edited by G.E. Novak.
1 piece 1"x8" pine or cedar, 12' long, cut into:
- 2 pieces 5 1/2"x11", sides
- 2 pieces, butted side to side, together measuring 9 1/4"x17", front
- 3 pieces, butted side to side, together measuring 12"x17", back (see illustration)
- 1 piece approximately 7"x19", top
- 1 piece, 3 1/2"x15 3/4", bottom
30 9d finishing nails
Paint or stain
2 pieces 1" thick wood, each about 10" long, for mounting box to house
6 wood screws, for mounting assembly
Equipment & Tools:
Need more room for your magazines, catalogs, and letters? Then this oversized mailbox will be perfect mounted to the front of your house. This project is fairly simple to construct for someone who is skilled with a table saw.
Once the box is complete, the decorating possibilities are almost endless. You could paint, stamp, stencil, use your nature printing skills, or apply a freehand design of your own creation.
As long as it is not used for mail, this box could be used to hold packages from delivery services that arrive when you're not home.
1. To construct the sides, start with rectangles measuring 5 1/2" x 11". Make your first cut for the pitch of the front. Then, using your square, mark and cut the angle of the roof as shown in the illustrations.
2. The full height of the front and back is made from pieces of 1" x 8" pine that are 17" long. The front is approximately 9 1/4" x 17" and the back approximately 12" x 17". When you put the back together, use a smaller third piece in the middle of two larger pieces. This middle piece will be attached to the house as part of the mounting assembly. Bevel the top edges of both the front and back to accommodate where the lid will sit. Use the side pieces to set the machine angles. Cut rabbets 3/8" deep in the front and back pieces for a joint with the sides.
3. Cut a 3/4"-wide dado 3/8" deep near the bottom inside of the sides and back for the bottom piece.
4. Fit the bottom piece in the dado. Assemble the box with clamps. Drill pilot holes, glue, and then nail the box together. Do not glue or nail the middle back piece, because it will be attached to the house.
5. Secure the hinges to the top of the back piece, then to the lid. The lid's overhang should be over the front of the box.
6. Sand the box, then paint or stain it as desired.
7. The box in the photograph was painted with two coats of nontoxic milk paint available in any crafts supply store. This provides a rustic-looking undercoat for decorative stamping. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours before stamping.
8. To make stamps, draw your designs on cardboard and then cut them out. Trace the cardboard pieces onto a sponge and then cut them out with scissors or an X-Acto knife. Flat, dehydrated sponges work best for this process. Look for them at your craft store. Add water to the sponge if necessary and allow it to dry to full size.
9. To apply sponge prints, pour a small amount of desired color of acrylic paint onto a flat dish or plastic lid. Dip the sponge and test-print it on paper to get the desired paint saturation before applying it to the box. Try printing the back of the box first to test your sponge stamps before applying them to the front and lid.
10. Allow the stamped box to dry for 48 hours before finishing it with acrylic varnish or spray finish for outdoor mounting.
Secure two vertical spacers 1"x1"x10" to the house about a foot apart and at the height you wish to mount the box. Attach the middle back piece on the two vertical spacers. Screw two retaining swivels onto the inside of the middle back piece, to hold the mailbox in place.
Reapply outdoor varnish or spray finish as needed.
Use stencils, nature printing, or a woodburning tool to decorate this box. It is versatile enough to accommodate many design possibilities.
This project is excerpted from Mailboxes: 20 Unique Step-by-Step Projects