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You’ve Got Mail

Go Gingham Upcycled Mailbox

Back before having children, both my husband and I traveled for our jobs and we met up at the airport every 2-weeks. Since we were both gone so often, we cut a hole in our front door and added a mail slot so that our neighbors didn’t have to become our mail collectors. Once I became a “stay at home mom,” I dreamt of getting a proper mailbox and plugging up the hole. How long has it been since I worked for Ralph Lauren Corporate and traveled for my job? Hmmmm…..just 16-years or so. Yes, that’s how long it’s taken me to get around to this project. Not super high on the priority list but one that I’ve been wanting to do.

I’ve been on the lookout for a “new” to me mailbox and this one hit all of my criteria for this project:

You’ve Got Mail

  • Spend as little money as possible – check, this cost $2.00
  • Look good with a 99-year-old craftsman bungalow house – check
  • Repurposed, upcycled or reused but nothing new – check
  • Minimal work start to finish – check (Honey-do-list husband was very happy with this one since he’s always getting enlisted for my projects!)

I have no before pictures to share. My new camera software and I didn’t get along at first and I ended up deleting all of the before photos. Basically, the paper towel holder turned mailbox was very dirty. I thought it would need painting with appliance paint like the repurposed laundry chute door from the bathroom project, but it didn’t.

Go Gingahm New Mailbox
Flowers and a postcard await my letter carrier!

This mailbox is actually an old paper towel dispenser – think public restroom here. I just turned it upside down and added a cute handle.

Go Gingham You've Got Mail

The mailbox needed something to catch all of the mail. I found a box that used to be in a doll house and screwed that into the mailbox.

Go Gingham Repurposed paper towel holder
I drilled holes first and then added a bolt with a nut on the end.

The latch is on the bottom now and not on the top where it used to be when it held paper towels. I did have to buy a key from a locksmith. The key cost more than my mailbox!

Go Gingham mailbox
The lock to the mailbox is now on the bottom. It’s not exactly secure but keeps honest thieves out.

I especially love that my new mailbox is metal and I added an “outgoing mail” magnet so that all of my love letters and thank you notes can be easily picked up. (Yes, bills, too, but those aren’t nearly as interesting to mail!)

Go Gingham outgoing mail

Check that off the to-do list!

Go Gingham Upcycled Paper Towel Holder

My letter carrier is happy because there’s no opening the front screen door and wrangling an arm into the front door mail slot. The environment is happy because this was from an architectural salvage store. I’m happy because this hit all of my criteria and it looks super cute. My husband is happy because he didn’t have to do much work and I’m happy. Win, win, win all around!

What’s a project you’ve been wanting to get to for years but haven’t?

Go Gingham related links:

Our fun adventure to find a claw foot for the bathtub – we traded!
DIY project redoing the missing claw foot
Gingham shelf liners I made for the bathroom – yes, gingham
Grommets and shower curtains – easier than sewing button holes!
Bathtub in old bathrooms – shower curtain holder
A slip-cover for the toilet tank – yes, you read that correctly!

13 thoughts on “You’ve Got Mail

    1. Thanks, Rita! I love that place and it’s always worth my time to go root around with my husband. He’s good at spotting things that need minimal work 😉


  1. Really cute and functional, good for you. Would never fly in my neck of the woods; we have curb-side delivery by truck.

    For security reasons, the outgoing mail goes into a nearby drop box at a shopping center. This is the world we live in now.


  2. Cute! Wouldn’t be approved in my neighborhood, either, unfortunately. Sounds like you live in a charming corner of the world.


  3. Adorable! I’ve always wanted a mail slot instead of a mail box – it is funny how we all want something different.


    1. Oh, Michelle, that is too funny! I would probably like the mail slot in the door the kitchen wasn’t right there at the front door. When I’m in my pjs until noon and the letter carrier shows up and is waving ~ well, you know. I guess I could get dressed!
      We always want what we don’t have, don’t we?
      Thanks, Michelle. 🙂


  4. I love the up-cycling of the paper towel dispenser! It looks great with your front porch setting as well :). Thanks for sharing another clever idea.


    1. Darcy, thank you! The paper towel dispenser was in really good shape and is working out quite nicely. I don’t miss having the mail come into the slot but I might when we travel and our home swap partners are annoyed with the little lock! 🙂


  5. Very clever idea. I like to repurpose commercial/industrial items for functionality at home.
    Lately, I have been using these super powerful magnets..neodynum (spelling may be off) but they can hold up to 12 lbs. and they come in different shapes: some hooks, some bars..the hooks are a lifesaver because I don’t have to drill holes in metal objects.


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