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Cereal Box Journals

Paper crafting has been my passion since I was a child. I love sharing paper projects, ideas, and products. Get more from your paper.


Cereal Box Journals And Notebooks

There is nothing better than taking something you have used, like a cereal box, and creating something special out of it. Recycling paper crafts take something that you would normally throw out and create something unique and custom. It extends the life of the paper that was used to make the box. Plus it is thrifty to use something you have.

Do not limit yourself to just cereal boxes, You can also use tea boxes, pasta boxes, and any other cardboard box that you may have around.

You can coat the inner box with gesso or cover it with paper

The outside box with the printing is usually covered with paper, fabric, or painted and designed. There are no rules, You can design the cover in any way that you would like.

What Can You Do With Cereal Box Journals?

There are so many ways to use these journals. Here are just a couple of ideas:

  • As a planner or bullet journal
  • As a daily journal
  • As a travel journal
  • A place to keep your passwords
  • A mileage log
  • A log for your car maintenance
  • An art journal
  • A junk journal
  • A garden journal
  • A bird watching journal
  • A weather journal
  • A list of craft supplies that you have
  • A place to journal your dreams and goals
  • A meditative journal
  • A prayer journal

You can probably think of other ways to use these unique recycled projects.

Get Your Kids Involved

Cereal box journals are a fun project for your kids and you to do together. Help them create their own journals with the=ier own drawing and creative ideas. YOu can teach them how to recycle and create something special that will use and enjoy.

Getting Started-Your Cereal Box Options

Make it simple, go designer or somewhere in-between, You have plenty of options when it comes to creating cereal box journals

Make it simple, go designer or somewhere in-between, You have plenty of options when it comes to creating cereal box journals

There are just a couple of things to consider before you get started making your cereal box journal. Taking these few steps in advance of your project will make the project a lot easier and more successful.

1. Decide How To Use The Box

Take a look at the box or boxes that you may have. Decide if you are going to use just part of the box as a journal cover or three-quarters of the box as a complete journal.

If you decide to use the cereal box for the cardboard as a front and back cover, then more than likely your journal will be bound by using holes in the front and back cover. You will need other things like twine, ribbon or binder rings to secure your album.

If you decide to use 3/4 of the box, then your pages will more than likely be bound by using the spine (the space between the front and back cover) in a more traditional binding method.

2. Decide How Big Or Small You Want Your Journal To Be

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Then decide what size journal you would like to have. What dimensions do you want your journal to be? You decide if you want to use the entire box or part of the box. It's up to you!

No matter what size cereal box you are using, there are a few things to get you started.

  1. Dismantle the cereal box by separating the glued edges. Separate only one glued edge if you plan to use the entire box, pull apart both edges if you plan to only use the cardboard as a front and back as a cover.
  2. Lay the box out flat
  3. With a pencil and a ruler, mark the box to the size that you want your journal to be.
  4. Trim the top and the bottom off the box. Working on a cutting mat, with a craft knife and a ruler, trim the top and the bottom off the box
  5. Trim the box so that only the front, the back, and one side remain. It will look like a book cover.
  6. Cut the front and back panels if you are planning to use the cardboard pieces only.

You can also use a paper trimmer or a guillotine paper cutter to cut your box.

3. How Many Pages Would You Like Your Journal To Have?

Are you looking for a thin journal or something thicker? Making that choice makes a difference in binding and if you use the 3/4 box or just the front and back. You need to consider what might be the spine. So, a bigger box of cereal will give you the options for a larger journal.

4.How Are You Going To Treat The Cover of Your Journal?

Are you going to decoupage and collage, paint or use fabric? There are so many options when it comes to making a cereal box journal. The choice is yours but having a clear plan of what you would like to do will help you keep focused and get the materials you will need together.

5. What Is The Theme Of Your Cereal Box Journal?

Are you going to have a theme and use the journal more like a junk journal? Or are you going to use it as a journal where you write about your day? Or are you looking for something to jot down notes? Knowing what the use of your journal is will help you plan the overall design of your journal.

Best Trimmer For Your Papercrafts

Basic Supplies For Your Cereal Box Journal

There are just a few supplies that are needed to create cereal box journals. Beyond the basics, anything goes depending on what you plan to use your journal for.

Basic Supplies

  • Cereal Box: They come in different sizes, so just gather the ones you want to work with
  • Glue-You want a good PVA glue. Mod Podge is a good glue to use for decoupaging, and general gluing. If you are using fabric on your cover, you may want to use fabric glue.
  • Medium Wide Paint Brush or a foam brush-Used to spread glue
  • A Paper Trimmer-My personal favorite is a guillotine or rotary cut trimmer. They tend to cut cleaner. You need this to cut your cereal box as well as the paper you are planning to use for your journal ( a ruler and scissor would work, but a paper trimmer is faster and easier)
  • A Ruler -To measure with. ( can also double as a bone folder)
  • A Bone Folder-Used to make sharp creases in your paper. Can also be used to smooth materials on your covers
  • A Brayer-Can be used to spread paint or glue on your cardboard. Also is used to flatten paper or fabric onto your covers.
  • Hole Punch Or Awl-Used to make the holes for different kinds of bindings.
  • Paper- Copy paper can be used if you are planning to write lists in your journal. If you are planning to use a drawing or colored pencils, an 80lb cardstock should be fine. If you are planning water coloring, select a good watercolor paper. If you are junk journaling or planning any mixed media in jour journal, then use a mixed media paper or a cardstock of at least 110lbs.
  • Patterned Paper-Can be used on the outside of your journal as a cover as well as on the inside
  • Fabric-You can also use fabric for your cereal journal cover
  • Acrylic Paint-Another option for the cover of your journal
  • Acrylic Paint Brush -For acrylic paint covers

Optional Supplies

Here are a few supplies that I have found handy. All are reasonably priced and can be used later on for other projects.

  • Binder Clips-Hold things together on your cover when they are drying.
  • Gesso-Used to cover the print on the cereal box before you add paint or thinner fabrics. Not necessary to use if you are using paper covers.
  • Embroidery Floss-Used to sew binding in your journal

Creating A Cover For Your Cereal Box Journal

The cardboard for the covers of these journals is not especially pretty. So you may want to create a cover for your cereal box journal. It is a nice extra touch that adds color and design to your project.

  1. Cut a piece of decorative paper slightly larger than your cereal box. If the box is too large for the paper that you have on hand, tape two pieces of paper together with double-sided tape.
  2. Lay the paper flat on your work table
  3. Cover the outside of your cereal box ( the printed side) with a good even coat of Mod Podge.
  4. Lay the cereal box on top of the paper, leaving a 1-inch border of paper all around the box.
  5. Use a brayer or a rolling pin to flatten the cardboard onto the paper
  6. Cut a square wedge of paper from each corner
  7. Bring up the paper and make a crisp fold with a bone folder
  8. Add Mod Podge to the folded areas and apply to the cardboard.
  9. Do this all the way around your journal
  10. Allow to dry
  11. Measure the inside of your journal
  12. Cut pieces to fit the front, back, and spine
  13. Cover the inside of your journal with the paper with Mod Podge
  14. Use a brayer to make sure that the paper is firmly on
  15. Allow to dry
  16. Decorate the front of your journal and enjoy

Mod Podge-A Staple For Journal Making

Covering The Cereal Box

Unless you are creating a cereal box journal that actually uses the graphics for a cover, you will want to cover the box with your own creative custom designs.

One way to get the process going is to use used pages from a book that you may have on hand. Recycling is a responsible and cost-efficient way to get the job done.

  1. Trim the box to the size that you want your journal to be.
  2. Take the pages of the book and cut them down to 3 by 4 inch sizes.
  3. Apply Mod Podge or some other decoupage medium to the cardboard of your box.
  4. Lay the paper piece on the box.
  5. Make sure to apply glue to all the edges and seams of each piece of paper.
  6. Apply another coat of Mod Podge over the applied paper.
  7. Keep laying the paper side by side until the entire box is covered.
  8. Use a brayer to burnish (press) the paper onto the cardboard
  9. Make sure that the paper totally adheres to the paper.
  10. Do this on both sides of the journal cover.
  11. Lay the journal cover flat
  12. Cover both sides where the paper has been applied with a coat of white acrylic paint. Allow drying time.
  13. Randomly apply three different colors of acrylic paint lightly to the cover.
  14. Allow drying time.
  15. Take apart a decorative paper napkin. Set aside the printed part
  16. Decoupage prices of the white part of the napkin onto the cover with the decoupage medium after crumbling the paper.
  17. Completely cover the book cover both sides.
  18. Allow drying time
  19. Rip some fabric or some patterned paper into small squares.
  20. Arrange the squares on the front and back of the journal/
  21. When you are pleased with the results, glue them onto the cover with the Mod Podge.
  22. Then cover them with another coat of glue
  23. Allow drying time
  24. Trim off extra paper to create neat edges

More Cereal Box Cover Ideas

Dylusions Paints For Journal Covers

How To Treat The Inside Of Your Cereal Box Journal

There are many options when it comes to lining the inside of your junk journal cover. You can of course use fabric. It is however easier to work with paper, using paper means that all you will have to do is glue it in with a good adhesive.

For this part of your journal, You want to select some paper that will coordinate with the colors and patterns of your cover. You can use patterned paper. Just make sure that some of the colors that you used on the outside carry over into your inside as well.

Use one sheet for each side larger than the cover itself. This time, the sheet will start at 1/2 of the spine and go outward. Thus way the side of the spine will be covered as well.

  1. Cover the inside of either the right side or the left side of your journal with tacky glue. Make sure to do a line of glue right at the edge of the page all the way around including the spine, Make sure to use enough glue to cover the entire page.
  2. Use a glue brush or a paintbrush to spread the glue evenly over the entire page.
  3. Lay the paper down starting with the spine and move outward pressing it down with your fingers.
  4. Use a brayer or a bone folder to press the paper down on the surface of the journal.
  5. Do the same procedure on the other side.
  6. Set the project aside to dry

Simple Bookbinding

Use a simple hand stitch or use a sewing machine to bind the papers in your real box journal

Use a simple hand stitch or use a sewing machine to bind the papers in your real box journal

Bookbinding Ideas For Your Cereal Box Journal

Does bookbinding stop you from creating a cereal box journal? There are many easy options

Does bookbinding stop you from creating a cereal box journal? There are many easy options

There are a number of ways that you can bind the pages of your cereal box journal. Most of these are easy and require no special skills. Here are some of my favorites:

Staple The Pages

If your journal is thin enough staple the pages onto the spine. Make sure the pages are even.

Use Binder Rings

  1. Punch 3 holes in both pieces of cardboard.
  2. Punch your now 8.5″ x 5.5″ paper (after cutting 8.5″ x 11″ papers in half) and sandwich them between the from and back covers.
  3. Make sure to keep your paper flush with the hole-punched edge as well as centered between the top and bottom of the cardboard.
  4. Feed the rings through the pages and you are done

Hand Sew The Pages

  1. Lay the journal open.
  2. Make sure that the pages are all lined up equally.
  3. Use an awl to make holes down the center of the spine
  4. Use embroidery thread or binding thread and a blunt needle to sew the book together.

Machine Sew The Pages

  1. You use a simple stitch of your choice to bind the center of the pages to the spine of the book
  2. Once you have used a needle for bookbinding, mark the needle with a bit of nail polish and use it strickly for paper crafts.

The Perfect Binding Kit

Make A Fun Kids Journal

Here is an idea to make a fun journal for a kid or grandson

Here is an idea to make a fun journal for a kid or grandson

Create A Notebook With A Cereal Box

You can create a very useful notebook, using a cereal box as the cover. It is quick and easy. You can make them to use for yourself, as gifts, or to sell at craft shows or online.


  • Cardboard cereal box or other box cardboard
  • Paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Hole puncher
  • Patterned or solid cardstock
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Loose binder rings
  • Scissors or paper trimmer
  1. Cut two rectangles from a cereal box measuring 5.75 " by 8.75" or any dimension you would like to use.
  2. Using Mod Podge adhere a sheet of printed or solid cardstock on one side of the cardboard.
  3. Cover the same side with Mod Podge.
  4. Allow to dry
  5. Cut off any excess paper.
  6. Cover the other side with paper the same way
  7. Allow to dry
  8. Punch three holes on each piece of cardboard. Measure and mark the holes with a pencil so that they are in the exact same location.
  9. Cut pieces of 8.5" by 11" in half so that they measure 8.5" by 5.5"
  10. Punch holes in the paper to match the holes in your covers.
  11. Line the paper to the holes
  12. Use binder rings to hold you notebook together

Pocket Sized Cereal Box Journal

These little journals are handy to carry in a purse or as a travel journal. They are easy to make and most of the supplies, you probably have in your craft stash.


  • Cereal boxes
  • Printed scrapbook paper (or wrapping paper)
  • Plain paper
  • Stapler and staples
  • Scissor or paper cutter
  • Glue Stick
  • Ruler
  • Ribbon, decor or rubber stamps and ink pads
    1. Open cereal box along seam
    2. Cover: Measure & cut 7½” x 5¾” rectangle
    3. Pages: Measure & cut 5 sheets blank copy paper 7” x 5½”
    4. Fold in half, cover & pages (Tip: Fold each page individually for best results)
    5. Nest all pages together & staple twice along the center fold
    6. Glue decorative paper 2½” x 5¾” along the spine to hide staples
    7. Decorate! Draw! & Journal!

More Cereal Box Journal Tutorials

You Can Use The Front Of The Box AS Your Journal Cover


More Cereal Box Journal Ideas

  • Cereal Box Notebooks
    These notebooks are bound with a binding system. They are easier to make than you may think
  • Cereal Box Books and Journals
    Reuse sturdy cereal box cardboard to make pretty homemade journals or books. You sew eight pages inside each cover, then decorate the cover as desired.

Making Tabs For Your Cereal Box Journal

Refillable Cereal Box Journal

This refillable journal is so easy to make . Yoy can use irr over and over agian

This refillable journal is so easy to make . Yoy can use irr over and over agian

Make A Cereal Box Journal With A Sewing Machine

Another way to make a cereal box journal is to use a sewing machine to stitch the binding. Not to worry, this is a very basic stitch. You do not have to be a super sewer to use this technique


  • cereal box
  • paper (recycled or handmade would be even better)
  • thread
  • rounded corner punch
  • paper cutter
  • painter’s tape
  1. Cut cardboard box down to the desired size. I made mine 10”x7” (for a 5”x7” journal).
  2. Cut journal paper down to size as well. You might want to deduct 1/8” to make sure the paper folds nicely into the inside of the journal.
  3. Round corners with the corner punch.
  4. Score cereal box covers down the center until it folds crisply. I used a utensil knife and ruler to do this.
  5. Place cardboard (plain side up) on top of paper and tape together with painter’s tape.
  6. With sewing machine tension set to low, slowly stitch long stitches along the scored line.
  7. Fold over and place under a heavy book to press flat.
  8. Decorate the cover as desired

Embellishments For Your Cereal Box Journal

Mini Cereal Box Notebooks


These little notebooks are a perfect way to create your grocery lists and other notes that you may want to keep. They can be used as a travel journal and are very budget-friendly

  • Cereal box (1 cereal box makes 2 notebooks. You can also use cardboard, cardstock, or gift boxes)
  • Paper for the inside pages (I used 20 pieces of 8.5" x 11" computer paper, but you can also use lined or graph paper)
  • A piece of decorative paper (to cover the spine)
  • Scissors
  • Rule
  • Pen
  • Glue stick, tape runner, or double-sided tape
  • Needle and embroidery floss
  • Button
  1. Cut out the cereal box to create the cover for your notebook. I cut a 5.5" x 8" piece for mine, but you can make it as small or large as you wish.
  2. • Fold it in half so that the blank side is facing out.
  3. • Run embroidery floss through the needle and sew on the button to the front of the notebook. Leave about 20" of the thread hanging. This will be used to wrap around the notebook to close.
  4. • To cover the cereal box images, apply glue or tape to the inside of the notebook (make sure you get the corners!) and place a piece of paper on top to attach. Cut around the edges to remove any excess paper.
  5. • Grab your paper for the inside pages and trim them down so they are slightly smaller than the notebook (about 1/4" shorter on all sides).
  6. • With the needle and embroidery floss, stitch the paper to the notebook down the spine.
  7. • Apply glue or tape to your decorative paper and attach it to the spine of the notebook.
  8. • Optional: For a more finished look, cut rounded corners on all four edges of the notebook.

Mini Notebook

Use these mini notebooks to send kind and encouraging messages to family members

Use these mini notebooks to send kind and encouraging messages to family members

Cereal Box Junk Journals

Junk journals are one way that you can use cereal boxes

Junk journals are one way that you can use cereal boxes

If you are unfamiliar with junk journals, they are handcrafted journals that you make out of whatever you have available. They can be scrapbooks, planners, art journals, or just about anything that you want them to be. A junk journal is a place to record your thoughts, write down appointments, keep track of goals, and store memorabilia. The beauty of junk journals is how affordable they are to make. You probably have everything you need to create a gorgeous one-of-a-kind journal of your very own.

This junk journal is a 6" by 9" size

The type of paper you use is entirely up to you. It can be notebook paper, junk mail (hence the name “junk Journal”), old magazine pages, book pages, newspapers, wrapping paper, and printed paper. Anything is usable in the inexpensive world of junk journal paper crafting. You need about 10 to 15 pieces of paper that measure 11.5 inches long and 8.5 inches wide or less. This will be explained better as we go along.

The binding for this project is the twine or thread that you use. It is a very simple binding that anyone can do


  • 1 Cereal Box
  • Ruler/Tape Measure
  • Variety of Papers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • 15 inches of Thread/String/Yarn/Twine
  1. Open the cereal box along the seam so it lays flat on the crafting table.
  2. Cut the box to a 9-inch tall by 12-inch wide size.
  3. Choose two or more papers for the outside and inside cover of your junk journal.
  4. Glue the papers to the cover and allow to dry completely.
  5. Fold the cover in half so it measures 6 inches wide and 9 inches tall.
  6. Select 10 to 15 papers for the pages of your junk journal.
  7. Fold your chosen papers in half so they fit inside your cover.
  8. Slide the pages into the junk journal cover and adjust them in order.
  9. Cut down any papers that are sticking out from the edges of your cover.
  10. Lay the handcrafted book flat and open to the middle.
  11. Lay the string vertically in the middle of the junk journal and close the book.
  12. Pull the ends of the string tightly to the middle of the spine of the cover.
  13. Tie the string tightly in a square knot to secure the pages in the junk journal.
  14. Personalize your handcrafted junk journal any way you wish.

Index Card Cereal Box Journal

Simple Cereal Box Journal Idea

There are so many different ways to create cereal box journals. While many of these projects use similar supplies, the bindings to hold the journals together are often different. Here is another option that is so easy to create even if you have never bound a book before.


  • Cereal box
  • Scrapbook paper
  • White/lined paper
  • Glue
  • String
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  1. Peel open your cereal box and lay it flat on the table. You will notice two large panels. Use your scissors and cut out a large, flat panel of either the front or the back of the box. If you want to make more than one cereal box journal you can cut the flaps off of the other side as well and do them both at the same time.
  2. Just use the cereal box to measure and trace a line along the edge of the paper and use the scissors to cut off the excess edge. If you have a larger cereal box you might be able to skip this step.
  3. fold the cereal box in half, putting the graphics on the inside. Next you trim up your scrapbook paper and use it to decorate the spine. For this type of cereal box journal all you have to do is cut the scrapbook paper to fit along the spine and glue it in place. Use the fold along the middle of the cereal box to help keep your paper in the middle. Tip: press the scrapbook paper flat at first while gluing, then fold the journal in half and press it using a heavy book while the glue dries.
  4. Next, you punch the holes, first in your journal cover and then your filler pages. You can use a ruler to measure the distance from the edge, or just use the edge of the hole punch as a guide. Once you have the holes punched in your cereal box cover then flip it over and use those holes to punch the rest of the papers. That way everything will line up perfectly when you go to tie it together.
  5. For the last step you bind your cereal box journal together with some string. Stack the cover on the bottom and putt the filler paper on top, making sure the holes line up. Then start feeding the string through the back of the top hole. Pull it down the middle of your journal. Then push the string through the bottom hole. Then pull the string back up to the top hole and run it back down and through the bottom hole again. The string on this journal is tied at the top and the string is left long so it hangs down. That is it! Your cereal box journal is complete.

Other Cereal Box Projects

© 2021 Linda F Correa

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