Altered Mailboxes

Altered Mailboxes
There are many different things that can be decorated around the home to give your house it’s own unique look. I have fallen in love with altered mailboxes. Although the journey to get here is a little round about, the final destination has been a lot of fun.

My first experience decorating a mailbox was a simple acrylic paint job. I bought the least expensive white mailbox that the hardware store had to offer in metal. Plastic mailboxes are also available, but I am more comfortable painting on metal. I drew a simple pattern of clematis vines crawling around the box and painted the flowers pink and white and the leaves green. It was fun, and the $10 mailbox looked like, well, much more than $10. It seemed a good investment.

Since I have been so involved with rubberstamping, the next step was to experiment with rubber stamping this metal mailbox. So off I go to the hardware store and buy another white metal mailbox.

First, I used Staz On pastels, and stamped the pad around the mailbox to give it some color. I really like combining pink and blue, but you obviously need to pick your favorite combinations. Mail boxes are not flat in all areas, so you have to twist the pad to go around corners. You can use background stamps to cover the box, or you can just cover the box with color. Staz On dries quickly, so by the time you finish covering the mailbox you can go back to where you began and stamp over it with a second layer of stamping.

For the second layer of stamping you could use a black or dark blue (Staz On) and cover it with a few different flower stamps, or maybe just a theme that you love (faeries and dragons, pets, red hats, etc) And now, for the finishing touches of art, take out your number stamps and stamp your house number on the box. It could be nice to add your last name also.

Even though Staz On dries quickly, I would let the mailbox sit overnight before finishing the last step. This is important for two reasons. First, you want to make sure that you like it just the way that it is and don’t want to make any more changes, and second, you want to be sure it is completely dry all over. The final step is to seal the color and protect the box by spraying polyurethane over the entire mailbox. Polyurethane can be purchased in either a glossy or flat finish, so be sure that you are buying the finish that you want. Let the polyurethane dry for two or three days before putting it outside.

These days snail mail is not used for much more than bills. The mail is not as much fun as it used to be; at least you can have fun decorating your mailbox.

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