DIY Cardboard Mail Box

Saturday, September 13, 2014

This was part of a Teachers Day event organised by the Parent Partnership Committee (PPC), or more well-known as the Parent Support Group (PSG), from Ch's school. Pre-packed DIY crafts like pop-up cards, lollipop flowers and teabag envelopes were sold by the PPC as part of the Teachers Day celebration, to allow the children to make their gift of appreciation. The children could choose to "mail" their hand-made gifts to their teachers through the PPC Post by dropping them into the red mailbox. 

DIY Cardboard Mail Box craft by Simply Lambchops

It all started during the brainstorming session by the PPC committee about the sale of DIY crafts to the school children. Someone suggested a postage service and I immediately volunteered to take charge of making the mailbox. It would be fun making something out of cardboard and it was certainly one way of getting rid of the cardboard boxes I have been keeping in my storeroom for projects like this! 

I came across this tutorial by The Busy Budgeting Mama and oh, I love the simple yet classic look of the mailbox! The instructions were easy enough to follow, with pictures and short descriptions of the steps needed. 

With a top slit and box drawer added. Oops, a Photobomber!

However when I wanted to paint the mailbox, I realised many of the usual painting media could not cover the colourful print of the cardboard! The glossy surface also made it difficult for the paint to stay on without being scratched off easily! In the end, I tried to spray paint it but I could still see the colourful print through the red layer. I was this close to just pasting red paper all over the mailbox as some of my blogger friends suggested. But I refused to give up. I love the bright red of the spray paint and I was determined to use that (sorry, my stubborn, OCD trait revealed!)

I figured that the glossy surface was the main problem. So, without wasting this big beautiful cardboard, I turned it inside out to expose the matte paper surface. Plus, the spray paint just wouldn't bind to the duct tape. I had to add a layer of masking tape on top of all the duct tape and the spray paint worked beautifully after that. 

Ch and L were very fascinated by the completed mailbox and pretended to mail their own parcels and letters. Even the school children were very interested in the mailbox when it was brought over to the school! 

Photo by Jo

The mailbox is an excellent toy for children as it encourages creative pretend play among young children. You can make felt envelopes like The Busy Budgeting Mama or just give your children some paper as envelopes. The kids can even do a dress-up play with a mailman-looking shirt! Such pretend play encourages language development as it involves communication skills, as well as social emotional development as the child learns to cooperate and interact with appropriate behaviours while playing together. Lastly, it doesn't cost much to make, and you can engage your child to participate in the crafting process by cutting the tapes (under adult supervision) or painting the box (you can choose to use acrylic paint which is less toxic to children). 

If you would like to borrow the mailbox for some pretend play with your child, drop me a comment here.

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  1. Wow I love it! Very nicely done! Now am tempted to make one!

  2. Wow really awesome! you can use it at home for writing little notes of encouragement to each family member!


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