July 17, 2010

Cereal Box Stationary Organizer {Tutorial}

Are your kids bored? Looking for an eco-friendly and cheap project to keep them busy, and something that they can use during the school year? Look no further than this stationary organizer, made from a Cheerios box.
Materials
  • a cereal box (I used a small, 9oz. one that's about 7" wide)
  • scrapbook papers or construction paper
  • Elmers glue stick
  • pencil or Sharpie marker
  • transparent tape
  • X-acto knife or utility knife
STEP ONE
With the glue stick, glue the top of the box closed, then reinforce both the top and bottom with tape.
STEP TWO
Measure and draw the line on the cereal box that you'll be cutting. You're going to be cutting the box in half to make 2 boxes for the organizer. The sides will be cut at an angle though, as seen in the photo at the top.

On the front of the box, measure about 5 1/2" down from the top and make a mark along one side, then the other.
Connect those two marks using a ruler so you have a straight line.
Flip the box over, and draw the marks about 4 1/2" from the top (or 1" less than what you measured on the front), and draw another line.
Your lines will not "line" up; the one on the back will be higher up on the box. This difference in heights will create the side angles.

You'll then turn the box to the side and draw a diagonal line connecting the line on the front to the line on the back. Use your ruler and do this on both sides of the box.
STEP THREE
With an X-acto or utility knife, cut into the front of the box along the line. Parents obviously will want to do this for the kids.
You can either continue to cut along the line around the box with the knife, or switch to scissors, which work a little better along the edges and would be fine for kids to use.
After you've cut all the way around, you should have something that looks like this:
Don't worry too much about cleaning up the edges; they'll be covered with paper.

STEP FOUR
Time to cover the box with paper. It's almost like you're wrapping a present. We'll start with the smaller of the two boxes.
You'll want a piece of decorative or colored paper that is 2" taller than the front of the smaller box (the one in the front of the organizer), and will fit around the sides. Don't worry about the back, since that will not be seen as it will be glued to the other part of the box.

A note about paper: consider buying one of those $20 pads of scrapbook paper. They're great to keep around for projects, and all the papers are already coordinated. Plus you can usually get a 40% off coupon at Michaels or AC Moore and only pay 12 bucks for it.

Line up the paper, then crease the edges around the sides. Cut lines along the folded edges up to the point where the top of the box begins. You'll be folding this flap down on the inside of the box later.
Get your glue stick and spread glue across the paper, and put some on the outside of the box too just for good measure.
Then adhere it to the front of the smaller box and press well. Cut off excess paper on the sides, then fold down and crease the side and front flaps.
Glue them into place.
One down, one to go. It will eventually be placed like this against the other part of the box.
STEP FIVE
On to the larger box. You'll essentially do the same thing with this one, except instead of not covering the back, you'll not cover the front, since it will be hidden by the other box. I chose a coordinating stripes paper, but you could certainly use the same pattern that you used for the front.

The visuals, again
(please ignore the scrappy mess---I'm not very good at keeping things neat when making stuff)More gluing and folding
Ta da! Back box is done.
STEP SIX
Now it's time to sandwich your boxes together.
With your glue stick, spread a generous amount of glue on the back of the small box and on the front of the large one, then press them together.
Reinforce the inside divider with transparent tape
as well as the bottom.
If you want, you could cover the bottom with paper too, but since it's not going to be seen, I just left it exposed. Kind of neat for someone to notice that it was recycled from a cereal box.

STEP SEVEN
Cover the inside of the box with another piece of coordinating paper to hide the cardboard and finish off the box. I measured the width of the inside of the box (7.25")
and cut a piece of paper slightly smaller. I made sure it was long enough to fold over the divider inside the box.
I made a folded mark where the top of the divider was,
Then took the paper out so I could give it a proper, creased fold.
Trim any excess paper, then glue the heck out of it.
Fold it over the divider and smooth into place.
Your stationary organizer is finished. Yay! Now you might want to decorate it a little more, maybe with initials or a flower like I did. I just used scraps that I saved from other projects (including this one).
I used a page from an old book and a piece of scrapping paper to make a layered flower. Just cut a square, fold it half and in half again (like cutting a snowflake), and scallop the edges. Glue them together and add a circle to the center.
Then attach to the front of your organizer.
I also used a leftover piece of the striped paper behind the flower. The possibilities are endless, and this is usually the really fun part for kids.


Enjoy making this pretty and useful craft!.
Disclosure: I wrote this post as an Elmers Bag It Forward Ambassador.
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