August 2, 2010

Makeover Monday: Cereal Boxes

Since I couldn't think of anything more catchy, I decided to call my recycle and reuse posts "Makeover Monday". Keep an eye out for them on Mondays!

I posted a pretty neat article about using food boxes for shipping, but I feel like these things have so much potential that I'd write something more about it.

These boxes are so wasteful. I mean, they have a plastic bag inside that holds all the food, so what's the point of the box? Back in the old days, they didn't have the plastic bag inside; that came later when people got concerned about food safety, and I do think the plastic bag is a good idea.

That said, I don't like that these boxes simply go into the trash once we're finished with the food. I feel like there could be so much you can do with them. Here's a few things I do.

1) Make post cards

Sounds simple, right? And it is. Just get an old 4x6 picture you don't like (or a piece of photo paper) and use that as a template to trace out the rectangles. On the back you can make designs, draw lines for the address, really do whatever you want so long as the address is on the right side and the stamp is up at the right corner. Voila! Cheap and easy post card.

2) Make a mini notebook

This is pretty easy, too. Take one piece of copier paper. Fold in half and either cut or rip at the seam. Continue until you have eight small, long pieces of paper. Cut a piece of the cardboard out that's slightly larger than the paper on all sides. Fold the paper and the cardboard in half, and put together. Now you can staple the paper and cardboard together, but I like to hold it together with string.

Open the paper out to the middle again, and with an exacto knife (or any sharp knife), make two small holes a half inch from each end. You can use a hammer and nail if it's easier for you. Once the holes are made, cut a piece of twine, yarn or some sort of strong string about 12 inches. Put the string in the first hole through the paper side, then through the second hole on the cardboard side. You'll have both ends of string coming out of the paper side. Take the ends around to the cardboard side and tie tightly along the back. Enjoy your notebook.

3) Make business cards

Although you CAN print business cards on this paperboard, that's a whole other post I'm saving for another day.

However, handmade business cards on the back of old food boxes are so cool looking and totally eye catching. Cut the boxes out into 2x3.5 inch rectangles and start designing! Draw a little something in the corners, write your name and website and maybe a little about yourself, and you're all set.

4) Make tags

I put tags on everything I make, not just to remind people where they got the product but also because it makes it look finished. And using handmade tags using recycled boxes and tying them on with raffia gives it that homey, earthy feel that I'm trying to convey in my shop.

Tags are easy. Cut out the boxes in squares or rectangles to whatever size suits you (I usually do about 2x1.5). Punch a whole in one corner (the top left works best), and then write your shop name and website in the blank space. Doesn't that look nice?

5) Make place cards

Know anyone who's getting married or having a party? If they're into the earth-friendly green thing, suggest to them using old boxes for their place cards. Cut out squares, fold them in half, and then write the names of the guests on the cards.

6) Make coasters

In need of coasters? Cut out 3x3 squares and toss them around. They're only good for one or two uses, but at least you'll have reused the boxes before tossing them.

7) Make bookmarks

And who doesn't need a bookmark? Simply cut the cardboard to the size you want and stick it in your book. Alternatively, you can cover the cardboard with pretty paper, scallop cut the bottom, add a tassel and give them away as stocking stuffers to friends.

Have any more ideas? I want to hear what you guys think!


Tess Carter said...

Oh my fav ideas are the mini books & tags- what fun little projects! :P

Sassy Style Cards said...

Those mini books are really cool. I like how you post how to make them. Super cool :)

Janie/SealZiti said...

love the mini book idea!

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