From Cereal Box To Magazine Holder

I have magazines, kid’s school papers, coloring books, medical forms, and other papers all over my house. I found a way to organize almost anything with a simple DIY home decor project that turns cereal boxes into magazine holders. Now, for just a few bucks and about an hour, I can repurpose old cereal boxes by adding some fun paper.

This idea was originally shared with our readers by Brittany. Today, Emily has updated it with new pictures and tips to make your DIY magazine holder crafting process even easier.

This is a great home decor DIY project to help you get organized: turn old cereal boxes into magazine or coloring book holders.

DIY Home Decor: From Cereal Box To Magazine Holder

Essentially this project is just a little cutting, gluing, and folding. It is cheap and easy, and the kids can help too. Who doesn’t love cutting and glue?

Magazine Holder Supply List:

  • Large Cereal Box  (I used the 1 pound box)
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge (I used matte finish)
  • Paint brush
  • Packing Tape (optional)
  • Scrapbook Paper – You will need 3 sheets of 12×12 scrapbook paper. You can either choose 3 identical sheets, or choose a different pattern for your spine. I think the contrasting papers look great.

Scrapbook Paper Tip: Darker colors work better for hiding the cereal box. I made a box with a white background, and I can see some of the cereal box if I look closely.

I like to purchase scrapbook paper packs at the craft store. There is almost always a 40% off coupon available. With the packs, you will have a whole set of coordinating papers and can make a great set of magazine holders for a shelf that are not identical.

1) Cut the top flaps off your cereal box

I like to use packing tape on the bottom seam just to be safe, but I have done without and never had problems.

First, trace the shape you want for your magazine folder. You can use a magazine holder you already have as a template or easily just draw a line. Here is the guideline: you need at least 5 inches at the bottom and 3 inches at the top to hold your magazines securely. Your total height should be at least 11 inches.

You can use a curved shape, as shown below, or a straight edge. I used a large bowl to create the curved template that I used on my box, but you could also use a plate.

Trace a curved shape onto your cereal box, and cut.

Once you have outlined your box, cut off the curved shape.

For a straight edge, simply start at your height and draw a line across at least 3 inches. Then make a mark up at least 5 inches from the bottom. Use a straight edge and connect the two lines. Easy! The paper will be able to fold over either shape, but the straight box is a little easier.

2) Mod Podge

Once you have your basic shape, paint a layer of Mod Podge on the box and lay your paper on top of the glue. When using 12×12 scrapbook paper, I lay the paper on the box and smooth the surface with my hand. I find I get the smoothest surface from laying the box down and smoothing from the inside and pressing down.

Mod Podge Tip: Less is more! The thinner the layer of Mod Podge, the better. If you add too much, your paper will wrinkle.

Mod Podge has a little give at first, so you will be able to move the paper around before the glue sets. I glue the entire page down, let it set, and then cut my border. Cut the scrapbook paper around your box, leaving at least 1/2 inch to 1 inch around on all sides.

Using Mod Podge, glue scrapbook paper to the outside of the box, leaving 1/2 inch around on all sides.

3) Adjust the Corners

To fold the corners simply use your scissors to cut a slit right at the corner and fold both pieces in. Mod Podge all the edges as you fold them in. I don’t worry about the entire inside but I do want a nice folded over edge. To fold the paper around the curved edges, make slits in the paper every inch or two to allow the paper to fold more easily.

Small slits in your paper will allow you to fold it over smoothly.

Once you have the first side just do it again on the other side. You can see that the long side has an empty strip and the short side is complete. Mod Podge all the seams, and they will dry completely clear.

4) Complete the box side

Measure your box side and choose the width of your outside strip. Cut the strip and Mod Podge it on, folding over at the top and bottom. It looks best to have a strip that is smaller than the total width so that your corners are totally smooth. As long as you have a simple pattern, or are using a different pattern for your strip, this will look really nice.

Cover your finished magazine holder in Mod Podge

Cover your entire magazine holder with another layer of Mod Podge. It is not only a glue but a sealer. It will look a little lumpy at first, but it should not dry this way.

When your magazine holder is dry it will be smooth and ready for your magazines, coloring books, and all your other papers!

A great home decor idea: repurpose old cereal boxes, and turn them into magazine or coloring book holders.

Once you have this easy project done, you will be saving all kinds of boxes and containers. My son got a cowboy themed treasure bin (to store things on his bookshelf) from a fruit snack package, and I made a kitchen bin to store chargers and other stuff. I have dozens of bins made from grocery containers that are super cute and very cheap.

The best part is you can get whatever look you want!

I hope you like these as much as we do and find lots of new uses for old boxes.


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Author Bio: Brittany

Brittany loves nothing more than being  mom to her 3 kids 5 and under, but any crafty or home project run a very close second.  She blogs about motherhood and crafty stuff at That’s Vandy. When the kids are asleep and the projects put away, you can find her chatting it up on Twitter.

About Emily Louise

Emily is a apron-wearing, camera-wielding, mother and pilots wife who has found her niche in discovering a reason to celebrate every day and enjoying the simple things life has to offer.
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  1. says

    This is so fantastic! Have you ever tried using fabric instead of paper? I’m just wondering how long the cereal box magazine holder will hold up.

  2. says

    That is such a very clever idea! I was just looking around my office thinking that there were WAY too many papers lying around… and that I needed something JUST like this! YAY! Now to go raid my son’s box construction (aka: cereal boxes)!

  3. says

    Brittany, what a great idea. I have seen these before but never made them. I think it would be great for a lot of different things! Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. Hilda says

    Love this idea as well, what works best for me is a large kitty litter box, I have a cat so I buy the large 28+ lb box and once I use the kitty litter, I repurpose the box by making the paper storage box and is the perfect size for magazines or 12×12 paper. If you would like for me to send you pics, post a reply to this comment with your email. If you don’t have a cat, you can always donate the kitty litter to a local pet shelter and reuse the box. The kitty litter box also has a handle on it, so it comes in VERY “handy”!

  5. says

    What an awesome idea – I’m loving this!! I pinned it and can’t wait to finish some cereal so I can give it a try, lol! :)

  6. says

    What a cool idea, and looks amazing! Would love to get my house organised and these type of storage ideas are just perfect, thanks

  7. Khloe says

    Hello:) I absoulutly loved your step by step guide on how to achieve these gorgeous magazine holders! I am creating a Youtube channel soon. It’s based on D.I.Y and I would very much like to use your step by step guide on how to achieve making these. Would that be okay with you? I thought I should ask first xx.

  8. says

    I sooooo need to do this and take over my kitchen counter again. I can see not only magazine holders, but round containers for pens, keys, misc stuff that just “appear” It would look so much nicer.

  9. says

    This is very clever, and it really looks great! I saw Martha Stewart’s very expensive line of home office organization items, and she had items LIKE this, but if you made these yourself, you’d have the option to choose an adorable paper pattern that goes better with your own home decor than what Martha offers.

  10. says

    This is such a GREAT idea! I will be making magazine holders in a few days. I collect a few magazine subscriptions, and now I know what I can do with them. Thank You!

  11. says

    this is so simple and so useful! I also blog about upcycle decor and crafts, love this and I am following you now!

  12. says

    Such a good idea! I love that you’ve upcycled old cereal boxes instead of tossing them into the garbage. Thanks!

    Peace. 😉

  13. says

    Wow! Great Idea!! I so wish I would have seen this 3 weeks ago…before I went out and bought magazine holders! Ok, next time I’m so doing this. Beautiful and fun! 😉 Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Scrapbook paper is amazing isn’t it? You could find it to match any decor. And that cowboy box – underneath is a huge fruit snack box!


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