  • http://www.linnygirldesigns.com Linda Guzik

    I volunteer and lead an environmental awareness group at my kids’ elementary school. In December, I showed my students how to use cereal boxes and other “found packaging” to “wrap” their holiday presents. We cut one side of the boxes and flattened them out, then turned them inside out, taped them closed and decorated the plain cardboard inner side (which was now on the outside) with markers. No wrapping paper needed and best of all, still recyclable when the holidays were over!

  • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky

    What great ideas!

    Linda, I love that you’re teaching kids to care about the environment!

  • Heather

    I use the large cereal boxes for magazine storage- just make a diagonal cut, about 2″ from the bottom of one side of the box, to the top of the box on the other edge. (Does that make sense??) You can store about a year’s worth of most crafting magazines (bi-monthly types)in each box. You can cover them with contact paper or embellish them as desired. This is a lot less expensive than the ones that the magazines offer.

  • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky

    Heather, that makes perfect sense! It would end up shaped a lot like magazine holders I’ve seen at IKEA! What a cute solution!

  • http://www.craftypod.com Sister Diane

    Great roundup of cereal box projects!

    I made woven Easter baskets with them – the graphics look really fun once they’re broken up with the weaving: http://www.craftstylish.com/item/44094/how-to-weave-an-easter-basket-from-recycled-boxes

  • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky Striepe

    How cute! I love the scalloped edges, Diane. :)

  • http://overcoffee822.blogspot.com/ Lena

    My son’s 2nd grade class covers the cereal box with contact paper and glues paper inside and turns them into books. They are so very cute! It is amazing how many cereal boxes one class can collect.

  • http://radicalcrossstitch.com Kakariki

    I use them to pack zines to post. The cardboard is super light so it doesn’t add much to postage and it definitely gives the impression that the postie shouldn’t bend it!

  • http://greenupgrader.com Matt

    Great round-up Becky! I’m a little disappointed you didn’t have cereal box fort on the list though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5W3KlyMd1fk

  • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky Striepe

    Awesome ideas, you guys!

    Matt – I can’t believe my oversight! That is a perfect use for a discarded cereal box.

  • http://www.alittlegreenereveryday.com Robin

    I used cereal boxes for signs when we had a yard sale. I wrote on the back of my kids’ used homework papers then taped the papers to cardboard from cereal boxes to make them more sturdy. Free signs from reused materials!

  • http://glueandglitter.com/main Becky Striepe

    Good one, Robin! I love when the ecofriendly choice is a money-saving one, too.

  • http://bagsforzaza.blogspot.com Jennie C.

    I love the shadow box – fabulous idea.

  • http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5511824 claire

    I make billfolds with them, they’re also great for gift card holders or gift money envelopes.
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23562929

  • Cameeloo

    You could also make a reuseable planner,
    -cut out the shape of your planner
    -print the outline on ra piece of recycled paper
    -glue that to your planner
    -cover back of planner with scrapbook paper
    -either lamanate or cover front with clear box tape
    -use white board mrker on it

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