DIY Mailbox Makeover + Backyard Progress

17 May

When we moved into the PM one of the first things I knew I wanted to change was the mailbox. It sort of reminded me of something that was from The Jetsons, and not in a good way. By the way, I loved that cartoon. Mr Sprocket was always so angry and their dog, Astro cracked me up! But seriously, this mailbox was a train wreck, looking all kinds of silver bullet crazy.

Mailbox, Before, After, DIY, Spray Paint, Contact Paper, The Reagans Rock

See, I told ya! First we went over to my fav home improvement store, Lowes. We actually weren’t there for mailboxes but we meandered thru the isle because we never go to Lowes without looking for 50 things on a list. We took a gander at all they had to offer and, truth be told, those things looked like every other suburban mailbox. The PM is no ordinary house so I just didn’t feel like we could pick up any ol’ mailbox and come to find out, our neighbor told us this happy fact, this mailbox was made by a local metal artist. So we ruled out buying one and Brian was pretty happy because he hates wasting money on something as silly as a place where you pick up bills. So I thought perhaps I could just spray paint the thing and give it a tune up with some new numbers. I had already taken a peek at the mailbox numbers at Lowes while we were looking at boxes and didn’t see anything that struck my fancy. They were all plain, reflective, and just ugly. Well, ugly to font snob like me. What can I say? I love a good set of type! So I thought on it some more and decided to use a little fun technique using contact paper as a stencil. I spent about an hour going thru my 3,000 fonts looking for the perfect one. I ended up choosing 9 and getting Brian’s opinion on the final say.

So here’s the DIY, should you decide not to settle for standard ol’ sticker nubmers too:

Materials-

  1. Ugly Mailbox
  2. Two cans of spray paint. One light and one dark.
  3. Your house numbers and/or last name printed in a font you love but that is also easy to read for your postman or postwoman.
  4. Exacto knife
  5. Contact paper
  6. Putty knife, to remove old sitckers
  7. Damp Cloth
  8. All purpose cleaner

Now here’s how I made it work:

With my font selected, I just printed it out. Traced it onto some contact paper and used an exacto to cut the letters and numbers out. Then I had to wait. Because it rained, and rained, and then rained some more. Finally, one Friday I headed down to the box with two colors of spray paint, a damp cloth and some cleaner, and my stencils. I gave the whole box a good once over with cleaner to get rid of the dirt and pollen. Used a putty knife to remove the 3 layers of stickers. Gave it another good once over with the cleaner and after it dried I sprayed it down with the darker, oil rubbed bronze paint. Two coats and it was perfectly covered. I let that get good and dry then applied my stencil. I did the numbers first then our last name. Once I gave each of those a good spray and let it set up a bit I removed the stencil. I had a little bit of the lighter paint over spray on the mailbox so I just used my cleaner to wipe it off.

Ta da! A new mailbox for the price of two cans of spray paint. I already had the contact paper because I had used it to line the pantry shelves. Easy peasy and the box doesn’t look like it came from space! Hooray!

On another note we are making lots of progress in the back yard. We have been gradually removing bamboo, English ivy, and more wild strawberries than you can imagine. Seriously I can’t believe how many there are. You may even consider them our “grass” right now.

Backyard Before, The Reagans Rock, Before, After, LandscapingBackyard Now, The Reagans Rock, Before, After, LandscapingYou will have to excuse Maddux for getting into that last shot, actually he was in the one above that too but I edited him out. He really is a camera hog. Now before you think we are super beings because we are making things happen, please note the state of the other half of the back yard.

Backyard, The Reagans Rock, Before, After, LandscapingSee, there the camera hog is AGAIN! Anyway as you can see the hot tub is in shambles. We gave away the cover because we had decided to get rid of it. Now we are leaning the other way. It’s actually really nice. It just needs a new surround built for it. We would, of course, move it. That area is in direct view of where our neighbors park and I don’t really feel comfortable with that. So we will figure out what we are doing with that. Then there is the dreaded rock pickup of 2011. There has to be a few tons of loose rock out here ladies and gentlemen. No, I am not kidding. That doesn’t even include the weeded over paths of pea gravel. I think we have settled on keeping the smaller of the two fountains. It would help to block out some road noise and it could be a neat feature if we did it right. The other thing that needs to happen is to remove all of that brush under and around that big tree there in the middle. This pic doesn’t show you the crazyness over there but trust me, every time I go over to help Maddux find his ball, I revert to childhood play times in the woods and hear my mom say, “Yer gonna get on a snake!” Yes, we said yer when I was little. I grew up in the country folks, don’t hate. And now it’s a little joke between me and Brian. We spend our yard clean up days shouting “Yer gonna get on a snake” back and forth to each other. I am sure our neighbors think we are a bit crazy. Who knows, maybe we are. We did choose to by a pink house didn’t we!?

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