Mailbox Fail

A few days ago, our trusty old mailbox’s door hinge broke. Time for a new one!

I went to the hardware store and picked out a basic black steel box. I also picked up a can of yellow spray paint.

Since I wanted to have black numbers, I decided the easiest way would be to make stickers of the numbers to stick on the box before I sprayed it yellow.

Improvising with what I had, I used the sticky side of a laminating sheet to make the number stickers. I first printed the numbers on paper, and taped it to the sheet.


I cut out the first number, and then discovered I’d taped the paper on the wrong side! I hadn’t really thought about it when I taped it, so now I had one backwards 2.


I flipped the laminating sheet around and cut out the remaining numbers (plus an extra non-backwards 2).


After peeling off the backing, I taped the clear number stickers to the box, along with a number of triangle stickers to make a pattern around the address.



After the first coat of yellow spray paint, I realized I probably should have gotten some primer, or at least sprayed a coat of metallic paint first.

It took a number of coats to get the fully saturated bright yellow.


Unfortunately I didn’t get all the coats completed the first day, so had to wait for another bright, sunny, not windy day to finish the last coat.

Finally I was able to reveal the numbers!


(Note that the newspaper I put down to protect the deck railing worked great–except for the parts of the railing that weren’t covered! oops!)

Since I removed the stickers after the paint was completely dry, some of the edges chipped off, but from far away you couldn’t really tell, so I was happy with the results.

I grabbed a screw driver and my new yellow mailbox and went to make the switch.

It wasn’t until I got the two mailboxes together that I realized a big problem. The new mailbox is too small!


I could hardly believe it! It doesn’t even look so much smaller, but it won’t fit on the existing plank.


So I’m back to square one. I really think it’s funny that I went through the whole process and never thought to check that I got the right mailbox in the first place. Coincidentally (and luckily), my brother also needs a new mailbox. He doesn’t even mind that it’s yellow! He’ll be able to put the smaller one to good use, and I get to make myself another yellow mailbox. ๐Ÿ™‚

Live and learn!

8 Replies to “Mailbox Fail”

  1. I repeat this often when teaching art workshops (be it to 8 year olds or 80 year olds) one of the biggest parts of art making is problem solving! A great artist is able to tackle problems that arise along the way. So in short, you needed to make that first mailbox to work through all of the problems; the second one will be done perfectly now… checked to fit, sprayed with primer first, and then boldly yellow!!! I’m looking forward to sending mail to your soon to be installed 2nd mailbox <3

    1. that’s a great way to think of it! I find I do a lot of problem solving when I make stuff. ๐Ÿ˜€ You are right. I already know of several things I’m going to do differently, so the next one will be even better!

  2. This sounds SO much like something I would do, especially down to the part about the wrong size mailbox. I tend to just jump in, wade through the muck, and then end up having to scrap it and do it all over again. Good luck with your new, larger mailbox!

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