You and a child or two or three can do a project that recycles old cereal boxes and turns them into book holders. (MCT)
Kids enjoy crafting, and what better way to spend some time with them than to craft and recycle at the same time. Well, this great kid’s book holder will give you the opportunity to do both.
The materials required for this should be materials that you have around the house — that’s how we make it a recycling project. You can cover the cereal boxes with wallpaper, as I have done, or gift wrap would work. Brown paper grocery bags, shopping bags, even newspaper or magazines and old posters could be interesting, too.
■Wrapping paper/wallpaper scraps
■Books to store
I’ve already mentioned the options for wrapping material, but I should say something about the adhesive. I used a spray adhesive that would be very difficult for a child to work with and not at all recommended. I do believe that simple white school glue would work fine and you may have to re-enforce with a piece of tape here or there.
1. Start by placing one of the books you wish to store even with the bottom of the cereal box and make a mark about ¼ inch higher than the book.
2. Draw this line all the way around the cereal box and then cut along the line removing the top portion of the box.
3. To create the angle, measure along the top edge of the box — over 2½ inches — and make a mark. Do the same directly behind it on the back of the box.
4. Then, from the bottom right corner of the box, measure up 3 inches and draw a line on an angle that connects the top mark with the bottom mark. Repeat on the back of the cereal box, as well.
5. Join the two lines at the bottom by connecting them across the side of the box.
6. Then, cut along the lines you’ve drawn.
Now it’s time to cover it!
7. Measure around the entire box, adding an inch overlap for the width. For the height, measure the height of the box, multiply by two, and then add a little over half of the width of the bottom. Whatever your measurements are, draw them out on your paper and cut out the rectangle.
8. Now is when I would take the box outside and spray it with adhesive. Or, as I said earlier, I highly recommend using white school glue instead. The spray was fast, but toxic to breathe and areas where the paper overlapped didn’t stick as well as I would have liked.
9. I drew a line on the paper where I wanted the base of the box to be. Then I marked the middle of the paper so I knew where to place the box so the seam would be on the side panel that would now be the back of the book holder.
10. Place the front of the book holder centered on your half mark on the paper and wrap the paper toward you and toward the back of the book holder. Use glue to keep the overlap in place.
11. Fold excess paper at the bottom like a gift package and glue or tape in place.
12. OK, on this one I need you to do as I say, not as I did. I didn’t leave enough paper at the top to fold it over and completely cover the inside of the box. I really think it will look nicer if the entire inside is covered. So fold over your excess and glue and tape it, cut off the excess and form fit it to the inside of the book holder.
The final step is to let your child place their favorite books inside. What is nice about youth readers is that they are rather thin, so you can probably fit quite a few in one cereal box. We were able to fit entire sets in ours.
Shari Hiller and Matt Fox are best-known for HGTV’s “Room by Room.” They now host the PBS television series “Around the House With Matt and Shari.” Visit them at mattandshari.com.