Easy DIY Magazine Holders Made From Cereal Boxes!

4 Materials
1 Hour

I’ve been on an organizing kick lately and one thing that makes things look neater to me is to get them tucked away out of site. Which is why I decided to upcycle some cereal boxes and leftover wallpaper to make my own DIY Magazine Holders.

Materials Used – DIY Magazine Holders:

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff
  • Empty Cereal Box (you can also use larger cardboard boxes – I tried it with the cardboard box from a duplo set – see below)
  • Scissors or a Craft Knife
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Contact Paper and/or Wallpaper
  • Clear wide packing tape

Note: there is a video tutorial and a printable set of instructions at the bottom of this post if you prefer!

Will a Magazine Holder made from a Cereal Box be sturdy enough?

This was the question I asked myself before I started.

The answer is yes but only if it is propped between more magazine holders, books or the side of your book shelf.

Standing on its own, especially if you fill it with something heavy it might tip over. So I wouldn’t use a cereal box for a standalone file on a desk for example.

For a sturdier, standalone version I also made a double magazine file out of a Cardboard Box from a Duplo toy set – see below for that one. Exactly the same method was used to make it, I just decorated it differently.

Step 1: Measure out your Magazine Holder Shape

First, take your ruler and on one of the skinny sides of your cereal box measure up 4.5″ – then draw a straight line across.

Next, set your ruler on the front or back of your cereal box and draw a line from the top corner of the box to the end of the line you just drew on the skinny side.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Draw the same line on the opposite side of your cereal box.

Step 2: Cut your cereal box

Now use a sharp pair of paper scissors or a craft knife to cut away everything above the lines you drew in Step 1.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Once you have your box cut you essentially have a magazine holder file.

All you need to do now is decorate it!

Step 3: Decorate your Magazine Holder

You can be as creative as you like with this but here is what I did.

First I decided where I would use my magazine holders and what way they would sit on the shelf. For the ones I made out of cereal boxes I decided that only the spines would be visible on my shelf so that is where I focused for decoration.

Cover the magazine holder first

I took some sticky back white label paper (the kind that is all one sheet – like for a big shipping label) and covered the whole of the outside of the cereal box with it.

If you have pretty patterned contact paper the principle is the same except that you would cut it to size for the sides of your box.

Note: If you use white paper like I did all over you will likely be able to see the cereal box colours through it (see photo above where you can clearly see ‘shreddies’) so only do it this way if you also just want to display the spines.

Decorate the Spines

Once I had it covered in white I decorated the spines of the magazine holders with leftover wallpaper from another project.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

I put the wallpaper on with wide clear packing tape but you could also use Mod Podge.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Below is another version of this magazine holder that I did with the cardboard box from a Duplo Toy Set my son got for Christmas.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff
Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

For that one I covered more of the file in wallpaper because I wanted to put it on my shelf facing sideways.

Add Labels

I found pretty font on my computer and typed out some labels. I just spaced them out on a plain piece of printer paper and cut them out.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

Then I used my wide clear packaging tape again to attach the labels to the spines of my files.

Because I already attached the wallpaper with tape and I am putting tape on tape for the label it will be easier for me to take off the label in future if I want to switch it up. It shouldn’t effect the wallpaper underneath as the tape will protect it.

Finished Magazine Holders from Cereal Boxes! (and a Duplo Box)

I’m using two of my Magazine Holders made from cereal boxes on my ‘sewing dresser’ to hold templates and bag patterns. I have another cereal box file next to my printer for my paper.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

The box from the Duplo toy made a double sized magazine holder essentially and it is also on my sewing dresser. I’m using it for quilt magazines and other bits and pieces.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

The wallpaper I used for the double magazine file is the same one I used to makeover my plastic storage boxes.

Photo: Upcycle My Stuff

If you liked this project and you want more upcycled organizing ideas check out my full sewing room/home office makeover here.

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

Add A Hint Of Farmhouse Style In Your Home With These Ideas
15 Cute Ways To Decorate Tin Cans Into Planters
31 Brilliant Ways To Repurpose Everyday Items Into Perfect Organizers
24 Update Ideas To Make Your Kitchen Look Fabulous
Hide Your Couch's Wear and Tear With These Great Ideas
15 Pieces Of Furniture That DIYers Built From Scratch
30 Adorable DIY Ideas For July 4th
Kristen Hubert

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Marianne Kramer
    Marianne Kramer
    7 days ago

    What does the inside of the box look like and where are the seams of the paper? I'm thinking that when you put the paper on the box sides if you continue to the inside of the box...the pattern would be crooked!???

    I do like the idea! I'm one who needs more details...please!? :)

Join the conversation

2 of 5 comments
  • Elizabeth Haire
    Elizabeth Haire
    on Mar 14, 2021

    Like the neatness of your organization and the creative use of "trash" boxes. I'm collecting those kinds of boxes for the same purpose-organization of my chaos😊

  • Linda Aman
    Linda Aman
    on Mar 15, 2021

    Been doing this for years. They actually hold up very well. I like the idea of printing out labels.

Your comment...