Thursday, September 10, 2009

Using It UP~Cereal Boxes...

If your kids eat box cereal, and mine love it, you will have a card board box and the wax papered lining that held the cereal left when all the goodie is gone! We can re-purpose them for something our own lives, not just throw them in the garbage or recycling into new right away. Since we are using everything up, here are some ideas:

For the inside wrap/bag:

Since this is food grade and had held cereal, how about a bag for sandwiches or other food storage for either fridge or on the go. These can be easily cut down to fit what is needed and since they are large, they will hold a lot more too. Anything you need to put in a bag without regard to water tightness can be used here.

Cut it open to make a place mat to work on for messy projects. Trimming and peeling fruit and veggies can put juices all over the table, but to save the mess off, use a cereal bag. Also you can paint on them putting your canvas or paper right down. It won't let the paint through to the surface~it's wax coated! Pet's dishes can set on one cut open~really any surface you want protected for the size can be used to cover with one of purchasing paper towels...and if you don't have newspaper which while great for many things will leave newsprint ink on your hands and other stuff...

Leave intact and put messy stuff to throw it tomato skins are an example of this...because of their high acidic nature, I didn't compost in putting them in this bag, it contained the mess~a bigger bag than the bread bag I use sometimes too...size will matter!! AND it kept the messiness from potentially leaking into my trash holds in odors too until you can get an offensive item in the garbage for a few minutes.

Store the lettuce wrapped in paper towel in this bag...especially if your iceberg is larger than the already mentioned bread bag...don't squeeze in, if it doesn't fit!

We can craft with these...yeah...cut the top decoratively. . .if you have scalloped scissors or some other like pinking shears or free hand and edge to make the bag at the desired height. Use as a gift bag placing colorful tissue paper ($1 for a pack of many colors) and then use ribbons to tie around the top leaving about 4-6 inches for a "candy bag" look. Even without tying the bag, it can be turned down into a rolled hem to the desired height with the tissue (even white is pretty) sticking out of the top. Wanna get fancy? Make some handles with braided yarn or cord and staple them to the sides. Remember that they will not carry well by the handles. . .Often store bought gift bags are reinforced with cardboard. Just remember to carry this bag if it holds much weight at all from the bottom.

Use in the microwave to cover foods or cook corn on the cob in it. Yum! And less mess!!

Put papers that are needed to stay together in a notebook. The bag acts like a slipcover. Even books can be placed into these bags to prevent moisture or spoilage.

Place items to be crushed like crackers and chips~anything you are crushing~use these bags...

Offer your child some baby carrots and raisins (not the box ones, get the larger container for less and use the cereal bag) for a snack! How about some dry cereal??

Can you think of any ideas or share those that work best for ya?

Cardboard Cereal Box Uses:

I love the cardboard weight of the cereal boxes! I love paper crafts, and one year hand stamped teddy bears and watercolor penciled on each bear that was on these cereal boxes...shaded him well...and put a yarn tie on the bear for an ornament for the Christmas tree. This cardboard is so light that it's simple to cut it out and use it!

Crafting~make frames, a nice template will work and it can be covered with fabric. I will be awesome to see and do such work! Make a box that can have many purposes. Here are patterns:
for several styles. They mention cardstock, but you have to buy that stuff~use your cereal box! Small gift boxes work so wonderful and you can make them. There are also many uses for light cardboard such as just wrapping them at Christmas as a "fake gift" for under the tree as decor. This is really cool especially if you have multiple trees you decorate. I have "harvested" thrown away artificial trees by "curb shopping" to bring home and have a nice short tree for a little spot in our home...Another idea: get these for mantle decorations or wreath making...OK..maybe a post on Christmas decor is needed here, but back to the can use the if cut and covered to store magazines or many uses...and really are not just cheap! They are less harmful than plastic in the home. Now I am not a glass/paper only kind of gal, but I know that there is some good thought to keeping as much plastic out of our homes as possible due to possible harmful effects...AND the neatest thing about these is this: WHEN YOU ARE DONE or it's worn can really truly throw it out!!! It WILL disintegrate into compost and become good dirt unlike plastics that will take years to decompose!

Remember the fancy photo albums covered with fabric and lace? It was light cardboard that was the bones to make the frame to hold the picture on the front of the album. Using craft glue~I like Alieen's Tacky Glue because Elmer's Glue will work but will need to be clamped with something to hold it down. . .Tacky Glue will hold pretty quick..and glue down the fabric or colored paper/gift wrap works too. . .to cover the shape..using an exo-knife you can cut out the area to display the picture~if it's a circle or square area, just make an 'X' cut after first putting a hole dead center of where the two lines will meet. Fold in your edges and glue them down. Your edges are covered. . .now this was for the square...if for a circle, you will need to cut to the edge of the inside of the frame (not below this) around the perimeter of the inside of the circle and fold those down and glue. . .again your inside frame has a nice edge!

Light weight cardboard boxes~cereal boxes are wonderful to double and triple or more to make a faux gift look bigger for under the tree. . .or once my mother decorated our front door for Christmas and wrapped three. . .

She covered the door in aluminum foil for a shiny silver door. Then she wrapped the three cereal boxes in pretty Christmas paper, putting ribbons and bows on them and securely attached them to the door. On the packages she fixed tags that could be read that said beautiful Christmas greetings. This was the 70's. . .a variation for today would be to wrap/cover the door with foil and then put the packages in brown paper bag and use dried flowers and pine cones with raffia ribbon...These cereal boxes are so cool. . .

Got littles? Let them build with them up...or let them play "store" with play money and play "food." My kindergarten teacher did this for us~we didn't have the expensive and plastic play food or grocery store items,,,and you know what? It was much more realistic! I haven't even begun to talk about what could be used for this game for kids. . .but if you can recycle it or use it and it has NO sharp edges, why not? Kiddies can learn money counting and loads of play skilll with this...and it begins with their cereal boxes ;-))

Do you have any ideas for your cereal boxes? What would or are you doing to keep them out of the landfill and re-purpose them? What about the inside bags that are just awesome for so many uses?? I'm all ears! AND wanna know ;-))

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