If you choose to follow the tutorial, you’ll go from this:


To this, a shippable box, in no time! (Well, in a small amount of time… 😉 )

As a seller on Etsy and an occasional bookseller on Half.com, I find myself shipping things on a regular basis. While I love selling my handmade goods and books, I really dislike buying shipping materials, because a) it adds to the cost and b) it adds waste. Usually if I receive something in a box or big envelope, via mail or otherwise, I try to salvage it by taking off the labels, or covering them up with white paper, or wrapping the entire box in brown grocery bag paper. Still, there are many times when I just don’t have the right sized box! I’m usually looking for smaller sized boxes that provide a little more strength and security than a bubble envelope.

A few weeks ago, my parents bought some bobbins for my sewing machine and my dad made the box (from a cereal box) to fit them in. He packed it with paper and wrapped it in brown paper.


That gave me the idea to make one of my own and write this tutorial. The how-to-make-a-shippable-box-from-your-grocery-shopping-trip-tutorial! You will need:

cereal box (or any rectangular box, graham crackers, ritzbitz, etc….can you tell what I’ve been snacking on lately???)
brown paper and tape (eventually)

Click below for tutorial!

For the sake of clarity, the front of the box will be referred to as “front”, the two sides as “side 1” and “side 2”, and the back as “back.” Very complex, as you can see! How big do you want your box to be? The depth (from the sides) and the width (from how wide the cereal box is) are already determined unless you do more cutting, so decide how “tall” you want it to be. I chose 4 inches. With a pencil or pen (I used pen so it would show up in the photos), measure 4 inches up on each of the four sides, starting from the bottom. Make a line to indicate it.


See my lines?


Now, we need to measure for making the closing flap. How wide is side 1 (or side 2)? On my cereal box, it is 2 1/4 inches.


We’ll call this measurement, “measurement A.” Whatever your measurement A is, you know the flap has to at least this amount, but I added 1/2 inch to it so that it has that folded down part on the flap at the end and can tuck into the box.


In my case, the entire flap needs to be 2 3/4 inches higher than the 4 inch mark I made, so make another mark at 6 3/4 inches ONLY on the front. (I hope that made sense)


We also want to make two little flaps coming off of side 1 and side 2, so measure 1.5 inches past the original 4-inch mark on side 1 and side 2. (That means, another mark 5.5 inches from the bottom of the box).


Nothing needs to be done to the back.

Now, it’s time to cut out our box shape! In general, you will be cutting along the lines that are the highest on each of the four sides. Start by cutting into the top of the box like this (the left side of the box when it’s standing up):


When you hit that top mark on the front of the box, cut across the front like this:


When you get to the other side (side 1 or 2) cut down until you hit the top marking.


Cut across side 1 (or side 2) till you hit the back.


Cut down the back of the box until you hit its top mark (the original 4 inches mark).


Cut all the way across the back.


When you reach the other side (1 or 2), then cut upwards till you hit the top mark.


Cut across that side and then upwards and your on-its-way box should break away from its mother cereal box!


It should look a little like this.


Now, you’re almost done. You probably notice that the side flaps are still attached to the main flap. Snip down each side so that they are separate.



Crease and fold down the two flaps.


Crease and fold down the main flap in the same way.


With the little bit of flap that hangs over, crease and fold down. This is the part that will get tucked in. If it doesn’t fit in, cut a little bit off diagonally from the two corners.


When you tuck it in, it’ll look like this!

(When you pack up your items to be shipped, I would tape the flap closed before wrapping it with some brown grocery bag paper).


Tada! You just made a box, and if you used Frosted Mini-Wheats, like I did, your box might have a cute picture of Shrek at the bottom!