Friday, June 25, 2010

Mailbox Makeover

Yikes...seeing it in a photograph really makes me wonder how and why it took 8 months to replace our mailbox. A new home is always full of so many projects, big and small and somehow the mailbox was overlooked for quite some time. I am not so concerned with the wild and woodsy growth around the mailbox that would look very out of place in many communities. It would be very unusual to have a manicured lawn where we live. But the paint-peeling, attached to the post by a bungee cord mailbox, could not be ignored any longer. At first I thought we would strip and repaint this mailbox, but decided to start with a fresh clean white new one.
I love when we can create something functional that the kids can contribute to. These projects are not only the most fun, but are so meaningful. What better way to tell your child you think they have good ideas or you like they way they paint than to allow them to paint the mailbox or a similar project. I felt like I was able to tell my 5 year-old the "I trust you and your ideas and think you are really creative capable of important things" with this project...yet I was still able to control it a bit.
I realize that sounds a bit manipulative, but I had to find a balance. If I let it totally be up to her we would end up with a pooping moose or worse, a Disney Princess mailbox. But with a little bit of conversation and brainstorming, she happily came up with the bear in the blueberries. I painted the branches and then gave her a round and a leaf shaped sponge for the berries and leaves. She drew the bear with pencil first then painted it. I did some little touch ups and now we have a super cute mailbox.It is basically the same design on both sides.......with a cheery surprise for the mail carrier inside.

I used acrylic paint directly on the metal mailbox and sealed it with a clear spray paint to seal it. We actually made this as a Father's Day surprise and Daddy loved it. We have received lots of compliments which have been very well received. I love the way she wants to show our friends and loves to go fetch the mail. She talks about what the neighbors must think of it and has been talking about inventing a roaring bear sound effect.
This project turned out to be so much more than simply painting a new mailbox.
How does your mailbox look? I bet your kids would love to paint one!


  1. That's a great idea, and I love the finished product! I fear that in our hands such a project would end up a mass of brown smudges, but maybe I need to trust more.

  2. I have total confidence that between you and Phebe, something beautiful will come out:)

  3. this is so cute! it makes me super happy that you let your little one help. encouraging your kids is probably the best thing anyone can ever do.