Monday, October 8, 2012

No! Not the Cereal...Boxes!

Have you ever seen the sets of bare wood blocks on daily deal sites? Have you ever made a sign or decoration using wood blocks? I have, too...but new wood was not really in my budget for Halloween decorating this year, and I have not scrap wood because I'm living in a rental over 2000 miles away from home. What's a girl to do?

 A couple of weeks ago, I showed you a little bit of this project...a bunch of single-serving cereal (and other assorted) boxes being wrapped up in packing paper. I used the cereal boxes to make faux wood blocks for a Halloween sign...since we are only here temporarily, I needed something that didn't cost a ton of money and that I would not shed a tear over if I had to throw it away.

Faux wood blocks were the answer. First, I love how inexpensive the box is-I already buy food, thus I have a steady stream of food packaging (boxes). Second, I thought about painting, but I was worried the boxes would get soggy-covering them with packing paper is less messy and cheaper than covering them in, say, scrapbook paper. Also, I can customize them to my current holiday needs.

Oh, and Widget could help me along the way. I didn't need to worry about big huge messes, and she got to craft. Win/Win!

I saved up boxes for a couple of weeks, then got to work. I started by wrapping the boxes in packing paper (brown, just like wood). I actually only sealed one end of the box and paper, that way we could sneak some rice into the boxes.

Why rice? you may ask...because we do not keep dry beans on hand, of course.

Are you with me? No? That's okay, you will see what I mean in a minute.

After dumping a couple tablespoons of rice into each box, I sealed it all up. Then I cut pieces of scrapbook paper slightly smaller in size than the face of each box, all 14 blocks-only enough to spell out "Happy Halloween." Original, I know.

I used the extra sticky tape (found in the scrapbook section of craft stores) to adhere the papers to the boxes. I found some Quick Letter Pads at Walmart, they are kind of like post-it pads (but of letters). They are really made to use on posters (like for the Science Fair, etc.) so they are re-positionable. Then once you get the letter where you want it, use a glue stick (one is included) to more permanently attach it.

I used larger boxes for the Hs, so I did not use my Quick Letters. The letters  looked way too tiny compared to the box size. So I used some black card stock and cut my own Hs....but not until the display sat for 2+ weeks without all the letters. Someone looked at it, during that time, and tried to read it outloud. My Hubs and I laughed, it sounded like a really bad British accent. Go ahead and try saying it...See, it's funny!

I played around with my new blocks to make an arrangement I liked. Because there is extra paper (from my wrapping job) on the bottom of the boxes, I needed a way to anchor the boxes so they wouldn't tip over. That's where the rice comes in-it helps to weigh-down the boxes so they will stand and can be stacked. If I were to do it again, I'd use more rice per box. I had thought that I was going to run out of rice originally, but I know better now!
I work on projects at bedtime, which means my 'process' pictures are taken after the sun goes down. Sometimes that is the only way to get things done around here...That's how I roll!

Even with all the letters, I felt like something was missing. So I cut some strips, scored every 1/2 inch, then folded the paper accordion style. Then I glued the ends of three 1" strips together to make a circle. Once in the circle, I used both hands to maneuver the paper into the medallion shape. I hot glued the medallion onto some card stock, cut smaller than the diameter of the medallion, then free-hand cut a spider from black card stock and hot glued him to the center. I used more sticky tape to stick the whole thing onto a couple of blocks (since I actually made two spider medallions).

Here is how the Spider Medallion looks in daylight, and amongst the entire display.

Anyway, during my night crafting, I also made a pennant banner to hang above my entryway table. The Hubs is out of town, which means I'm short two hands, so the hanging has yet to be done. But here is a preview of the paper:

And finally, the entryway table-scape, so far. Like I said, I'm planning on a banner, more potion bottles/jars, maybe some pumpkins or spider webs...and I didn't even notice how off center everything was until now as I'm looking at the pictures-I definitely need to center the whole ordeal to the table :) And check out my awesome colored bottles :) I'm still working on something for the blue bottle...Any ideas? I kind of want eye balls, or something that maybe looks like eyes-I'd appreciate your input.

Here is my goal...I want to have it look something, more or less, like this:

And another great thing about these faux wood blocks...the backs are blank! So I can turn them around, stick other scrapbook paper on it and new letters to make a completely different sign. Maybe I'll make a Thanksgiving display, or maybe Christmas...Valentine's Day? Yep, my head is spinning just thinking about how more awesome this can get.

For what other things would you use faux wood blocks?

P.S. I bought the glitter houses at CVS around $4 each, the pumpkin (which lights up) at Walmart for $0.97, the glass bottles at a store called Capri for $1 each, and the mini plastic bones (in the green bottle) from Party City (they are actually party favors) for under $3.

Oh, take a look here for another way you can use cereal boxes for inexpensive Halloween decor.


  1. Cute! I love inexpensive easy craft ideas - thanks!

  2. I love this - what a great idea! Joining from A Little Bird Told Me -


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