10 Uses for Empty Cereal Boxes



Recycled cereal boxes are ideal for making placemats.
Recycled cereal boxes are ideal for making placemats.
Image Source/Image Source/Getty Images

With this creative placemat, you'll always have something to read while you eat breakfast.

To make a placemat, you'll need two sheets of clear plastic contact paper, a cereal box, photographs and stickers. First, cut the side of your cereal box so you can lay the box flat. Then, use a pen or pencil to draw a pattern for your placemat.

To ensure that you'll be able to completely seal the edges of the placemat, draw a pattern that's 1 inch shorter in length and width than the contact paper. Then, cut out your placemat and begin decorating. Try to use decorations that lie flat, such as photographs, stickers or thin ribbon -- objects that stick up may protrude through the contact paper.

Now, with your placemat fully decorated, you can apply the contact paper. Because the placemat is larger than the bookmark we discussed earlier, it will be easier for air pockets to form as you apply the contact paper. One way to combat these pesky bubbles is to place your placemat on a flat surface and use the edge of a ruler to slowly press the contact paper down, from one side to the other, one sheet at a time.

Want to use individual-sized cereal boxes instead? No problem. With about six mini cereal boxes, you can design a placemat that resembles a patchwork quilt. Start with a piece of construction paper that's about 1 inch shorter in length and width than your contact paper. One at a time, cut off the front panels of the boxes and glue them to the paper. After all of the boxes have been glued down, cut off any excess material hanging over the edge of the construction paper. Then, carefully apply a sheet of contact paper to the front and back sides of the placemat.

After the placemat is sealed, trim off the extra contact paper, leaving a slight border around the edge of the mat. If you cut too closely to the edge of the cardboard, the contact paper will pull apart. To clean the placemat, wipe it down with a damp, soapy cloth, but don't submerge it in water. Soaking the placemat could cause water to seep in between the plastic layers.

To learn more, visit the links below.

Related Articles


  • "Cereal Box Organizer." Martha Stewart. (Accessed 4/17/09). http://www.marthastewart.com/article/cereal-box-organizer
  • Cropping Corner. (Accessed 4/19/09). http://www.croppingcorner.com/search?special=search&searchtype=common&words=corner+round&search.x=0&search.y=0
  • Dinneralovestory.com. "Cereal Box Village Craft Idea." Jan. 8, 2012. http://www.dinneralovestory.com/crafts-moms-dirty-secrets
  • Fraser, Stefanie Gabrych. "Recycle a Cereal Box into a Clever Clock." Suite 101. March 22, 2009. (Accessed 4/18/09). http://crafts.suite101.com/article.cfm/make_a_clever_diy_cereal_box_clock
  • Gaulin, Pam. "Kids Crafts: Making a Cheap Homemade Placemat for a Pet." Associated Content. May 7, 2007. (Accessed 4/18/09). http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/234502/kids_crafts_making_a_cheap_homemade.html?cat=53
  • Hodges, Larky. "Crafts for You and Your Kids." Go Green Guidance. 2008. (Accessed 4/18/09). http://www.gogreenguidance.com/education.html
  • Infarrantlycreative.com. "Cereal Box Crafts: Notepads." Jan. 8, 2012. http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2011/04/cereal-box-crafts-notepads.html
  • Infarrantlycreative.com. "Cereal Box Mosaic." Jan. 8, 2012. http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2009/08/cereal-box-mosaic.html
  • Kaasman, Chris. "US Map Art Made From Cereal Boxes." Inhabitat.com. May 5, 2010. http://inhabitat.com/springgreening/2010/05/20/us-cereal-box-map-wall-art/
  • Keller, Rachel. "Frugal Parenting: 15 Ways to Reuse Small Boxes." Living a Better Life. 2005. (Accessed 4/18/09). http://www.betterbudgeting.com/articles/frugality/recyclecerealboxes.htm
  • Lake, Jane. "Recycling Crafts: Recycled Magazine Holders." All Free Crafts. (Accessed 4/18/09). http://www.allfreecrafts.com/recycling-crafts/magazine-holder.shtml
  • Meredith, Lee. "How to Make a Custom Clock." CraftStylish. November 29, 2008. (Accessed 4/21/09). http://www.craftstylish.com/item/13602/how-to-make-a-custom-clock
  • "No Sew Placemats." Love to Know Crafts. (Accessed 4/21/09).
  • Sipper, Rebecca. "Vintage Christmas Postcard." Easy Christmas Crafts. 2007. (Accessed 4/18/09). http://www.easy-christmas-crafts.com/gifts/vintage-christmas-postcard.shtml
  • Stuffyoulllove.com. "Make it: Cereal Box Gift Bags." Jan. 8, 2012. http://www.stuffyoulllove.com/2010/12/make-it-cereal-box-gift-bags.html
  • Target. (Accessed 4/19/09). http://www.target.com/dp/B000GAOJ2Y/sr=1-1/qid=1240162270/ref=sr_fkmr_txt_2_1/192-0244289-4191359?ie=UTF8&frombrowse=0&index=target&rh=k%3Aphoto%20corner%20rounder&page=1


Raid the Recycling Bin: 10 Recycled Crafts

Raid the Recycling Bin: 10 Recycled Crafts

Are you looking for some fun recycled craft ideas? Check out these 10 recycled craft ideas in this article.