Uses for Cereal Boxes and Packaging

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.

uses for cereal boxes
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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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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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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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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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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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I am starting to sell things on Ebay. I recently read an article that suggested reusing what we already have. From here on, my packaging material will include at least one of the bags from the cereal box.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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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I use cereal boxes to hold craft stuff. I use one for colored paper, one for wax paper, and one for little paint holders. I glue a piece of construction paper to the front, and let the kids color it.

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

By Asian mom

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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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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.

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I 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.

Boxes wrapped in Christmas paper and edged with duct tape.

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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.

Tracing a pattern using recycled liners from cereal boxes.

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

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

Cereal Box Pencil Holder

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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.

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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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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

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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


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

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:

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

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)


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

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


Reusing Cereal Bags

Do not throw out your cereal bags. When I finish a box of cereal, I shake out the waxpaper bag and reuse for storage, or reuse to freeze a package of meat from the meat department.

By Bobbie Gillette (01/11/2005)

By ThriftyFun

Fruit Roll-ups

If you make your own Fruit Roll up, use the plastic bag for the fruit to dry on. Open the bag up to lay flat. The plastic is so much stronger than plastic wrap and the dried fruit rollup pulls right off. The plastic is good for many many more uses. (01/11/2005)

By Lois of CA

Shake and Bake

I save my cereal bags and put flour and chicken in and shake to coat. I use for leftover homemade bread and rolls. Also bakery donuts and pastries. (01/11/2005)

By Belle


Cut off the front of each cereal box. After you have collected a few you can use them for preschool/school age games such as alphabetizing, looking for colors, sorting by attributes. Children love to work with cereal box fronts! (01/11/2005)

By Katie A.

Paper Storage

I use them for paper storage. I stack them up on top of each other and masking tape them together about four or five high. I sit by my desk and keep papers and such in them. I add other boxes to them, and it becomes an organizing area for paper and such. You can get quite creative with it, and even make larger box cubicles like these for shoes and such. (01/11/2005)

By Racer

Cereal Box Purses

I reuse cereal boxes (and other boxes )to make purses out of. Go here and you'll see my duct tape cereal box purse and koolaid duct tape purse, I'm under Tinkerbell. ... ba214b813d39aab0d0b&topic=16353.0(01/14/2005)

By Renee01

Gift Bags

I tear off the top flaps, paint them, then add embelishments to the out side, add two handles made from paper twist that has not been opened and have cute gift bags! This works with any cardboard type box. (01/15/2005)

By Gardenlady

10 Ideas to Keep and Reuse Old Cereal Boxes

Here are 10 ideas

1. Use as a mouse pad, I do.

2. Cut, make and decorate as CD containers.

3. Make up little homemade game boards for kids to use in traveling in the car.

4. Use as backing for posters or photos

5. Make home made targets for bow and guns.

6. Slide under your school books before you use the other protective book cover.

7. Design and make your own personal signs to decorate your home.

8. For over 19 years I have used calendar picture covered cereal boxes on my walls. Each holds special everyday items I now no longer ever lose.

9. A hot seat at a Ball park? Not if you bring a large cereal box that has been cut once with you. Also take bring along for bank fishing.

10. File folders

Now you think of more and never throw away those bags Cereal Bags either.

Happy Reusing

By Mr. Thrifty

Throwing Away Diapers

Uses for the cereal bags: one I can think of... for those of us with babies, and we change the baby on the go, put the used diaper in that, and when we get to a litter barrel we toss it all. Also, if you have more than one cereal bag, if baby wets through to shorts, pants, etc, it can go in there and that way it won't stink up the car, and won't mess up anything else it may touch.

Or, another idea, when we were kids, it was a guarantee that at least one of us would get car sick on long voyages. We had a station wagon, and with the lot of us, two of us had to ride 'backwards'. That just did not sit well and our stomachs let us know.

In summer, it can also hold kids' swimsuits or in travel, use it for shampoos, mouthwashes, toothpaste...or anything that may spill out and make a mess in luggage. if you have a bag sealer, (I found one for about 4 dollars at Wal Mart) you can seal it up. No spills, no stink, and since almost everyone I know eats cereal, cheap to replace when the bag is thrown out.

Well, cereal bags as sick bags work too. We had a station wagon and many kids. Two of us would wind up facing 'backwards' and invariably, one of the 'backwards' kids would wind up getting sick.


By KLS8800

Prevent Microwave Splatters

I love to open the bags and cut circles to lay over glass pie plates in the microwave for heating. Saves LOTS of splatters. (08/17/2005)

By Carolyn

Pie Crust

When I have the LARGE cereal boxes I cut open the bag to make a flat sheet to roll out pie crust. It works very well and can be reused many times. I just wipe it or shake it off and store it in my freezer. (08/18/2005)

By Grandma Margie

Plastic Cereal Liners

Save your plastic liners from your cereal boxes. Wash them and let them dry. Save all your small soap pieces from the last of a bar of soap. When you have several pieces of soap put it into the plastic bag and beat with a meat tenderizer. Use these crushed pieces to wash a load of clothes. I find it gets my towels very clean. (09/20/2005)

By Jeanette Kelley


I use the boxes and cut them into snowmen shapes and then some wing shapes. "Frost" them with textured snow paint and hot glue together for ornaments. Add a hanger and there ya go. (09/21/2005)

By Michele

For My Dog

My dog has food allergies, but one thing she can chew is cardboard. We let her shred all our boxes. The smaller the better. Toilet paper tubes are worth gold. (09/22/2005)

By Kathy K.

Magazine Holders

I make magazine holders out of the boxes by cutting off one corner on an angle. I don't even cover them as I have them stored on a bookshelf-keeps those magazines tamed and organized. Also, the liners in Canada are waxed paper so I save them to use instead of buying waxed paper just by cutting them to open up flat. (09/23/2005)

By Marion

Freezer Storage

Dirty diapers and freezer storage (but not at the same time) are the main uses I find for empty cereal bags. (10/10/2005)

By kidseatfree

A Use for the Crumbs

I cut the box top and bottom off, then cut down one corner. Then I cut the box into squares and use to jot down phone messages, etc. I save the crumbs in the bottom of the bag to use for breading chicken or to use in cookie recipes. Use the empty bags to catch peelings or scraps to be put in the trash. (06/14/2006)

By AnnMel

Gift Box

I always used them at Christmas time when my girls were little to wrap presents in that didn't have a box. They used to get so mad at me but now they do it! (06/18/2006)

By PeggyLee

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