TUTORIAL: Pretty Packages from Old Cereal Boxes

Last night, I couldn’t go to sleep. I just kept mentally cutting and folding cereal boxes into gift boxes. Is that weird? You see, I got quite a few boxes of cereal and granola bars on sale at Kroger this week (75 cents a box!). Lying there in bed, it occurred to me that all those boxes could save me even more money if I used them as gift packages for Christmas.

I’d never actually made my own cardboard box, but I’ve expanded plenty of those flat shirt boxes to imagine how they’re made. It’s not really that hard. But I knew that I wasn’t going to get any sleep last night if I didn’t get up and try it, instead of making up plans for cutting and folding in my head. (Afterwards I found a very funny show on Netflix and proceeded to watch 8 episodes. I didn’t fall asleep until almost 4 am. Maybe I shouldn’t have had coffee while I made my boxes! But seriously, having the TV to myself at night is sometimes too good of a luxury to trade for sleep.)

Okay, so back to the boxes. We had just finished off a box of Cheerios and a box of granola bars. The larger box came from the two largest sides of the cereal box. The smaller box came from the granola bar box, which I squared off before folding.


You could make these boxes considerably fancier by gluing scrapbook paper to the inside before cutting and folding them. I think that the brown paper on the inside, with a pretty pattern inside, would be lovely. Or you could paint them with acrylic paint inside after they’re assembled. I will probably attempt something like that if I decide to use them for teacher gifts. But for family, I think that showing a peak of this cardboard’s former life as packaging is fun. Especially for the kids, knowing that these were recycled is a good eco-lesson.

I really, really like the look of plain brown cardboard. I also like to wrap packages in brown craft paper, on purpose. So I don’t see a need to fancy these boxes up at all on the outside with paint or paper that would hide that brown crafty goodness. However, some pretty Christmas stamps would go on the matte surface very well, without hiding it. I think that twine, with a tiny pine cone and some pine needles tucked in would look classic. For these particular packages, I opted for some simple felt flowers.

Want to make your own? Just follow the simple steps and diagrams in the illustrations below:

Finally, tuck the triangle flaps to the inside an secure with glue. Repeat for the lids, making the sides 2/3 the height of the box you just made. And add about 1/4″ to the width and height of the main rectangle, so that the lid will fit on top of the slightly smaller bottom box.

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  1. great idea. Been throwing them away.

  2. What a neat idea!! I’m definitely going to have to use this for Christmas!! Also…what funny show? i’m always on the look out for new shows to watch at 2 am, as I am plagued by insomnia almost every night!!

    • It’s so hard to find new shows to watch on Netflix, because it just suggests kids shows to me most of the time. The show I started watching was Raising Hope. I guess I’ve watched 10-11 episodes now, and it’s really fun.

  3. I would NEVER have thought of this…I might have to go dig out some I just threw out in my recycle bin! :)

    • Now I’m feeling guilty for the boxes I’ve recycled this weekend! I need to be making boxes out of ALL of them, but I have been too busy. Luckily we’ll be eating lots more cereal before Christmas. :)

  4. I love these boxes!!! I hope it’s okay, I have featured them in a cereal box crafts round-up that I just finished. You can see it here:


    Thank you for sharing the tutorial!!

  5. These would be cute painted!

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