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!
1. Make your own business cards.
2. Make a mini-pocket notebook.
These are so cute. It is hard to believe looking at them that they were made using cereal boxes. I just love how colorful they are, and the fact that they close using a button? Simply adorable. Check out the link for a full list of detailed steps.
3. Craft miniature piñatas.
When I was a kid, I never liked piñatas, because I felt sorry for the cute animal having to be smashed to bits for the candy. So I really love these little miniature piñatas! They make great party favors, and are cut out of cereal boxes. Each one has a little “trap door” on the bottom which can be opened so the treats can fall out. You can then close them back up and keep them forever!
4. Make handy drawer dividers.
These drawer dividers just instantly make me happy with their bright colors and patterns. Each one of them started its life as a cereal box. They are decorative and functional—and so easy to make. And they certainly are a lot more fun and creative than drawer dividers you would pick up from the department store.
5. Create spools for embroidery floss.
Need some new spools for your embroidery floss? You can make them quickly and easily out of old cereal boxes. You just make a template using an old spool and then cut them out of the boxes. Wrap your embroidery floss around them and you are all set!
6. Make a clever gift box.
Don’t have a box ready for a small gift—or simply find that the store-bought ones are tacky and dull? You can solve this problem with a cereal box and a pair of scissors. Check out the source link to learn how to make these adorable little gift boxes. They are sure to thrill any recipient!
7. Create a nightlight out of a cereal box.
Most people wouldn’t look at the corporate artwork adorning the front of a cereal box and think, “Wow, that would look really cool if it were glowing in the dark,” but designer Anke Weiss did. Tracing the patterns and the text on these cereal boxes with pin-pricks, he put lights inside for a really awesome effect. You could take this idea even further and customize it by using whatever design you wanted—you would not necessarily need to trace the existing designs on the boxes.
8. Make a cute Scottish terrier.
Just look at this cute critter! I love his exaggerated snout; he is just beyond adorable. If you click on the source link, you will find a full list of materials and instructions along with a pattern which you can print (it does cost money, but it is only a couple of dollars). You will also find patterns for a dragon and a cat.
9. Make an easy elephant craft with your kids.
Here is a cereal box craft which is so easy that even small children can do it. If your kids are too young to cut the shape out, they can still do all the painting and decorating. The finished result is extremely cute!
10. Make a playable guitar.
This is a fun sensory play activity for small children who are just starting to learn about sound and music. The guitar is very easy and fast to make and your kids will have fun playing with it long after they have completed the craft. They will probably learn a few things along the way as well.
11. Create useful notebooks with fun cereal box covers.
This isn’t a craft you can do without a binding machine, but if you have one, it is a relatively simple project. What is cool about these notebooks is that they are genuinely useful. In fact, they would make great gifts for just that reason!
12. Make a cute cereal box pig.
If you enjoyed the project for the elephant earlier, you will also have fun making this cereal box pig with your children. This is an easy project that even very young kids can do, but if they have a hard time with scissors or are too young to use them, you can do the cutting and they can do everything else.
13. Mark a page with a cereal box bookmark.
Just lost your last bookmark? If so, you can always make one out of a cereal box if you are in a pinch! Actually these are pretty awesome, and like the notebooks, would make excellent gifts since they are useful. Everyone can always use another bookmark. Stocking stuffers just got easier!
14. These geometric vases are perfect for your succulent plants.
A lot of cereal box crafts look … well, like recycled cereal boxes. That is part of their charm, but it is not an aesthetic look which appeals to everyone. That is not the case at all with these geometric vases for succulents, which actually have a really elegant, sophisticated design. If I didn’t know, I never would have guessed what these were made of. Check the link for a tutorial!
15. Craft these amazing globes.
Being as cereal boxes are rectangular, you probably wouldn’t picture being able to make anything round out of them—but it turns out that you can actually put a number of small strips of box together in such a fashion as to make a nifty globe thing which you can hang from your ceiling. The original tutorial was posted on Martha Stewart’s site, but appears to have been taken down. The source link below is another blogger who still has some photos up of this amazing craft.
16. Make a file organizer out of a cereal box.
One tutorial which Martha Stewart does still have up is this one to make a cereal box file organizer. This would be perfect for the office or for back-to-school.
17. Build a functional flashlight.
Now the last thing I would think before throwing away a cereal box is, “Wait a second! I can make this into a functional flashlight!”
But it turns out you can do exactly that! These things really do work. Check out the source link to see a full step-by-step tutorial which will teach you how to make your own. I definitely recommend using LED lights for this so that the cardboard will not get too warm.
18. Manufacture a robot … out of a cereal box!
Here is an awesome craft for kids. There are all kinds of recycled materials used in this robot’s construction. Along with the cereal box are some empty vegetable cans, lids, and a paper towel tube. Find the full list of supplies and the instructions at the source link. But feel free to experiment by using whatever supplies you happen to have handy!
19. Build a sailboat out of a cereal box.
This sailboat is looking quite spiffy with that spectacular brightly-colored paint job. It sure looks solid too—like it could actually float. Of course since it is made of cardboard, you definitely do not want to put it in the water. But it’d look awesome on display on a shelf!
20. Play this fun game with marbles.
Do you have a small child who enjoys playing with marbles? This is a simple and fun sensory play idea which will keep your kid occupied for hours. At the source link you will find a set of instructions that will teach you how to make this marble run cereal box. Your kid will enjoy the process of putting it together and playing with it afterward.
21. Put on a show in a cereal box theater.
For the child who has a big imagination, quite a show can be put on inside a tiny theater. This project teaches you how to create a miniature stage using a cereal box and little paper puppets on sticks. It is a very clever idea which can result in quite literally endless hours of entertainment—both for your kids and for you. What a great way to stimulate a child’s imagination!
22. Make cute little recycled notebooks.
Here is a great idea for a new family tradition—make tiny notebooks out of recycled cereal boxes, and then use them to leave little notes for each other throughout the day!
23. Label your gifts with the most gorgeous tags ever.
Aren’t these some of the most beautiful gift tags you have ever seen? Nope, they aren’t fancy store-bought tags—they are completely homemade, and they were created out of cereal boxes! Visit the source link to find out how it was done.