DIY this Cardboard Mailbox for your little Mail Carrier out of an old box and a few other supplies you’ll already have at home! Your little one will love delivering their own mail to their own DIY mailbox!
Ok, so for O’s Post Office Birthday Party I knew I wanted a cute little play mailbox 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 for my DIY mailbox plan, but would have taken more work.
So imagine my delight when I spotted two perfect shaped 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…)
Look! Aren’t they perfect for a play mailbox?! 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 to make a mailbox! So, here we go!
DIY Cardboard Mailbox Supply List
If you want to make a mailbox, here’s what you need…
- Cardboard Box
- Craft knife
- Blue craft paint
- 1″ wooden blocks
- Hot glue gun
DIY Cardboard Mailbox Instructions
Do you have everything you need to make your own DIY mailbox? Ok, let’s get started!
1. To start to make a mailbox, on two opposite top flaps, draw a semi-circle as wide as the flap. That will be the curved top of the play mailbox.
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!
3. Decide which side will be the front, draw a rectangle and cut along 3 sides, leaving one tall side uncut.
4. Bend the door open along that 4th uncut edge.
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.
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.
7. At this point I added 4 1″ wooden blocks to the bottom for the feet. I attached them with glue.
8. When the glue is dry, paint the whole thing “mailbox blue” with acrylic craft paint. I needed two coats to cover it well.
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!
And here’s the finished DIY play mailbox! 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!
Tips & Tricks for making your own DIY Cardboard Mailbox or Play Mailbox…
- Be patient when you’re curving the curved top of the mailbox. It will be worth being gentle and working slowly!
- Your play mailbox will probably require at least three coats of blue paint to cover everything. This is a great part for kids to help with!
- If you have mail you will be using, be sure to measure it before you cut the mail slot so it will fit!
- When your mailbox is finished, let your kids write, stamp and address their own letters, they’ll have a blast!
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