On my own, I have always been able to plough through cereal boxes. But after I became a mom, I can’t seem to keep up with the demand! We seriously seem to be buying new boxes of cereal all the time for the kids’ breakfast. But the lame thing is we seem to be throwing them away all the time as well. And even though we recycle, all I can think is, “Surely these things have to be useful for something.”
So I decided to sit down and research it and see if there is anything cool you can make with cereal boxes. I should have guessed; it turned out there are literally a ton of different projects out there. Some of them use other types of food boxes, but they are all in the same basic category since you can really use whatever you want for a lot of these ideas.
Some of them are super easy while others are more involved, but all of them look ridiculously fun. And some of the results are spectacularly surprising; looking at them you’d never guess they started with a simple cereal box. Others on the other hand retain their cereal box character and actually make use of the bright colors and fun designs which make cereal box packaging so appealing to kids. Let’s check them out!
24. Store your pencils inside nifty recycled pencil boxes.
25. Make a simple puzzle out of a cereal box.
Looking for something fun to do with your kids on a rainy day? This is a cool activity because your kids can create something they can play with again and again—a puzzle. It is a very easy project; you literally just flip over the front of the cereal box, draw a grid, and then use a coin to create the interlocking edges. Your kids can take these apart and put them together again and again!
26. Teach your kids about matching.
If you are trying to teach your young children about matching items, a great way to do it is to cut out a bunch of circles from different cereal boxes. Mix them up and have your kids try to match the pieces which came from the same box. Everything is easier to learn when you turn it into a fun game!
27. Make a puppet palace.
If you liked the earlier idea for making a simple puppet theater out of a cereal box by cutting out the front, you will love this. This theater is more like a puppet palace complete with towers and windows. This is yet another brilliant idea from Made by Joel!
28. Build a dollhouse.
I can’t resist sharing one more by Made by Joel. This project is a dollhouse complete with amazing furniture and a cool contemporary vibe. Be sure to watch the video so you can see how to do it yourself!
29. Make postcard mail art.
Mail art may just be one of the most awesome things ever—and of course in our days of blazing internet communications, it gets next to no notice. If you are a mail art aficionado, however, you can create spectacular simple postcards using old cereal boxes.
30. Start seeds in old cereal boxes.
A lot of these cereal box recycling ideas are fun, and many of them can be useful, but here is one that is downright practical—especially if you don’t have any other handy containers to start your seeds.
31. Make handy boxes using cereal boxes.
These boxes are repurposed out of strips cut out of cereal boxes which have been woven together. The final effect is colorful, vibrant and fun, and these boxes are sturdy enough to hold heavier items without busting. Pretty cool!
32. Weave cereal boxes into Easter egg baskets.
This is just a simple variation on the previous idea. But instead of making general all-purpose boxes, you are making baskets for Easter! What a fun holiday activity!
33. Set your beverages down on these gorgeous drink coasters.
Originally this cereal box drink coaster project was posted at Green is Universal, but the original post seems to have been taken down. The project is archived at the source link below. Sadly there is no tutorial, so there is no way to know how these incredible coasters were made, but I for one can hardly believe they were created out of cereal boxes!
34. Gaze at yourself in this sunburst mirror.
Actually, this mirror is so ridiculously cool that you probably will be spending all your time gazing at the mirror instead of at yourself. It is really crazy that something so delicate and elegant looking could be made using nothing but recycled cereal boxes, but if you follow along in the tutorial, you will see how it all goes together. Be sure to check out the rest of Stephanie’s blog too; she does some incredible work!
35. Feast your eyes on simple but eye-catching wall art.
Looking for a way to spruce up an empty wall? If you have a few cereal boxes and some wrapping paper, you can work wonders. Check out the source link to find out how it’s done.
36. Create a “woven sun” out of a cereal box.
While most of these projects recycle cereal boxes into familiar objects, here is one which is pure art. On a rainy day, Michele was trying to figure out something to do and came up with the idea of making the sun come out creatively—by creating “suns” out of cardboard. Colorful woven string creates beautiful patterns for a really gorgeous, unique effect!
37. Top your presents with upcycled cereal boxes.
This project uses soda boxes, but you could of course do the same thing with cereal boxes. This is definitely a lot more interesting than the standard present toppers you buy in the store. What a fun project!
38. Put a plant inside a decorative textured vase made from a cereal box.
Here is a project which you wouldn’t guess was a cereal box unless you were told. Of course you can clearly see that it is the size and shape of a cereal box, but it is amazingly disguised by the elegant texture and paint job. Find a full list of materials and instructions at the source link. This project is simpler than you probably think!
39. Build a town out of cereal boxes.
For the child who enjoys imaginative play, this project is sure to please. Accumulate a bunch of cereal boxes and have your kid design a town out of them. Once the buildings are all decorated, it would be easy to play endless games with these using little plastic toys or dolls.
40. Build a shadow box for a child’s artwork.
This is a cool project idea for showcasing your kid’s artwork in a unique and unusual way. At first glance, you may think these are just dioramas, but the art displayed in them was originally created simply as flat art. There was enough to create an ocean scene and a jungle scene, though, so Marylea came up with the idea of creating color copies of her kids’ pictures which they could cut out and build scenes inside cereal boxes.
41. Make a really chic necklace out of recycled cereal boxes.
Taking a look at these brightly colored beads, you never would guess that they were originally strips of cereal boxes, would you? This is a surprisingly simple project which yields a spectacularly professional result. You simply roll up the strips and varnish them. Visit the source link to find out more details.
42. Make a cereal box mosaic frame.
This project uses the bright colors and patterns of cereal boxes to their best visual appeal. While it is recommended as a project for children, I think it would also make an awesome project for any grown-up. You could frame anything in here, but I love the chalkboard because of the sharp contrast. It really makes the colors in the frame pop—plus the chalkboard itself presents endless opportunities for fun! Visit the source link for a tutorial.
43. Weave on a yarn loom.
If you have a small child who is interested in sewing and textile work, you can introduce weaving the fun, easy way using a cereal box converted into a simple loom! This project offers hours of fun since the loom can be re-used again and again. Children can tie off their creations and remove them as well, so this is a great way to produce lasting artwork.
44. Drive a toy car up into a cereal box parking garage.
The child who enjoys playing with toy cars will love this parking garage constructed out of a cereal box, complete with upper and lower floors and a ramp. You can make this for your kid, or you can help your child to cut out the box and design the structure. You can be sure this will keep any child entertained for a long time (way more fun than parking a car in real life)!
45. Make a charming lighthouse candle holder.
Here is a cereal box craft I would never in a million years have guessed really was one. I was so surprised when I read it, but looking over the photos it was amazing to see how these lighthouse candle holders came together. The textured paint has a weathered look to it which creates a sense of old-fashioned charm. This project makes me think that you really can do pretty much anything with a cereal box if you put your mind to it!
So next time you go to throw away a cereal box, you will think twice. You will no longer look at it and see just a cardboard box—you will instead be able to envision its amazing potential! Enjoy these tutorials and have fun making cereal box crafts!