5 Creative Ways To Recycle Your Old Cereal Boxes As Décor

The average person may find holding onto cereal boxes or other recyclables a bit strange. Having served its purpose, it's only reasonable that it goes into the rubbish or recycle bin. But the savvy-minded upcycler in you should be pretty darn excited when you're gifted with an item with such potential. Besides, if you put your cereal box out at the curb, there's always a possibility that it might not end up at a recycling plant like you were hoping for. Any cardboard or paper product that is wet or has oil, grease, food or chemical stains on it can contaminate other recyclables and is refused by the recycling truck, as noted on Stockton Recycles. That means it'll end up in the trash instead. Luckily, cardboard is biodegradable.

However, as cardboard decomposes, it releases methane gas, writes PlanetArk. Methane gas is much worse than carbon dioxide, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, because although it has a shorter lifespan, it far exceeds C02 when trapping heat. So why potentially risk contributing to global warming? Instead, be an eco-artist and create some awe-inspiring home décor using cereal boxes and a few staple household essentials. The following ideas are more than cute organizational hacks and will add pizzazz to your home aesthetic. It's time to let your inner artistic organizational eco-warrior shine.

Woven cereal box baskets

According to professional organization guru Marie Kondo, the best way to prevent and contain clutter is for all of your blessed trinkets and other tchotchkes to have a designated home. Your next big step is ensuring all those items make it to their landing spot. But what are you supposed to do if you have a storage shortage situation? As in, not enough cute display boxes?

Cucicucicoo, an eco-savvy sewing and crafting blog, has the perfect instructions on how to weave your storage baskets using cereal boxes. While the prep work takes some time, the entire process can be pretty meditative. In fact, doing a repetitive, mundane task can help you relieve stress and anxiety, according to The Muse. So, if you're feeling a little anxious or a bit stressed out, take a break from what you're doing, sit down, and weave a cereal box basket. Not only will you be engaging in self-care, but you'll also be clearing clutter, working on a new hobby, and making your home look even better than before. Now that's something worth celebrating.

Minimalism mounted accent boxes

Have you ever noticed that simple blocks of colorful art on a blank wall can add something special to your home? Whether it be bright, bold painted canvases, functional frames that also serve as shelving, or even a triptych or diptych. Artwork, even a simple option, really levels up your home aesthetic and can bring a sense of unity to your abode. That being said, some of these mounted projects can be pretty pricey. So if your room needs a bit of cohesion, but your wallet isn't feeling it, these simple minimalist wall accent pieces might be your newest infatuation. Brought to you by the independent crafting blog Ahhh Mom, these cereal box accent pieces are quick, easy, and super simple to make.

While cereal boxes are the perfect shape, don't limit yourself. Add in larger or smaller boxes to give your humdrum wall some unique feel. You'll also need visually appealing contact paper, which you can purchase online or at your local home improvement, hardware, or even dollar store. Contact paper, also called shelf paper, is incredibly versatile and can add a little eye appeal to old furniture, stairs, backsplashes, and even tabletops. It comes in a variety of different colors, sizes, and patterns. The instructions are simple: close and tape your box shut; wrap it nicely with contact paper, and put a small hole in the back to mount it on your wall, and you're done.

Cereal box sunflower mirror

The cereal box sunburst mirror is also one of the more intricate, eye-catching, and visually rewarding pieces on this list. It's also, by far, one of the more labor-intensive ones, too. Mirrors are always great additions to blank walls but are also beneficial when achieving balance in your home. According to Feng Shui Nexus, mirrors are thought to have special powers and should be placed in specific locations throughout your home because they involve a lot of energy work.  

Yoduvh Essentials has a step-by-step video on creating this stunning cereal box sunburst mirror. Thankfully, you'll only need a few items, most of which can be found at your local dollar store. If you're super crafty, you probably already have a hot glue gun and glue sticks. You'll also need a small 5-inch mirror, silver plastic spoons, a round 6-inch piece of cardboard, and a single cereal box. You'll also need at least an hour of your day and a nice helping of patience. Remember that in Feng Shui, the sun is only one part of a whole, as noted on The Red Lotus Letter. It represents male energy (or yang energy). The sun's counterpart is the moon, which is female energy (or yin). So if you're feeling too much energy from your mirror, try bringing in some of those 3D cereal box stars to give it more celestial feminine balance. 

Cereal box night light

According to the family-focused blog Parent, roughly 73% of children between the ages of 3 to 12 have some darkness-related phobia. But it's not just the kiddos who hesitate about turning the light off at night. According to a 2020 poll led by the LED company E-Conolight, nearly 50% of the collected responses proved that it's not uncommon for adults to be afraid of the dark — for other reasons, not just a monster in the closet.

That's why these cereal box night lights by the how-to website Instructables are a creative and comforting way to keep those fears at bay. All you need is a clean cereal box, a plug-in nightlight, a pin or needle, scissors, and some tape. Using the needle, make a pattern on your cereal box cover. Once you're done poking holes, cut a spot for the plug-in portion of the outlet. As a safety precaution (and because the last thing you'd want is to start a fire), we recommend cutting a single hole that fits snugly around the entire night light plug and not two small holes for the actual plugs to poke through. You'll need to secure the light to the box using a little extra tape. You can use a small individual-sized cereal box or a normal-sized one. These cereal box night lights are friendly and charming, like the Lite Brite of the '60s, '70s, and '80s, via WiseGeek.

3D cereal box star

These are perfect for kids' rooms and bedrooms and add subtle celestial decorum to your home. Every home should have a star, just like every garden should have a gnome, via Home Bounties. According to Reference, the star symbolically has many meanings, which vary from culture to culture. This ball of burning gas can be seen as a guide, literally (Polaris, the North Star) and figuratively (divine guidance). It's something we look up to and wish on, making us question our purpose and the vastness of the universe we live in.

To make these 3D cereal box stars, you'll need string, tape, scissors, and many cereal boxes, depending on how many stars you want to make. You'll also need a start template, which you can find for free on the web. Once you're done, depending on the room's theme or where you're planning on placing them, you can paint them accordingly. If you want to make a 360-degree, 3D hanging star, make two of the same size and tape or glue them together before you paint them. Be sure to secure a loop of string between the two pieces, so you can let it hang high. Now you can have your very own wishing star.