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Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks a Step by Step DIY

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I am still a fan of pen and paper when it comes to taking notes, making lists, and sketching out my crafty ideas. So, I usually have at least two mini notebooks in my purse at all times. I am also very picky when it comes to choosing the perfect notebook, and for those of you who are like me, I've got a solution for you! Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks created with some of my favorite decorative papers and fun buttons to create the perfect mini sketchbook to suit my style.

Four notebooks made from a recycled cereal box with colorful patterned paper and buttons #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

Create Mini Notebooks with a Recycled Cereal Box

Four notebooks made from a recycled cereal box with colorful patterned paper and buttons #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

Team Creative Crafts – Recycled Edition

This week I am co-hosting Creative Crafts – Recycled Edition with my crafty friends Laura from Me and My Inklings and Lindsay from Artsy Fartsy Mama. Featuring recycled craft projects each day this week from some of the most talented designers we know. Check out my tutorial, then scroll to the bottom to see all the creativity AND stop back each day this week to what we recycle!

Team Creative Crafts with Creatively Beth Laura Kelly Designs Artsy Fartsy Mama #teamcreativecrafts #creativelybeth #artsyfartsymama #laurakellydesigns

This post, Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks, contains affiliate links. Using links to these sites means I will earn a percentage of the purchase at no extra cost to you.

Here's what you need to create mini-books from recycled cardboard:

Materials needed to create Four notebooks made from a recycled cereal box with colorful patterned paper and buttons #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

How to Create Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks:



To begin the recycled cereal box notebook, cut out the front and back panels of the cereal box to create the covers for your notebooks. I cut four covers 7″ x 5 1/2″ for mine, but you can make yours as small or large as you wish.

Four notebook covers seven inches by five and one half inches #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

Score and fold the cover in half so that the blank side is facing out.

Score cardboard notebook covers with a bone folder and ruler #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

Thread 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. To make the sewing easier, pierce holes with an awl.

Sew a colorful button onto the front cover with a needle and embroidery floss #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

To cover the images on the cereal box, apply Xtreme Permanent Adhesive to the inside of the notebook (make sure you get the corners!) and place a piece of decorative paper on top. Cut around the edges to remove any excess paper.

Attach decorative paper to the printed side of the recycled cereal box #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled


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). My pages are 6 3/4″ by 5 1/4″. I used dot grid paper, but you could use plain, lined, or graph paper.

Cut inside pages of notebook one half inch smaller than cover #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

Fold the papers in half and stack 24 pages together to create the inside of the notebook.

Fold all inside pages of notebook in half #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

Secure the inside pages to the cover with binder clips. Create holes along the spine with an awl.

Secure inside pages to recycled notebook cover with four binder clips #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

With the needle and embroidery floss, stitch the paper to the notebook up and down the spine. Securing each end with knots.

Pierce holes along spine of recycled cereal box notebook and secure pages to cover with embroidery floss #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled


Apply Xtreme Permanent Adhesive to the decorative paper and attach it to the spine of the notebook. Mine measures 3″ by 5 1/2″ and matches the paper on the inside of the cover.

Cover spine of notebook with decorative paper and an adhesive runner #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

To finish the recycled cereal box notebook, tie a knot at the end of the floss. Wrap the 20″ length of embroidery floss around the notebook and then around the button to secure.

Four notebooks made from a recycled cereal box with colorful patterned paper and buttons #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

These were so easy and fun to make, I ended up making four…one for me and three for you, my friends. Just leave a comment below and I will select three lucky winners to send a Recycled Cereal Box Notebook and some crafty swag.

Four notebooks made from a recycled cereal box with colorful patterned paper and buttons #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled
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Now it's time for some INSPIRATION!

Below are even more upcycled and recycled projects created by some of my craftiest designer friends. We are participating in the Creative Crafts – RECYCLED Edition. Scroll down to see all the goodness. Stop back by each day this week for all the super cool projects!

First up is our host Laura with Me and My Inklings. She created a Sewing Kit from a Mason Jar – so clever!

Natalie with Doodlecraft created a stunning Recycled Hanging Scroll Art Frame

Chelly with We Can Make That upcycled a Vintage Picture Frame for Summer

Erica from 5 Little Monsters created an adorable Art Apron from Recycled Jeans!

Grab some “treasures” from your recycling bin and make your own personalized, budget-friendly pocket journal out of a cereal box.

Four notebooks made from a recycled cereal box with colorful patterned paper and buttons #creativelybeth #recycled #crafts #notebooks #journals #upcycled

Sharing is Caring! If you LOVE it, Please PIN it!

Too busy to make these Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks right now? Pin it for later!  I'd love for you to pin this project to your favorite craft board on Pinterest and then it’ll be waiting for you when you’re ready.

Today is day three! So, stop back by each day this week for more inspiration. And check out the Day One Projects and Day Two Projects! The round-up of 31 of the BEST Recycled Crafts and Upcycled Inspiration click the link and save the pin!

A collage of the 31 of the best recycled and upcycled crafts Creatively Beth #creativelybeth #recycledcrafts #upcycledcrafts #roundup

Thanks for stopping by!

26 thoughts on “Recycled Cereal Box Notebooks a Step by Step DIY

  • These are absolutely adorable! I cannot wait to make one! Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks Caitlin! And they were super easy! 🙂

  • I’m a pen and paper gal too and these are absolutely adorable! Love how bright and cheery they are.

    • Thanks, Pamela! They were super easy too!

  • Oh, those are just so cute! I love little notebooks, and those are great!

    • I’ve featured this today at the TFT link party. 🙂

  • Cute craft for the kiddos! I have been looking for something for them to do, and they write on everything, so this is great! Thanks for sharing!

    • Super easy to complete with the kiddos!

  • I am so glad to have found you through Handmade Monday. I loved your detailed tutorial. These look so pretty.

    • Thank you very much! 🙂

    • THANKS! 🙂

  • How spooky, I’ve made similar note books myself just the other day! I’ve not scheduled mine to share on my blog until later this month. Would it be ok with you if I include a link to yours on my post when I’m ready to go as a slightly different alternative way of making them? Great minds think alike, yours are lovely.

    • Absolutely, Julie! I’d love to link yours back to mine as well. Great minds think alike! 🙂

  • The little notebooks are so cute! I want to make some for my nieces and for my friends for little gifts. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks, Ann! And they are easy with limited supplies needed!

  • My granddaughters would absolutely love making these notebooks. (So would I!) I haven’t seen such pretty contact paper before. I’m. going to have to go see if I can find some! (Or maybe order it online . . .)

    I’m going to feature this, too, at our link party that starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. on my Grandma Ideas site.

    I’m so glad you share your wonderful ideas with us! You are so creative!

    • Thank you Nina! So easy to make with decorative scrapbook paper!

  • I understand what you mean so well. I still have paper and pen with me at all times. These are such a great idea and a great way to recycle something. Thanks so much for sharing this week. #HomeMattersParty

    • Thank you, Donna, for hosting!

  • Well, this was pretty much a genius project! I positively love how they can be so easily customized to suit! Cute and function wins big time in my book!

    I’ve featured this project this weekend on DIY Salvaged Junk Projects 536. Thanks for linking up!

    • Thanks a BUNCH for the feature, Donna! 🙂

  • Pingback: Pink and Green Linky Party-Spring Decor and Recipe - Karins Kottage

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