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Crafts & DIY Projects · Green Living · 9 Clever Ways To Avoid Wasting Your Perfectly Good Cereal Boxes

9 Clever Ways To Avoid Wasting Your Perfectly Good Cereal Boxes

After pouring out the last crumbs of your Cheerios, keep that box out of the landfill by "upcycling" it instead!

If your family is anything like ours, you probably go through a fair amount of cereal! Interestingly enough, we don’t actually eat cereal for breakfast very often, so our cereal consumption is almost entirely a result of late-night snacking. (Any other nighttime cereal eaters out there?) 🙂

One side effect of going through as much cereal as we do is that we are never short on empty cereal boxes! And luckily for us, there are plenty of creative (and surprisingly useful) ways to put those boxes to good use, and we’ll be exploring them in today’s post!

So the next time you pour out the dregs of a box of cereal, why not hang onto that box and recycle it into something new? Here are 9 great ways to use them (and as always, please feel free to share your own cereal box ideas with us in a comment at the bottom of this post!)

9 Creative Ways To Recycle Your Cereal Boxes

1. Mini Notebooks

With just one cereal box and few sheets of paper, you can make dozens of the world’s cutest mini notebooks! For each notebook, you’ll need to cut out one piece of cereal box and six pieces of paper that all measure 2 inches by 4 inches.

Fold both the box piece and the papers in half, then stack them together with the box piece at the bottom. Use a stapler to staple the papers and box piece together along the fold, and you’re done!

2. Gift Tags

Use a cereal box to make several customized gift tags to use for your holiday gifts, or for gift giving occasions throughout the year! Start by cutting out a section of cereal box into the shape of a gift tag.

Trace the tag onto a piece of decorative scrapbook paper, cut it out, then use glue or double-sided tape to secure the paper to the tag. Use a hole punch to make a hole near the top of the tag, then use a piece of twine to attach the tag to your gift!

3. Drawer Dividers

Save up a few cereal boxes and use them to make drawer dividers to tidy up a messy drawer. First, place the cereal boxes in the drawer. This will help you figure out both how many dividers you’ll need, and how deep each divider should be so they match the depth of the drawer.

Once you’ve done that, use a craft knife or box cutter to remove the top portion of each box to create your dividers. You can use your drawer dividers as-is, or you can go a step further by lining them with cute scrapbook paper. Either way, they are sure to keep the contents of your drawer much more organized! 🙂

4. Gift Boxes

Download the template at Stuff You Can’t Have

Turn an old cereal box into a small gift box that’s perfect for gifting cash or gift cards. First, you’ll need to grab the template from Stuff You Can’t Have, print it, and cut it out. (Note: The template is sized for legal paper. But if you don’t have any on hand, you can always print the image out over two sheets of paper and then tape them together!)

Once you have the template printed and cut, trace the shape onto a cereal box and cut it down to size. Then just fold up the box according to the lines on the template and close up your gift box!

5. Postcards

Use cereal boxes to make simple postcards to send to your friends and family around the world! Who wouldn’t love to open their mailbox and see some good old fashioned “snail mail” from a loved one mixed in with the junk mail and bills? 🙂

Cut out a piece of cereal box measuring 4 inches by 6 inches, then draw a line down the center on the non-printed side. Write your message on the left side of the postcard, put the recipient’s address and your stamp on the right, then drop it in the mail!

6. Pencil Cases

Download the template at About a Mom

All you need is a cereal box, a pair of scissors, and some self-adhesive velcro to make a fun and practical pencil case. First, grab the template from About a Mom, print it, and cut it out.

Lay the prepared template against a flattened cereal box, trace it, then cut out the shape. Use a paper scorer (or a butter knife or paper clip if you don’t have one) to score the box along the fold lines on the template.

Fold up the pencil case and glue or tape all of the sides shut except the top flap. Apply the two sides of a small section of self-adhesive velcro to both the flap and the top of the front panel, then fill up your newly upcycled pencil case!


Can’t bear to dog-ear the pages of your favorite books? Use an old cereal box to make a few handy bookmarks! Cut out pieces of the box that measure 1.5 inches by 6 inches, punch a hole at the top of each one, then thread a length of string or ribbon through the hole and cinch it.

8. Treat Boxes

If you don’t have one of those fancy cupcake carriers, taking cupcakes and other treats anywhere can be a real logistical nightmare! Or at least it used to be, before you learned how to turn cereal boxes into makeshift treat boxes! 😉

Start by taping or gluing the top flaps of your cereal box shut. Use a craft knife or box cutter to cut along three of the edges of the front panel, leaving one long edge intact.

Line the inside of the box with tissue paper if desired, then place your treats inside. You can secure the top of your treat box with a piece of ribbon to keep it closed during travel.

9. Puzzles

And finally, you can also turn the front panel of your old cereal boxes into simple puzzles. They’re great for little kids, but you can also make it a fun challenge for adults by setting a 60-second time limit for them to assemble the image!

Do you have a favorite way to reuse your empty cereal boxes?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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