DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox

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Make a simple and fun Play Mailbox for your little Mail Carrier out of an old cardboard box! | littleredwindow.comDIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.comOk, so for O’s Post Office Birthday Party I knew I wanted some cute little mailboxes for the kids to play with. And you know how I love to make things like this on the cheap right? Like my cardboard sewing machine? Or cardboard Thomas the Train? So when I was working on this party, O and I went to the craft store one day to buy something. And it happened to be the day they were restocking all the shelves for fall. Now since we just moved, I had been planning to make little mailboxes from one or two of the seven gazillion (not an accurate estimation) cardboard boxes we have in the garage. But they were all pretty big and pretty square which would have been fine but would have taken more work.

So imagine my delight when I spotted two perfect empty boxes in a cart in the middle of the craft store aisle. And imagine how much more delighted I was when the woman working there told me I could take them home for free! (Also imagine her super confused and skeptical face when I asked…) DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

Look! Aren’t they perfect! Ok, maybe you’re not as excited as I am yet. But I had a plan and tall rectangular boxes with square bases were perfect for that plan! So, here we go!

1. On two opposite top flaps, draw a semi-circle as wide as the flap. That will be the curved top of the mailbox.

DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

2. Using an exacto knife, cut along those semi-circular lines. Then use half of the flaps you cut off and glue them inside to reinforce the semi-circle flaps and keep them standing straight up. Hot glue works great!

DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

 

3. Decide which side will be the front, draw a rectangle and cut along 3 sides, leaving one tall side uncut. DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

4. Bend the door open along that 4th uncut edge.DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

5. Find or cut a flat piece of cardboard that is equal in width to the distance between the two semicircular flaps (from outer side to outer side). This will become the top of the mailbox. Using a ruler and an exacto knife, score parallel lines on the back side across that width about an inch apart or so. You just need to lightly cut the very first layer of the cardboard. Don’t cut down into the corrugated part. Then fold the cardboard gently so it starts to curve.

DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

6. Hold your curved top piece in place and measure how long it will need to be (this is basically the length of the top curved edge of the mailbox (otherwise know as the circumference of that semicircle). Cut the scored rectangle to length.  Then draw and cut a slot for the mail to go in in the middle of the top.  Finally, use hot glue to carefully attach it to the top. Try and keep the glue on the inside.DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.comDIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

7. At this point I added 4 1″ wooden blocks to the bottom for the feet. I attached them with glue.DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

8. When the glue is dry, paint the whole thing “mailbox blue” with acrylic craft paint. I needed two coats to cover it well. DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

9. For the logos, I just printed them out on regular paper, cut around them carefully and glued them on. You could also paint them or use a paint pen or even vinyl if you have a fancy craft cutting machine!DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

And here’s the finished product! The kids really had a lot of fun playing with them and it took less than two hours and under $5 to make two of them!  DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox | littleredwindow.com

 

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Post Office Birthday Party DIY Cardboard Box Sewing Machine photo (22)

 

44 thoughts on “DIY Cardboard Play Mailbox

  1. Adorable! And….you make everything so do-able with your well thought out instructions.

    Your thrill at finding just the right size and shape box – and 2 of them at that (for 2 mailboxes) – is totally understandable! I’ve been known to do my little happy dance when finding just the right thing for a craft project and you just have to ignore the strange looks. THOSE people don’t have the imagination you do and couldn’t even begin to realize what a cute project is going to be created by those throw-away boxes.

    Thanks for the tutorial.
    Tavette – S. Fla.

  2. This has to be the cutest thing i’ve seen in awhile! If my little cousins were smaller they’d totally love this! Your so creative and you did a great job.

  3. I love that you make these toys for your kids. They are so much more special than store bought junk. It teaches them to appreciate creativity too. Thanks for sharing this at What We Accomplished Wednesdays! Have a super week!
    Blessings, Deborah

  4. OMG I would LOVE one of these to put on my desk at the office! Would you happen to have one for sale??? :/ I totally suck at DIY and I am not as crafty…eek!

  5. HELP – I made the mailbox. Thanks for your easy instructions. I used a glue gun for the first time.
    Here’s my problem – I want to give this mailbox as a gift tomorrow & an having a hard time getting a post office logo isolated inline to print out in a good size. Where & how did you get yours?

        1. Hi! Yeah, you’ll just have to google it and see what you can find. Because it’s the real USPS logo, I can’t provide it for you on my site. But I’m sure you can find one that would work if you use google image search!

  6. Stealing this idea to make a Mailbox for kids to place Thank you cards for their First Grade teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week! Thank you so much for the fun, easy and perfect! looking mailbox!

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