Monday, October 11, 2010

You Got Mail

I may be dating myself by recalling the days when we would anxiously await the mailman's arrival, run downstairs to the garage, and grab the mail from the box that led to the outside slot. 

In those days,  before modern communication including Facebook, Twitter, texting and e-mails, we enjoyed old-fashioned snail mail.  I had a pen pal named Anne who lived on the other side of the country in Akron, Ohio.  Although we never met, we enjoyed several years of writing back and forth about whatever nine-year old girls wrote about in those days.  I recall letters that began, "Dear Doreen, Thanks for your last letter.  School is good.  My sister and I went to the park after school..."  You get the idea! 

I hadn't thought about Anne in decades until I came across this vintage metal mailbox at the flea market.  For less than $10, I saved it from obscurity.  Here is what it looked like:

Note the wonderful scalloped edges on the lid and the curvy rack at the bottom
(used to hold magazines and newspapers).
Time to transform its mundane exterior with a little paint and a whole lot of embellishments. 
First I decided on my color palette.
After a light sanding, I painted the exterior with light avocado (minus the tortilla chips).
This is my favorite part of the transformation: 
going through my stash and finding embellishments that will mix and match together.
Then I edged the papers with charcoal chalk ink
I painted chipboard scrolls that I later stamped with flourishes.
Adhered the paper with Plaid's Royal Coat antique decoupage finish.
Stamped vintage images on a pretty Paper Source label,
and adhered the label on the front of the mailbox.
Added quirky snaps on the scalloped lid, a chipboard bird holding a key (and the lock is hanging from the scroll), a few buttons, and a small flower and bling to the bird's tail.

Being the ribbon queen that I am,
I tied complementary ribbons in shades of green, cream and yellow,
using ribbons with varying textures and widths, to the magazine rack.
Then a chipboard label holder and two brads on top of the mailbox
with a label that reads "You Got Mail" finishes the project.

I'm happy with the result!  Now, what to use it for? 
My husband has a brilliant idea: 
we're going to hang it on our porch next to the front door
and use it for....mail!

P.S.  I'm going to try to re-connect with my pen pal, Anne.  I wonder if she's on Facebook! 

Linking to:
Funky Junk Spring Projects
Knick of Time
The Gunny Sack

The Project Queen Turning-the-daunting-into-the-do-able


  1. Your work is truly astounding and beautiful! I can manipulate fabric (clothing designer here), but I do not have a single bit of ability when it comes to this kind of thing...I love it!
    Kristina J.

  2. Thanks for stopping by! What a fun blog you have! I LOVE how that mailbox turned out :)

  3. Another great project, but would you pretty please indicate that you are linked to the Boardwalk Bragfest! That way others can learn about the party, as well!

  4. Spring cleaning of the front yard today left me irritated with my super-duper ugly, antique, crusty black mail box. Then I remembered reading this post! And I now have the cutest box on the block. I never would have thought to recreate it on my own - thank you!!

  5. This is such a cute mailbox. I have this one too! I haven't had time to paint it yet, maybe after the holiday! Thanks for your inspiration!



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