DIY alphabet art with cereal boxes

March 1, 2017
Photos by Jonathan Fong

Walk into any home décor store these days and you’ll see that alphabet art is a big trend. There are big capital letters made of metal, wood, wire, plastic — and some even light up. But you can make your own alphabet artwork without spending much money by using upcycled cereal boxes. As if you needed an excuse to eat more cereal.


– Cereal box
– Blank piece of paper
– Black marker
– Paperweight (e.g. an old battery)
– Duct tape
– Construction paper
– Glue
– Old maps or other colorful paper


1. Trim a blank piece of paper so it is the same size as the front of the cereal box. Then draw a large letter of the alphabet on it so it touches the top and bottom edges. Cut out the letter on the paper and trace it on the front of the cereal box with a black marker. Then flip over the letter so it’s backward and trace it on the back of the cereal box. (For some letters, such as “A,” flipping it over isn’t as important because the letter looks the same either way. But letters such as “E” or “Z” are in reverse when you flip them over.)


2. Cut along the lines, but don’t cut out the letter from the top or bottom of the box, so that the front and back letters are connected. 


3. Tape a paperweight to the bottom of the letter, on the inside, with duct tape. An old battery works well. This will help the letter stand without tipping over.


4. Cover the open-ended sides of the letter with some construction paper. Measure the depth of the cereal box and cut paper strips that will overlap the sides. For example, if the box is 2 inches deep, then cut 3-inch strips — 2 inches to cover the sides and a half-inch tab on either side to wrap around the box. Cut the strips to fit each section of the letter, fold over the tabs and use glue to attach the tabs to the box. 


5. With the same letter template that you used to trace on the cereal box, trace the letter on an old map and cut out the letter. Flip over the letter template and trace on another old map so you have artwork for the back of the letter. (Of course, you can use any type of artwork you wish besides maps — the Sunday comics, comic books, wrapping paper, etc.)


6. Glue the map letters onto the front and back of the cereal box. The great thing about wrapping the sides first with construction paper is that the map letters don’t need to fit perfectly; the construction paper acts like a border. Display your alphabet art — no one will believe you made it out of an old cereal box.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Walls That Wow,” “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself  projects at jonathanfongstyle.com.

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