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Uses for Cereal Boxes and Packaging

uses for cereal boxes

Cereal boxes and the inner bag can be reused in a wide variety of ways. This is a guide about uses for cereal boxes and packaging.


Solutions: Uses for Cereal Boxes and Packaging

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Tip: Mailing Envelope from Cereal Box

Use cardboard cereal boxes to make shipping envelopes. Deconstruct the box so it lays flat. Take off the small end on the right side or tape it down. Tape down the flaps on the top and bottom of the front of the cereal box. Cut a small slit on the top and bottom flap of the back of the box. Then cut that section out. This makes the outside flap. It'll be the last thing you tape down to seal the envelope. Tape the top and bottom flaps down like you did on the other side of the box. Also tape down the middle flaps. Fold over the flap you just created at the end to form a crease, but don't tape down. Fold cereal box in half. Tape the sides together to form your envelope. Then stuff your goodies inside. Fold over the creased edge and tape shut. Add shipping label and mail.


By duckie-do from Cortez, CO

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Tip: Cereal Box Liners For Patterns

You can use cereal box liners for tracing patterns and cutting sewing patterns. When cereal box liners are empty, carefully pull them apart to flatten at the seams. If done slowly, they won't tear. Flatten with your hands and place on a hard surface. Place the pattern you need to copy under the cereal box liner and trace with a Sharpie pen. If you don't have a Sharpie marking pen, an ink pen will work, too. Since one side of the cereal box liner works better with an ink pen than the "wrong" side, you should test first to check which side works best with the ink pen.

If you are constructing a sewing pattern, cutting it out of the cereal box liner will last longer than tissue paper. It can be taped with Scotch tape if necessary. The pattern in the photo was traced from a coloring book.

By Monica from Cortez, CO A little girl picture in a coloring book being traced on recycled liners from cereal boxes. Tracing a pattern using recycled liners from cereal boxes.

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Tip: Food Packaging Boxes as Gift Wrapping

I found a creative way to wrap Christmas packages. I refused to buy wrapping paper, bows, or ribbon this year, so I began to save cereal boxes, oatmeal cartons, etc. I have accumulated quite an interesting array of grocery containers and they work just perfectly for most of our gift items.

My kids have started saying, "Mom has gone green!" Just think of all the space I am saving in a landfill by not adding to it with my pile of discarded wrapping paper. The boxes can be compacted and used in our garden this spring!

By Tabitha from Depew, OK

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Tip: Cereal Box Liner for Child's Craft Surface

I use the cereal box liners as a protective surface when children are painting or gluing. Open the bag up on the seam so that you have a good size surface.

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Tip: Reusing Cereal Packaging

After a box of cereal is done I save the inner wax bag to reuse as wax paper. I cut it to lay it out flat, to use it to protect the kitchen table when the kids are doing craft projects or using playdoh.

I use it cover the table for rolling dough out. Without cutting the bag I use it to keep cookies or baked goods. I also the cereal box apart and fold it flat to also use as a work surface protector or use it for cutting a template for a project.

By Chiptooth from Wampum, PA

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Tip: Cereal Bags to Store Ham

This is the perfect way to save your Easter ham. A big ham fits perfectly in a recycled bag from a large box of cereal. For ham, I especially like the very large corn flakes bags. It's wonderful as you have no mess with going in and out of the bag as anything messy stays inside the bag. The ham can be "carefully" sliced inside the bag, if you're just slicing a small amount and don't want the mess. You can save the messy stuff inside the bag for future recipes. =

I save all cereal bags when the box of cereal has been eaten as they are too good to throw away. In my opinion, they are better than anything you can buy to store food or other things in. They're even good to cover seeds, that you have started indoors. Like Thrifty Fun, cereal bags are absolutely wonderful!

By Suzy from Clinton, TN

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Tip: Repurpose Food Boxes as Christmas Packages

Boxes wrapped in Christmas paper and edged with duct tape.

It's September and time to start thinking about Christmas. I try to have all my purchases done before November 1. I also save old boxes to wrap in gift paper to make my wrapping experience as stress free as possible by having them ready now. Using colored duct tape to finish the edges also adds to the festive mood. These boxes can be used over and over again.

    Corn dog and Lipton tea boxes.

    By lnygaard [100]

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    Tip: Cereal Bags for Freezer

    The bags that cereal comes in are great for storing all the leftover veggies in the freezer. I use a clothespin or chip clip to hold it closed.

    When it is full, then you can throw the vegetables into the crockpot with a can of beef broth and tomatoes. Heating this up in the crockpot makes the flavors blend and it is an excellent vegetable soup. You can also sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top when you serve this vegetable soup, if you like.

      By Robyn [369]

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      Tip: Use Cereal Bags In Shipping

      I am starting to sell things on Ebay. I recently read an article about packaging in a newsletter from The article suggested reusing what we already have. I thought of an idea so astonishing that I shut down and rushed over here to share it.

      From here on, my packaging material will include at least one of the bags from the cereal box. I am making little bill caps and I will tape the bill to the little card from bias tape. It will keep the brim from bending or getting smushed in transit. The hat will go inside the cereal bag from which I have wiped the cereal debris with a damp cloth. Of course I won't use them right away. They will need to be dry when I send them out. These go out in envelopes.

      For items requiring a box, I will cut the bags in strips. I also use the plastic grocery store bags to pack things. If you rumple them and ball them up, they make good padding and you don't have to buy anything. The added advantage is no printer's ink from newspaper packaging.

      By Marty D. from Knoxville, TN

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      Tip: Cereal Boxes as Magazine Files

      Cut the whole box diagonally, close the top flaps and tape them shut, voilá! Two magazine files free!

      The giant Cheerios boxes are great for this. They hold the really large volumes. You can even cover or paint them with acrylic paint, if you like, to match your decor. Sure beats $5+ a pop!

        By yomama1971 [3]

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        Tip: Make Replacement Boxes For Playing Cards

        My kids are always tearing the boxes that playing cards come in. I cut a Little Debbie oatmeal box down to where it is a little taller than the cards and put the cards in it. I used the bottom of the box and cut the top part off. I plan on decorating it later. The box will stand up or lay down.

        By Sandrafadeley from Portland, TN

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        Tip: Cereal Boxes to Organize Craft Supplies

        I use cereal boxes to hold craft stuff. I use one for colored paper, one for wax paper, and one for little paint holders (tea light cups, bottle caps, etc). I glue a piece of construction paper to the front, and let the kids color it. I cover the back with my kids coloring book pages. Then I punch holes in sides, string together with ribbon and hang on the wall.

        By Sherry from Onset, MA

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        Tip: Use Cereal Boxes For Shipping Ebay Items

        My goal for this month is to declutter and sell my extras on ebay. In the past I have used the free flat rate shipping boxes from the post office. However, with prices on shipping so high, it seems I get less bids. I discovered that I can ship a lot of what I sell in cereal boxes. They are sturdy (and I also reinforce each direction with tape), and much lighter than the post office boxes, or regular cardboard boxes. Lighter packages mean less postage, which in turn increases the likely hood of someone bidding on my item.

        By April from Missouri

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        Cereal Box Tote

        Cereal Box ToteRecycle your cereal boxes into something useful. Crafting Time: 30 - 45 minutes

        What You Need:

        • Empty cereal box - The sample is made from a box saved from instant oatmeal.
        • Additional cardboard, such as from the back of a pad.
        • Scissors
        • Gift wrap paper
        • Cellophane tape
        • Paper punch
        • Brass paper fasteners


        1. Cut the top off the box. If you use a larger box and would like to cut off one side instead, just be sure to tape the top closed first.

        2. Cut four, 1 x 12" strips from cardboard (you can also use poster board) for the handles.

        3. Wrap the box and the handle strips in gift wrap. You can also use brown craft paper, possibly old wall paper. Secure the paper with tape.

        4. Punch a hole in both ends of each handle strip. Punch two holes in each side of the box, near the top. Use brass paper fasteners to attach the handles to the box.

        5. Use the box to store collections of sea shells, toy cars, etc. You can also carry what you need to a friend's for a sleepover, or use it as a gift "bag".

        By Marie E. Cecchini from West Dundee, IL

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        Tip: Cereal Boxes for Magazine Storage

        Most cereal boxes can be converted into boxes to store magazines. Just remove the top flaps and cut the upper third of the box off at a diagonal angle. You can put contact paper on the outside of the box to make the box look better.

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        Tip: Large Cereal Box as Trash Bin

        Large Cereal Box as Trash Bin

        I wanted a simple solution to throw out small trash and recycle cardboard boxes. I cut the four edges of the box along the creases, then I put tape on the top of the edges to make them smooth.

        I originally put tape along the flaps on the inside of the box, but found that the tape kept dislodging. If you want to make it even more fashionable, contact paper can be used to cover the box.

          By Myrna [6]

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          Tip: Cereal Box Pencil Holder

          Cereal Box Pencil Holder

          Here is what I do with some of my extra cereal boxes, and the end of the duct tape roll that has no adhesive on it. I join them to make pencil boxes for the table.

          I will tape or glue the duct tape end to the box and set it aside until I have more. Eventually it will be a pretty and colorful storage device, used from two things that previously were of no use.

          My daughter has tons of scraps of duct tape when she finishes her crafts like billfolds and bookmarks. I try to keep them all stashed away somewhere.

          Enjoy your pencil box! I love colorful things in the wintertime!

            Cereal Box Pencil Holder

            By Robyn [369]

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            Tip: Make Organizing Trays Out of Cereal Boxes

            When empty, I use wide "scotch" tape to stick the top together of cereal boxes, then cut the top and bottom off to the depth of approximately 2 inches (or cut the sides instead for longer narrow "trays"). They are then covered with the plastic you can purchase that has a sticky backing. This not only makes them stronger but they can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

            They are then used to keep the cutlery drawer nice and tidy. I also use them for my "clutter" drawer to keep pens, pencils, scissors, rubber bands, thumb tacks etc. Also used in my sewing machine drawers for different items. They can be used for so many things and they last a long long time.

            By Cakedec from B.C. CANADA.

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            Tip: Use Your Cereal Boxes For Patterns

            Before throwing out that cereal box consider saving the pieces to uses as patterns for quilt pieces, purse patterns, etc. Simply cut away the 2 large front and back pieces and save in a Ziploc bag. Next time you need to cut out a pattern, lay it over the cardboard and cut it out of that instead. Much more sturdy and keeps down the trash.

            By Carol from Landisville, PA

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            Tip: Use Cereal Boxes For Mailing

            I have been selling some of my daughter's outgrown clothing on ebay. To ship the items, I save and use empty cereal boxes and wrap them in inexpensive brown craft paper (about $1.17 per roll at Wal-Mart - it goes a long way). The boxes are much lighter than corrugated boxes and they're free.

            By MomOf1 from Wilkesboro, NC

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            Reusing A Cornflake Box

            I am presently working on a 100 other uses of cereal boxes but I will just give you the best one of them, a 3D Stage


            You must make a clean straight cut so that the one side will open to decorate the entire stage area. You will only look through this part to see the stage.

            Your box is open so now you want to think about what scene you want to set. Mine? It is a far off snow capped mountain coming towards the viewing area a far off flowering field, getting closer a part of a river with rocks ripples and everything. Nearest a rocky bank.

            On the left side trees cover the entire panel with just a little area where the river flows on a snake like angle. The other side from the viewer point a rocky hill the snaking river and the continuation of that far off flowering field that runs into the mountain which I'm declining to leave a few inches of blue sky above it.

            Oh the top is the has blue with clouds The forest side, the trees extent a tiny bit over into the sky.

            Now comes the real fun part, adding the 3D stuff.

            I cut out several deer pictures and glued them to poster board of the same size but folded at the bottom enough so they can be glued or stapled I have an eagle flying up in the blue and few clouds near suspended with the wire from a garbage bag tie.

            By the woods, I have several people standing by the forest looking at the eagle or in that direction. I used real stones for river rocks.

            I am thinking of setting a turtle or a bird on one of those rocks. And last, at my end, I want to find the back of a human or maybe even an animal which will represent me, the viewer.

            When you're done and close it up, make sure no light comes in because it ruins the effect. Secure it with duct tape then decorate the entire outside of the box with whatever you think that is suitable. Me, I use old calendar pictures.

            I guess you could call this a shoe box scene or a diorama but what did it cost me to make?

            • Well, eating a box of corn flakes
            • Mucho looking through old calendar pictures and magazines I have kept forever
            • a little duct tape
            • a few staples
            • a little glue
            • a few free outside stones.
            • A touch of paint for the snaking river
            • THE VERY GOOD EXERCISE OF MY IMAGINATION and a lot of satisfaction.

            When you make these scenes, view them with just the light coming from your background. To light up the inside of the box would expose the imperfections. You see, this picture is to stimulate your imagination again, making you part of it like a dream.

            You want reality? It is always right outside that decorated corn flake box. So eat up them corn flakes and give your imagination a workout

            By Mr. Thrifty from ShermansDale, PA

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            Tip: Uses for Cereal Bags

            One thing I do as an avid recycler is to use the empty bag inside the cereal box for crushing graham crackers to make crust. I use crackers and dried bread to make crumbs for meatloaf. Those bags are much more durable than plastic storage bags, and they are virtually free. I also use them to store meat or bread items in the freezer!

            By Bobbie from Rockwall

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            Here are questions related to Uses for Cereal Boxes and Packaging.

            Question: Making Toys from Empty Cereal Boxes

            How can we make toys from empty Kellogg's cereal boxes?

            By Asian mom

            AnswerWas this interesting? Yes No


            Most Recent Answer

            By Eileen M. 56 240 09/28/2011

            Depending on the kids' age(s), you can just give them the boxes to play with as is. Taping the end closed is great for making big "blocks" that are light enough for younger kids, and won't hurt anyone when they fall over on them.

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            Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.

            Archive: Uses for Cereal Boxes

            Ways to reuse cereal boxes and the bag that comes inside the box. Post your ideas.

            Archive: Uses for Cereal Boxes

            I find myself throwing out cardboard cereal boxes and things like pot pie boxes, etc, and I hate doing it, but I don't know how to recycle them as fast as we use that stuff. I don't have kids at home anymore, so I don't really need them for craft projects. Any ideas would be appreciated no matter how "far-fetched" they are. Oh, and I should point out that there is no household recycling pickup in my area.

            Jacquelyn from Walker, LA


            RE: Uses for Cereal Boxes

            I always save the wax bags from cereal boxes. I turn them inside out to empty the cereal residue and prevent taste transfer, then store them in a bag holder until I need one. They are the perfect size for a head of lettuce or cabbage. (03/22/2007)

            By tismom

            RE: Uses for Cereal Boxes

            Since you belong to Thriftyfun: at the top of the page where it says "Search for Answers" put in USE FOR CEREAL BOXES..guess what there is a slew of idea's...Hope this helps (03/22/2007)

            By MrsA1126

            Editor's Note: Here is a link to that ThriftyFun search:

            RE: Uses for Cereal Boxes

            Wrap Christmas presents, also use round oatmeal boxes (love different box shapes). Organize your crafts like cardstock, small patterns (03/28/2007)

            By eyelovecats

            RE: Uses for Cereal Boxes

            Good ideas here. Inspired me to think of another use for round oatmeal boxes. Not sure how "handy" it will be but I'm going to try it. Put a roll of toilet paper in the oatmeal box and make an "X" opening in the top to pull the paper through. Might work well in the car for quick dry cleanups. (07/15/2007)

            By JK

            RE: Uses for Cereal Boxes

            Cut the front flat side of the box on three sides to make a flap. Use the box for multiple cupcakes going to school, or homemade treats you may take into work or wherever. No lost storage containers and you can throw the box away when you are done with it. Or use them for transporting small flower containers when you buy plants and don't want a dirt pile in your car. (10/19/2008)

            By lanar

            Archive: Uses for Cereal Boxes

            I use empty cereal boxes to put shredded paper in.You can close the top to keep it contained, and it will break down in the environment. :)

            By jujumom from Lisle, IL