Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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All, Make

Make: A DIY Cardboard Jack-O-Lantern Shape Sorter

Halloween is HAPPENING in a big way! We’ve been celebrating a very merry, not-so-scary All Hallows Eve with this grinning gourd shape sorter you can make from a couple cereal boxes! This is so wonderful for shape-learning, DIY fine motor skill practice and spatial recognition.

Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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This adorable upcycled jack-o-lantern can ALSO be reused for a candy collector or bean-bag tossing game after you’re done sorting shapes. Or put a flameless candle in it for a cute light-up tabletop jack-o-lantern!

For your own upcycled Jack-O-Lantern shape sorter you’ll need:

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

BASIC SUPPLIES:

  • 2 Cereal Boxes (or Cardboard Boxes of any kind)
  • Acrylic or tempera paints and brushes (I use Liquitex Basics Acrylic Paint)
  • Craft Glue, Mod Podge and/or a hot glue gun
  • A Utility or X-Acto Knife

OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:

Jack-O-Lantern Shape Sorter Instructions:

  1. Print and cut out our jack-o-lantern shape-sorter template

    Download and print out our template – or freehand draw your own pumpkin! Our template is sized to take up 1 full sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper (landscape). Glue your pumpkin to a piece of cardboard using craft glue or mod podge and cut it out with good scissors or a utility knife.

    Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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  2. Trace and paint your jack-o-lantern’s face

    Paint your jack-o-lantern with fun colors using an acrylic or tempera paint. Once your pumpkin has dried, cut out a face along our template lines, or using a combination of simple shapes. Our template has the jack-o-lantern face we’ve used, but also a blank pumpkin you can use to design your own face, expressions and personality. Trace your face onto a cereal (or similar) box.

    Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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  3. Cut the traced face out of your box

    Using a utility knife, cut the face out of your cereal box (or similar cardboard box). Now is also the time to cut out any additional elements you might want to add, like a stem or leaves.

    Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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  4. Glue your painted jack-o-lantern to the box, aligning the faces

    Using a hot glue gun or craft glue, pop your pumpkin onto the front of the box, aligning the faces. Note: we glued a strip of green paper to the bottom of our box first to hide some space that wasn’t covered by our pumpkin.

    Glue any other decorative pumpkin elements (we added a stem and leaves) to the inside of your box behind your pumpkin. You’re ready for shape sorting!

    Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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The dimensional sorting shapes don’t have to be anything fancy. You can size your cutouts to work with blocks you already have, or make 3-D shapes simply by folding strips of paper like I did. I cut 2″ strips of colorful cardstock, then folded into half-circles, triangles and square forms. 

Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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If Halloween and recycled cardboard go hand-in-hand for you too, you’ll love this DIY Lion King-inspired kids lion costume idea!

And we have so many more Halloween projects in store! For more seasonal DIYs visit:


*A note about Amazon affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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Use cereal boxes to create an adorable DIY upcycled cardboard jack-o-lantern shape sorter (template included)
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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