Turn a cereal box and old map into a magazine holder! I have made a bunch of these, and they cost me next to nothing – just some Mod Podge!
Let’s get started! This is a really easy project. I put in just about every possible step, but don’t get intimidated. My 8-year-old daughter helped me, so if she can do it, so can you!
Here are the supplies you’ll need:
- empty cereal box
- old map
- ruler (I suggest a yard stick)
- pen or marker
- Mod Podge (affiliate link)
Step 1: Cut the Cereal Box
Using the ruler, mark the front of the box and draw a line across it. be sure that the line extends to the sides just a bit. It doesn’t really matter exactly where you make this line, but if you plan to display several together with the short side showing, you’ll want to measure so that they’re the same height – if you care about that (I don’t).
Use the ruler to make a line from the top corner to your mark. It’s easier if you extended the line on the front to just around the corner. Make this line on both sides of the cereal box.
Grab those scissors and cut! I like to cut off the top flaps first, then start at one corner, cut to the middle, cut across the front, then back up to the other corner.
Step 2: Measure the Map
There are a few variations on how to measure the map, depending on how you want the final product top look. I used a specific location on the map and had that showing on the short side, so that the magazines will be visible. If you want to turn the magazine holder so that the long side is visible, hiding the magazines, then you might want to have a specific location visible on the long side.
I am using the Outer Banks in North Carolina (a place where we live to vacation) on the short side. On this map, that is on the edge. Farther down I also show you how to measure if the location is in the middle. It’s really your preference.
Open the map with the side that will be displayed facing up.
Place the cereal box so that the location you want to feature is centered on the front of the box (whichever side you determine is the front).
Place the cereal box on it’s side. Using your ruler, mark a few inches below the bottom of your box – basically the same way you would wrap a present. The mark shouldn’t be as wide as the bottom of the box, but big enough to cover more than half of it. On the top, use your ruler to mark 1-2 inches above the top of the box.
Flip your box on the map so that you know how long it should be, and use the ruler to mark the sides, making sure you leave enough extra to overlap.
You should have a big rectangle drawn on your map.
Set your cereal box aside, and cut it out, cutting on the inside of the marker, so that it doesn’t show (not essential, but it’s cleaner this way).
This is how it looks cut out, when the front is in the middle of the map.
Step 3: Mod Podge the Map on the Box
Now it’s time to get a little messy! Grab your mod podge and brush. Flip the map over, so that the good side is facing down, and place your cereal box so that the location is on the front in the right spot. Place the cereal box on its side and wrap the map up over the front, checking to make sure the location is properly centered (I used the brush to mark the top of the cereal box on this side for your reference). Once you are satisfied, it’s time to glue.
Cover the front of your box with Mod Podge, being sure to get the corners too. Then mod podge the map where you will be placing the box.
Front on edge of map:
Front in middle of map:
Wrap the map up around the box, smoothing the map as you attach it to the box.
Pick one side, and cover it with Mod Podge. Placing the front of the box – which already has the map attached – face down on the table, and cover the map that you will be attaching to the side with Mod Podge.
Place the cereal box on the non-Mod Podges side, then wrap the map around and onto the box, smoothing it with your hand as you go.
Depending on where your map ends, continue to use Mod Podge and cover the back or side of the map. You want to leave the side where the ends will meet for last.
Where the ends meet, wrap the map to see how it looks before you apply the Mod Podge.
Decide which end will be on top, and trim if needed.
Usually this area isn’t very noticeable because of how busy maps are. Once you are satisfied with how it will look, apply Mod Podge to the box, then the map, and wrap it. Then apply Mod Podge the the area where the one end will overlap the other, and press the edge down.
Step 4: Trim the Map
From the top of the box (the long end), trim down the side of the map so that there is 1-2 inches of map left. Cut down the side, across the front, then up the other side.
Make a cut down on the corners on the top, cutting to about 1/4 of an inch from the box. This will make it easier to wrap the map.
On the top of the box, apply Mod Podge to the inside, enough to cover where the map will be placed, and also apply Mod Podge to the back of the map. Fold the map over the edge and press, smoothing it and the corners out.
Do the same on the other side, and then each long side.
The bottom will be wrapped like the end of a gift.
Apply Mod Podge to the short end of the the cardboard, enough to cover where the map will be placed, and apply it to the back of the map, including the corners and enough of the long side to hold the maps together when they meet. Fold the corner down, pressing the side pieces together and making a nice crease. Do the same for the other side.
Where the ends meet, be sure to apply mod podge and fold the map over.
Apply Mod Podge on the entire bottom (including over the map you’ve just added) and on the back of the map, then fold each side down.
Step 5: Mod Podge the Magazine Holder
You’re almost done! Now you will need to cover the entire box with Mod Podge to protect it. I like to start on the front where the location was placed, then do the back, then the bottom. This way, you can hold the box on the sides as you go.
Then cover one side, and then the other, putting your hand inside the box. Set it aside to dry – I placed mine on an upside-down plastic bowl so that the bottom didn’t stick to anything. You could also wait for all of the sides but one to dry, then cover that side last.
Step 6: Admire Your New Magazine Holder!
Once your magazine holder has dried, you can put it to work! Everyone will marvel at how great it looks on your shelf, and if you’ve used a specific location, they’re sure to notice that too. If you have a series, imagine all of the fun places you can feature!
My family goes through a good amount of cereal, so I was very happy to upcycle the boxes into something useful. I lucked out at a yard sale and got a bag of old road maps. Some of them have writing on them, but most of them don’t. I spent $5 on about 50 maps, plus an atlas! You probably have a few maps around the house – or ask your parents! The maps I found were mostly from AAA – when people would go there to get a map for their vacation.
If you need some Mod Podge, here’s some handy links. These are affiliate link, so I get a percentage when a sale is made through these. I’ve included a few different types.
I would love to see your creations!