Tutorial: Decoupaged Cereal Box Magazine Organizer

magazine organizer made from cereal boxes and scrapbook paper

I love my magazines. I hate to part with them.

My Time magazine subscription, along with Wired and Entertainment Weekly, I read once and then use them for collage or I donate them to our recycling center’s reuse sidewalk.

Others however, such as, Vegetarian Times, Martha Stewart Living, Family Fun, or Make Magazine, I simply can never part with. A featured recipe that didn’t appeal to me then will appeal to me now, or a craft project that doesn’t appeal to me now will perhaps appeal to me later. I regularly flip through back issues of my favorites as a pleasurable source of inspiration.

Here’s an easy project that I use to keep my magazines organized in a safe an attractive manner. All you need to do is eat a lot of cereal first!

You will need:

  • Several cereal boxes of the same size. These boxes can be family-sized mammoth boxes of cornflakes or those much smaller fancy boxes of granola just as long as they’re all the same size.
  • Hot glue and gun
  • Permanent marker and sturdy scissors
  • Mod Podge, or glue of similar consistency and quality
  • Papers to decoupage, such as magazine pages, junk mail, scrapbook paper, last year’s calendar, children’s artwork, etc.

To make:

1. Turn each box sideways. One narrow side of the cereal box will be the bottom of the organizer, and the other narrow side will be cut away for an open top. By using the cereal boxes across their length, you’ll have the room to accomodate even your large-format magazines.

Draw a pattern for the cut-away front

2. The bottom of each cereal box will be the front of the organizer. Typical magazine organizers have a cut-out front that displays more of each magazine’s spine. To do this, mark a spot about three-quarters along the length of the bottom of the cereal box, then a spot about three-quarters along the length of one narrow side of the box. Connect these dots to form a diagonal line, then do the same on the back side of the box.

3. Cut away the entire narrow side of the box where the diagonal line connects, then cut along the diagonal line on the front side of the box, across the bottom of the box to meet the matching diagonal line on the back side of the box, then along that diagonal line until you’re back at the narrow side of the box that you’ve cut away.

4. Use the box that you’ve cut as a pattern to cut all your other cereal boxes identically, so that the partitions on the organizer will be identical. If you mess up a little, however, don’t panic, you can cover over those flaws later with your decoupage.

Glue the top of the cereal box closed

5. With hot glue, glue closed the tops of all the cereal boxes.

6. With the cut-away fronts facing out and all boxes lined up, hot glue together as many cereal boxes as you want partitions in your organizer. Depending on the width of your boxes, you’ll need at least three or four partitions glued together so that your organizer will stand up on its own, but you can add as many boxes as you’d like.

7. Your box is basically finished now, but it still looks like a bunch of cereal boxes glued together. You can always gesso and paint the organizer, but decoupage works really well to hide the underlying structure of the organizer and to stabilize the connections between the boxes. With decoupage, the organizer will look all of one piece, and you’ll never be able to tell that it’s made of cereal boxes.

My child doing decoupage on her cereal box magazine organizer

With the Mod Podge, decoupage the front, back, and sides of the organizer, using your materials to hide the seams between the boxes. Overlap the materials over the top of the organizer’s sides, and over the top of all the partitions, to even hide that the organizer is made of simple cardboard.

This organizer also works well with children’s magazines and their easy reader books. My girls made a cereal box magazine organizer to keep in their room, and although I can’t say that it doesn’t look like a bunch of cereal boxes stood sideways and glued together, it does keep their books and magazines neat and together, and the girls are very proud of it.

8 thoughts on “Tutorial: Decoupaged Cereal Box Magazine Organizer”

  1. The organizer does turn out really sturdy, too. My thinking is, why pay for a magazine organizer, also made of cardboard, that won’t really match my room, when I can make one that’s just as strong, customize it for the number of magazines that I want to store, AND use the same wallpaper/paint/decoupage decorations that I’ve already used in that room so that it matches perfectly.

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  3. I can’t believe I never thought of turning the boxes on their sides!!! I had given up on all attempts to do this because my boxes were never wide enough! Thanks for the very useful tip!

  4. I’m going to use this to store my kids art supplies- paper pads, construction paper, wc paper, coloring books, etc. I thought magazine holders would work well for this but premade ones were all too tall to fit on shelf I wanted to use. This is the PERFECT solution- thanks! I’ll send a pic when it’s done. πŸ™‚

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