10 Uses for Empty Cereal Boxes



Who wants a boring bookmark? Create bookmarks your kids will love using old cereal boxes.
Who wants a boring bookmark? Create bookmarks your kids will love using old cereal boxes.
iStockphoto/shuchun ke

A handcrafted bookmark is an easy-to-make gift for the bookworm in your life, and with a few embellishments, no one will know you made it yourself.

All you need is a cereal box, scissors, one sheet of clear plastic contact paper, a hole punch, and a small amount of yarn or ribbon.

To start, open the bottom of the box and carefully cut down one side so the box can lie flat. Use a pen or marker to trace the shape and size bookmark you want. For straight lines, try using a ruler or trace around another bookmark. Or, for something with a little more edge, cut around the silhouette of the cartoon character on a cereal box.

Then, after the bookmark has been cut out, laminate it or seal it with contact paper. The clear, plastic coat will waterproof your bookmark, making it more durable. If you don't want your bookmark to have a plain cardboard backside, cut out two bookmarks the same size and glue them back to back before applying the contact paper. Now it's time to add the tassel!

A tassel of ribbon or yarn will not only add a pinch of color to your bookmark, but it will also make the bookmark easier to find when it's tucked inside a good book. To add a tassel, use a hole punch to make a hole at the top of the bookmark. Then, take a colorful piece of ribbon or yarn and tie it through the hole.

If you run out of empty cereal boxes, don't forget about the other small cardboard boxes in your home. Tissue boxes, for example, have patterns that could make bookmarks with a more sophisticated appeal.

If you still have some cardboard left over after finishing a stellar set of bookmarks, see the next page for directions on how to make a postcard in minutes.