Megan O'Dea Jenkins

Wishing you smiles and laughter every day.

Mailbox Makeover & Styling Up Those House Numbers June 12, 2011

Look at my cute little house (well, I know I may be the only one that thinks it’s cute) with those teeny tiny stick-on house numbers that no one can see from the street and a very very very sad mailbox.  So sad.

It’s cracked and pealing and covered with bird poo not to mention it’s basically being held up by stoned around the base of it because the whole in the ground is too big!  Ewww. . . have to cuten this up ASAP!

So, I headed to my stash of stuff to see what I could come up with and found this board, I have no idea what it’s from but almost looks like the bottom of a drawer. . . not sure.  It was about a quarter inch thick or so.

And I headed over to Lowes to find a low-cost mailbox. . . $15.00. . . perfect!

I was pretty excited because I hadn’t used my new Skil sander yet!  It was so fun, I had on the mask and goggles and everything. So I sanded the board down nice and smooth, no bumps or snags but maybe a little rough around the edges which was okay, it’s what I was going for.

Awhile ago I bought a huge box of sample Martha Stewart paints for $4.99 off of Home Depot’s Facebook page. They have some great offers.  My house is white with black accents and I needed a color that would also pop the house numbers so people can see them from the street – so I went with Barn Red.  The color looks horrible in this photo – need to work on my color correcting skills.

I’m loving that Purdy paint brush too. The paint brushes on so well and you can get a really clean line too.  After it was well and painted, I worked on the layout.  I knew I wanted numbers that were large and san serif and have a little style.  So I worked in Illustrator and found a great font and printed them out as a template. The layout was just what I pictured in my head, yay!

To transfer the numbers I just used some old graphite paper and traced the photos. Easy peasy.

Here you can see how nice the transfer worked.

I then painted the numbers on with black acrylic paint and forgot to take some photos of the before.  I always do that!  From there I took the board back outside and used my new sander again to rough it up a bit. It didn’t quit work how I thought it would. . . I think I should have either used acrylic paint or let the laytex paint dry more because it was more peeling then it was being sanded.   But. . . doesn’t it look so cool?  After sanding I sprayed several coats of a moisture resistant clear paint on it to provide some protection against the weather. So far it’s holding up well.

I have vinyl siding and didn’t want to have to put any holes in it so I did a bunch of research online to find an alternative. I came across these vinyl hooks on Amazon.  So I thought I would give them a try.

I figured the best way to hang it on the S-hooks would be to use picture hangars.  To ensure they were secured, I put a little Gorilla Super Glue down before I nailed them on.

I didn’t want the hooks to show so I lined them up with the top of the board, marked the middle hole and attached the picture hangars accordingly.  And of course didn’t take a photo!

So, I flipped it over and went to work attaching the mailbox according to the instructions that came with it.

I always love when I get to use my little power drill too!  Instead of attaching the mailbox to the house (avoiding holes in the vinyl siding), I just attached it to the board using a nut and bolt which you see here.  It allowed me to attach it nice and snug so it doesn’t blow around in the  wind or anything.

Finally, I stuck the hooks up into the notch in the siding. It was a little more difficult than I thought but they are surprisingly sturdy!

And there she is! I love it!  The hooks are working out really good, so much more secure than I ever expected.  The crazy wind we’ve had here hasn’t moved it at all – did I mention I also put a couple small strips of 3M double sided tape on the back?  That’s probably helping too.

Ahhh, much better now! And with the red geraniums and yellow irises in bloom and hydrangeas soon to bloom, I think it looks even better.  Next up. . .maybe a new screen door and painting my front door black!

This is one finished project I’m really in love with. . . I wonder what my mailman thinks!

What creative ways have you updated a mailbox or house numbers?