SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Monday, August 16, 2010

Repurposed Boxes: Notebook Fun | Family Economics

By Cathe

Who wouldn’t love to find a happy little note from someone special tucked among their socks in a drawer, or in the pocket of the jeans they pull on in the morning. Create a new family tradition of leaving thoughtful mementos for one another with simple little repurposed food box notebooks.

The supplies needed for making these little notebooks are:


• Colorful cardboard boxes, such as cereal, cracker or other lightweight product boxes from your recycling bin
• Office paper
• Rubber bands
• Golf pencils (optional) found at the office supply store
• Stapler
• Scissors or craft knife
• Cutting board

finished notebook

How to Make:
1. Cut out box sections for covers and paper to 2 inch x 4 inch pieces. 
2. Draw score lines on the cardboard for easier folding by running a straight line down center of the back side with a ball point pen.
3. Fold sets of six paper pieces together in half and line up with the cardboard cover.
4. Slide the stack into the stapler and staple the fold.
5. Fold the notebook in half, add a pencil and secure with a rubber band.

keep a bowl of them

Keep a bowl of little notebooks for reciprocating kind words to one another in a place where anyone can access them. Write a positive little note to someone in one of the notebooks and tuck it somewhere they will easily find it by surprise. Try a place they have access to daily, such as a jacket pocket, school backpack, under their pillow, in their toothbrush drawer, etc. You can also add your name and their name to the cover, keeping messages just between the two of you. Then, keep an eye out for a returned notebook in unexpected places!

33 Comments so far

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On Monday, May 26, 2014, lou wrote

i really like the idea but i dont think i would beable to make them

On Saturday, July 30, 2011, Chandni from Louisville wrote

recycled notebooks are great idea because it helps save our environment and I think they look really cool. And it saves our trees, energy and money.

On Tuesday, October 26, 2010, Butt Cheese wrote

Wow this is a great idea. We don't use cereal boxes but I'm sure it would work well with other boxes. These would make adorable stocking stuffers.

On Thursday, September 9, 2010, KateB from MD wrote

I tried my hand at them for a blog hop that I am getting ready to post about in 2 days ...linked credit back to Cathe and this blog. Thanks for such a great idea-hope I did it some justice; you'll have to check it out on Friday.">  

On Monday, August 23, 2010, Stephanie wrote

I tried this with some greeting cards I received after some recent surgery. Very cute!!!! Thanks for the idea!

On Sunday, August 22, 2010, Che wrote

all i eat is cereal! so i definitely need something to do with the 300 cereal boxes that have collected in my kitchen cupboards!

On Saturday, August 21, 2010, Laura in Tucson wrote

You NEVER cease to amaze me! So fun!

On Saturday, August 21, 2010, Lowbudget wrote

I love this idea. I used cereal boxes for bookmarks I made to put in goodie bags for my son's birthday party. I will definately be using them again for this project. Thanks for the idea!

On Friday, August 20, 2010, Jill wrote

Cute idea--love that there are photos with it!

On Friday, August 20, 2010, tidbitsoftandem wrote

I've been keeping the leftover "Pick of the Week" cards from Starbucks. We use them as bookmarks mostly, but they'd be perfect for this project!

On Thursday, August 19, 2010, Don Cruse from Arkansas wrote

Great for my grandchildren. Easy and simple. Thanks for the idea.

On Wednesday, August 18, 2010, Amber Tiede wrote

Love this...i am defenettily going to try this one!

On Wednesday, August 18, 2010, Helen wrote

Would be fab using old postcards too!!

On Wednesday, August 18, 2010, Michelle S Mathey - POMI wrote

What a super idea - I can't wait to try it!

On Wednesday, August 18, 2010, Kate Blue wrote

am gonna make some of these when I return home...don't have many cereal boxes but maybe oatmeal :) will link back to your blog/this link for credit of course :) better than my regular old post it note in the lunchbox :) KateB

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Netti wrote

My daughters high school often does notes of affirmation between the students... this is a fun idea for that purpose! Thanks!

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Kariane from Alaska wrote

These are so great! I think I'll save this for my daughter's class Valentines. She could add the first little note inside. Maybe with a little red pencil... You never cease to amaze me with your creative eye!

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, amy wrote

i really love this idea. my husband travels frequently so i sit down with our kids and have them fill a couple pages in his "passport" (it's really an old moleskin) with love notes and pictures before each trip and we stick it in his suitcase as a "surprise." they love the idea of it being a surprise anyway...we love the idea of looking through this notebook in ten years and beyond when they all start heading off to college. i think we'll have to return the favor for them then :).

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Momma Mindy wrote

I love this idea! We need simple and useful crafts to use for Daily Vacation Bible School. This would be such a great fit. Thank you for the wonderful idea.

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, aldean from Carpinteria wrote

Fabulous idea! I'm making a stack of them right NOW. Thanks

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Lea from UK http://fascinatingdistraction.blogspot wrote

I love this Idea. when I have kids this is a must

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Aurora wrote

This is a wonderful idea! I am going to make a ton of these and keep them around for embellishing gifts and stuff! I think they would be so much fun for Christmas!! Thanks for sharing!

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Marsha's Mpressions wrote

Such a cute and economical idea!

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, kimg from utah wrote

i love them! cereal boxes are so colorful and bright. perfect for this! thanks for the idea!

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, gayle from sag harbor, ny wrote

what a great idea! I love this and will put make a bowl full this afternoon. Thanks for sharing

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, K wrote

I love this idea!! I always pause when throwing out another empty cereal box. My family goes through them quite rapidly, and it always seems like a waste. Thanks for the recycling creativity.

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Debbie from North Bay, Ontario in Canada wrote

Love this idea!!!!! The fun is in finding the boxes of your favorite cereal, and sometimes in dollar stores and such you can find cereals that you grew up with that aren't sold in the massive grocery stores....or those small individual size many ways to do this. I think I've even picked up some reproductions of cereal boxes from my era in the form of notecards from Micheal's that I could use here....thanks so much for this idea. While we are the reigning champs when it comes to recycling it's nice to know that even our family of teens and young adults can find ways to reuse what we now just toss in our Blue Box. Sadly gone are the sunday afternoon craft sessions, but then again these adults and teens still need things like this for their own personal spaces....your page, blog, freebies are awesome!!! Just cleared out my computer of saved items, now I'm afraid it may be full again after finding you!!! lol

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Mosaic Magpie wrote

Cute Idea and could be made larger for a purse notebook, or to keep in the car. Thank you! Debbie

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Jenn Post wrote

what a cute idea! I love this for lil favor ideas or even a welcome gift for my DD's new classmates, maybe with a min box of crayons? thanks! love your JSIM blog!

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, Tammy from Q8 wrote

I already use cereal and other boxes for gift totes and tags, but this is another great way to recycle! These would be perfect as cute little teacher gifts for kindergarten students. Thanks for sharing! :)

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, s'mee from wrote

I love these! Cereal boxes! I have made similar ones using paint chip samples, but never thought to add a pencil. Great idea! We tuck them in purses, suit coat pockets and even Christmas stockings!

On Tuesday, August 17, 2010, wrote

lovely idea! what a fun way to brighten up someone's day, and it looks cute sitting on a counter too!


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