Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2nd Life 4 Cereal Packaging

Reuse and repurpose your cereal packaging. Reuse the bags. Create stick fans and make campaign sings with the box fronts and backs.

About a year ago, I wrote about cold cereals. I mentioned I would return to talking about cereals, but regarding packaging. Most cereals come in waxy bags inside rectangular boxes. (Malt-O-Meal bagged cereal doesn't apply.)

Two re-uses for the packaging are bags for food storage and stick fan signs. The stick fans are especially timely for upcoming warm weather and this year's elections. The pixstrip shows the two main uses—food storage (bags), and message stick fans (box fronts and backs).

Food Storage

I don't save and use every cereal bag that I run across. And my usage is usually for some items that I freeze, mostly meats. I use bags of the cereals that are fairly flavor-neutral. These cereals tend to be unsweetened, nearly unsweetened, and free of gumminess or candy stickiness. I parcel servings so that the papers separate portions, whether for single or double servings. This usage is especially good for raw meat for easy defrost later.

If I cut and cook meat for stir-frying, after I cook and cool the meat, I parcel it into maybe one-pound packages, flatten each, fold over the tops, and freeze for a few hours. The flat shape freezes the cooked meat fast. And I can break up the layers into convenient portions for making my own microwave meals with other ingredients. Or I gather up the newly frozen bags and store them all into a Ziploc bag.

Stick Fan Signs

I put most cereal boxes in the recycle bucket these days because I eat way more cereal than I have reasons to make signs for. I share the information for reusers and repruposers who have not thought about another use for the boxes. Use fronts and backs for making campaign stick fans or I'm-here signs. At some events, you can use signs that serve both purposes.

The series of images in the second row of my pixstrip shows a progression of steps. You need a cereal box, something to cut it with (paper cutter recommended), craft sticks that are available at craft stores, stapler and staples, and sheets of paper with slogans.

  1. Open up the cereal box. Trim as indicated—folded in half, tops and bottoms trimmed, sides trimmed.
  2. Place a craft stick at each panel and staple twice. (Try different boxes for size. Rotate for landscape orientation.)
  3. Create and print out slogans. Staple sheets onto the stick fans.

Tip: By cutting a tall cereal box in half along the width, you can make two smaller landscape signs.

You can also use snack food boxes for making signs. Think cheese crackers and boxed cookies. Happy signing!

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