How to Recycle a Cereal Box (Or Any Other Cardboard!) Into a Notebook

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I recycle, but before that, I like to reuse as many things as possible.  Cereal boxes and other food boxes are great fodder for crafting because they are brightly-colored with interesting graphics, and they are quite plentiful; it seems like nearly everything non-liquid comes in a box!

You will need:

*  A cereal box, other interesting box, vinyl album cover, or any other cardboard
*  Paper (lined or unlined)
*  Paper cutter or straight edge and an x-acto knife
*  Ruler
*  Access to a binding machine

1.  Decide which portion of the front of the box you want to be the cover.  Measure and trim the front cover, taking care to keep the edges straight and the corners square.

2.  To determine where you will cut on the back of the box, use the piece you just cut out of the front as a size reference.  You can figure out where to trim the back cover without missing any interesting words or graphics.  Once you know where to cut, trim the back cover, again taking care with the edges and corners.

3.  Trim your filler paper to the same size as your covers.  Before binding, line up all of the pieces and be sure that you are satisfied with all of your edges and cuts.

4.  Now it is time to bind your notebook.  If you don’t have your own binding machine, you do have several options.  If you have any friends who work at schools, inquire about their access to the equipment; schools usually have one.  If you don’t know anyone personally who can access one, take your project to your local copy shop.  They will be happy to bind it for you!

5.  Take your finished notebook to school, use it as a journal, jot down your shopping list in it, or give it to a friend!  (They make great gifts!!)

*  Look for filler paper on sale in the fall for back-to-school, or check discount stores.  I buy mine from a closeout store called the Bargain Barn!

*  As an alternative to traditional binding, you can also punch a series of holes along the edge of the covers and pages and use binding rings or plastic wire ties to hold everything together.

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