Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Simple and Creative Ideas for Recycling Cereal Boxes!

Cereal Box Upcycling

If you’re like our family….you go through A LOT of cereal boxes. The funny thing is…we rarely eat cereal for BREAKFAST…it’s more of a snack item around here. Especially at night when I have announced that “the kitchen is closed” (ie. “you are on your own if you want anything more to eat tonight”). When left on their own like that, pouring a bowl of cereal is about all the menfolk around here seem inclined to do. (Tell me I’m not alone here!)

Subsequently we go through a lot of cereal and cereal boxes. I’ve never been able to figure out a good way to reuse them….until now.

I stumbled on a few cute ways to give new life to those old cereal boxes and HAD to try them out!

The mini pocket notebooks are my fav, but I also love the simply cute boxes….and the funky pencil cases!

These would make fun little gifts or gift packaging for the holidays!

I tried my best to take pictures of the process of making each one…but I’m afraid my A.D.D. got the better of me and I missed several steps along the way. Good thing there are excellent tutorials for all three already out there! :-)

I have linked each one to the website I found them at for reference.


Mini Pocket Notebooks

Inspired by Creme de la Craft.

cereal box upcycling

cereal box upcycling

Gift Boxes

Heart Flower Gift Box

Inspired by Stuff You Can’t Have where you can find instructions and the template to download.

cereal box upcycling

cereal box upcycling


Inside-Out Cereal Box Gift Box

Inspired by Instructables. Detailed instructions can be found here.

cereal box upcycling

cereal box upcycling


Funky Pencil Cases

Inspired by Makezine where you can find instructions and the template to download.

cereal box upcycling

Cereal Box Upcycling

I love turning “trash” into “treasure”!   Just check out the BEFORE and AFTER! Pretty impressive if I do say so myself. :-)


cereal box upcycling



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66 thoughts on “Simple and Creative Ideas for Recycling Cereal Boxes!

  1. Cynthia

    Love the idea of upcycling like this. I really want to make some of the gift boxes, but they’re not the right size or shape for what I really need.
    I’m making scrapbooks for Christmas, for my cousins, filled with photos of our grandparents and parents throughout the years. They’re only little books – the pages are 6×6, so the boxes don’t need to be very large. I have been able to find a couple of leftover boxes here and there that’ll work, but if I could make my own, that would be really awesome.

    1. Gerry

      Use cardstock or similar heavy paper. Draw a square or rectangle the dimension of your album. Add 1/16″ on all sides. Draw extensions on all sides the depth you want boxes to be. Fold extensions up towards center. On opposite ends cut along fold line of side extensions. Cut jus to the fold like. Fold the ends that were cut in towards the center of the end side piece. Glue. Make lid the same way, only add 1/8″ on sides to make the lid large enough to fit over bottom. Recycled greeting cards can make unique boxes.

  2. Shana


    You gave me the idea for hand made Christmas gifts yesterday-now I have learned a fantastic gift box idea that is TOTALLY FREE, from something I use anyway!! How awesome is that! Now I just need to stick Post Its on the cereal boxes-DO NOT THROW AWAY!!! :)
    Thank you my dear!

  3. Donna

    Great ideas….. I also need different sized boxes and I bet if I go online and search for patterns to make gift boxes there will be a lot more sizes already thought out. Thank you for the idea.

  4. Mary Jane

    Thanks for the great post! My kids just finished their 4-H county fair judging, and I was wondering how to save or display their ribbons. The gift box looks like it might be the perfect size. They can even store other mementos from the year, and we can catalogue each new year of 4-H. Love it!

  5. Terri

    My cereal box recycle is pretty basic. I use the large cereal boxes that come from warehouse stores like Costco. I use packaging tape to secure the flaps on the outside of the box; it also strengthens the box. I use the box this way as a small recycling box in rooms that don’t need a huge one.

    I have one in my bathroom to throw toilet roll tubes, old prescription bottles, etc. Another is close to the family room chair where I sit and open mail, read catalogs, etc. I throw any junk mail, unwanted catalogs, etc. in that recycle box.

    I’m a quilter and keep one next to my cutting/ ironing board for paper I use in the course of making quilts.

    I could be creative and paint or cover the boxes, but I’m afraid I just don’t have the need. It’d be nice but I’d rather quilt!

  6. Ada Mangoes

    I also love to reuse these kinds of boxes to make shipping containers for small gifts like jewelry or soaps. Things that need to be packaged with a little more care than usual, but are also smaller than most. A couple layers of the cardstock makes a really sturdy mailer. Plus it can be decorated any way you like on the inside and outside if you put the layers front to front!

  7. M.S.

    I am wondering if you would do a post on homemade Christmas gifts and then invite your readers to submit their ideas– maybe even a link up post? It would be great to have some ideas for the holidays, all in one place. Thanks! I enjoy your site very much and am happy for your success. You make it look effortless, but I am sure it is a lot of work.


  8. amy conrad

    Oh MY Gosh!!! That is so funny with the cereal because we are the same exact way I am 37 and I still love a bowl of cereal at night or for lunch or a snack and so does my 7 yr old we could probably eat cereal morning, noon , and night. I’m so glad were not the only ones that treasure the taste of a simple bowl of cereal. Love this post and ideas very creative. My 7yr old girl who I think is becoming a craft fanatic like her mama is going to love doing these. When we do them I will send pics to you!!! Thank you for inspiring us to see beyond what was the original use of the packaging!!!!! Have a wonderful day!!!

  9. Heather

    Ooh, Ooh, ooh~ I saw “box tops for education” in one of those pics! Please Jillie~ even though you don’t have young children, please save these for a local boy or girl scout troop that is collecting them, or an elementary school. Most especially here in CA, we need the extra $ for things like playground balls, etc. etc.

  10. Elle

    I love that little note book idea! I think I’ll make these notebooks for my kids as colouring books, I’ve been looking for a way of binding my downloaded colouring book pages…thanks so much for this post!

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  12. Kadee Gray

    Love the little notebooks, Jillee! I always have to have one with me at all times. Never would have thought about turning them inside out either, the kraft color is so nice to use because you can play it up with colors or keep it clean and simple. Great post

  13. Renee

    I use the large boxes to transport the treats my child brings to school for special occasions. The school requests that the treats be individually wrapped for the children to pass out. The box is easy to transport and disposable.

  14. AnnieJo

    We are planning a road trip from NM to Ohio to Iowa and back. The gift box is perfect size for legos and toy cars to take for the children. The pencil case is perfect to keep the pencils from rolling all over the car on the trip. Thanks for the great ideas!!

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  20. Jennifer Douglass

    Hi! Just wanted to let you how amazing I think you are… I do not know how you can come up with this stuff day after day! There are so many things that you have post that I want to try… My kids and I resently made the pencil cases you posted here. They had a great time making them, and I love the fact that they are made from cereal boxes (an item that we seem to go through at an alarming speed) I also mentioned your idea on my blog… you can check it out here…
    You also inspired me to tap into the cereal box potential, which I used to create Christmas paper chains…
    and here…
    Thanks again for all of your insperation…

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  24. Carissa

    I love these! I think it’s great that you have found a cute and useful way to reuse old cereal cartons. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be featuring this post tomorrow on Creative Green Living.

  25. hailey

    I couldnt find the link for the notebook ones and i wanna try making them! theyd be cute homemade gifts! if you could let me know that link thatd be great!

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  27. Terry

    Love the ideas for repurposing cereal boxes. My roommate and I also go through a lot of cereal boxes, and have found a few good uses for them. One of my favs is to make magazine holders out of them: just cut off top and diagonally across to side. Cover with scrapbook paper and voila! Free magazine holders.

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