Cereal Box Night-lights

posted by Gina

Is it true, you ask?  Is it really true that with just a cereal box, a pushpin, and a string of lights I can make something incredibly, incredibly nifty?  Is it true that this nifty thing can serve as a homemade gift, a fender-offer of monsters below the bed, and a task that will keep my child occupied for a fairly long time?  All these things, my friend, are true.

I saw this crafty idea somewhere, and it’s been lurking about in my head as one of those “there’s no way this can possibly look that good” ideas.  But behold:


I mean, that’s pretty impressive.  And not at all difficult to achieve. 

What you’ll need:

  • A cereal box
  • A pushpin
  • A string of holiday lights

I sent Mike to the corner store with instructions to bring back “some kind of cereal kids eat only it needs to have a pretty package and you have to be willing to eat it so it doesn’t go to waste maybe you should consider Frosted Flakes because those are delicious.”

He returned with Apple Jacks.


The above is me, skeptical.  “Apple Jacks?  Does anyone really eat these?  Does no one else find that apple guy really scary?  Is no one else a little bothered by ‘CinnaMon’, the rastafarian cinnamon stick?”

It turns out that there wasn’t much variety at my corner store.  (It also turns out that Apple Jacks are delicious.)

So I removed the plastic bag of cereal, assembled my materials,



and got to work.

Punching holes in cereal boxes is really easy.  The cardboard is thin and the box is fairly sturdy.  I followed the lines of the letters and shapes, then punched all around that, trying to make it look ‘sparkly’.

After a couple of letters, I wondered if this was actually going to work – the holes seemed awfully tiny.

So I stuffed my desk lamp into the top of the box



And behold!  It was working!



I continued my pushpin journey, and learned one important lesson: too many pinpricks too close together means your shape will fall in.  Be wary with your spacing.

Another lesson: while this is pretty fun, it can get tedious if you try to complete your whole design at once.  Spread this out over several days – or keep as an ongoing project to fill those “I really need ten minutes of time to myself” spots in your day.

One of the things that’s nice about this project is that the artistically advanced can plan ahead, penciling in swirls and designs of their own, using or ignoring the box design as they see fit.  The rest of us can achieve just as nice a result by gleefully punching away, sometimes following the design, sometimes madly scampering out on our own.

My final design achieved (and the deadline for posting rapidly approaching), I dug out my box of holiday decorations and found a working string of lights.



I cut a flap in the back of the box, stuffed the lights inside, and pulled the plug end through the flap:



Then I set up my nightstand, ready to revel in night-light glory:



And revel I did:




Author: Gina L. Grandi

Moderately well-read. Fairly socially awkward. According to Greg, 'a sentimental cynic with artistic sensibilities.' Somewhat nifty.

3 thoughts on “Cereal Box Night-lights”

  1. I love that it will look like I keep a box of cereal next to the kids bed during the day! Great timing, as we have been needing an under the bed fender-offer.


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