18 August 2007 @ 07:12 am
101 Things To Do With An Empty Cereal Box (wip)  
I dreamt I was an origami bird commander being followed by paper sharks, and when I woke up, I asked Mike how a sheet of paper wound up sheet of paper sized? Because really? It's a neat rectangle. If you fold in half the right way, it keeps the same proportions. If you fold down the top diagonally to make a square, what's left is a dollar bill proportioned piece. He didn't know the answer though. But he did pat my back and tell me the paper sharks weren't going to cut me to pieces.

But that made me wonder what all could you do with a cardboard box? Not the big huge kind you get occasionally, LOTS of uses for thoses, but the lightweight kind like cereal boxes.

101 Things To Do With An Empty Cereal Box
(list in progress, please make suggestions)

1. Cut yourself a set of tangrams.
2. Use to create the skeleton of a duct tape purse
3. Make little gift boxes with it in different sizes.
4. mini notebooks. Seriously, scratch paper or paper that's only been printed on one side cut down and stapled into a little "matchbook" made of cardboard that size is handy in a purse.
5. Make a boat out of it. My daughter has boats out of all sorts of things, she saves her drinking straws from when we go out for the masts.
6. HEY! Cool holiday/movie themed packaging. If you have a spiral binder, spiral bind a small notebook.
7. This stuff? Really perfect for ATCs if you aren't too worried about acid content, but also you can cut a window template with it, where you cut a window out of a sheet that's the size of an ATC, then you position the window on your magazine page or whatever your using and find a piece of the page that looks right. The neat thing about this method is that it lets you look at a magazine page differently, in diagonal or whatever until you find that just right piece.
8. Quilt templates or patterns for all sorts of things.
9. Build an armature for a paper mache piece.
10. Put a cat toy in it, and make your cat paw it out. Hours of entertainment! beaddreamer maybe cut holes in it, and put in a crocheted ball filled with catnip then tape the box shut? A little more challenge?
11. valentine boxes from omega85
12. Stencils, a little sturdier then paper.
13. foil and cardboard go together nicely. Not just notebooks, think crowns and costume accessories as well.
14. This wonderful waller!
15. Weave a placemet
4 ideas from plum pudding
16.a puppet theater
17.Check out thisadorable toy.
18.Postcards and envelopes! With instructions for an envelope.
19.Traveling felt boards
From meepa 20-27
20. Cover with contact paper or not.. and pick one of the narrow sides to be the back, and from the top corner of the back, cut diagonal lines down both wide sides to about 4 inches from the bottom of the box on the opposite edge. Cut a straight line connecting the two diagonal lines on the front narrow side. Magazine holder! Adding the contact paper makes them a bit stronger. Don't forget to add a label for the name of the magazine and the years.
21. Binder tab separators, when I can't get free ones from the student recycling place. I cut off the two big faces, cut down to an appropriate size for my binder, then just hole-punch with my hole-punch. The advantage is that I can have the tab exactly where I want it and sized the way I want it, so I can have a big tab for my notes and then like little tabs for things like the course syllabus.
21. I also use them cut down to slip into homework drop boxes as a late/not-late separator and to separate homework while grading it.
22. Put them in the bottom of my reusable shopping bags as a stiffener.
23. Doll house furniture, but don't just think cereal boxes. I remember making cradles out almost any cylinder shaped box I had too! Most furniture is pretty basic shapes when you break it down.
24. Emergency cd/dvd cases. (from me: and on that note, folders of almost any sort. You could make mini folders to hold coupons for shopping or to save receipts)
25. Use to keep extra paper for your printer. You can cut in any shape that's going to be most convenient for you.
26. Drawer organizer. You can make separators or even custom boxes to keep drawers nice and neat, or in her specific example, keep your drawers in your drawers neat! (sorry, I couldn't resist)
27. And this? is brilliant. Since they hold food, they are food safe and make good disposable cutting boards.
 
 
Feeling: creativecreative
 
 
( 5 cups of coffee — Caffeinate me )
Shanabeaddreamer on August 24th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
10?
Put a cat toy in it, and make your cat paw it out. Hours of entertainment! (Well, maybe just minutes of entertainment...)
shala_beadsshala_beads on August 27th, 2007 05:33 am (UTC)
Re: 10?
Thanks!!
.omega85 on January 29th, 2008 08:17 pm (UTC)
valentine boxes!
Teresa "Meepa"meepa on May 6th, 2009 02:59 am (UTC)
A lot of cereal boxes make really awesome lightweight magazine holders. When I was a kid I had subscriptions to a bunch of magazines like Science News and Scientific American that you don't want to get rid of but that pile up quickly (okay, I was a bit of a nerdy kid). Then we didn't really have extra money to buy fancy magazine holders. Simple fix: cut up some Cheerios boxes, apply paint. They aren't really sturdy enough for something you're going to want daily, but for that subscription to Science News they're great.

I use them for binder tab separators, too, when I can't get free ones from the student recycling place. I cut off the two big faces, cut down to an appropriate size for my binder, then just hole-punch with my hole-punch. The advantage is that I can have the tab exactly where I want it and sized the way I want it, so I can have a big tab for my notes and then like little tabs for things like the course syllabus.

I also use them cut down to slip into homework drop boxes as a late/not-late separator. I'm a grad student and some quarters my students have to submit labs or homework in drop boxes. I want to be somewhat strict about the time requirement but I don't want to be too anal. so I cut an appropriately sized piece of cardboard, and then I just stick it in the drop box at the cutoff time and come back in a few hours. Some TAs use colored paper, but that's expensive and gets nasty and stuff pretty quickly. The cereal boxes I have lying around anyway, and they last two or three times before you have to cut a new one.

Similarly, I use them to separate different sections of homework or stuff like that while I'm grading it. I usually have a pile for grading, and while you can turn the pages that gets irritating. Cardboard's great for slipping in there to mark where you left off grading or for different sections to make papers easy to return.

I also put them in the bottom of my reusable shopping bags as a stiffener. Some of my bags came with little plastic bottom thingies, but some of them didn't, and sometimes it's nice to have that bit of stiffness there---like when you're carting about 200 undergraduate exams. :-)

When I was a little girl, I had an entire set of doll furniture made out of nothing but cereal boxes, toothpicks, and hot glue gun glue. On the other hand, my parents were engineers.

I also make emergency CD/DVD cases out of cereal boxes. You know how it is, you burn a CD or DVD for a friend, and then go "... crap, I don't want to give them any of my nice jewel boxes". Just cut appropriate cardboard, tape with the colored side out (so none of the ink sticks to the DVD) and maybe tape a piece of paper over the image if there's no nice blank spot to write what the DVD is. Some of my friends are still using the emergency CD cases I gave them because they're really colorful and hard to lose.

I keep one by my desk to put printer paper in that's only been printed on one side. That keeps it out of the general recycling and so keeps it neat and in one place so I can use it for scratch paper. However I have a really tiny cottage so I can't have a full-size bin or even a tray. Cereal boxes are just about right.

Brita filter boxes from Costco, the ones that hold 10 filters, are perfectly sized for my laptop to use as an ergonomic laptop stand so it's at the right height when I have it at my desk with its external keyboard. They're sturdy enough to support its weight, and it usually gets beat up about the time I need a new bunch of brita filters. :-)

Underwear separators. With a little duct tape, a cereal box becomes an insert for your underwear drawer that keeps your bottoms separate from your tops separate from your whatever else you keep in there (for me it's reusable pads and pad liners, but you might want to keep your swimsuit in there or something).

Emergency cutting board. Most cereal boxes are fairly food safe (duh) and so I'll cut up some squares to use as emergency cutting boards if I'm taking an apple to school with me or something like that.

Graduate school: How to make everything out of cardboard, duct tape, and prayers. :-)
shala_beads: recycleshala_beads on May 6th, 2009 04:28 am (UTC)
Added! Thank you so much.
( 5 cups of coffee — Caffeinate me )